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Real Estate

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The Chase: two 30-something diehard downtowners find the perfect condo

Jennifer Zimmermann, a 30-year-old systems analyst, and Dustin Vaughan, a 32-year- old ad exec.

The Buyers: Jennifer Zimmermann, a 30-year-old systems analyst, and Dustin Vaughan, a 32-year- old ad exec.

The Story: Vaughan and Zimmermann each owned a condo near Front and Spadina when they met online in May of 2009. Four months later, they decided to move in together. First they tried living in Zimmermann’s 600-square-foot one-bedroom, then Vaughan’s slightly larger place, but both units were too small for the two of them and their 85-pound greyhound, Jax. They loved living in a condo and wanted to stay within walking distance of their favourite hangs along King and Queen. With location in mind, they set a budget of $500,000 and embarked on a six-month search.

The Chase Option 1OPTION 1
East Liberty Street (at Strachan). Listed at and sold for $524,000.
Vaughan and Zimmermann had friends in Liberty Village, and they liked the nearby bars and restaurants. The size of this unit—1,300 square feet—was appealing, but it looked out onto a cellphone tower, and the noise and traffic congestion in the area were a concern. They decided to keep shopping in their own ’hood.

The Chase Option 2OPTION 2
Capreol Court, CityPlace condos (near Spadina and Fort York). Originally listed at $509,000, currently listed at $495,000.
This ninth-floor unit was in the same building as Vaughan’s condo, but it was bigger and faced the lake (instead of railroad tracks). It needed some upgrading, so they bid $15,000 below asking. They put down a deposit and thought they were done—until they saw another unit.

The Chase Option 3THE BUY
Capreol Court. Listed at $508,900, sold for $498,000.
Directly upstairs from the space they’d just put an offer on, this unit was the same size (980 square feet) and had the same layout—but it was already fully upgraded, with gorgeous stainless Miele appliances and travertine countertops in the kitchen and bathroom. Vaughan and Zimmermann loved it. And they already adored the building, which had plans to add a gym, a squash court, a pool and even a doggy daycare for Jax. After a week of going back and forth, the parties agreed on $500,000. The deal almost fell through when the sellers changed their minds about paying the closing costs, but the buyers shaved $2,000 off the offer and finally signed. They pulled out of the other deal, and within two weeks, they’d moved into their new home—just seven floors above where they started.

(Image: Couple by Nikki Ormerod)