The Chase: A rent-averse young professional moves out of his parents’ place and into a Danforth home
The Buyer: Rohan Pinto, a 28-year-old graphic designer.
The Story: Since graduating from Durham College in 2006, Pinto lived rent-free with his parents in Scarborough and commuted to his office at King and Spadina. “I’m of the school that sees paying rent as throwing your money away,” he says. Once he’d saved enough, he went looking for a place of his own. He started with condos, but soon learned that monthly fees can be as much as $800, which felt just like paying rent. He decided to buy a house, even if it meant having a slightly higher mortgage. He also liked the idea of finding a fixer-upper he could add value to over time. So he set his budget at $400,000, pinpointed a street he liked in the Woodbine Corridor (midway between work and his parents) and viewed house after house until he found The One.
16 Murdock Avenue (near Danforth and Woodbine). Listed at $399,900, sold for $435,000.
The list price was right on this two-bedroom semi, and it had an unfinished basement perfect for storage now and renovating later. But with its brand new kitchen, Pinto figured it was headed for a bidding war. Turns out, he was right. He didn’t even make an offer.
7 Murdock Avenue. Listed at $399,000, sold for $441,100.
This one seemed more attainable at first, with its small bedrooms and dated bathroom. But Pinto worried the rooftop deck, which he loved, would drive the price well above $400,000. His agent, Gloria Rodrigues (who’s also his aunt) confirmed his suspicions, and he walked—again—without bidding.
13 Murdock Avenue. Listed at $399,000, sold for $408,000.
This two-bedroom semi ticked off all the boxes on Pinto’s checklist: the right amount of space, the right amount of storage and the right location. It also had new hardwood floors and a renovated kitchen, and Pinto was sure, yet again, that he’d be priced out in a bidding war. But he noticed wood panelling on the wall along the staircase, which he thought might be masking some roughness underneath. Sure enough, the plaster was cracking—just the sort of cosmetic decay that dissuades people from overbidding. Pinto was about to offer $10,000 under asking, but there was already another bidder. Not willing to walk away again (and spend another year at his parents’ place), he decided to up his offer almost $20,000, and the house was his. He’s slowly fixing it up, using the money he
would have paid in condo fees for DIY projects.
(Images: Pinto by John Cullen; houses by Erin Leydon)