A mother’s tale of the affordability issue’s emotional toll

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“My son became an innocent casualty of Toronto’s cruel real estate war this spring.”
 
Thus wrote The Globe and Mail Toronto editor Nicole MacIntyre in her April 28 piece that chronicled the travails of her family’s quest to find a new home in the city’s overheated market.
 
“Our search has swung wildly, in housing type and location. We’ve been from Yonge and Eglinton to Scarborough and back down the GO line to Port Credit,” she recalled. “As we've toiled with indecision and fretted over the lack of inventory, the market has surged. Our $1-million budget seems less adequate by the day and we're forced to make potentially life-changing decisions in an afternoon.”
 
MacIntyre noted that the pressure of commuting and the fear of missing out on the best possible deal took a heavy toll on her family, especially on her young son Will.
 
“It was in that mindset, panicked and frightened off of Toronto’s wild market, that we stumbled across a house on the border of Mississauga and Oakville,” she wrote. “It was fully renovated, beside a great school and backed onto a park. It was the quintessential suburban dream, and we wanted it.”
 
The property was certainly an attractive one, as at least 10 other bids were also competing for it back then, MacIntyre recalled.
 
“Each time [the agent’s] phone buzzed, I added $10,000 to our offer. We settled on $1,026,505 and I headed home for bedtime as Ted went to battle for us,” she said. “As though it was Christmas Eve, Will was giddy with excitement and unable to sleep.”
 
Eventually settling on $1,030,000 with no conditions as their best offer, MacIntyre was devastated when the agent called back within two minutes to inform them that they have lost by $30,000.
 
“As I hung up, I saw a light flick on in Will’s room. Inside, he was crying over his piggy bank, frantically counting out quarters.”
 
“Three weeks later, we’ve not seen another house, too battered from our loss to risk another so soon,” MacIntyre concluded. “And so the war continues.”
 
“It’s time to move on, mom. There will be other houses,” she quoted Will as saying.

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