The Chase: a couple burns through two agents, 300 houses and $753,000 to find the perfect Toronto home

The Chase: a couple burns through two agents, 300 houses and $753,000 to find the perfect Toronto home

(Image of couple: Erin Leydon)

The buyers: Richard Carlisle, the 46-year-old managing director of International Conference Services, and Curtis Boyechko, a 46-year-old pharmaceutical professional.

The story: Seven years ago, Carlisle and Boyechko left their Winnipeg home and squeezed their lives into a Vancouver condo. Six years later, they decided to move to Toronto—on a whim—to take advantage of its arts and culture. The couple flew across the country, moved into a rental, and began house hunting that very weekend, with a budget of $650,000. They were flexible about neighbourhoods, but had a few musts: two-car parking, two home offices and a spacious kitchen for entertaining. But they weren’t prepared for how quickly Toronto houses sold, or how tight the available housing stock was. Over a 13-month search, they increased their budget by more than $100,000, chewed through two agents and saw over 300 houses before they found the perfect place.

Option 1: Coleridge Ave. (near Danforth and Woodbine)

Option 1

Coleridge Ave. (near Danforth and Woodbine).
Listed at $719,900, sold for $719,900.

This east-end house checked almost all of the couple’s boxes, but Carlisle wasn’t thrilled with the location or the awkward layout. They bid anyway, to prove to themselves they were serious about the search. They won, but woke up with cold feet and backed out.

Option 2: Erskine Ave. (near Mount Pleasant and Eglinton)

Option 2

Erskine Ave. (near Mount Pleasant and Eglinton).
Listed at $649,000, sold for $701,000.

The mid-century townhouse needed a massive makeover inside and out, but the neighbourhood made up for it. Boyechko and ­Carlisle placed a bid of $640,000, then dropped out after two other bidders started forcing the price well out of their comfort zone.


The Buy: Woburn Ave. (at Avenue and Lawrence)

The Buy

Woburn Ave. (at Avenue and Lawrence).
Listed at $699,900, sold for $753,000.

After seeing countless lipstick-on-a-pig flips, Carlisle and Boyechko were awed by this three-­bedroom Bedford Park townhouse. The previous ­owners had spared no expense renovating. Boyechko ­especially loved the luxurious bathrooms. The opulent open-concept kitchen, with custom cabinetry and quartz countertops, was also a huge plus. Three parties bid on it. Boyechko and Carlisle held steady at their initial offer of $753,000 for the second round of bidding—pointing out their closing flexibility—and the house was theirs.