We bought a HOUSE!
:: Charming leafy dream starter home in Toronto - the annex neighbourhood ::
Hold on and let's back up for a minute so I can tell you how this all got started.
Matt and I first lived in a tiny furnished rental apartment in a small town called Stevenage just outside of London, UK. There we determined two things: 1. Wall to wall carpet does not belong in the washroom 2. Laundry machines in the kitchen aren't a terrible idea - you don't have to walk far when you're doing the chores it's all in one spot!
:: Our first time living together in England outside the flat and on the train ::
When we moved back to Toronto we had no jobs and no money. But we did have a bicycle each (actually technically they were my parents come to think of it!) and a will to get started building a life together. I was responsible for finding a great place with a small budget. After a quick kijii search we found a beautiful 515 square foot condo in the heart of the city. We lived there happily for 2 years and then we started to spill over on top of each other. Using the front hall closet as a primary closet could only work for so long.
:: Keys to the kingdom - our two bedroom condo with a knockout city view ::
As it turned out there was a two bedroom unit available just across the hall. I convinced Matt that the move would be wonderful and worth it - it totally was. For a year we were really happy with our massive pad complete with spectacular city views, a fantastic gym and the best neighbours ever - my parents are also now living in the same building!! But then our condo when up for sale and it forced us to reexamine our options. Practically speaking we decided that as awesome as our place is we don't need all the space we have right now. Sure it's nice but it is absolutely not necessary.
We met with our real estate Andrew to talk about other locations to lease. We found a place a little bit more north - midtown area, a brand new roomy one bedroom super close to school for Matt and clients for me. Meanwhile we figured we would start to get our feet wet with the crazy Toronto real estate market and see what was out there. I've heard horror stories from friends about bidding wars and we figured why not get started now so we would later know what we'd be in for.
The first house we saw was a mess - an old lady pee smell ridden house turned into what felt like four different apartments complete with marijuana paraphernalia in almost every corner. We passed. Seeing that first house made us realize that our priorities are 1. location 2. location 3. location 4. something livable that we can spend exciting dollars fixing pretty things and not on asbestos removal.
After refocusing our search we found our winner - the second house we saw! Matt was away on a work trip the first time I saw the place. From the listing it really didn't read like much but as soon as I walked into the house it just felt like a home. I called Matt immediately and we booked a second viewing on the weekend. He fell in love with it too.
The house has so much charm: great big windows allowing lots of natural light beside a lane way, a super cute backyard entertaining area (I'm already picturing stringy lights), and an awesome balcony porch off the master bedroom, an open concept living space with a cute gas fire place, a beautiful spa bathroom with marble floors, a huge standalone bathtub and a giant waterfall shower, a nice kitchen that with a few small changes will be really special, AND an adorable little family living their already as tenants who absolutely love the home and don't want to leave.
Hmmmmm. Tenants eh?
What if we bought the house, moved into the one bedroom midtown condo and kept the current tenants and use the house as an investment property until we will be ready to move into more space in a year or two?! It felt like the perfect plan for all parties right from the get go.
We put an offer in on our dream home and after a few back and forths we got it!!!!
Please note out of respect for the current tenants I chose not to include any interior photos because I would like to protect their privacy. Once we move it I will post our renovation progress here for sure!
We are SUPER excited to be landlords in a few short months and homeowners to boot! This time of year felt like a great time to be a buyer in the market, there are less options but also less demand. I'm glad we were also a little early to the punch on this, I guess only time will tell but from what I can see house prices are only climbing - maybe not as rapidly as they once were but if you're in a prime Toronto location it hopefully doesn't look like they will be catastrophically dropping anytime soon! Knock on our wooden house!!
We couldn't be happier and can't wait to make memories in this adorable navy blue home. I'm already decorating it in my mind!!
:: Happy homeowners ::