The buyers: Claudia Arruda, a 29-year-old nurse, and her husband, Eric, a 29-year-old financial coach.
The story: Shortly before getting married in 2012, the Arrudas moved from Kitchener to downtown Toronto in search of better jobs and big-city excitement. They started out in a rented one-bedroom condo at Maple Leaf Square. However, Eric, who bought his first investment property at age 21, was soon itching to own a place in his new hometown. He and Claudia were also talking about having a baby and figured they’d need more space before long. With Eric’s cousin, Steve Arruda, as their agent, they started the search hoping to find a house for around $450,000 and quickly realized they’d either have to lower their expectations or substantially raise their budget. What followed was a gut-wrenching sequence of fruitless offers and crosstown bidding battles.
St. Clarens Avenue (near Dupont and Lansdowne). Listed at $599,900, sold for $599,000.
The couple made their first offer on a three-bedroom townhouse with a rooftop deck big enough to entertain 20. The place had been re-listed after languishing on the market for five months, and it attracted two other offers within two days. They were outbid by $4,000.
West Lynn Avenue (near Woodbine and Danforth). Listed at $599,000, sold for $670,000.
Six failed offers later, the Arrudas were determined to land this semi. On the set offer date, they put in their bid and waited in the car as a half-dozen others drove up and did the same. While parked, they were asked to increase their offer three times before losing out once again.
Peterborough Avenue (near Dufferin and Davenport). Listed at $549,000, sold for $630,000.
After seeing this three-bedroom semi, the Arrudas put in a bully offer of $50,000 over asking with no conditions. “I didn’t want to spend another evening sitting outside our would-be future home,” Eric says. When a second bully bid came in, they threw in an additional 20 grand. Immediately outbid, they upped their offer again and delivered the knockout punch: a two-week closing date, which their opponents couldn’t match. The Arrudas finally had their new home. As a housewarming gift, Steve refused his commission, cutting nearly $18,000 off the total.