Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Triplex, four-plex, (red plex, blue plex?)

Over the summer, I've been thinking about my plans to own more real estate.  This is a VERY long-term plan since A) we would need a downpayment and B) it would need to be at least 20% to qualify for CMHC on a rental property.

Still, there's nothing to stop a girl from dreaming! 

After honeymooning in Florida for a few quick days after our wedding, Matt and I were talking about how many luxurious condos were for sale there at rock-bottom prices.  It definitely holds appeal, since we could rent it out as a vacation home, and also use it for our own vacations too.  There are too many drawbacks for me to even consider Florida though - for one, we would need to pay for a service to help manage the property.  I also don't want to feel obliged to spend all my future vacations in Florida!  And on top of all that, I don't know the complexities of owning an investment property in the US, but I don't imagine it would be all that straightforward. 

So keeping it more local, I recently noticed an old triplex for sale, not too far from our house:

This triplex is on a street with many similar complexes, most seemingly leased years ago by families and couples looking for a deal a little distance out of the city.  The area is now seen to be "up and coming" with more young couples and new families moving in, and definite improvement in pride of ownership.  But the nature of this particular street seems to be that of the days before these improvements started taking place.

I got to thinking - wouldn't it be great to buy one of these triplexes, modernise it a bit, and rent it to a young "urban" couple?  The location is great - very close to the GO Train, easy access to highway, near the waterfront, bike paths, parks, etc etc. etc.!

The units in these older apartments tend to be bigger than the more current condos being built, so it would be a great alternative to some of the newer product.  And with newer finishes inside and a little curb appeal outside, I would think this could be a real draw.  This particular building also has the benefit of yard space, and private balconies.

I noticed another similar triplex is currently for sale downtown:

This one, at twice the price, is located on a very popular street, especially among new students, recent grads, and young couples.  I would imagine a premium rental rate could be achieved here.  This building also comes with the added bonus of 3 parking spots - a real gem in the downtown area.

I envision these buildings with some new windows, an entryway with some "oomph" and some updated balcony railings.
Imagine how different the building would look with one of these doors:

I suppose the brick could be painted or stuccoed, but it may not even be necessary.  Ivy always adds some charm too.

In the midst of all this dreaming, I just so happened to ride my bike by this great do-over in the Queen West & Dovercourt area.

I have no idea who is behind this project, but I am impressed!  I was wowed by how modern it looks - almost like a California beach house.  But it totally fits in in the neighbourhood.  I wish I had a "before" picture to show you, but let me just say that judging by the side of the house, as well as the surrounding homes, I can tell you it was a drastic change!  Kudos to the developer!  I'm sure there are some very happy tenants living here.  I would love to be involved in a project like that!


  1. I love those doors...we're actually thinking of removing our solid wood back door and installing a door with a window in it because the mudroom is always so dark. I love the second door down with the horizontal window panes...will have to show Josh! Now it's just a question of where you buy them...I'm not expecting to find them at Home Depot!

  2. I love them too! I'm of the opinion that there's no such thing as too much natural light, so I've been debating replacing our own solid front door with a windowed one as well. I also love the scale of grand, wide doors. Someday I'd love to live in a house with a door that size!

  3. What would the architectural style of those triplexs be?