Toronto Life - The Informer

Insider intel on the politics and personalities shaping the city. Sign up for Preview newsletter for weekly updates

Real Estate


The Sell: for an octogenarian couple, the second time downsizing is the charm

The Sell: for an octogenarian couple, the second time downsizing is the charm

(Image of couple by Erin Leydon)

The sellers: Kay Brundage, an 89-year-old retired teacher, and Don Brundage, an 86-year-old retired OISE professor.

The property: A 1,300-square-foot two-bedroom condo near Don Mills and Lawrence, the couple’s home since they downsized 14 years ago.

The story: In the fall of 2011, the Brundages tried a month-long stay at an assisted living residence while Kay was recovering from an illness. They liked the peace of mind it offered, and by last spring they had decided to move in for good—albeit to the more gracious apartment-like building next door. Their new one-bedroom unit had a kitchen and a living room, but it was half the size of their condo—which meant sorting through a lifetime of stuff.

The prep: They listed the condo in April and began pruning its contents. Even with the help of their kids, it was a daunting task. So they called Down­sizing Divas, a firm that specializes in helping people at this stage in their lives. The Divas team helped the couple determine what they wanted to keep (love letters from their courtship, wedding china, a record player they bought when they were students) and what they didn’t (a piano, a collection of 78-rpm vinyl, forms and records in duplicate and triplicate). The market was slow. By June, they still hadn’t received an offer and were getting restless, so they moved into their new place and hoped for the best.

The offers: Less than a week after the move, a couple who were also downsizing offered $412,000. The Brundages’ agent, Marie Agay of HomeLife, handled the negotiations over the next few days. The buyers were agreeable—the biggest concern boiled down to paint colour—and they were able to settle at $420,000.