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Real Estate

A Torontonian wanted to upsize. After waiting for the condo market to rebound, she bought this $900,000 townhouse in Etobicoke

By Ali Amad| Photography by Erin Leydon

The buyer: Debra Hall, 55, national director of HR for CBI Health, a health care provider.

A Torontonian wanted to upsize. After waiting for the condo market to rebound, she bought this $900,000 townhouse in Etobicoke

The story: When the pandemic hit, Debra started working at her one-bedroom condo in Mimico, located on the waterfront and just a 10-minute drive from her office at Bloor and Islington. After spending much of 2020 stuck inside her 650-square-foot unit, she wanted to upsize. Debra figured she could get about $550,000 for her condo, which she’d bought for $293,000 in 2009. So she set a budget of $900,000 and began searching for a move-in-ready house in South Etobicoke, where she could stay near the waterfront and her office. Also on her list: two bedrooms, a yard and a kitchen with plenty of counter space.


Lake Crescent (near Royal York and Lake Shore)
A Torontonian wanted to upsize. After waiting for the condo market to rebound, she bought this $900,000 townhouse in Etobicoke

Listed at $899,000 Sold for $935,000

Last November, Debra viewed this two-bed, one-bath detached in Mimico. It had a multicoloured brick façade, which she loved, plus a small backyard with a shed. Inside, there was plenty of space: 900 square feet across two storeys with an airy kitchen. Plus, it was move-in ready. But in order to buy it, Debra needed to sell her place for at least $600,000, which she thought might not be possible given the pandemic-softened condo market. She moved on without placing an offer, and decided to pause her search until the market bounced back.


Vanevery Street (near Royal York and Lake Shore)
A Torontonian wanted to upsize. After waiting for the condo market to rebound, she bought this $900,000 townhouse in Etobicoke

Listed at $799,000 Sold for $831,000

By July 2021, the condo market was inching back up, so Debra checked out this four-bed, two-bath townhouse in Mimico. Initially, she liked the listing price, which fit comfortably within her budget, but the viewing was underwhelming. The brown-brick façade looked weathered and drab, the garden had been neglected and the back deck would need replacing. Things were equally disappointing inside, where the craftsmanship seemed shoddy and some of the flooring sagged and sloped. Wary of the steep cost of renovations, Debra decided to look elsewhere.


Sixth Street (near Islington and Lake Shore)
A Torontonian wanted to upsize. After waiting for the condo market to rebound, she bought this $900,000 townhouse in Etobicoke

Listed at $914,900 Sold for $897,000

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That same week, Debra visited this three-bed, two-bath townhouse in New Toronto, located less than a 10-minute drive from her office. The place met all her requirements. It had a backyard with a large deck; inside, at 1,300 square feet across two storeys, it was more than double the size of her condo; and the kitchen had all her desired counter space. So she pulled the trigger. On July 10, Debra bought the place for $18,000 under asking, then quickly sold her condo for $622,000. In mid-October, Debra plans to move in.


Do you have an interesting story about buying or selling real estate during the pandemic? We’d love to hear it realestate@torontolife.com 

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