The Chase: They thought Vancouver’s housing market was wild. Then they moved here

The Chase: They thought Vancouver’s housing market was wild. Then they moved here

The buyers: Rebecca Vokey, a 30-year-old marketing specialist, and her husband, Dylan Vokey, a 31-year-old management consultant.

The story: Rebecca moved to Toronto from Vancouver in 2013, and Dylan joined her two years later. They were living in a $2,380-per-month rental loft at Queen and McCaul, but escalating home prices in Toronto made them worry they’d be priced out of the market forever if they didn’t act soon. Luckily, they’d sold a small condo they owned in Vancouver for $370,000, meaning they could put that money toward a down payment. They set a $1-million budget and went looking in the east end, where many of their friends lived. They both work in the financial district and were hoping to keep their commute short.

Option 1

Kenworthy Avenue (near Pharmacy and Danforth). Listed at $874,900, sold for $855,000.
This four-bedroom detached home was on a massive 56-foot lot, and it was right next to Kenworthy Park. Rebecca loved the river rock exterior and oak hardwood flooring, but the nearby strip of east Danforth was mostly residential, with relatively few shops and restaurants in the mix—a major drawback for the two downtowners. Even if they could have overlooked the location, the property would have demanded a daunting amount of maintenance. Not wanting to spend the rest of their lives mowing lawns, raking leaves and shovelling snow, they moved on.

Option 2

Wolverleigh Boulevard (near Coxwell and Danforth). Listed at $979,000, sold for $920,000.
Dylan and Rebecca loved this property’s location, near a much livelier stretch of Danforth. Plus, at 2,000 square feet with three bedrooms, it was a more manageable size than the Kenworthy house. Unfortunately, the interior had seen better days: wood rot in the basement, garish pink carpeting and a tired kitchen would have necessitated at least $100,000 in renovations. If they paid anything close to the asking price, they figured they’d be far over their budget by the time all the work was complete. They didn’t make an offer on this place, either.

The buy

Wheeler Avenue (near Queen and Woodbine). Listed at $839,000, sold for $970,000.
After viewing 12 properties and making zero bids, they were determined to make a play for this three-bedroom semi. It was a 10-minute walk from Kew-Balmy Beach and a half-hour drive to work. With Dylan out of town, Rebecca handled the bidding. She offered $955,000, then added another $10,000. Just as she was getting ready to concede, Dylan texted her with a suggestion: try throwing in a final $5,000. That pushed them over the top. They ended up spending $30,000
on a bathroom and closet upgrade before moving in.

The Hunt