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Real Estate

The Chase: After an order to vacate their midtown rental, this couple raced to find a new home in Durham

In January, Adrian and Sarah were renting a condo off Eglinton when their landlord gave them an N12 notice, stipulating that they had to move out by the end of May. With a $2,700 monthly budget, they began the hunt

By Roxy Kirshenbaum| Photography by Claudine Baltazar
The Chase: After an order to vacate their midtown rental, this couple raced to find a new home in Durham

The renters: Adrian Chung, 36, an IT specialist, and his wife, Sarah Israel, the 37-year-old owner of the vintage shop Dwelling on the Past

The story: In late January, Adrian and Sarah were renting a condo off Eglinton when their landlord gave them an N12 notice, stipulating that they had to vacate by the end of May. It was a surprise, but they needed more space anyway. Sarah’s vintage inventory was being stored in three locations, and a new home would allow her to bring it all under one roof. They set their sights on Durham, where they could get more space for their money and be closer to Adrian’s Whitby office. Their wish list included two bedrooms, a garage and outdoor space with grass. With a $2,700 monthly budget, they began the hunt.


Option 1: Balsam Crescent, Oshawa

Listed at: $2,400 per month

A two-bedroom semi in Oshawa’s Lakeview neighbourhood

The first property they got excited about was a two-bedroom semi in Oshawa’s Lakeview neighbourhood. Adrian and Sarah liked that it was near the water, the kitchen was newly renovated and the backyard came with a gazebo for entertaining. It also had a big basement and garage for Sarah’s inventory. It didn’t get a ton of natural light, but they decided to make an offer of $2,450 regardless. The renting agent then informed them that the place had already received several higher offers. It was still early in the game, and they wanted to avoid a bidding war, so they moved on.


Option 2: Alexis Way, Whitby

Listed at: $2,695 per month

A townhouse in Alexis Way, Whitby

In early April, the couple saw this end-unit townhouse. It had a large kitchen, lots of natural light and beautiful hardwood floors. The yard was private, and they liked its proximity to transit and other neighbourhood amenities. They offered the asking rent, but no dice: Adrian was on a temporary work contract at the time, and their would-be landlord wanted tenants with secure full-time employment. That’s when they started to feel anxious. The market in Durham was more competitive than they’d expected, and there was only a month left before they would have to vacate their unit.


The find: Bradenton Path, Oshawa

Listed at: $2,700 per month

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A townhouse in Bradenton Path, Oshawa

At the end of the month, they saw this brand-new townhouse and fell in love. While landscaping work had yet to be completed, the place checked all their boxes—a garage and a large rec room for Sarah’s operations plus a huge kitchen, a sunny living room, a luxurious main bedroom with a walk-in closet and an ensuite bathroom, and a second bedroom that could be converted into an office for Adrian. They went in at asking, and the owners quickly accepted. Adrian and Sarah won’t be able to enjoy their new yard until spring, but that’s okay: they have no plans to move again any time soon.

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