The Chase: They did the near-impossible—landing a house in Toronto, without a bidding war
The buyers: Peter Loewen, a 35-year-old political science professor at U of T, and Yvette Lam, a 35-year-old business development officer at Harbourfront Centre.
The story: After meeting at a David Myles concert and dating for two years, Lam and Loewen took a series of quick leaps forward. First, she rented out her Esplanade one-bedroom and moved into his Distillery condo. Four months later, he proposed while they were on vacation in France. Post-proposal, they started talking about having kids in the next year or two and, in preparation, they decided to trade up. The plan was to hold on to Lam’s condo for the rental income, sell Loewen’s place and search for a house. They set out with a firm $900,000 ceiling and a list of must-haves: an office where Loewen could write, a clean look to match their mid-century modern furniture, and a location within walking distance of good public schools and a subway.
Edith Drive (near Yonge and Eglinton). Listed at $779,000, sold for $891,122.
Lam and Loewen loved this red-brick semi’s spacious backyard, which backed onto Eglinton Park, but when their $825,000 offer was bested, they walked away. There were at least seven other people vying for the place, and they wanted to steer clear of bidding wars.
Elora Road (near Bloor and Runnymede). Listed at $799,000, sold for $971,500.
This four-bedroom in High Park was riddled with knob-and-tube wiring and formaldehyde foam insulation that would have to be removed and replaced. Figuring that the house’s rundown condition would make it tougher to get financing, Lam and Loewen moved on.
Boustead Avenue (near Roncesvalles and Howard Park). Listed at $849,000, sold for $840,000.
The MLS photos made this Edwardian look cramped and kept other buyers away. But Lam and Loewen liked the large, open-concept main floor and airy office upstairs. They offered $810,000, then headed to another David Myles concert. Before the first set, their agent called to say the sellers had rejected their bid. They added an extra $30,000, but were turned down again. At intermission, they got a capitulating phone call. The sellers would take the $840,000 if the couple would accept a six-week closing. They did, and moved into the house in November.