The Chase: A downtown couple abandon their condo for a family-sized house in the suburbs
The buyers: Connie Gilchrist, a 33-year-old lab technologist at William Osler hospital, and David Gilchrist, a 34-year-old senior operations manager at the racing organization Canada Running Series.
The story: The Gilchrists bought a one-bedroom condo at Bathurst and Lake Shore in 2011 and welcomed their first kid, Bradley, two years later. In late 2014, with baby number two on the way, they decided it was time to upsize. They sold the condo for $312,000 ($10,000 more than they’d paid three years earlier) and took up temporary residence in the basement of Connie’s parents’ home in Brampton while they figured out where they wanted to live. Working with agents Lou and Cathy Romanelli, they began their house hunt in Mimico, New Toronto and Long Branch, all easy commutes to the core. The problem: staying within their $600,000 budget.
Struthers Street (near Lake Shore and Royal York). Listed at $599,000, sold for $707,000.
This detached three-bedroom was smack in the centre of Mimico, close to restaurants and the Lake Shore West streetcar line. The Gilchrists liked it but guessed it would sell for at least $20,000 over asking. They were shocked when they found out how much it went for in the end.
Tenth Line West (near Winston Churchill and Britannia). Listed at $599,000, sold for $620,000.
Priced out of their dream neighbourhood, they extended their search westward, and the first stop was this three-storey townhouse in Mississauga, which had a great open-concept layout. What it didn’t have: a proper backyard. They decided it was a deal breaker and moved on.
Burnhamthorpe West and Erindale Station Road. Listed at $589,000, sold for $612,000.
After passing on a few more properties, the Gilchrists came across this detached three-bedroom fixer-upper, which was being sold as part of an estate. It wasn’t as close to downtown as they would have liked, but it had the living space and yard they wanted. It was only a 12-minute walk to the Erindale GO station, and a 30-minute commute to Union Station from there. They offered $23,000 over asking and, after waiting by the phone for several tense hours, emerged victorious.