Real Estate

The Chase: They had 90 days to move and a $700,000 budget

Nicole D'Cruz and James Topham
Nicole D’Cruz and James Topham Portrait by Erin Leydon

The buyers: Nicole D’Cruz, a 34-year-old product manager at the Canadian Press, and her partner, James Topham, the 48-year-old director of communications at War Child Canada.

The story: D’Cruz and Topham had been renting a one-bedroom apartment in Little Italy for five years when their landlord evicted them so her son could move in. With rents skyrocketing in the city, they figured buying wouldn’t be much more expensive. They set a budget of $700,000 and started looking on the fringes of downtown, east and west, for a place in a friendly, leafy neighbourhood, with some outdoor space and easy access to transit. And since they had only 90 days before Landlord Jr. was set to arrive with his worldly belongings, they also needed something move-in ready.  

Option 1
The Chase: Option 1

Bloomfield Avenue (near Greenwood and Gerrard). Listed at $559,900, sold for $777,000. At first, the couple thought this three-bedroom semi in South Riverdale was exactly what they were looking for—but the basement apartment had $30,000 worth of water damage. They abandoned all hope when they learned someone else had bid $200,000 over asking.

Option 2
The Chase: Option 2

Brock Avenue (near Dufferin and Queen). Listed at $539,900, sold for $615,000. This 850-square-foot loft in an old phonograph factory would have been a good fit, but the day after the couple toured the place, it appeared as a Toronto Life Condo of the Week. They offered $605,000 but were up against a dozen other bidders, one of whom had deeper pockets.

The Buy
The Chase: The Buy

Boston Avenue (near Carlaw and Queen). Listed at $619,000, sold for $610,000. Soon after D’Cruz and Topham first saw this two-storey Leslieville townhouse, in the Printing Factory Lofts, they learned that it had been conditionally sold. A week later, they got a call saying it was back on the market, and they were intrigued. They loved the bright, sunny interior, the two balconies overlooking a tree-lined street and the fact that the nearest streetcar stop was a mere 150 metres away. They made their bid, closed two months later and moved in three days after that.

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The Chase: With $1 million in hand, two Vancouver expats set out to buy a semi in Trinity Bellwoods