Nicole & Tyler: From Lawrence Park to Monarch Park
posted by Allyson Scott
Our story with Tyler and Nicole actually begins with a man named Tim, back in the spring of 2014. He walked into our Royal LePage Supreme Bloor Street office, and asked for Jody’s help finding a lease. Most of our clients come from personal referrals, so this was a relatively unusual and welcome way for us to make a new contact. He and his partner Bev turned out to be terrific people, and Jody really enjoyed finding them a home to love!
Nearly three years later, Jody was thrilled to receive a call from Bev’s cousin Nicole and her new husband Tyler, who also needed help finding a lease. Nothing means more than a vote of confidence from a previous client!
Jody was hoping to make the process fast and painless for Tyler and Nicole, but something stood in their way…let’s call her “Rona”.
Rona was the listing Realtor for a 2-bedroom suite in this lovely midtown home, which came onto the market a few weeks into their home hunt.
The spring rental market was highly competitive, and for several weeks Nicole and Tyler kept getting outbid by other renters willing to pay over asking. “I just couldn’t bring myself to bid on a rental!” Tyler exclaimed. They jumped in quickly with a full-price offer of $1,995 for this one, and everyone waited anxiously to hear back from Rona. And waited a few hours more. Jody finally contacted Rona just before the offer expired at 9 p.m., but didn’t receive her shocking response via e-mail until nearly an hour later: “They have accepted another offer. Sorry.”
Say what?! Jody reminded Rona that RECO (the Real Estate Council of ON) regulates the process for informing Realtors about the existence of competing offers, which didn’t happen here. Call us crazy, but we also think it’s common courtesy to respond to an offer before it expires! It was a very frustrating situation and we filed a complaint with her Broker, but there was nothing left to do but soldier on.
The next property that felt right to Nicole and Tyler was a large 2+1 bedroom suite in this Lawrence Park home. It was only on the market for two days when Jody showed it to them, and they quickly submitted an offer for the list price of $2,000 in April. This time with success!
“In the end it was lucky we lost the other one, because it was smaller and not on the subway line,” said Nicole. “We wanted a larger place, and our intention was to stay put for 4-5 years.”
But as we all know, sometimes the universe has a sense of humour about plans. Tyler called Jody in the summer of 2019 to say they were expecting a baby in the new year, and their timeline for home ownership had just accelerated. Even though their apartment was large, it wasn’t large enough or the right layout to add another human!
They started their house hunt with an $850,000 budget, but quickly realized that would not be enough for a move-in ready home with three bedrooms. “We saw a few places that claimed to be renovated, but when we saw them up close the quality just wasn’t worth it,” said Nicole. Tyler nodded and added, “We didn’t want to just have to undo all the work!”
With the guidance of Steve DeRee, a fantastic mortgage broker who has successfully helped many of our clients achieve their real estate goals, Tyler and Nicole were able to increase their budget and widen their net!
On Wednesday, August 8, this stunning 3+1-bedroom, 2-bathroom home just down the street from Monarch Park came on the market at $898,000 with an offer date the following Tuesday:
The strange thing is that it was only available for showing and marketing for the week encompassing the August long weekend. It’s not common to list a property before a holiday, and it’s also not usual to only expose it to potential buyers for less than a week. We think both of these things may have ultimately worked in their favour, as fewer people saw it!
No corners were cut on the renovations in this house. The hardwood floors gleam, the bathrooms are updated, the basement has a very inviting guest suite, and the kitchen…oh the kitchen! Soapstone counters, a 6-burner premium Wolf stove, and a cute little pass-through to the family room and beautiful back yard!
Offers were to be submitted via e-mail on Tuesday night, and Nicole and Tyler took our advice to also prepare an introductory letter about themselves to accompany their offer. It’s made a difference in the past, so you just never know! As usual it came down to the last possible minute to find out how many offers there actually were, despite the deadline for registration…and there were six. This meant they would need to go in firm, and with the highest price they were willing to pay based on our careful research of sales and listings in the area.
Their offer was also influenced by the current frustrating rules surrounding mortgage down payments. CMHC will only insure mortgages on properties under $1,000,000, meaning that many buyers are stuck at a maximum price of $999,999 and a down payment of $75,000. It’s causing a real bottleneck in the Toronto market, where it’s hard to find homes below that cap. In order to offer $1,000,000 or more on a property, a buyer must have a minimum of 20% of the purchase price as a deposit for a standard mortgage. This understandably knocks many buyers out of the running on offer nights.
Hoping that was the case with this house, Nicole and Tyler decided to go in at $1,006,000 and cross their fingers. We put together the paperwork on our working vacation up north, but again the universe had a superb sense of humour. Just as we attempted to submit their offer via e-mail, our Internet connection went down. There were frantic calls to the listing agent and a white-knuckled drive into town for a Wi-Fi connection, but everything got where it needed to go in time!
It was a tense wait while the offers were presented. “We were so nervous, but we honestly expected to lose it,” Nicole admitted. “After what we went through with our lease, we never thought we’d get our first offer on a house accepted!” The call finally came with the exciting news that Nicole and Tyler needed to start packing!
They took possession in October, just in the nick of time, because their sweet son Oliver decided to make his arrival a month early!
Thankfully their gorgeous new home was ready to go, with plenty of room for Oliver – and for grandparents coming to visit!
So what do they think now, looking back on their experiences in the Toronto market?
“I can’t believe we bought a house faster than we rented an apartment!” Tyler laughed. “Still, we looked at so much! We knew we had a tight budget, but Jody was always really patient with us.”
“We had such a great experience working with Jody on our rental,” added Nicole. “She gave us so much time and advice, and made us feel just as valued as a buyer. There was no question who we would ask for help when it came time for us to purchase!”
Nicole is right – we do our best to ensure every single one of our clients feel like our only client, and will always give your lease, your listing, or your purchase our full attention.
Tyler and Nicole have stayed in touch with the previous owners, who confirmed that their letter of introduction influenced decisions made on offer night. All we know is that four offers came in at over $1,000,000, but we don’t know whether their accepted offer of $1,006,000 was actually the highest one. They may have just made the best impression!
Tyler and Nicole made a great investment at a great time, and their house is increasing in value every day. Thank you so much for trusting us to help you find a home for your beautiful family!