This Toronto couple bought a $1.1-million 19th-century farmhouse in Everett. A few months later, they got married on the property
The buyers: Jesse Hayman, 34, chief growth officer at Greenspace Health, a mental health technology company; Veronica Consales, 32, an architectural designer with her own pottery business, Softspotceramics.
The story: In early 2018, Jesse and Veronica bought a three-bed, two-bath townhouse in Moss Park, for $690,000. The place needed some renovations. It had considerable wear and tear, and the layout on the main floor was cramped, with a bedroom built right beside the kitchen.
With a budget of $40,000, the couple did a full gut job, knocking down the walls of the bedroom abutting the kitchen, opening up the main floor. They also added wood floors, painted the walls, refinished the stairs, refaced a fireplace and redid both washrooms. Renovations were completed that summer.
Jessie and Veronica always loved nature, but prior to the pandemic, with both of them working in the city, they could only do outdoorsy stuff on weekend getaways or vacations. So when a big chunk of the workforce started working from home, in 2020, they had an idea: what if they sold their home and purchased something outside of the city?
In July 2020, they started their search, scoping out properties within an hour of the city. On their wish list: a detached house with a backyard, privacy and enough space to host their families on weekends and maybe raise a few kids of their own. Veronica planned to leave her day job to focus on architectural design and a pottery business, while Jessie figured he could work remotely and commute to the office a couple of times a week.
They decided to sell their townhouse before putting in any offers, listing it for $875,000, taking into account the value added by the renovations. The couple had 36 showings over the next few weeks, but, unfortunately, no offers came through.
(Brief aside: in December, Jesse proposed to Veronica during a weekend getaway in Prince Edward County.)
By January of 2021, the listing expired and the house was off the market. That’s when two agents reached out and asked the couple if they were still willing to sell. They were. Of the two offers that came through, Jesse and Veronica accepted the highest, right at their listing price of $875,000. The couple planned to use all of the money from the sale to purchase their next place.
The search: With a maximum budget of $1.15 million, Jesse and Veronica looked at properties all over the province: Uxbridge, Georgina, Caledon, Milton, King City, Nobleton, Adjala Tosorontio, New Tecumseth, Aurora, and Everett.
In February, they found a three-bed, two-bath detached in New Tecumseth, located an hour’s drive northwest of Toronto. It was listed for $1.3 million. The place checked all of the items on their wish list: backyard, privacy, space for family. So the couple submitted an offer of $1.15 million, maxing out their budget, but the seller turned them down.
About a week later, they visited a three-bed, two-bath detached in Adjala Tosorontio, also an hour’s drive northwest of the city. It was listed much lower, at $799,000. This place also met their criteria, with the added charm of a large fireplace visible from the front entryway. Jessica and Veronica tried to max out their budget again, but they fell short by $5,000.
Then they discovered a three-bed, two-bath detached in Everett, a small town with a population of 1,200, located near New Tecumseth and Adjala Tosorontio. It was listed for $1.15 million. The Victorian home, which dated back to the 1880s, sat on just over two acres of hobby farmland.
They instantly fell in love with the place. Inside, there were stained-glass windows; crown mouldings; and original hand-carved wooden stairs.
Outside, it had a couple of outdoor patios; a wraparound deck with a swinging bench; and a barn that Veronica imagined converting into a pottery studio. And, if it weren’t already charming enough, the property was surrounded by a Christmas tree farm. When it came to the wishlist—check, check and check.
On the downside, the house needed some work. The electrical panels needed to be certified. The kitchen floors had to be redone. The stove and oven were outdated (i.e. wood-burning). Jesse and Veronica estimated it would cost about $85,000 to make the necessary changes, but they had some cash stowed away from the sale of their Moss Park townhouse and Veronica thought the house would be an exciting design project. So they went for it.
The outcome: The couple put an offer on the Everett home in March, going back and forth with the seller a couple of times. Initially, they offered $1.05 million, but the sellers came back with $1.15 million. A few days later, they settled the deal for $1.1 million.
They moved into their new home in May and began renovating almost as soon as they unpacked their bags. During the reno, they used one bathroom and cooked every meal on a barbecue, since they couldn’t use the kitchen. By August, they were finished.
A week after the renos were done, they had their wedding on the property.
They’ve got two dogs, three cats and seven chickens. They’re slowly learning how to take care of the farm. Next up, to complete their transition from city slickers to farm dwellers, the couple is thinking about making their own honey.
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