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A house for sale on the real estate market in Toronto. (Mark Blinch/Mark Blinch/REUTERS)
A house for sale on the real estate market in Toronto. (Mark Blinch/Mark Blinch/REUTERS)

Buyer Diaries

In Toronto, will real estate prices ever come down? Add to ...

We hope you've enjoyed our Buyer Diaries feature. The Globe and Mail would like to thank our bloggers, Carl, Kristin, Corey and Angela for sharing their stories with our readers. Here's where you can find a recap of Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3.

Carl, 41, is ready to sell his Toronto starter home, but is unsure what he needs in terms of size.

He lives with his wife and nine-year-old daughter, and works from home as an information security manager, so he needs office space. He’d also like a private driveway and a decent-sized yard.

A big challenge for Carl is the uncertainty surrounding his aging parents, whom he may have to accommodate in the future. For that reason, he’s unsure whether to buy a sturdy three-bedroom bungalow that can support a second storey, or go for a larger two-storey home.

Adding to the challenge is the hot Toronto housing market. Recently, he thought he’d found the right home, only to watch it go for $140,000 over its $750,000 asking price.

In his East York neighbourhood, bungalows typically sell for $500,000, and bungalows with second storeys added on go for about $900,000. Carl figures he can save $150,000 if he does the renovation himself.

He would like to stay near his daughter’s school, but has not ruled out the Beach and Riverdale neighbourhoods as alternatives. He expects to get at least $500,000 for his current home, and is willing to borrow up to $250,000.

Status: Home owner

Household income: $130,000

Budget: $650,000-750,000

Financing: $300,000 down payment, $350,000-450,000 mortgage

Goal: Detached home, minimum three bedrooms

Challenge: May need larger accommodations in the future

Read about Carl's house-hunting experience in Toronto.

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