If you’re looking for a home capable of housing a basketball court in the basement, garage space for 16 cars, and property protected by about 100 derelict vehicles, this dilapidated Toronto mansion may be right for you.
The $3.8-million asking price for 4 Birchmount Rd. has been widely scoffed at online, mainly due to video showing boarded-up windows and mould, as well as evidence of animal tenants.
But Royal LePage realtor Normand Gautreau disagrees with the house’s many detractors. He said he has personally done a walk-through, and has clients interested in buying.
“In 32 years of selling in Toronto, I’ve never seen anything like it,” he told CTV News Channel. “There is not another one (like this) coming. It’s such a unique opportunity.”
Video of the home shows a ransacked interior with a peeling ceiling, broken cabinetry, as well as mould and water damage.
The property overlooks Lake Ontario and the picturesque Scarborough Bluffs. According to the listing, the 12,000 square-foot home has a 180-degree view overlooking the water.
Gautreau said the original mansion was demolished and replaced by a dream home project that was not completed because the owner ran out of money. The listing indicates that the sale is court ordered.
“He wanted a basketball court in the basement. It’s huge,” he said. “You can only have a double garage in that location. He put two doors, but the building is big enough for 16 cars.”
Gautreau said the original owner also had a unique solution to prevent the beach from eroding.
“In the 50s, the previous owner, he used to put derelict cars down at the bottom so he could stop the erosion,” he said. “There has got to be 100 cars.”
The house hit the market at an awkward time for high-end real estate in Canada’s largest city. A report by Royal LePage released on Thursday points to a slump in luxury home sales.
The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) saw the number of upscale detached houses sold in the first quarter of 2018 drop to 90 transactions, down 68 per cent compared to the 281 sales in the same period last year, Royal LePage said. To qualify as a luxury detached property under Royal LePage’s formula, the minimum amount is $3,046,206 in the GTA.
Gautreau said a savvy investor could get a tempting return if they were willing to put about $2 million into 4 Birchmount Rd. after they buy the home at its currently listed price.
“You are still going to have a $10 million property,” he said. “Quite frankly, the price is fantastic. To have it on the lake, overlooking Lake Ontario and the bluffs. It’s really a private setting and a big piece of property.”