Toronto Life magazine recently had an interesting story about a couple seeking a larger home for their growing family who bought a house in a hot neighborhood that seemingly look great, just needed some work, but ultimately turned out to be a 5-year nightmare. It’s a good read and has several valuable lessons about doing your due diligence before buying a property – trendy neighborhood or not.
It was a crumbling Parkdale rooming house, populated by drug users and squatters and available on the cheap. We were cash-strapped, desperate to move and hemmed in by a hot market. Five years, three contractors and $1.1 million later, our home reno nightmare is finally over.
At the top of the stairs, we saw two people sitting cross-legged on a mattress. “Hi, we’re the new owners,” Julian said, cheerfully. My designer friend leaned in. “They are smoking crack,” she whisper-hissed. I pulled my son close and shouted at Julian: “Get us out of here!”