The Chase: Montreal transplants search for a Victorian in Little Portugal for under $1 million
Dream scenario: it would also have a peaked roof and a two-car garage
The buyers: Dan Givon, a 25-year-old owner of a window and eaves cleaning business, and Kendra Bolton, a 27-year-old co-founder of a software start-up (holding their six-month-old miniature Australian Labradoodle, Cricket).
The story: Two years ago, Kendra and Dan sold their condos in Montreal, left behind their businesses and moved to Toronto. They found a rental for $3,200 a month in Little Portugal and fell in love with the neighbourhood. So, when it came time to buy, they were determined to stay close. Their ideal house would be a red-brick Victorian with a peaked roof and a two-car garage for under $1 million. They were willing to spend between $75,000 and $100,000 to convert a basement into an income suite.
Brookfield Street (near Queen and Ossington). Listed at $899,000, sold for $900,000.
This semi-detached three-bedroom was in their ideal location, just steps from Queen and Ossington. Though it didn’t have the classic Victorian peaked roof, it did have a separate entrance to the basement and a deep lot with a detached garage off the laneway. But when they visited, the interior left much to be desired. At roughly 12 feet wide and with a staircase in the middle, the place would have been a $300,000 nightmare to renovate. Still, they had a vision, and the two-car parking was enticing, so they made a lowball offer of $799,000. The sellers didn’t bite.
Argyle Street (near Queen and Ossington). Listed at $999,000, sold for $1,220,000.
Located just a few blocks north of the Brookfield house, this three-bedroom townhouse was on a 15-foot-wide lot and had virtually everything they wanted, including space for two cars. It was near a park for Cricket and already had a separate entrance to the basement. They pushed their max and offered $1,085,000, with plans to put about $150,000 toward renovations. But there were half a dozen other offers. When the sellers asked a few of the buyers to raise their bids, Kendra and Dan upped their offer by $35,000 to $1,120,000—and still lost out.
Florence Street (near Queen and Dufferin). Listed at $869,800, sold for $985,000.
The three-bedroom semi was a bit farther west than they’d been looking. Inside, it was packed with so much stuff they couldn’t see the bones of the home, but it had already been converted into two separate units. The lot was 16 feet wide and it had a one-car garage off the laneway. Also, the price was right. They made a bully bid of $925,000, but three other potential buyers took a similar approach. When asked to bid again, they offered $985,000, which did the trick. Over the next few years, they plan to spend less than $150,000 on renovations.