They loved their house, but they also loved the idea of quadrupling their investment

They loved their house, but they also loved the idea of quadrupling their investment

Photographs by Dave Gillespie

The place: A four-bedroom detached home in the Beaches
The sellers: Andrew Abbott, a 51-year-old banker, and Michelle Abbott, a 51-year-old homemaker
What they paid: $679,900 in 2001
What they sold for: $2.55 million in 2017

In 2001, the Abbotts were living in a modest semi in the Beaches when they learned Michelle was pregnant with their third child. They wanted to upsize but didn’t want to leave the neighbourhood they adored. The kids’ school was excellent, and they were just minutes from the beach. Soon, they found a 2,500-square-foot, four-bedroom, one-bathroom home on a 6,000-square-foot lot, just three streets east, on Kingswood Road, for $679,900. They spent $200,000 on upgrades: renovating the kitchen and bathroom, replacing the wiring and furnace, and adding central air conditioning. Then they moved in.

In 2004, the couple’s fourth child, a daughter, was born, so they renovated again, spending another $180,000 to add a bedroom, bathroom, wine cellar and laundry room in the basement.

For years, their home was the site of countless celebrations and a cherished gathering place for the extended family. So when a realtor cold-called in 2016 asking if they’d consider selling, Michelle instantly declined. He asked if he could call back in a year, and Michelle said sure, just to be rid of him. But the Abbotts’ eldest son left for university that fall, and when the realtor called back a year later, their stance had softened. The realtor visited the home in March 2017, just as the early spring market was beginning to heat up, and said he could probably sell it for $2.65 million. Andrew and Michelle weren’t desperate to move, but the potential payday was too tempting to resist. Four days after their open house, they received a bully offer for $2.55 million. The prospective buyers, a young couple with three kids, attached a letter outlining their vision of a beautiful future with their family. The Abbotts accepted.

They bought a post-war bungalow for $1.1 million in the Hunt Club area a few blocks northeast and have begun a $400,000 renovation. The finished product will be modern—sleek lines, open-concept layout—with rooms for the three youngest children, plus a guest bedroom and a pool, so they’ll still be able to host when friends and family drop by.

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