The Chase

They thought Van­cou­ver’s hous­ing mar­ket was wild. Then they moved here

Toronto Life - - Contents - By ali amad

Young renters take the mil­lion-dol­lar plunge

The buy­ers: Re­becca Vokey, a 30-year-old mar­ket­ing spe­cial­ist, and her hus­band, Dy­lan Vokey, a 31-year-old man­age­ment con­sul­tant.

The story: Re­becca moved to Toronto from Van­cou­ver in 2013, and Dy­lan joined her two years later. They were liv­ing in a $2,380-per-month rental loft at Queen and McCaul, but es­ca­lat­ing home prices in Toronto made them worry they’d be priced out of the mar­ket for­ever if they didn’t act soon. Luck­ily, they’d sold a small condo they owned in Van­cou­ver for $370,000, mean­ing they could put that money to­ward a down pay­ment. They set a $1-mil­lion bud­get and went look­ing in the east end, where many of their friends lived. They both work in the fi­nan­cial district and were hop­ing to keep their com­mute short. Ken­wor­thy Av­enue (near Phar­macy and Dan­forth). Listed at $874,900, sold for $855,000. This four-bed­room de­tached home was on a mas­sive 56-foot lot, and it was right next to Ken­wor­thy Park. Re­becca loved the river rock ex­te­rior and oak hard­wood floor­ing, but the nearby strip of east Dan­forth was mostly res­i­den­tial, with rel­a­tively few shops and restau­rants in the mix—a ma­jor draw­back for the two down­town­ers. Even if they could have over­looked the lo­ca­tion, the prop­erty would have de­manded a daunt­ing amount of main­te­nance. Not want­ing to spend the rest of their lives mow­ing lawns, rak­ing leaves and shov­el­ling snow, they moved on. Wolver­leigh Boule­vard (near Coxwell and Dan­forth). Listed at $979,000, sold for $920,000. Dy­lan and Re­becca loved this prop­erty’s lo­ca­tion, near a much live­lier stretch of Dan­forth. Plus, at 2,000 square feet with three bed­rooms, it was a more man­age­able size than the Ken­wor­thy house. Un­for­tu­nately, the in­te­rior had seen bet­ter days: wood rot in the base­ment, gar­ish pink car­pet­ing and a tired kitchen would have ne­ces­si­tated at least $100,000 in ren­o­va­tions. If they paid any­thing close to the ask­ing price, they fig­ured they’d be far over their bud­get by the time all the work was com­plete. They didn’t make an of­fer on this place, ei­ther. Wheeler Av­enue (near Queen and Woodbine). Listed at $839,000, sold for $970,000. Af­ter view­ing 12 prop­er­ties and mak­ing zero bids, they were de­ter­mined to make a play for this three-bed­room semi. It was a 10-minute walk from Kew-Balmy Beach and a half-hour drive to work. With Dy­lan out of town, Re­becca han­dled the bid­ding. She of­fered $955,000, then added another $10,000. Just as she was get­ting ready to con­cede, Dy­lan texted her with a sug­ges­tion: try throw­ing in a fi­nal $5,000. That pushed them over the top. They ended up spend­ing $30,000 on a bath­room and closet up­grade be­fore mov­ing in.

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