Real Estate

The Chase: A couple blow past their budget to land a Leslieville fixer-upper

(Portrait by Erin Leydon)
(Portrait by Erin Leydon)

The buyers: Timothy Bramble, a 31-year-old project manager for the digital ad agency Art and Science, and Megan Cairns, a 30-year-old RN at St. Michael’s Hospital.

The story: After renting a condo in the West Don Lands for six months, Timothy and Megan decided they were ready to commit—to each other (they’re newly engaged) and to a home. They wanted a sizable yard (for Timothy, who loves gardening) and a second floor with at least two bedrooms, for a future child or two. Starting with a budget of $500,000, they focused their search in Corktown and South Riverdale, figuring they’d get more house for their money east of Yonge than west. Several bidding wars later, they realized they’d need to boost their budget to land a home anywhere near their desired location. 

Option 1
Hamilton Street (near Broadview and Dundas). Listed at $598,000, sold for $798,876. This renovated two-bedroom semi enchanted the couple with its rooftop deck and proximity to Queen. Unfortunately, they weren’t the only ones to see its potential: they bid $610,000, and were stunned when it attracted 14 other offers and sold for more than $200,000 over asking.
Option 2
Lewis Street (near Broadview and Eastern). Listed at $539,000, sold for $709,000. At first, they weren’t wowed by this two-storey row house. But once they looked past the tired finishes, they saw value in its three bedrooms and ample parking. Still stung by their experience on Hamilton, they bid $660,000. When they found out what it sold for, they instantly regretted not offering more.


The Buy
Caroline Avenue (near Pape and Eastern). Listed at $720,000, sold for $705,000. This three-bedroom row house had been sitting on the market for months, and it was clear why: it felt dated and reeked of cigarettes. But the ceilings were high and there was plenty of space, including a basement rental suite. For around $50,000 in renovations, they realized, they could have everything they wanted, plus a tenant. The seller signed back their first two offers before accepting their third, at just under asking. In April, they moved into the basement—the only habitable part of the house until the construction dust settles.


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