How an accountant and a non-profit worker bought a house during the pandemic

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        «Les vendeurs incluaient une clause Covid-19»: comment un comptable et un travailleur à but non lucratif ont acheté une maison pendant la pandémie          

Qui sont-ils: Christian Chiari Manni, 42 ans, comptable chez Wave Financial; Yael Schwartz, 27 ans, directeur des opérations chez Shelter Movers; et leur berger labrador-allemand, Compass
L'achat: Une maison individuelle de 1 600 pieds carrés avec trois chambres et deux salles de bain près de Danforth et Coxwell
Coté à: 979 900 $
Acheté pour: 1 075 000 $

Photo par Leading Image

Christian: In 2010, I bought a one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo in Corktown for $ 255,000. This is where I lived most of my 30s. I met Yael in 2017. We were both volunteers in a non-profit organization called Shelter Movers, helping a woman leave a violent home. We were both single, clicked right away and exchanged numbers. Yael moved into my condo the following year.

Yael: Corktown is a hidden gem. We think it will become popular very soon. When Christian bought the place, it was just a bunch of vacant land. Now, these are just condominium apartments, and there are trendy bars and restaurants popping up. The apartment has become too small for us. It’s 500 square feet, which is already small for two people, but it got even tighter after the adoption of Compass.

Christian: In late 2019, we started thinking about moving, long before the coronavirus entered the news cycle. Financially, we were lucky – I had saved some money and I’m about to pay off the mortgage on my condo. We have not created any type of savings plan. We just said, “We have to buy a house. We have the money and we can do it. “

Yael: We looked for a semi-detached with two or three bedrooms, in order to be able to start a family. Our list of must-haves included a quiet neighborhood, a backyard for Compass, a parking space and two toilets so that we could stop fighting for the individual bathroom in the condo. Our initial budget was between $ 800,000 and $ 900,000, so we have began looking east of Toronto at Scarborough, Pickering and Markham, where there were houses in this price range. But we didn’t want to go too long. The idea of ​​getting stuck in rush hour traffic or spending hours a day on the GO train didn’t really appeal to us.

Christian: We thought we might be able to buy something smaller in the city to avoid commuting. We increased our maximum budget to $ 1,000,000 and started looking in the East Danforth area. In February, the market was warm. The stock was low and buyers were taking everything in view. By the time we saw a place we liked, he was gone for more to ask. Some houses received 20 offers. At one point, we considered making bids based solely on the photo list, so that we could make quick auctions. But we didn’t want to buy a house long term by looking at the photos.

Yael: At the beginning of March, we lost two places. The first was an independent two-story building in Woodbine-Lumsden. We offered less than $ 1,000,000 and it sold for $ 1,075,000, so we knew we might have to go over budget to get ahead. The next place was a two bedroom bungalow in the village of Pope. We submitted a bullying offer for more than $ 1,000,000, but they refused. I guess the sellers couldn’t make a better deal, because it ultimately sold for $ 975,000.

Christian: When the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11, people did not know what to do. There were still fewer than 100 cases in Ontario, but the businesses closed and the events were canceled. It looked like some buyers were going to continue hunting and some sellers were going to continue to register.

Yael: We decided we didn’t have much to lose by continuing to search, so we continued. Things have really slowed down. Compared to the previous month, there were fewer people at the hearings and there were not as many offers made. We thought we might be able to find someone who really needed to sell. When we saw the house near Danforth and Coxwell, we loved it right away.

Photo par Leading Image

Yael: We were actually the last clients that our agent took for a visit in person. It is a detached house, which was not even originally on our list of must-sees. He checked all the other boxes, except that he did not have a dedicated parking space.

Christian: But parking was not a big problem. Yael works a lot at home. Also, not to stereotype myself, but I’m from Italy and I have a Vespa, which I can park anywhere.

Photo par Leading Image

Yael: On March 24, the day after our visit, the Ontario Realty Association urged the officers to stop all face-to-face activity. On the same day, the sellers made their way to the market and we submitted an intimidation offer of $ 1,050,000 without conditions. Even our real estate agent was skeptical. She thought the offer was too low.

Christian: The next morning, the vendors told us they were thinking about it. To make them think a little faster, we softened the deal with an additional $ 25,000, which brought our offer to $ 1,075,000. It worked. The listing agent said he expected more, but was always happy to do so. I guess it was also a good time for them.

Photo par Leading Image

Yael: The closing date is April 23, which is fast approaching. We are finalizing the mortgage with the bank. Our broker let us know that the process would be a little slower because of Covid-19. But the sellers have included a “coronavirus clause” in the agreement, which states that both the buyer and the seller recognize that there may be delays due to the pandemic. In case of problems, the closing date can be extended. We think we were lucky because the pandemic probably lowered prices and accelerated negotiations. Anyway, we are happy: it is the house of our dreams.

Christian: In my opinion, we got an agreement. We got this place for just over a million dollars and when we looked for sales in East York in February, semi-detached homes sold for between $ 1,200,000 and $ 1,300,000 million.

Photo par Leading Image

Yael: The new location is also ready to move into. If there had been renovations that we had to do immediately, it would have been difficult now that non-essential services were closed due to the virus.

Christian: Eventually, we could close the front porch to create a dressing room, but right now, it would be too difficult to find materials or contractors.

Photo par Leading Image

Yael: When we move later this month, we can do it all ourselves if we need to. Moving companies are still operating right now, with reduced hours and fewer trucks. If necessary, we will evolve in phases. It is useful that we still have our condo, but we are preparing this place to show in the hope of renting it soon. We quoted it for $ 2,000 a month, which will go directly to paying off our mortgage on the new house.

Christian: We took our own photos for the Corktown condos list, as our agent does not send photographers during the pandemic. We would like to rent it before May 1, but in reality, we will be lucky if it happens by June. We believe there will always be a rental request. So we’re preparing to offer FaceTime tours on our phones.

        

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