The Chase: a pair of loyal Beach residents trade their $2-million home for a fuss-free townhouse

The Chase: a pair of loyal Beach residents trade their $2-million home for a fuss-free townhouse

The Chase: a pair of loyal Beach residents trade their $2-million home for a fuss-free townhouse (Portrait by Erin Leydon)
 

The story: When all four of their children were still living at home, the Mennells used every inch of their 5,000-square-foot, six-bedroom house near Queen and ­Fallingbrook Road. But, last fall, with one son already away at university and another getting ready to leave, the place started to feel ludicrously large. The Mennells were also tired of spending their weekends doing maintenance projects on the house and yard. It was time to find something smaller. They wanted to stay in the area—near their friends, the two younger kids’ school and their favourite dog parks (they have two boxers). They also wanted parking for two cars and an open kitchen big enough for their weekly family pancake brunches. In November, they set a $1.2-million ­ceiling and started the search.

 
 

The Chase: a pair of loyal Beach residents trade their $2-million home for a fuss-free townhouse

Option 1

Lyall Avenue (near Kingston Road and Main).
Listed at $1,088,000, sold for $1,038,750.

This four-bedroom house had been beautifully redone. “It looked like a boutique hotel,” says Trish, who loved the TV built into the bathroom mirror. They offered the asking price before even listing their own place. The owners figured they could do better and declined.

The Chase: a pair of loyal Beach residents trade their $2-million home for a fuss-free townhouse

Option 2

Blantyre Avenue (near Kingston Road and Victoria Park).
Listed at $1,139,000, still unsold.

This two-storey option was tempting: it sat on a big lot and had a south-facing coach house that would have made a great photo studio for Trish. But the whole top floor needed gutting, and Eric, who is six foot two, couldn’t stand upright in parts of the low-ceilinged basement.

 

(Image: Google Street View) (Image: Google Street View)
 
The Buy

Queen East (near Victoria Park).
Listed at $975,000, sold for $975,000.

The Mennells’ house sold in five days for $2 million. They were scrambling to find a temporary rental—an unappealing prospect with children and dogs—when they went to see a four-bedroom townhouse around the corner from the kids’ school. A five-minute tour convinced them. It had everything on their list, plus a rooftop terrace and a teak-floored steam shower. They were just as thrilled by what it didn’t have: a big yard and surplus square footage. Plus, the property taxes were half what they were at their old house. They offered asking and the place was theirs.