John & Carlin: From The Entertainment District To The Distillery District
John, a teacher, and his partner Carlin, a corporate trainer, decided it was time to officially move in together this summer. “We were already spending most of our time together, but paying for two places, which didn’t make much sense,” John said. They love the turnkey condo lifestyle, and were just looking for additional space and a more professional crowd, without sacrificing the amenities and convenience they’d enjoyed at John’s previous condo (by the Rogers Centre).
John bought that first condo through Jody in early 2013 (thanks for the referral, John B!), and loved the location. “I’d looked at around 8-10 places, but only put an offer in on the one. The building was full of young people, had great amenities, and it was pretty close to King and Queen St West. It was also great to be right by the Gardiner, because we love road-tripping!”
For a relatively small 1+1-bedroom unit, John’s previous condo made great use of the space and was incredibly bright:
As an experienced condo owner, John made a list of “must haves” that helped to really target his initial online search. These included a larger space, a relatively central location, access to the Gardiner, good amenities, a slightly older demographic, and a low probability of construction blocking their view. John explained, “We’re pro-development, but we didn’t want someone looking right onto our balcony!”
They were familiar with the historic Distillery District, but the building that eventually won them over was not on their radar. John had a first viewing on his own with Jody, and left with some reservations. “Even with all the windows, the heavy furniture and paint choices made it feel quite dark. I needed a week to think about it before we went back.”
The suite’s potential shone through for both John and Carlin on the second viewing. “Most of the condos we saw online were laid out like shoeboxes,” Carlin said. “A rectangular shape with only one window at the end. The split layout in this unit with a separate guest bathroom was amazing!”
The owner had tried some aggressive pricing strategies throughout the fall/winter of 2017/2018 that just didn’t fly. The list price started at $769,000, and had decreased to $724,000 by the time John and Carlin viewed it. Jody’s research and negotiating skills helped them to secure it for $707,000, and they moved in just as the warm weather arrived!
John said the high ceilings, the impossibility of someone building another tower directly in front of their balcony, and the sun exposure of the unit were really what sold him. “Our previous balcony faced northwest, and would get so hot in the afternoons that it was hard to enjoy a sunset. Now we get lovely morning sun for a few hours, and then a cool breeze off the lake. We can enjoy the balcony 24 hours a day!” Thermal blinds on all the windows will also help them to keep the temperature comfortable, regardless of season.
Both John and Carlin’s commutes have been shortened significantly, and John can even cycle to work in Leslieville with ease! Some buyers gravitate to new buildings to choose their own finishes, but John saw the benefit in a slightly older building. “When you buy in an established building, things have settled and any issues have more than likely already been dealt with. There’s also some longer-term owners here, and a real sense of community. We love that we already know so many of our neighbours!”
Carlin agreed. “The only people who came to our door at our last place were kids selling cookies. Last night our neighbour came knocking to borrow an HDMI cable – and we love having those kind of relationships!”
One of the building’s main attractions is its rooftop hot tub, pool, and tables with sweeping views of the city. John says they have already used this seasonal pool more than they used the year-round indoor pool at their old condo! It’s also where they’ve met and made friends with several other residents.
John and Carlin have several friends working in the real estate industry, but there was no doubt who they were going to call to help them find their new home.
“We had a history with Jody and knew she is a member of the LGBTQ community, which was important to us. But it was more than just that level of comfort. Her confidence and communication skills were really key. She always responded quickly to our messages, and catered to our specific worries and questions,” said John. Carlin added, “Being informed every step of the way really helped us to feel secure, and she was very thorough. She took the time to ensure we understood everything, and she helped to take some of the stress out of other processes, like dealing with the lawyers.”
John and Carlin expect to enjoy this gorgeous new home for many years to come. Congratulations guys, and we’ll be seeing you around our favourite ‘hood!