We asked our resident real-estate expert, David Fleming, what realtors mean when they describe houses as “condo alternatives.” Then we went hunting for some.
David’s definition: “The term ‘condo alternative’ mainly refers to the price and size. Houses are typically much larger than condos, but some are quaint, cute, and cozy, like a little 800-square-foot cottage in Cabbagetown. Most people think of houses as 2,000 square feet or more, but there are some cool little places for people who don’t require a ton of space, but also don’t want the upkeep of a large house.”
Mortimer and Woodbine, #EYK (pictured at top)
633 Mortimer Ave.
With its good-sized backyard (the lot is 103 feet deep), this two-bedroom 700-square-foot bungalow requires more upkeep than a condo but offers wackloads more charm. There’s a front porch and a back deck with gas barbecue hookup. The kitchen is in good nick with granite counters and stainless appliances. The small living area opens onto the kitchen (there’s no dining room), and there’s only one bathroom—but that just means you’ll spend less time cleaning.
Danforth and Woodbine, #DAN
116 King Edward Ave.
This semi-detached 600-square-foot place has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a sunny galley kitchen that looks onto a deck and a leafy backyard covered in flagstone. The home is super slim and the property is less than 14 feet wide, but out back there’s a separate studio building with hydro—a pretty sweet bonus.
St. Clair and Dufferin, #COR
131 Boon Ave.
Sure, the front yard of this wee bungalow has been bricked over, but that leaves room for your car, without the $30,000 parking-spot price tag. There are two bedrooms, two bathrooms (one a master ensuite), and a basement income unit, bringing the entire place to a total of 750 square feet. “Yard” is a loose term for what’s happening out back, as it too is bricked over (who likes to mow the lawn, anyway?), but there is a hot tub.
Dundas and Gladstone, #DNW
177 Gladstone Ave.
A nice row house close to all the west-end action, this 1,250-square-foot two-bedroom also comes with a one-car laneway garage, hardwood on the main floor, and central air-conditioning. Green thumbs may want to tackle the paved-over yard.
Carlton and Parliament, #CBT
5 Woodstock Pl.
This two-bedroom historic home (it’s about 1,000 square feet) is tucked away on a little lane in Cabbagetown. It has plenty of character (window planter boxes, wood shingles, fireplace) and pretty gardens in both the front and back. The kitchen is move-in ready, but buyers with modern tastes will want to replace the white cabinets and appliances.