Recipe for suc­cess

Of­fers flow in quickly for per­fectly up­graded home

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES - By Todd Lewys

WITH so many homes to choose from on the mar­ket these days, sell­ers are al­ways look­ing for ways to make their home stand out. Sure­fire tips in­clude pric­ing it real­is­ti­cally, per­form­ing key up­dates and pour­ing all kinds of thought — and qual­ity — into the ren­o­va­tions.

Do that, and chances are, your home will sell in rel­a­tively short or­der. A good ex­am­ple of such a home is 37 Lawn­dale Ave. in Nor­wood Flats. While only a small per­cent­age of homes go to mul­ti­ple of­fers in to­day’s bal­anced (some might even say buy­ers’) mar­ket, there were five of­fers on the ta­ble for this home as of Tues­day af­ter­noon.

“I think that’s hap­pened due to sev­eral things,” said list­ing re­al­tor Dan Bou­vier from Cen­tury 21 Car­rie.com. “First, I think the home was priced right. Sec­ond, it’s in a great lo­ca­tion. And third, the own­ers did their part with all the up­dates and up­grades. They just made it per­fect, and peo­ple have no­ticed that. It’s a per­fect ex­am­ple of a home with a per­fect bal­ance of char­ac­ter and up­grades.”

That list of up­grades is ex­ten­sive, to say the least. Bou­vier’s brochure on the home lists no fewer than 41. “Ex­am­ples in­clude lev­el­ling the main floor by re­plac­ing tele­posts and re­in­forc­ing beams, re-wiring the en­tire house (all knob and tube wiring was re­moved), re­fin­ish­ing all the orig­i­nal wood work, a re-built front porch (with ground hog pil­lars be­neath, same as the back sun­room), re-plumb­ing the en­tire house, new roof, sof­fit, fas­cia and eaves, all new paint, newer win­dows, plus new fur­nace, cen­tral air and hot-wa­ter tank. That’s just list­ing a few up­grades,” he said.

While it’s all well and good to up­grade a home, the home also must be liv­able. And though 37 Lawn­dale Ave. is a cen­tre-hallplan-style home that was built in 1914, it still feels con­tem­po­rary in­side for one main rea­son, said Bou­vier. “The own­ers put a lot of thought into what they were do­ing, so the re­sult is a lay­out that makes the most of the avail­able space (the home mea­sures in at a rel­a­tively com­pact 1,493 sq. ft.).”

A prime ex­am­ple is the kitchen/din­ing area. When the out­go­ing own­ers bought the home eight years ago, a wall di­vided the din­ing room from the kitchen. Sub­se­quent ren­o­va­tions en­sured that no longer would be the case. “The ren­o­va­tion opened the kitchen beau­ti­fully on to the din­ing room. The kitchen was then re­mod­elled with gran­ite coun­ter­tops, glass-tile back­splash, mod­ern white cab­i­nets and a heated tile floor,” Bou­vier said.

A ver­ti­cal win­dow was added at its rear to in­ject more light into the space, while stain­less steel ap­pli­ances made for a per­fect com­ple­ment to the con­tem­po­rary decor. Re­mov­ing the wall be­tween the din­ing room also al­lowed light to stream in to both the din­ing room and kitchen from a large, oak­trimmed win­dow on the far wall. Mean­while, a dou­ble-wide door­way (with more orig­i­nal oak trim) pro­vides seam­less ac­cess into a liv­ing room that fea­tures a huge (oak-trimmed) bay win­dow, gas fire­place with mar­ble fin­ish — and the same dis­tressed en­gi­neered hard­woods that run through the din­ing room.

The hall­way be­tween the liv­ing room and den (found to the right of the foyer) is also any­thing but tra­di­tional, said Bou­vier. “Like the kitchen, it’s heated tile, as well. Not only that, but a handy pow­der room was in­stalled at the end of the hall. Orig­i­nal fea­tures like the high oak base­boards were re­tained — they go great with the tile.”

There are in­stances where some de­sign fea­tures don’t need to be al­tered, and this home’s up­per level is one of those in­stances. While turn-of-the-cen­tury homes aren’t al­ways known for their ef­fi­cient lay­outs, this sec­ond floor is an ex­cep­tion. “The land­ing area up here is ac­tu­ally big enough for you to stand and com­fort­ably have a con­ver­sa­tion. Then, all three bed­rooms are a de­cent size con­sid­er­ing the era of the home. They’re all quite big and come with de­cent closet space, and the (orig­i­nal) fir floors speak to the home’s orig­i­nal char­ac­ter,” Bou­vier said, not­ing there’s also a four-sea­son sun­room at the end of the hall.

Then, there’s the re­mod­elled main bath. “It’s a nice sur­prise with its heated tile floor, gran­ite coun­ter­tops, float­ing dual van­i­ties and beau­ti­ful tem­pered glass/acrylic shower. It also has two tran­som win­dows set up high to let light in, while re­tain­ing pri­vacy,” he said.

The out­go­ing own­ers leave-no-stone­un­turned at­ti­tude is ev­i­dent out­side the home, as well. The pri­vate, fenced back­yard is a low-main­te­nance marvel that fea­tures a porch with ad­ja­cent three-sea­son sun­room, huge deck, shed and dou­ble garage. “It’s 24 feet by 34 feet plus shop with in-floor heat­ing, a floor drain, 200 amp panel and eight­foot garage door,” Bou­vier said. “You can use the shop for that, or as a gym, art stu­dio, or just for stor­age.”

Add a ma­ture, cen­tral neigh­bour­hood to the mix, and the re­sult is a home that pos­sesses great ap­peal (and util­ity) on ev­ery front. “The great thing is that the out­go­ing own­ers did most of the work on the home in 2009, so they’ve been able to en­joy the home for seven years,” he said. “Now, they can ben­e­fit from the fruits of their labour, and a new owner can come in and en­joy an ex­cep­tional home in a won­der­ful area.”

PHO­TOS BY BORIS MINKEVICH / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

Great curb ap­peal abounds with this Nor­wood Flats two-storey.

The kitchen is mod­ern and well ap­pointed.

There’s a cosy pa­tio at the rear of the home.

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