The Chase: They bid on a home while she was in labour, but the search was only beginning

The Chase: They bid on a home while she was in labour, but the search was only beginning

David Dobney, Melissa Alvares and Nolan Portrait by Erin Leydon

The buyers: David Dobney, a 38-year-old chemical engineer, and his wife, Melissa Alvares, a 38-year-old marketing director at the software firm Altus Dynamics.

The story: Dobney sold his Liberty Village condo and moved into Alvares’s Queen West townhouse in spring 2013. After getting hitched and pregnant that summer, they realized their rowdy complex was no place for newborns: there were too many 20-somethings playing backyard beer pong and not enough parking for their many relatives, who would soon be visiting more frequently. Reluctant to stray too far from all the great restaurants nearby, they started their search slightly to the north. Their budget was $800,000.

Option 1

Gladstone Avenue (near Bloor and Dufferin). Listed at $799,900, sold for $850,000
This three-bedroom was move-in ready, but when offer day arrived, so did Alvares’s contractions. Dobney went with her to the hospital and kept working with their agent by phone. By 8 p.m., bids were past $800,000, so they bowed out and focused on the birth of Nolan, their baby boy.

Option 2

Winona Drive (near Oakwood and Eglinton). Listed at $569,000, sold for $601,000
After losing several bidding wars over the next year and a half, they began looking further north. This bungalow was dated, but it was on a 156-foot lot, meaning it would be easy to tear down and replace. They went in at $600,000, only to lose out by a measly grand. Alvares was almost ready to give up.

The Buy

Earnscliffe Road (near Oakwood and St. Clair). Listed at $869,000, sold for $835,000.
Their agent showed them a two-and-a-half-storey house with an unusual setup. The elderly owner had put a bedroom on the first floor for himself and turned the second and third floors into a rental suite. The place had plenty of parking, though, and they figured the layout could be fixed. Offer day was during March Break, which meant less competition. Alvares and Dobney’s lowball was the lone bid. They’re renovating before they move in—which should be at some point before Nolan turns three.

Obsessed With Toronto Real Estate?