Meet Vanessa

She was living in a small 2 bedroom condo but found a larger freehold home for the same carrying cost!  Read her success story to find out how she did it.

Vanessa had been living at her condo in Queen West for a few years and always wanted a freehold home in Toronto.  She called her trusted real estate agent Kevin one night in December and shared with him her big dream.  Kevin, after assessing what she wanted to do had a plan to make it happen.

We're going to let Vanessa tell her story as she wrote an amazing testimonial about her journey.

"The dream of owning a home within Toronto’s downtown core was exactly that for a single income earner - a dream.  Something you wake up from fondly at 7am before the reality of the sheer absurdity of it hits you square in the face and leaves you feeling slightly hopeless. I owned a two bedroom condo in Queen West and although I desperately wanted a bigger living space and the potential to invest in something with a higher return rate, I just didn’t think it was possible. But, this problem existed solely because I was shortsighted and mortgage focused. Yes - I used it. The scariest word for a young adult - mortgage. And it has a place in this story - but not nearly as big a place as you’d imagine."

I was shortsighted and mortgage focused

"Early on in this process, I did the normal thing anyone would do - I went on realtor, found a bunch of properties I thought were perfect (my uninformed idea of what perfect meant), plugged some numbers into a mortgage calculator, sobbed hysterically at the outcome and put on a video of cats pushing stuff off of other stuff to lift my spirits. But that’s not a fair comparison because of one crucial detail - in a condo, you are paying additional fees that become part of your total cost - aka. Maintenance. My condo had a pool (which I had never set foot in) and a gym that I never used on account of having a gym membership. When looking at the total cost including my mortgage, a fee to rent my HVAC unit and my maintenance, the margin in cost between owning a home and owning a condo was shrinking.  Don’t get me wrong, the story still wasn’t a complete slam dunk - there was still a cost differential that was too big to bridge on my own, but that was just it. I didn’t have to do it on my own. I don’t mean I had to beg my parents or sell my soul to make up the difference, but I did need an additional boost in funds. And Kevin had the answer - a rental component."

"The good thing about coming from a condo building is that you are no stranger to sharing your space. Every chair move, bed squeak or dropped glass is a shared experience amongst your neighbours. The thought of having a basement rental didn’t bother me in the slightest and would allow me to offset some of my living costs with a tenant while contributing to providing housing to an individual looking for a rental (and heck, it’ll make me feel a lot better to not be alone in a house), so the race was on to find a home that had the potential to house two families."

Kevin had the answer - a rental component

"This realization caused the biggest shift in my house search. I started looking at homes in a different way. The focus was less on how nice the cabinets were and more on whether a property could accommodate a rental unit. Kevin highlighted key items that made a property suitable for a rental (in addition to playing the role of structural engineer, architect and therapist). Separate entrances excited me, kitchenettes made me happy and finished basements were the things that made my heart flutter. Kevin completely changed my perspective. As an emotionally driven person, I was worried that emotion would be the driving factor in the decision on my new home, but with Kevin’s guidance, I was able to inject some much needed pragmatism into that decision."

Vanessa found the one!

"After searching near and far we found a very large semi in the Parkdale and Roncesvalles area.  The house was owned by the same owner for over 30 years.  There wasn't a basement apartment but to make one was possible as there was a separate entrance.  The house had high ceilings, garage and the bones of the home were fantastic.  After a tough negotiation we bought the house for a very fair price before anyone had the opportunity to jump on this deal."

"The last piece of the puzzle was the sale of my condo. This was made incredibly simple with the help of Kevin and his team. Aside from the painful task of packing up items which was inevitable, Kevin handled the staging of my home and educated me in how to maximize the value of my condo. This sale was giving me considerable angst in that it was such an unknown – my condo, could have been worth anything. Scenarios ran through my head: from wealthy Texan oil tycoons falling in love with my unit and offering me $1 million dollars over asking to open houses where no one attends and I go months without offers. Kevin was around to snap me out of both of these equally as unlikely scenarios. Taking a sound mathematical approach – we estimated a value range that helped quell some of my anxiety. "

Now this is when my team came in

Vanessa had a great condo but we needed to maximize what she ended up in her pocket.  We sent in our full time stager to assess what needed to be done to get the most out of the condo.  After the assessment and a consultation with Vanessa, we were given the okay to start the master plan.  The condo had to be painted and Vanessa needed to pack up her belongings.  We took care of the rest including moving out most her furniture and moving in our staging furniture and accessories.  Our photographer and videographer extraordinaire worked his magic and helped us create some very special marketing pieces.

Take a look at the final product

We were bullied

"Coupled with a strategic approach to listing including when to list, what cost to list at and where to list, the sale of my condo went better than I had anticipated. We listed lower in order to be competitive and in a few days, I had received a bully offer prior to the first open house. This was the only time in my life I have genuinely enjoyed being bullied – an offer well above asking was made, I accepted it while having a coffee down the street and the whole process was over barely after it had begun."

Vanessa just took possession of her new house and decided to do some renovations and put in a proper basement apartment.  Our team will guide her on how to find a tenant and give her our tried and tested tips on becoming a great landlord.  

She sent this heartwarming email to us on the day of closing:

"Kevin - what can I say... 

The amount of work and passion you and your team put into this has me completely baffled. You took all the pressure off of this monumental purchase and eased my mind when I needed it most. I appreciate the time you took and the patience you had with me. I'm so happy I walked into your office 4 years ago and continue to enjoy  working with you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your hard work. If you ever need a reference to another client, a blurb written about your fantastic service or your name dropped whenever a friend/relative needs a realtor, you can always count on me. 

I look forward to buying that detached brick home in Queen West with you (in 10 years 😜 ). 

Thank you so much - you're the best."

Congratulations Vanessa!  We can't wait to see what your house will look like after the renovations!

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