Is this house worth renovating?


Category: Renovation


Hi David,

My grandfather owns a beautiful (from the outside) three story Edwardian detached house in the Gerrard-Coxwell area with a front parking pad. It has been uninsurable for the last ten years or so due to old electrical. It also is poorly insulated in places (the legal addition off the back and the third floor don’t retain any heat) and an unpermitted separate entrance basement apartment. The house has been chopped up up as a rental with kitchens and bathrooms on every floor including the third.

Leaving aside whether it’s worth the stress of a whole house renovation. Do you think financially it would be better to remortgage and renovate and turn the house into a sfh with basement apartment before selling or to sell as is?




Hi Caitlyn,

Your one request in this email is simply impossible: “….leaving aside whether it’s worth the stress of a whole house renovation.”

That’s the entire decision here.  It’s not about whether or not it’s “better” to renovate, because the answer is always, “yes.”

When I hear the term “remortgage,” it makes me squirm.

Very few home owners are properly equipped to take on a renovation of this stature, and if you have to refinance to do it, I’d strongly caution against it.

If you were able to sell this house “as is” to a developer or flipper, you’d get away with no liability, and a financial bounty.

Alternatively, taking on more debt and risk, at higher interest rates, to undergo what sounds like a complete gut, in an uninsurable house, in search of turning a higher profit, isn’t something I’d personally recommend.

Renovations never go as planned.  They always cost more, take longer, and cause more stress.  But this isn’t a renovation – this is basically building a house within four walls and a roof.

The “unpermitted” basement apartment adds yet another wrinkle.

Good luck!

The post Is this house worth renovating? appeared first on Toronto Real Estate Property Sales & Investments | Toronto Realty Blog by David Fleming.

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