During lockdown, this family felt cramped in their semi. So they upsized to a $1.6-million detached in Mississauga

During lockdown, this family felt cramped in their semi. So they upsized to a $1.6-million detached in Mississauga

Who: Anwar Chaudhry, a technology executive at Thomson Reuters; his wife, Sana, a technology consultant for a small tech company; with their kids, Aliza, 5, Serena, 6, and Rehan, 10.

The history: In 2001, Anwar and Sana purchased a 1,600-square-foot semi in Malton, near Highway 427 and Derry Road. Anwar converted the lower level into a one-bedroom apartment, which the couple rented out over the years.

As their family grew to include three children, their semi felt increasingly cramped. They started looking for a larger property in 2018, but everything seemed to sell before they could even book a viewing.

Then, when the virus arrived in 2020, Anwar and Sana both switched to working from home, which made it an even tighter squeeze.

Anwar worked in a makeshift office in a small storage area down in the basement, while Sana set up shop in a living area on the main level. The kids were taking online classes in the early stages of lockdown, adding to the at-home craziness.

So, with a budget of $1.3 million, Anwar and Sana decided to jumpstart their search for a new place.

The hunt: The family wanted four bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. Sana had a dream of sitting outside with her morning coffee, overlooking a secluded ravine, but she quickly realized it would be difficult to find that type of property close to the city and within their budget.

They also wanted something with a potential rental unit, so they could earn some passive income from a tenant.

In July, they stumbled upon a four-bedroom detached near the 403 and Hurontario Street, listed for $1.6 million. Out front, it had a gorgeous stone façade, a leafy front lawn and a stamped concrete driveway. Anwar particularly liked the big front windows, which made the inside feel bright and spacious.

The house ticked an important box, too. Upstairs, it had four bedrooms, each with its own ensuite. Downstairs, there was a 2,000-square-foot finished basement.

The family decided to go for it, offering $1.5 million. Fortunately, Anwar had received a raise within the last few months, allowing them to bump up their budget. After a bit of back-and-forth with the seller, both parties settled on the original listing price.

Anwar and Sana put their Malton semi on the market for $765,000. It sold soon after for $745,000. The proceeds from the sale went toward the down payment on their new place, plus a few renovations.

In September of last year, after moving in, they sunk $75,000 into upgrades. Anwar added a workout room and a media room in the basement. An interior designer gave the main floor a fresh modern look, slapping fresh paint on the walls and adding decorative moulding.

These days, the whole family is settled into their new home. Anwar works in an office on the main floor, from which he can see his kids playing at a playground across the street. Sana eked out some office space in the massive primary bedroom. And the kids now have more than enough space to study in their rooms.

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