This couple moved to Toronto during the pandemic. They found a $ 2,500 rental in Liberty Village

This couple moved to Toronto during the pandemic. They found a $ 2,500 rental in Liberty Village

Who: Liv Thomson, 28, responsible for business growth for Xero, a cloud-based accounting firm, and Sam Rees, 32, strategic account manager at Paidiem, a technology company.

The the story: In early 2020, Liv and Sam were living and working in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. They wanted to try and live overseas, and Liv’s company had offices in Toronto, so she requested a transfer. Sam thought he could find work after they moved.

None of them had ever been to North America, and they knew very little about Toronto other than the CN Tower and the Raptors. But Liv wanted a new career challenge, and they both liked the idea of ​​taking trips to Europe and South America, which would be much easier from Toronto than from New Zealand.

The couple lived in a three-bed, one-bath house in Wellington, which they bought for $ 620,000 (CAN) in 2018. The rental market in Wellington was healthy, so finding tenants would not be a problem.

In June 2020, just after the start of the pandemic, Liv officially received a job offer at her company offices in Toronto. They had to wait a few months for their work visas to be processed, but Liv started working remotely, waking up at 3 a.m. for meetings.

Due to Canadian lockdowns, they decided to move to Toronto in the spring of 2021. In the meantime, they could enjoy the summer in New Zealand while packing their bags and finding tenants.

The hunt: Upon arriving in Toronto in April 2021, the couple stayed at an Airbnb at CityPlace while they searched for a longer-term rental. They bonded with another New Zealand couple, Allannah and Paul, who also moved to Toronto and worked at Xero.

Sam, Liv, Allannah and Paul hanging out in Washington, DC

In July, Allannah and Paul were nearing the end of the lease on a one-bedroom condo in Harbourfront, so the couples decided to find a place to live together.

It would take at least three bedrooms, as everyone would work from home at least a few days a week and need separate spaces to work. Each bedroom would be used as an office and the living room or kitchen could be a fourth workspace.

They decided to look for a condo because it would require less maintenance. And they wanted to be downtown, close to entertainment and amenities, so they considered locations as far west as Liberty Village and as far east as Leslieville.

In early July, they found a three-bed-plus-den, two bath in Liberty Village, with a monthly rent of $ 5,300.

There was enough space for everyone to work, there were plenty of shops and cafes nearby, and it was only a 20 minute tram ride to Xero’s office at Queen and at University. So they ripped it off.

The result: Allannah and Paul took the master bedroom, and since it’s bigger and has a bigger balcony, they pay $ 2,800. They also use the den as an office. Sam and Liv pay $ 2,500 and can use the other rooms.

A few weeks after moving in, Sam found a job as an account manager at a tech company. Liv has her desk set up in the bedroom, but she does go to the office a few times a week. Sam’s office is in the second bedroom. The four of them dine together twice a week, alternating between restaurant dinners and meals at home.

Now that they’ve settled in, Sam and Liv have made a few short trips to Ontario. They did a three day portage in Algonquin Park, spent a weekend in the Niagara region and visited Montreal. They have also planned trips to Vancouver, Costa Rica and Los Angeles.

Liv and Sam are enjoying their new routines in Toronto. They love having so many great restaurants and cafes nearby (Brodflour and Found Coffee are favorites). They’ve taken advantage of every sports team here, going to Leafs, Blue Jays and TFC games.

They are still renting out their accommodation in Wellington, and they are using that money to cover the mortgage. Before Covid, Sam and Liv thought they would stay in Canada for two years – their work visas are valid for three. But since moving to Toronto, they’ve kept their options open. “Right now, we’re just living in the moment,” says Liv.

Do you have an interesting real estate history? We would love to hear it, especially if you moved to Toronto during the pandy: [email protected]

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