The Buyer: Stan Nevolovich, a 28-year-old tennis pro.
The Story: Nevolovich loved his 800-square-foot apartment near Yonge and Davisville. His commute to work at the Queen’s Club at Bathurst and Dupont was easy, and the neighbourhood had great restaurants and bars. But after renting for two years, he wanted to buy. “I don’t like renting,” he says. “I even hate leasing cars. I have to own things!” His brother had just sold his midtown condo and pocketed almost $80,000, a move that both inspired and worried Nevolovich. “I knew if I waited any longer, I’d never be able to afford it.” Two years ago, the banks thwarted his attempt to get into the housing market because of mortgage rules for the self-employed. At the time, he’d been on contract at the Queen’s Club for a year, but needed three to four years of steady, full-time employment to be approved. Once he got the go-ahead, he set a budget of $320,000 and started looking. His wish list was simple: a one-bedroom condo with good access to transit and a decent on-site gym.
St. Clair Avenue West (at Bathurst). Listed at $313,000, sold for $313,000.
It was nearly 200 square feet smaller than his apartment, but this pre-construction condo was right down the street from Nevolovich’s workplace and had a gym and a rooftop pool. He signed a contract and put down a payment, but during the 10-day cooling-off period, he got spooked by the idea of buying something that wasn’t yet built, and backed out.
801 King Street West (at Niagara). Listed at $304,900, sold for $300,000.
The 700-square-foot unit felt bigger than it was thanks to a spacious den and open-concept kitchen. The only obvious problems were worn-out carpeting and kitchen floors. Tempted by the building’s tennis court, Nevolovich considered making an offer. But the smell from the nearby slaughterhouse changed his mind, and he decided to keep looking.
313 Richmond Street East (at Sherbourne). Listed at $312,000, sold for $312,000.
Nevolovich checked out this one-bedroom plus den on its first day on the market. The condo was move-in ready, with a new kitchen and hardwood floors throughout. There was no tennis court on-site, though the building did have a two-level gym and a basketball court. He was a bit hesitant about the area, but a walk past a few upscale eateries along King Street (and a quick Google search of neighbourhood crime stats) convinced him it was gentrifying. He put in a bid—right at asking to avoid competition—and his offer was accepted. In less than a week of house hunting, Nevolovich had a new place, a mortgage, and no more rent to pay.