The Chase: two Toronto expats conduct a long-distance hunt for a dog-friendly pied-à-terre

The Chase: two Toronto expats conduct a long-distance hunt for a dog-friendly pied-à-terre

The Chase: two Toronto expats conduct a long-distance hunt for a dog-friendly pied-à-terre (Portrait by Erin Leydon)
 

The buyers: Chris Barran, a 44-year-old recent MBA graduate, and Danielle Barran, a 40-year-old VP of marketing at the J. M. Smucker Co.

The story: In 2012, Danielle, an executive at Smucker’s Markham office, was promoted to a job at the corporate headquarters in Ohio. She and her husband, Chris, packed up their belongings and their French bulldog, Remington, and moved into a ranch-style house on a golf course in Akron. The Barrans also kept their one-bedroom, 650-square-foot pied-à-terre in Deer Park for holidays and occasional weekends. The back-and-forth lifestyle worked fine until they got a second bulldog named Maui last ­Thanksgiving (their building had a one-dog policy). They enlisted agent Elli Davis to find a few options in the same neighbourhood, send them photos and videos, and handle the transaction in their stead.

The Chase: two Toronto expats conduct a long-distance hunt for a dog-friendly pied-à-terre

Option 1

St. Clair West (near Avenue Road).
Listed at $449,900.

Over Christmas, the Barrans visited the showroom for the still-unfinished Imperial Plaza condo development. The location, views and vaulted lobby with a refurbished 1950s mural were all appealing. But they were concerned about ­construction delays on a prebuild and decided to pass.

The Chase: two Toronto expats conduct a long-distance hunt for a dog-friendly pied-à-terre

Option 2

St. Clair West (near Yonge).
Listed at $349,900, sold for $346,000.

When this 600-square-foot condo came up at the end of April, Davis emailed pictures and videos to Akron. Though the unit was small, the location—close to the subway and the shops at Yonge and St. Clair—was perfect. The Barrans went in at $340,000 but were outbid by a measly six grand.

 

The Chase: two Toronto expats conduct a long-distance hunt for a dog-friendly pied-à-terre

The Buy

Delisle Avenue (near Yonge and St. Clair).
Listed at $439,000, sold for $430,000.

A few weeks later, Davis sent photos of a 750-square-foot unit in a building the Barrans had been eyeing for a while. It had a gym and a 24-hour concierge, and was on a quiet street near the shopping strip. Though they hadn’t yet sold their old place and had never seen the unit in person, they offered $425,000. The seller asked for $10,000 more, they bumped their bid by $5,000, and the deal was done in less than 24 hours. The couple visited for the first time in late May and were relieved to find the photos hadn’t lied.