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Real Estate

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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.

  • condodweller

    The Riviera has a large pool? It was about the size of a shoebox when I was there… ;(

  • newreader

    “They consulted their numerologist; she was adamant they stay away.”
    Sounds like one hell of a job.

  • Daniel Bloch

    As the Realtor who worked with them, it was a big Job, but thats patience and making sure your clients are happy. In the end, the wait was well worth it for them, they got a great deal, and an excellent condo. Daniel Bloch

  • Reality Check

    Good thing they didn’t choose the renter’s ghetto formerly known as CityPlace. I can’t see a 63- and 55-yr-old having any interest in living there.

  • lawrenceparker

    What a RIP-OFF these Toronto condo prices are! Seriously. Add in the cost of maintenance fees (which are another total RIP-OFF) and it’s totally overpriced housing.
    When is the Toronto real estate market going to GET REAL????

  • Torontony

    Toronto real estate has been on the up and up, and as a downtown dweller who lives in a similiar condo over looking the lake and city, it is a realistic price for a excellent building, TO Real estate may drop in the next year, but it will be a slight decline and then go back up.
    if you want a deal, go to the zoo that is city place

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