The Chase: How these newlyweds found their forever home in Riverdale

The Chase: How these newlyweds found their forever home in Riverdale

“We love that the area is urban but also family friendly”

Photo by Erin Leydon

The buyers: George Slinko, 34, who works in capital markets at CIBC, and Samantha Slinko, 30, who works in operations at a tech consultancy.

The story: Back in 2019, George and Samantha bought a two-bed, one-bath stacked townhouse in West Queen West for $646,000. By the summer of 2021, they were married, thinking of starting a family and ready to upsize. Their preferred neighbourhood was Riverdale for its Victorian architecture and good schools. “We love that the area is urban but also family friendly,” says Samantha. They landed on a budget of $1.2 million and began the hunt.

Option 1: Grant Street, near Queen and Broadview

Listed at: $1,099,000
Sold for: $1,452,000

Samantha and George viewed this home in August 2021. It was right in their target location and had a big backyard (at least by Toronto standards) plus some charming details, including crown moulding, original wood doors and stained glass windows. The kitchens and bathrooms needed updating, but the Slinkos were open to renovations. They submitted an offer of $1.2 million and lost. Shortly afterward, the couple upped their budget to $1.6 million. “We were just being reserved at first,” Samantha says, “not really knowing the market.”

Option 2: First Avenue, near Carlaw and Gerrard

Listed at: $1,299,000
Sold for: $1,646,950

Samantha and George sent dozens of offer letters to owners of Victorian properties in Riverdale, but their efforts didn’t turn up any sellers. Five months later, in January 2022, they viewed this three-plus-one-bedroom, two-bathroom house on First Avenue—a charming street with lots of well-maintained heritage properties. It had recently been renovated and was move-in ready, which was a bonus. There was a rooftop deck but no backyard or parking. The good outweighed the bad, so they made an offer of $1,501,000 but were outbid yet again.

The buy: First Avenue, near Broadview and Gerrard

Listed at: $1,499,000
Sold for: $1,615,000

By May 2022, Samantha and George had been outbid six times. When this three-bed, two-bath home came up for sale at $1.5 million, they figured it would go for more and didn’t bother to book a viewing. But a friend of theirs wanted to see the place, so George tagged along. It had a nice backyard and some modern finishes as well as old flourishes. They went as high as they could afford, offering $1,615,000, and the sellers accepted. “We’re fortunate that the market slowed,” Samantha says, “otherwise we probably wouldn’t have gotten it.”

Want to see your house hunt in Toronto Life? Drop us a line at [email protected].