The Chase: A couple doubles their original budget to land a house in Forest Hill North

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Published on: August 11, 2016
The Chase: Forest Hill North Farid and Elena
 Portrait by Erin Leydon

The buyers: Farid Sharifi, a 35-year-old senior renewable energy specialist for WWF Canada, and his wife, Elena Khanlarkhani, a 31-year-old project manager at a construction firm.

The story: Sharifi and Khanlarkhani both immigrated to Canada from Iran—she in 2007 and he in 2008. They met in 2010, when both were university students. Four years later, after they were married, they moved into a two-bedroom condo near Bayview and Sheppard owned by Sharifi’s parents, who were living abroad. They were comfortable there, but the housing market’s galloping price inflation had them worried. They figured they should get in now, before entry-level homes hit seven figures. The couple put together $120,000 in savings and began looking for a $600,000 toehold in the Eglinton and Allen area.

Option 1

The Chase: Option 1
454 Glenholme Avenue (near Oakwood and Eglinton). Listed for $578,800, sold for $540,000
The couple’s agent, Hootan Ghovanloo, showed them this detached two-bedroom bungalow. A separate basement apartment gave the place potential as an income property, but they wanted a leafier neighbourhood. They decided not to make an offer.

Option 2

The Chase: Option 2
315 St. Clements Avenue (near Avenue and Eglinton). Listed for $1,299,000, sold for $1,275,000
After several non-starters, Sharifi and Khanlarkhani began to wonder what a larger down payment would fetch. Parents on both sides offered $80,000 each, but even with an extra $160,000, their agent warned them that they likely wouldn’t win a bidding war on this property, so they didn’t try.

The Buy

The Chase: The Buy
494 St. Clements Avenue (near Avenue and Eglinton). Listed for $999,000, sold for $1,217,000
The couple offered $30,000 over asking on this detached home—just west of the previous candidate—and then upped their offer to $1.16 million when they found out there were several bidders. It still wasn’t enough. After leveraging virtually all of the financing available to them, they offered $1.217 million to seal the deal. Sharifi says he and Khanlarkhani love that the street is “buried in trees; the first time we saw it, we knew it was our dream house.”

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