Do you remember the first home that you purchased? How about the home that you lived in the longest? For Joyce, a longtime resident of Toronto, both of those homes were one and the same. Joyce had moved into her unassuming home on Jane Street alongside her husband, more than 70 years ago. Now at 96 and ready to join her great-grandchildren, Joyce was looking to sell. You won’t believe what a pair of realtors found inside of the home when they put it on the market!
Our Story Begins in Toronto
In order to begin our story, we must head to the city of Toronto. Toronto is the most populated city in all of Canada with more than 2.7 million people calling the area their home. As an international destination for art, business, food and culture, Toronto has been gaining in popularity over the years. With that frame of mind, you must realize that Toronto was a VERY different place when our protagonist first moved to the area!
In A Rapidly Changing Neighborhood
Our story takes place on 148 Jane Street. Located in a growing community on Toronto’s east side, Joyce had inadvertently struck gold when she had purchased the property. As any realtor will tell you, the home that you purchase today will not be the home that you sell tomorrow. For Joyce, that ‘tomorrow’ was actually 70+ years later. Fortunately for Joyce and her husband, the area had appraised in value! Talk about good fortune!
Meet the Star of the Show, Joyce
We’ve talked a fair bit about Joyce, now it is time to introduce her. Joyce and her husband purchased the home at 148 Jane Street when they were newlyweds. Both Joyce and her husband had worked in the city, so the little home had been the perfect place to settle at the beginning of their relationship. We’re sure that neither Joyce nor her husband realized that they would own the property 70 years later!
Joyce Bought Her Home in a Different Era
Toronto today versus Toronto in the 50s is a comparison that almost doesn’t need to be made. The 1950s were an incredible time for Toronto as the city went through substantial change. In the wake of World War II, the soon-to-be international destination was thriving. While the city was definitely smaller and less active, people were busy laying the foundation for what the area would become today.
Deciding to Sell the Iconic Home
While Joyce had lived in the home her entire life, she knew that she was ready to move on. Joyce had purchased the home with her husband. After his passing, she had decided to maintain the property for as long as she could. Now at 96-years-old, Joyce had figured that her work was done. It was time to head to Florida where she could live with her family again.
Gladys Spizzirri Is Here to Help
When Joyce made the decision to sell her home, she also decided that she would hire some extra help. Selling a home isn’t easy when you have youth on your side. At 96, Joyce was more than ready to let a team of professional realtors take on the quest. For that reason, Joyce decided to call Gladys Spizzirri. Gladys Spizzirri was a successful local realtor at the time, and she was ready to help!
Calling in Some Extra Assistance
When Gladys first picked up the phone, she hadn’t known what to expect. After all, Joyce was pushing 96-years-old. Gladys was initially concerned that the senior homeowner would change her mind. It isn’t easy selling a house that you’ve lived in for a long time, after all. In any event, Joyce seemed certain that she was ready to sell. Gladys decided to bring in her sister, Carla, to help with the project.
What Was Inside the Ancient Home
After talking to Joyce, Gladys and Carla realized that they were sitting on a true Pandora’s Box. 148 Jane Street was located in a beautiful area of Toronto. With that being said, the fact that Joyce had owned the home for over 70 years could mean one of two things. Either the house was ravaged by time or Joyce had been a consummate caretaker of the property.
Why Is Toronto’s Housing Market So Strong
The city of Toronto has been on a relatively straightforward climb for the past several decades. As an international hotspot, people are always looking to get closer to the action. If you want to immerse yourself in a world-class city, buying 148 Jane Street could help to facilitate your goals! For that reason, the Spizzirri sisters were excited about getting inside of the home!
Arriving at 148 Jane Street
With Joyce having agreed to a meeting, the Spizzirri sisters wasted no time in scheduling their first walkthrough of the property. If you spend any time with a realtor, you’ll come to realize that homeowners frequently back out of house sales. With Joyce being as old as she was, the Spizzirri sisters didn’t want to waste any time. Besides, Joyce had been insistent that the house get to market as soon as possible!
Gladys Had Initial Property Concerns
When Gladys first spoke with Joyce over the phone, she had some pretty substantial concerns. When one owner possesses a piece of property for a long period of time, it can mean both good and bad things. Gladys was most concerned that the property had been worn down and improperly maintained over time. Even with the great area, if the home was a wreck then they would not be able to sell it!
What if the Home Were a Wreck
Let’s say that the home WAS a wreck, what could the Spizzirri sisters actually do? In that type of situation, there really isn’t a clear-cut answer. As professional realtors, the Spizzirri sisters have seen their fair share of promising homes fail while on the market due to major concerns that weren’t found till later in the process.
What if the Home Failed the Inspection
Even if the home was properly maintained, older buildings have a tendency to fail during the inspection phase. For Joyce, at nearly 100-years-old, the Spizzirri sisters wanted as smooth of a sales process as possible. Besides, if Joyce needed to perform costly repairs, where would the retired Torontonian get the money?
Meeting Joyce in Person
While the Spizzirri sisters had their fair share of reservations, most of their concern was swept away after meeting with Joyce. Joyce had seemed clear and confident over the phone, and she was just the same in person. As Gladys and Carla walked toward the door with Joyce, they had no idea what they were about to step into!
The Leap of Faith
Now on the steps of 148 Jane Street, the entire entourage was ready to enter the home. Carla and Gladys had their cameras ready while Joyce was ready to perform as their tour guide. If all went well, the Spizzirri sisters would have the home listed by the weekend. Are you ready to find what they found?
Walking Into a Different World
As Gladys and Carla crossed the threshold of the door, they felt like they were stepping back in time. Instead of finding themselves in a decrepit old building, the Spizzirri sisters had seemingly stepped into a time capsule. From the floor to the ceiling, the entire entryway was decorated, refined, and elaborately designed. To say that this was a surprise would be an understatement!
Joyce Showcases Her Stunning Design Skills
As Joyce began leading the Spizzirri sisters through the home, the realtors began to realize that this was anything but a regular sale. Instead of just another old piece of property, Joyce’s home was closer to a museum. For the Spizzirri sisters, the museum was all about the finer details that Joyce had focused on. For Joyce, each detail was a reminder of her past.
Legitimate Antiques in Every Room
While Joyce led the way through the home, Carla and Gladys were blown away by how delicate and refined the home looked. As Joyce continued her tour, she revealed that she had dreamed of becoming an interior designer. While Joyce hadn’t pursued the career via the traditional route, she had still embraced her skills.
Each Room Has a Unique Theme
What made the tour particularly impressive was the realization that each and every room had a unique theme. Not only had Joyce designed the entirety of the home, but she had also maintained it all on her own. Each room was unique and each room had specific memories for Joyce. This wasn’t just a piece of property, this was a place where Joyce had grown her life.
Joyce Maintains the Entire Property
In this incredible image, we can see how Joyce paid careful attention to each and every detail. From the carpet and the drapes to the antiques placed on the classic tables, nothing was done without deliberation. Could you see yourself relaxing in this peaceful-looking living room? We know that we could! Now, imagine all of the memories that Joyce had made within it during her 70+ years of occupation!
Overwhelming Sense of Feminity
While Gladys and Carla were over the moon with regard to the property, they still saw potential red flags. The biggest issue for the Spizzirri sisters was the fact that the home was distinctly feminine. While there was nothing wrong with a feminine home, the truth was that it could limit their potential market.
Taking a Break Outside
Halfway through the tour, the Spizzirri sisters decided to step outside to look at the yard. Much like the rest of the home, Joyce had deliberately and carefully maintained her yard. While far from indicative of what you would find inside of the home, the backyard was still charming and quaint.
The Basement Changes Everything
After taking stock of the backyard, the Spizzirri sisters decided to rejoin Joyce for their tour as they headed to the basement. Once downstairs, it was almost stunning to see the style change. Gone were all of the classic antiques and feminine color choices. Why was this basement so different from the rest of the house?
Home Filled With Memories
When Joyce and her husband had first moved into the property as young 20-somethings, they had made a decision. Joyce’s husband didn’t care much for designing the home, so he promised to let her have her way with the rest of the home. All that he wanted, Joyce explained, was a manly basement to escape to. After he had passed away, Joyce had chosen to keep the basement the same in memory of him.
Back to the Inspection
It was easy to see that the Spizzirri sisters were thrilled with the home thus far. Not only was the property in great shape, it even had a special themed appeal! With all of their optimism, the Spizzirri sisters knew that they had to hold back until the home passed the inspection. Who knew what could lurk behind the walls? Fortunately, the inspection proved to be pain-free. The inspector revealed that Joyce had done phenomenal work keeping the home safe and up to standards.
Making the Decision to Sell
After Jane Street passed the inspection, the Spizzirri sisters pressed Joyce yet again. Was she truly ready to make the decision to sell the home? According to Joyce, she was. As it turned out, Joyce’s family had moved to Florida, and she had decided to stay behind to take care of the home. Now, Joyce was ready to join them. The house was nice, but she had more memories to make.
Joyce’s Tireless Efforts
Due to Joyce’s efforts, it is almost impossible to believe that this is the same home that she purchased 70+ years ago! Just imagine how much has happened inside of this home over the decades. For the property to be in such great shape, well, it was almost hard to believe. Still, Gladys and Carla were excited to upload the listing online.
Becoming an Internet Sensation
Seemingly overnight, Carla and Gladys watched as their online real estate listing went viral. Browsing property online is a pretty common hobby, so the realtors weren’t surprised when people from all over the world were praising the home. With the listing going viral on Facebook, it felt like only a matter of time until the right buyer came around.
Why Did Joyce Choose to Sell
When is a house a home? When does a home stop being one? For Joyce, both of those questions were answered in the same way. The house was a home when her family was there. Now that they weren’t, the building was a collection of memories. Joyce was ready to make some more memories with the rest of her living family members.
The Powers of Memory
Here we see a wonderful shot of Joyce’s bedroom. With seven decades of life experience in the room, can you imagine all of the memories that were made here? Joyce essentially grew up in the home where she watched her love flourish, her family grow, and, eventually, her family begin to shrink. While Joyce loved all of the memories she had made here, she was ready to move on.
Sharing Time With Her Loved Ones
While moving on was a priority, Joyce wasn’t ready to just give away all of her old furniture. More than her personal possessions, Joyce’s home was filled with authentic antiques. As the Spizzirri sisters performed their inspection, they came to realize that there was a substantial amount of value in antique furniture alone. Joyce wanted to pass these antiques on to her family and who could blame her!
All the Little Details
With the tour coming to an end, the Spizzirri sisters made sure to grab photographs of Joyce’s bedroom. Here we can see all of the detail that Joyce had paid attention to during the designing process. What makes this room unique, in our opinion, is the massive window with the attached cabinetry. Of course, Joyce would probably point to all of the family photos hanging to the left of her bed as her favorite part.
Potential Professional Designer
Attached to Joyce’s master bedroom is the ensuite bathroom. While you would never know it from the outside looking in, Joyce’s entire home was filled with a kind of classic luxury. Look at how big this bathroom is. There’s plenty of space for Joyce to not only enjoy a bath but to also explore design ideas.
Important Modern Updates
While Joyce made sure to leave as many antiques in the home as possible, there were some areas that she made sure to update. Here we can see a large laundry room that had obviously been updated beyond the initial ’50s theme that Joyce had been following. Updates like this were huge when it came time to sell the home!
Making the Final Sale
With the inspection performed and the listing going viral, it wasn’t long until offers started to pour in. After doing extensive market research, the Spizzirri sisters were able to confidently place a price tag of $968,000 on the property. When Joyce moved to Florida to be with her family, she was joining them as a millionaire!
Ready to Move on With Her Family
In the blink of an eye, 148 Jane Street would sell. While it is hard to say what the new owners did with the property, we will always be able to remember what it meant to Joyce. We hope that one day everyone gets to experience owning such a special and important home.
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