The Chase: A couple finds the street life of their native Caracas at Yonge and Eglinton (of all places)

The Chase: A couple finds the street life of their native Caracas at Yonge and Eglinton (of all places)

The Buyers

The Buyers: Venezuelan expats Adriana Rosemberg, a 29-year-old scriptwriter, and her husband Jonathan, a 32-year-old ad executive.

The Story: The Rosembergs moved to Toronto in June 2009 to escape the violence and political instability of Venezuela. They were accustomed to the noise and street life of Caracas and wanted to live in a vibrant neighbourhood downtown. They also wanted enough space to spread out, and they quickly fell for the idea of a finished attic that could serve as a studio—she writes, he deejays. So the couple set a limit of $800,000—and armed themselves with a home inspection handbook—before setting off last December on a search that would span five months and more than 40 houses.

Option 1OPTION 1
Gore Street (at Clinton). Listed at $599,000, sold for $582,500.
The Rosembergs looked at this newly renovated Little Italy home three times before taking a pass. It hardly needed any upgrades and it even had a renovated attic, but it was already being used as the master bedroom. They also wanted a home in which they could have kids and stay a while, and at 1,100 square feet, this wasn’t it.

Crocker Avenue (at Bellwoods). Listed at $699,000, sold for $826,212.
This semi had a huge, newly renovated kitchen and a balcony with a view of the CN Tower. Alas, no attic, but the owner had converted the garage into a studio. Jonathan and Adriana made an offer the same day they saw it—but so did several other bidders, lifting the eventual sale price well over their $800,000 limit.

Duplex Avenue (near Eglinton). Listed at $700,000, relisted at $630,000, sold for $580,000.
The Rosembergs’ agents suggested they look at homes north of Bloor. This 1,650-square-foot house had their coveted renovated attic, plus a nice deck out back. It wasn’t perfect: the roof had to be replaced, and the kitchen, which was at least 30 years old, needed an overhaul—but the price, which had recently been reduced, was right. The owner rejected the couple’s first bid of $550,000. They followed up three weeks later with another, then went back and forth on the price before settling. Jonathan was skeptical at first about being so far north, but they’re only a couple of blocks from bustling Yonge and Eg. “We like it more than we expected,” says Jonathan. “Actually, we love it. It’s much livelier than other areas downtown—we just didn’t know before.”

(Images: Couple by John Cullen; Crocker Avenue by Rachel Wine)