The Chase: With $1 million in hand, two Vancouver expats set out to buy a semi in Trinity Bellwoods

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Published on: March 8, 2016
The Chase: Trinity Bellwoods semi
(Portrait: Erin Leydon)

The buyers: Sophie Alden, a 32-year-old jewellery designer, and her husband, Cody Lynge, a 35-year-old manager at Red Bull Canada.

The story: Alden and Lynge moved to Toronto from Vancouver in 2014 when Lynge got a job at Red Bull’s head office on Queen West. The couple rented a condo near King and Strachan, a two-storey loft that was perfectly serviceable in the short term but didn’t have the character or living space they wanted. After spending a summer biking up and down leafy streets in the west end, they decided that Trinity Bellwoods was their choice of neighbourhood—if they could find a place within their $1 million budget. This past June, they started scouring the listings for a renovated Victorian with a nice-sized backyard, a master ensuite and enough room for a kid or two. After viewing more than 30 properties, they lucked out.

Option 1

The Chase: Trinity Bellwoods semi
Alhambra Avenue (near Bloor and Dundas West). Listed at $849,000, sold for $1,025,000.
They loved the location of this three-bedroom semi—it was near the highly ranked Howard elementary school and a short walk from High Park. It also had a renovated basement with 12-foot ceilings. They offered $101,000 over asking but lost out in a bidding war with eight other interested parties.

Option 2

The Chase: Trinity Bellwoods semi
Evelyn Avenue (near Runnymede and Dundas West). Listed at $849,900, sold for $1,032,000.
This three-bedroom semi needed some work, but it had the large backyard they wanted and lots of charming details, like an exposed brick accent wall and a wood-burning fireplace. This time, they went in at $112,100 over asking—and were stunned when it still wasn’t enough.

The Buy

The Chase: Trinity Bellwoods semi
Lisgar Street (near Queen and Dovercourt). Listed at $1,059,900, sold for $1,010,000.
This three-bedroom semi was exactly what they wanted: a fully renovated Victorian in Trinity Bellwoods with soaring ceilings, a landscaped backyard and a huge master bedroom with a sparkling ensuite. And no one else seemed to have noticed it. “For whatever reason, we were the only bidders,” says Alden. “It was the first time we felt like we were in control of the process.” They offered $979,900, and then eventually settled on $1,010,000—only slightly over budget.

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