DOWNTOWN LIVING AND EXISTENTIAL CRISIS

$325 000
#3 80 CHATHAM ST

SOLD. I’ve sold this house before. That’s how a real estate career works best: repeat business.  You get five years into the job and your first clients start moving again. The hope is that if you did a decent job for them, they’ll call you back in. And when you’re a dozen or so years down the road, as I am now, those phone calls add up, and can make up a significant part of your trade. They form a solid foundation upon which you can grow.

 

I’ve been fortunate that way. People call me back. Which is a statement with a self-serving angle to it, I realise. So let me balance that immediately by admitting that it doesn’t always work out so perfectly. Just yesterday I pulled up outside a new listing that a colleague had put on tour. Adorable place, really lovely. Lovely owners too. And I know that because I sold them the house eight or nine years back.

 

They’ve done wonders with the place. Their pretty, bright home suggests lives that are unfolding in entirely positive ways and I’m thrilled about that. It’s a humbling moment, though, sitting outside wondering what you did wrong. Maybe nothing, that might well be the answer. People change, make new friends, move in new circles. But all the same, with the engine running, wind buffeting the car, the beginnings of rain, I’m slipping, was the existential thought. I’m on the downside.

 

#3 80 Chatham St is the antidote to that dumb, unproductive way of thinking. They invited me back in. And I’m glad for all sorts of reasons that they did.

 

This red-brick townhouse is a stylish downtown offering at what feels like an eminently reasonable price, given the competitive shenanigans of the last year or so. The original pine floors in the living and dining rooms are burnished to a lovely range of browns and yellows and reds. The kitchen is at the back of the house and is modern and kitted out with stainless appliances. It gives onto the small deck and parking. You’re not going to grow vegetables back here, or roses, but you can sit on the stoop with a book or the newspaper, stare up at the milky urban sky.

 

Upstairs are two good bedrooms and a lovely bathroom with laundry, the remnants of an old brick chimney (it’s a lot better than it sounds; you really should check out the pictures on the virtual tour).

 

.And above these three rooms is a loft that’s all dramatic angles and light, like something out of German Expressionist film (The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, anyone?) and an exposed brick wall. It would make for a wonderful third bedroom, I think, complete with its own separate office area, or dressing room. 

 

Live here with your friends? Sure. We think investors are going to eye the dining room as a fourth bedroom. But it’s also perfect for a young couple or family intent on walking down Princess, or over to the splashpad, the dog park, and the Sunday Farmer’s Market at the Memorial Centre, maybe for one more bag of those should-be-illegal churros that I’m going to be thinking about all day now, like a sugary new song.

 

Here’s the realtor.ca listing.