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Real Estate

The Chase: Seeking a turnkey townhouse, this couple set their sights on pre-construction homes in Durham

“If I’d known buying a home in the GTA would be this easy, I would have done it earlier”

By Andrea Yu| Photography by Claudine Baltazar
The Chase: Seeking a turnkey townhouse, this couple set their sights on pre-construction homes in Durham

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The Chase: This couple thought they'd be renters for life. Then the market shifted in their favour
Real Estate

The Chase: This couple thought they’d be renters for life. Then the market shifted in their favour

The buyers: Adrian MacEwen, 29, a construction framer, and his wife, Shabahang Pezeshk, 35, a retail manager, with their Cane Corso, Abee.

The story: At the end of 2022, following an 18-month sojourn in Burnaby, Adrian returned to the GTA to look for a new home. He kept Shabahang apprised via FaceTime while she stayed in BC to close the sale on their Burnaby place. On their wish list: a townhouse with a large kitchen, lots of closet space and a garage. They liked the idea of buying something brand new, so they decided to look at pre-construction properties in Durham region—quieter and less congested than Toronto yet still close to the city. They set a budget of roughly $850,000 and began their search.


Option 1: William Jackson Road, near Brock and Taunton, Pickering

Listed at: $620,000 Maintenance fees: $326

A two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit was right next to the leafy Pickering Golf Club and Duffin Meadows Cemetery

Adrian and Shabahang liked that this two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit was right next to the leafy Pickering Golf Club and Duffin Meadows Cemetery. But the closest amenities, like grocery stores and restaurants, weren’t within walking distance. Also, when Adrian visited the model home, it felt cramped, more like a cookie-cutter condo than a house. His shoulders kept bumping into the narrow doorways, and the living room’s layout allowed the furniture and TV to be set up only one way. So the couple moved on without making an offer.


Option 2: Thompson Drive, near Harmony and Conlin, Oshawa

Listed at: $919,000 Maintenance fees: $119

A pre-construction home in Oshawa

This next spot, in Oshawa, looked more promising. Adrian and Shabahang liked the flexible layout, the wide hallways, the garage for storage, the semi-finished basement and the low maintenance fees. Still, they thought Oshawa was a bit too far from Toronto. While Shabahang had conveniently found a job in Durham, Adrian would still need to commute into the city for work, and they wanted the freedom to have regular dinners downtown with family and friends without driving an hour each way. So they continued their search in Pickering.


The buy: Kingston Road, near Brock, Pickering

Listed at: $789,000 Maintenance fees: $290

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A two-bedroom, three-­bathroom end unit within walking distance of the GO station and Pickering Town Centre

In April of 2023, Adrian viewed the model home of this two-bedroom, three-­bathroom end unit within walking distance of the GO station and Pickering Town Centre—ideal for shopping and grocery runs. The kitchen was huge, and both bedrooms came with walk-in closets. The garage was a bit small, but Adrian reckoned he could stow extra stuff in the guest room. He sent a video of the home to Shabahang, and it was settled. The couple moved in last August. “If I’d known buying a home in the GTA would be this easy, I would have done it earlier,” Adrian says.

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