open house today
Selling real estate is just so complicated, as Avril Lavigne is finding out.
The 21-year-old rock star is having trouble selling her downtown Toronto home. It has been on the market for 50 days. The asking price has been dropped to $599,000 from $618,000 (CND).
This in a city where homes in the most desirable neighbourhoods often last less than a week on the market, and go for tens of thousands over asking when buyers bid against each other.
In what appeared to be a last-ditch attempt, Lavigne's real estate agent emailed the Toronto Star earlier this week, hoping to arouse media coverage — a name-dropping tactic that he possibly thought too tacky two months ago.
"I thought there might be some interest in the fact that Avril Lavigne has put her Cabbagetown home on the market," wrote Michael DeAngelis of Royal LePage Partners. "There will be an open house there this Saturday afternoon (today)."
The home features more than 2,400 square feet of luxury space, according to the MLS listing. If the photos showcasing the home are any indication, the songstress who loves to dress in black likes to decorate in blue — Wedgwood blue walls with white trim in the hall, dark blue walls in the living room, blue bedroom, blue bedspreads, blue bathroom.
The door to the home fronts on a graffiti-decorated laneway, one block east of Parliament St. near Carlton. News that nearby Regent Park, the most notorious low-income housing project in the city, is to be redeveloped, has sent property values in the area soaring in recent years. Lavigne paid $489,000 in 2003.
The décor is oddly suburban for such a rock-and-roll girl — sectional sofas, glass coffee tables, a china cabinet in the dining room and a big-screen television that dwarfs the fireplace in the living room. Little, white hand towels on rings grace the bathroom; an unfinished pine chest sits at the foot of the bed in the master bedroom.
The two-bedroom, three-bathroom, three-storey attached home features maple cabinets in the kitchen, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances that have become de rigueur in new and newly renovated Toronto homes. The master ensuite includes a Jacuzzi tub and separate shower. Not surprisingly, it has a sophisticated alarm system.
If the décor is suburban-eclectic, the neighbourhood is not. The redevelopment of Regent Park has begun, but the transformation is far from complete — Parliament leading to Lavigne's address is still ruled by No Frills, Money Mart, thrift and dollar stores.
While the original price of $618,000 may have been just a tad high, the new price seems closer to what the market will bear. A similar unit in the complex recently sold for $587,000, which was 98 per cent of the list price of $599,000.
"Given the recent media exposure and the celebrity status of the seller, I expect the open house today to be packed," said Graham Reid, an agent with Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Real Estate. "Values in the area have increased a lot in the past few years. Given it's proximity to downtown, I expect values will continue to increase."Lavigne has reportedly traded the streets of Toronto for the palm-lined avenues of Bel Air in Los Angeles, where she lives with her fiancé, Sum 41's Deryck Whibley. Lavigne, who recently signed a contract with the Ford modelling agency, has also changed her personal style, swapping studded leather bracelets for Chanel.
The Toronto Star
There are more pictures of her house in the actual newspaper