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The Chase: two sisters show us how to find a Toronto condo on a tight deadline

THE BUYERS
Madeleine Kline, a 63-year-old former school secretary, and her sister Nicole Fasano, a 55‑year-old retiree who worked in book publishing.

THE STORY
When Fasano’s husband died in 2009, she decided to sell her Oakville house and move to Toronto with her daughter Casey (a 28-year-old interior designer, still living with Mom to build her savings). Meanwhile, Kline, who also lived in Oak­ville, wanted to move closer to her own daughter at Yonge and St. Clair. The sisters decided to combine their resources. Their limit was $500,000, enough for two bedrooms and a den (for Casey) in a building with a pool (Kline has MS and needs a pool for physio­therapy). They had to act fast: both Oakville homes sold in March and had end-of-April closing dates.

HOUSE 1
CityPlace, at Spadina and Lake Shore. Listed at $485,000, sold for $483,000
This condo had only two bedrooms, the kitchen was tiny, and it was the first property they saw, but they felt they had to jump on it, even after
a resident told them the building was full of loud students and beer bottle–littered hallways. “We were so clueless, naive and hasty,” Fasano says. “Thank God the offer didn’t go through.”


HOUSE 2
Minto Midtown, at Yonge and Eglinton. Listed at $499,900, sold for $491,500
By mid-March, they were stressing about their deadline. Their agent, Daniel Bloch, showed them this two-bedroom-plus-den, and it seemed perfect. The only problem? The suite’s digits (2509) added up to 16, a bad omen to the sisters, who believe in numerology. They consulted their numerologist; she was adamant they stay away.


THE BUY
The Riviera, Queens Quay, near York St. Listed at $565,000, sold for $550,000
As April approached, the sisters were so frustrated they began to resign themselves to renting. They’d looked at 15 buildings and appealed to their mortgage broker, who upped their financing to $550,000. Still, nothing had worked out. Then Bloch found a two-bedroom-plus-den Harbourfront unit with nine-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, a wraparound patio, access to a large pool, and a view that included the CN Tower and the lake. Casey, the design pro, approved—the place was walk-in ready; they didn’t even need to paint. They made an offer at 5 p.m. on the day they saw the condo, and it was accepted that night. The trio moved in on May 1.

 

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