Some of our panellists share their real estate regrets from the past.
When I got the job in New York at Merrill Lynch, they gave me a corporate apartment. I had the option to buy it at any time. This was ’02, basically within a year after 9/11. All you heard about was, Oh, you’re living in Battery Park City. Oh my God, asbestos this and asbestos that. This was a gorgeous junior onebedroom, and probably at the time I could have bought it for a couple hundred thousand dollars. It’s gone up, like, sixfold over that period. So not taking the option to buy was a big mistake.
I have an apartment in New York and was offered the apartment beside us. I said, “No, no. I’m not going to buy this apartment.” Well, I just bought it three months ago, and when I was offered it, the dollar was at par. Now it’s this. So I’m thinking, God, why didn’t I buy that apartment back then?
On the positive side, when I was looking for a new house in Toronto, I was working with Elise Kalles. She took me to see a house in Forest Hill. I thought it was too big, needed too much work and they were asking for too much money. Elise picked me up the next day, and took me back to the same house. She told me to go in and figure out how I’m going to make that house work. I put an offer in and bought that house 15 years ago, and we cannot believe how much it is worth today.
I bought a parking lot in 2002 for $3 million downtown. About a week later, a parking lot operator came and said, “I’ll give you another $300,000, just to sell me the contract.” So I sold it to him. That parking lot today is worth $120 million.
The interior of Brian Gluckstein’s Forest Hill home