The buyer: Charlotte Lombardo, a 41-year-old part-time lecturer at U of T and a PhD student in environmental studies at York.
The story: Lombardo’s Corktown condo building was overrun with millennials, and their loudness was a source of irritation. She crunched some numbers and realized that,
if she sold her condo for around $400,000 and got a low-interest mortgage, she could afford to spend up to $650,000 on a new place. She wanted a move-in-ready house in the east end, preferably in Leslieville, and she wouldn’t be living with anyone else, so a one-bedroom would be fine.
Craven Road (near Coxwell and Gerrard). Listed at $499,000, sold for $670,000
Lombardo’s agent insisted this two- bedroom was a good buy because of its recent kitchen renovation. Even so, Lombardo wasn’t so sure the price was justified. The second bedroom was small and didn’t have a proper closet, and the revamped kitchen’s dark wood cabinets made it seem dated. She got as far as filling out the offer paperwork before deciding the place wasn’t worth half a million.
Logan Avenue (near Eastern). Listed at $549,000, sold for $711,000
This two-bedroom semi met all the criteria: it was in Leslieville and the price was right. Lombardo jumped headfirst into a nine-way bidding war, offering $660,000 in the first round and $686,000 in the second round—an amount she wouldn’t have been able to pay without a gift from her parents. She was disappointed when she lost the place and she wondered if she should have been more aggressive.
Cavell Avenue (near Danforth and Pape). Listed at $499,000, sold for $626,000
Lombardo was checking online listings when she noticed this one-bedroom semi. It had been a two-bedroom, but the seller had knocked down some walls on the main floor to create an open interior. Lombardo visited and was immediately drawn to the wood ceilings, brick walls and floating staircase. Plus, the lot was big enough for an addition in case she ever needed to expand. Fearing a repeat of the Leslieville brawl, she offered $177,000 over asking, which scared off the two other bidders.