Prop­erty Lad­der

While others fled from real es­tate, they dived in

Toronto Life - - Contents - By josh de­haas

From a Les­lieville semi to a Dav­isville dream home

Ash­leigh Cranston, born and raised in Toronto, met her Amer­i­can sweet­heart, Jenn John­son, 12 years ago. Ash­leigh was 23 at the time, and work­ing in HR in Bos­ton. Jenn, who was 28, worked for PwC, the in­ter­na­tional ac­count­ing firm, mak­ing it rel­a­tively easy for her to ar­range a trans­fer to Toronto. She sold her house in Bos­ton in early 2008 for $357,500 (U.S.), and then the cou­ple rented a condo on King West for $2,300 a month. Their house hunt be­gan just as Canada’s prop­erty mar­ket was suc­cumb­ing to the re­ces­sion.

They found a three-bed­room semi in Les­lieville, listed at $499,000, but were ner­vous about shelling out for a prop­erty that might plum­met in value. When the sell­ers dropped the ask­ing price, Jenn and Ash­leigh saw it as a sign and bought the place for $470,000. Soon af­ter, Toronto’s hous­ing mar­ket roared back to life.

When their twin girls were born in 2011, they set their sights on Mau­rice Cody Ju­nior Pub­lic School. The catch­ment area was pricey Dav­isville Vil­lage, but Jenn had been pro­moted to part­ner, so they could af­ford it, even with Ash­leigh stay­ing home to take care of the kids. They of­fered some empty nesters $1 mil­lion for their three-bed­room fixer-up­per and got it for that price.

By 2015, they were ex­pect­ing a baby boy and needed more space. Only two years had passed since their pur­chase, but their prop­erty’s value had in­creased dra­mat­i­cally. Rather than ren­o­vate, they sold their place and bought a nearby new-build.

Jenn John­son and Ash­leigh Cranston, with their chil­dren, Teagan, Quinn and Lo­gan hast­ings Av­enue (near dun­das and les­lie) They lucked out by land­ing this semi at a rel­a­tive low point for Toronto’s hous­ing mar­ket. They liked be­ing able to walk to restau­rants, but the house wasn’t prac­ti­cal for a grow­ing fam­ily.

The boT­Tom line: Ash­leigh and Jenn didn’t let a global re­ces­sion scare them away from buy­ing in. With the pro­ceeds, they were able to give each of their kids a pri­vate bed­room.

hills­dale Av­enue east (near bayview and eglin­ton) At first, they planned to add a fourth bed­room for their son, but they de­cided against it. Find­ing a buyer wasn’t hard: they had five of­fers and sold the place for $286,000 over ask­ing.

manor road east (near mount Pleas­ant and dav­isville) Their cur­rent house came with a huge open-con­cept kitchen, a garage and five bath­rooms. There’s a bed­room for ev­ery kid, and the back­yard is stocked with ma­ture ev­er­greens.

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