The Chase: To find a four-bedroom home, they left midtown for Scarborough

The Chase: To find a four-bedroom home, they left midtown for Scarborough

Sanjiz Mathews, Cini Thomas, Dominius, Danicia and Darius. Portrait by Erin Leydon

The buyers: Sanjiz Mathews, a 39-year-old hotel sous-chef who also runs a spice business; Cini Thomas, a 38-year-old nurse at Toronto General Hospital; and their three kids, 11-year-old Dominus, three-year-old Danicia and nine-year-old Darius.

The story: Sanjiz and Cini moved to Toronto from the U.K. in 2006. Five years later, they bought a two-bedroom condo at Bathurst and St. Clair. As their family grew, they decided to rent out the condo and invest in a four-bedroom house. With a $600,000 budget, they looked east to Victoria Park and Lawrence—an area they knew well because their church was nearby. They planned to keep their jobs downtown, so TTC accessibility was a must.

Option 1

Hexham Drive (near Lawrence and Pharmacy). Listed at $698,900, sold for $703,000.
They loved that this house was on a quiet cul-de-sac just up the street from a Catholic school and that their church was a 15-minute walk away. Then they realized the basement and roof needed major repairs. They nearly put in an offer anyway but backed out at the last minute.

Option 2

Ada Crescent (near Ellesmere and Brimley). Listed at $589,000, sold for $701,000.
This bungalow just south of Scarborough Town Centre had a dated interior. Sanjiz and Cini particularly disliked the wood-panelled basement. They didn’t even consider putting in an offer, and they began to wonder whether their budget would be enough.

The Buy

Aspendale Drive (near Ellesmere and McCowan). Listed at $699,900, sold for $765,000.
This place had exposed wood beams, a basement fireplace and an English garden that brought back fond memories of life in the U.K. When offer day came, there was a three-way bidding war. Sanjiz and Cini started at $725,000, then upped their offer to $750,000. When that wasn’t enough, they threw in another $15,000 and won. The commute downtown takes more than an hour, but the kids love the big backyard.

The Hunt