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Ceilings in Toronto mansion inspired by Sistine Chapel: Home of the Week

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FIFESHIRE, Toronto

Location: 30 Fifeshire Rd.,

Bayview Ave. and York Mills Rd.

Asking price: $21,788,000

Size: about 24,000 sq. ft.

Lot: 110-by-220 feet, four-car attached garage, circular private drive, in-ground pool

Taxes: $50,376 (2018)

Bedrooms: 11 plus 1

Bathrooms: 16

Completed in 2013 by owner, architect and builder Van Lapoyan, this three-storey mansion exudes aristocratic luxury.

Highlights of this one-of-a-kind residence include frescoed ceilings inspired by Rome’s Sistine Chapel, a marble staircase, an elevator, three main-floor living rooms, outdoor and indoor pools and a limestone exterior.

“I personally supervised every facet and design of this home,” says Van Lapoyan, president of VHL Developments. “Living here, we are surrounded by old-world European elegance and charm, as well as state-of-the-art modern amenities.

“The home is adorned with magnificent murals and frescoes, painstakingly crafted by the highest level of artisanship. As well, there are many modern touches like a home theatre, a sauna, and a spacious lower level ballroom,” says Lapoyan.

The home is across the street from a park and walking distance to schools. It is near Bayview Village Shopping Centre and North York General Hospital, with easy access to Hwy 401.

“This exquisite Toronto property has the appearance of a 17th-century French palace. It features Indiana natural limestone panel cladding with marble inserts throughout and bedrooms with wallpaper imported from Paris,” says listing agent Khoren Mardoyan.

The wrought-iron gate opens to the three-storey, limestone mansion with a partial domed metal roof.
The wrought-iron gate opens to the three-storey, limestone mansion with a partial domed metal roof.  (PropertyVision Media)

A detailed, front wrought-iron gate opens to a large stone patio with gardens and a water fountain. The exterior features columns, large custom windows, a second-storey stone balcony, a partial domed metal roof, and an arched double entry door.

The foyer is stunning with a marble floor and stairway, an elaborate soaring ceiling and marble engraved columns.

In the main living room are decorative marble columns, a marble floor, floor-to-ceiling windows, a built-in bookcase, a chandelier, pot lights and a detailed decorative ceiling.

A carved marble relief decorates one wall of the dining room that also has a frescoed ceiling, decorative marble columns, wainscotting, a crystal chandelier and built-in cabinetry.

The kitchen showcases a custom-designed marble floor and counters, stainless steel appliances, a frescoed ceiling, a large island, pot lights, two double-door walkouts, lots of cabinetry and a breakfast area.

A marble fireplace, floor-to-ceiling windows and bookcase, plus an aquarium are highlights of the family room.
A marble fireplace, floor-to-ceiling windows and bookcase, plus an aquarium are highlights of the family room.  (PropertyVision Media)

In the family room are marble columns and fireplace, a frescoed coffered ceiling, an aquarium, four floor-to-ceiling windows and a floor-to-ceiling bookcase. Also on the main floor are an additional two living rooms — one with two carved marble fireplaces — and circular breakfast room.

On the second floor, the master bedroom features wallpapered panelled walls, a hardwood floor, a chandelier, a coffered ceiling, a walkout to a balcony, two walk-in closets, and two six-piece ensuites.

There are four more bedrooms on this floor — each with its own walk-in closet and ensuite. As well, there is a circular sitting room with large windows and two built-in desks.

The backyard includes an in-ground saltwater pool, pool house, stone deck and a massive patio.
The backyard includes an in-ground saltwater pool, pool house, stone deck and a massive patio.  (PropertyVision Media)

The third floor is equipped with six spacious bedrooms, each with a walk-in closet and full ensuite. Also, on this floor there is a gift-wrapping room, a living room, a sitting room, a dining area and a kitchen.

Amenities on the lower level include a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, shower/change room, massage/spa room, a circular wet bar, and a heated barbecue room. As well, there is a temperature-controlled wine cellar, a billiards room, a home theatre with eight electronically controlled armchairs and a nine-foot projector screen, and computerized golf simulator.

The 2,200-sq.-ft. granite and marble banquet hall accommodates 150 guests. A guest bedroom with an ensuite, and four three-piece bathrooms complete this floor.

The backyard has an in-ground saltwater pool with a pool house that has a basement for storage. There is also a large stone deck, a massive patio, and mature trees.

To have a look at this property contact listing agent Khoren Mardoyan, Homelife/Vision Realty Inc., Brokerage, 416-383-1828; www.khorenmardoyan.ca;

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‘Don’t give up’: Ottawa Valley realtors share statistics, tips for homebuyers in ‘extreme’ sellers market

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The real estate market in the Ottawa Valley can be summed up this way: people from far and wide are in a buying frenzy, but there’s hardly anything to buy at the “store,” and the limited inventory is overpriced.

This “stampede” — as one realtor described it — will affect rural towns as residents grapple with finding affordable housing and agonize over their inability to purchase homes in their price range.

“We are seeing a lack of inventory in all price ranges,” said Laura Keller, a real estate agent from Carleton Place. HomeYou’ve been selected.Only $1.49/week for your first 4 months.Special offer just for you. Unlimited access.

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10 Tips For First-Time Home Buyers

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Buying a home for the first time is exciting and a commitment to the future. It’s often challenging, too, and the process requires a lot of steps, many of which can be tricky to navigate as a first-time home buyer.

What are some things you should keep in mind as a first-time home buyer?

First-Time Home Buyer Tips

Here are 10 tips to keep in mind as you begin your journey toward homeownership.

1. Have Your Finances in Order

It’s wise to begin saving as early as possible once you’ve made the decision to purchase a house. You’ll need to consider the down payment, closing costs (which often range from 2% to 5% of the down payment), as well as move-in expenses.

You also need to understand the other costs of homeownership, such as mortgage insurance. property taxes, utilities, homeowner’s insurance, and more.

2. How Much Can You Afford?

Knowing how much you can realistically afford in a home is another important financial consideration. Look for the home of your dreams that fits your budget.

One way to avoid future financial stress is to set a price range for your home that fits your budget, and then staying within that range. Going through the preapproval process will help you understand what price range is realistic for your budget.

3. Make Sure Your Credit is Good

Another thing to keep in mind as a first-time home buyer is your credit score because it determines whether you qualify for a mortgage and affects the interest rate that lenders offer. 

You can check your credit score from the three credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

This is another good reason for getting preapproved before you start your search. Learn more about the preapproval process and your credit score.

4. Choose The Right Real Estate Agent

A good real estate agent guides you through the process every step of the way. He or she will help you find a home that fits your needs, help you through the financial processes, and help ease any first-time buyer anxiety you may have.

Interview several agents and request references.

5. Research Mortgage Options

A variety of mortgages are available, including conventional mortgages – which are guaranteed by the government – FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans (for veterans).

You’ll also have options regarding the mortgage term. A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is popular among many homebuyers and has an interest rate that doesn’t change over the course of the loan. A 15-year loan usually has a lower interest rate but monthly payments are larger.

6. Talk to Multiple Lenders

It’s worth your time to talk to several lenders and banks before you accept a mortgage offer. The more you shop around, the better deal you’re liable to get – and it may save you thousands of dollars.

7. Get Preapproved First

Getting a mortgage preapproval (in the form of a letter) before you begin hunting for homes is something else to put on your checklist. A lender’s preapproval letter states exactly how much loan money you can get.

Learn more about the preapproval process and how preapproval provides you with a significant competitive advantage in our article How Preapproval Gives You Home Buying Power.

8. Pick the Right House and Neighborhood

Make sure to weigh the pros and cons of the different types of homes based on your budget, lifestyle, etc. Would a condominium or townhome fit your needs better than a house? What type of neighborhood appeals to you?

9. List Your Needs and Must-Haves

The home you purchase should have as many of the features you prefer as possible. List your needs in order of priority; some things may be non-negotiable to you personally.

10. Hire an Inspector

Hiring an inspector is another crucial step in the home buying process. An inspector will tell you about existing or potential problems with the home, and also what’s in good order. You can learn more about home inspections and how to find a home inspector through the American Society of Home Inspectors website.

Buying a home for the first time is a challenge, but it’s one you can handle with the right planning and preparation.

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A Simplified Guide for Toronto First-Time Home Buyers

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Toronto is the largest city in Canada, the fourth largest city in North America, which makes it an exciting place to live in.

But as with other major cities, finding the perfect place to move to can get tricky. If you’re planning on buying a home for the first time in this city, it is indeed a big decision and there are things you should know in advance.

Don’t worry, this guide will help explain the basics of what you as a buyer should know when you decide to buy a home. It will make you feel like a true expert during the buying process.

Decide what type of home you are looking for

There is no right answer to what makes a good home. It all depends on your preferences and needs as the resident. It is, therefore, a good idea to determine as early as possible which features of a home are important to you. If you are buying a home and moving in with someone, it can be a good idea for both of you to make a list and compare.

Toronto is a city that offers different styles of living accommodations and its neighborhoods are quite versatile and diverse, same as the people living there who come from all parts of the world.

The most common forms of housing and real estate opportunities in this city include bungalows, two-storey houses, split-level homes, and the very popular Toronto condos. Due to the high property values, the city boasts of construction of many condominiums as they are a more cost-efficient choice and provide a plethora of benefits.

When you decide on the type of home you want to buy, it is good to do some research and learn the biggest differences between them.

What to think of when choosing homes in Toronto

There are certain things you need to consider when choosing your home in this city. 

Being close to the things you need to visit every day makes life a lot easier. Pay attention to the proximity to shops, preschools, schools, and your job. In addition, access to good public transportation is crucial. Being able to move around the city easily and the opportunity to commute is important to many.

Know that having a balcony can significantly increase the value of your home and improve your well-being. Being able to move easily in the area is something that many people underestimate, but can be very convenient, and this is why you should see if there are good cycles and walking paths. 

And finally, make sure that the house is well designed which is a quality that does not disappear with the age of the house or with renovations. 

Set your budget

Before you start the search for your new home, you must know how expensive of a home you can buy. It is preferable to know in what price range to look for. The budget is usually decided based on your mortgage and how large are the monthly costs you can handle.

A mortgage is always about a balance between risk and income for the bank. The higher the risk for the bank to lend to a particular home, the more expensive the mortgage will be. When it comes to the bank’s reasoning when applying for a loan, it is in principle always a question of whether you as a borrower will be able to repay the mortgage.

The bank also takes into account your financial history. If you are a person who has managed your finances well, the chance increases that you will get your mortgage approved. If, on the other hand, you have a bad reputation with banks, it is weighed in as an aggravating circumstance.

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