A Toronto couple saved $50,000 during lockdown. They put it toward a $750,000 condo in the Distillery District

The buyers: Kyle Da Maren, 36, a talent consultant at Ernst and Young, and Christopher Kean, 28, an animator, with their five-month-old miniature dachshund, Ben.

The story: At the start of the pandemic, Kyle and Christopher were living in a two-bedroom apartment at Sherbourne and Bloor, paying $1,480 a month. Since last March, they’ve saved about $50,000 they otherwise would have spent on restaurants, vacations and other pre-Covid activities, and in February 2021 they decided to put their savings toward a down payment. They set a budget of $750,000 and started searching for an open-concept, two-bedroom condo, preferably close to downtown with green space nearby for Ben.


Option 1: Sackville Street (near Parliament and Dundas)

Listed at: $629,999
Sold for: $825,000

Daniel Neuhaus

On paper, this two-bed, two-bath 13th-storey condo in Regent Park was almost perfect. It was located near the Queen streetcar, and it had an open-concept interior with 11-foot ceilings, modern appliances and nice north-facing views. Another bonus: it was listed well within their budget. But something about the place felt off. The rooms were smaller than they would have liked. The kitchen had open shelving, so all their dishes would be on display. And they didn’t really need the extra bathroom. So the couple kept looking without placing an offer.


Option 2: Queen Street West (near Dufferin)

Listed at: $749,900
Sold for: $765,000

Daniel Neuhaus

In late February, Kyle and Christopher visited this two-bed, one-bath condo in Queen West. Having lived east of Yonge for the past six years, they liked the idea of being in the west end, close to Trinity Bellwoods and a bunch of cool shops. The unit had an open-concept layout and a west-facing balcony. They both liked the floor-to-ceiling windows, but they found out a nearby condo development would eventually block their view and give a bunch of new neighbours a direct sightline into their bedroom, so they moved on.


The Buy: Parliament Street (near Front)

Listed at: $750,000
Sold for:
$750,000

Daniel Neuhaus

In early March, they viewed a two-bed, one-bath condo in the Distillery District, near Parliament Square Park and a stop on the upcoming Ontario Line. The place had an open-concept interior and big bedrooms. On the downside, it had a closed-in galley kitchen and mismatched vinyl flooring, but they were willing to do upgrades. The couple offered $745,000, $5,000 below asking, factoring in the cost of renos. The seller shot back with the listing price, and the buyers decided they shouldn’t let a few thousand dollars get in the way. They plan to move in in June.


Do you have an interesting story about buying or selling a property during the pandemic? We want to hear it realestate@torontolife.com





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