The Chase: A couple on the hunt for a Roncesvalles Victorian scale back their expectations

The Chase: A couple on the hunt for a Roncesvalles Victorian scale back their expectations

Sarah Callanan and Brad Muller with baby. Portrait by Erin Leydon

The buyers: Sarah Callanan, a 37-year-old senior designer at RH (formerly Restoration Hardware), and her husband, Brad Muller, a 37-year-old senior manager at Harmonic Fund Services.

The story: Sarah and Brad grew up within a kilometre of each other in Etobicoke but didn’t meet until their first year at Western University. They bought an industrial loft in Roncesvalles in 2008 and got married in 2014. Their condo was too small for a family, so, when they found out Sarah was pregnant, they started house hunting. They liked Roncey’s Victorians and, with a budget of $800,000, they were prepared to accept a fixer-upper. What mattered most was sticking close to their favourite hangouts.


Option 1

The Chase: Option 1
Ridley Gardens (near Parkside Drive and Garden Avenue). Listed at $950,000, sold for $985,000. 
This three-bedroom house was on a dead-end street. Sarah could picture herself restoring its stained-glass windows and grand old staircase. They offered $1,005,000, conditional on them finding a way to top up their $750,000 mortgage pre-approval. The sellers asked if they’d drop the condition. They didn’t, so the property went to another couple for $20,000 less.

Option 2

The Chase: Option 2
Indian Road Crescent (near Keele and Annette). Listed at $799,000, sold for $976,000.
This Victorian semi had knob-and-tube wiring and a kitchen that was stuck in the ’80s. Sarah was apprehensive about taking on such a huge reno, but she loved the yard, the two-car garage and the school district. On offer day, they got into a bidding war that lasted until midnight. After they bowed out, they learned they’d lost by $1,000. “It felt like a punch in the face,” Brad says.

The Buy

The Chase: The Buy
Birchview Boulevard (near Bloor and Royal York). Listed at $949,000, sold for $949,000.
When Sarah was six months pregnant, they decided to look near the Kingsway, an area they liked and had fond memories of from childhood. The neighbourhood wasn’t trendy, but this house had character and was close to the subway. On offer day, they were the sole bidders. The seller annoyingly countered their lowball at higher than his asking price, but they talked him down and even managed to arrange a five-week closing, which gave them time to move before little Patrick arrived two months later.

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