Metro reporter Robyn Young will be taking readers on a whirlwind tour of the trials and tribulations of buying her first home. Check back every week for her accounts.
Finally, I have a home.
When we last left off, I had purchased and backed out of a new loft property in a matter of a week.
In the midst of the fiasco that included discovering the building was not yet approved for residential use by the city, I came across a lovely, one-bedroom condo resale in the heart of Yonge and Eglinton.
The unit may not have had original, 17-foot wood slat ceilings, stainless steel countertops or glass tile backsplashes, but it did have a parking space, a locker, 24-hour security and a short commute to work. In the end, my conservative side won out.
By the time I came across it I had looked at so many different kinds many of homes — semis in Leslieville, towns in King West and lofts near High Park — and this one just seemed to fit.
Another bonus: It didn’t fly off the market in a matter of hours like some of the others.
I actually had the chance to view the unit twice before deciding to make an offer and by that time it had been listed for about three days.
Taking our time because we knew there were no other offers on the table, my agent and I went through the paperwork one Friday afternoon and decided to offer a little under the asking price of $299,900; most recent one bedroom sales in the building had gone for around $285,000 so we decided to offer $285,000.
No sooner had we registered an offer than three additional offers came in.
“This means we’ll have to go up to the asking price,” my agent told me. I was prepared to go to asking, but no more, I said, and she agreed. The deadline for the vendor to make a decision was 10 p.m. that night and around supper time, my agent informed me a fourth offer had been added to the mix.
“This means you probably won’t get it,” she said apologetically.
“But someone else is going to get it for over asking and I don’t think it’s worth it; I don’t want you to be in that situation.”
I agreed and carried on with my evening, assuming the unit was lost.
By 10 p.m. I hadn’t heard back and figured it was all over and some lucky person with money to burn had my cosy new condo.
But the next morning, I was awoken from my lazy Saturday sleep in by a phone call and a message from my agent asking to call her back as soon as possible. “It looks like things have turned in our favour!” she said excitedly in the message. When I called her back I found out that although we didn’t have the highest offer, the seller liked our earlier closing date the best.
She later filled me in that she’d spent the evening haggling back and forth with the selling agent; it turned out they were very eager to give me the unit but wanted us to hike the price a bit to compete with the other offers. “I told him our offer was firm and the condo wasn’t worth any more than that,” she relayed.
Indeed, just when I thought all hope was lost in this money-hungry world of Toronto real estate with bidding wars on simple one-bedroom condos and homes selling for well over the asking price, a little ray of light came shining through: It turned out another reason I got the condo was because I had met the owner twice and she liked me the best. Simple as that.
Check back next week for the flurry of paperwork that comes with closing.
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