Deserving Family Trumps Price

Amid the hustle and savagery of Toronto’s real estate market there’s a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in the Upper Beach waiting to become a home, and it won’t be money that determines the successful offer on a sought-after street.

The buyers of the sunny semi at 67 Glen Davis Cres., near Kingston Rd. and Woodbine Ave., will be a “deserving young family who will benefit from the neighbourhood and preserve and enrich the community,” says the real estate listing.

That takes priority over the $875,000 asking price, said Kim Sirrine, the daughter of the late owner, Robert Rafos, who died in March at age 82.

“This is about putting a nice young family in there. We’re not interested in a bidding war or anything like that,” she said from her home in Marquette, Mich.

Prospective buyers are being asked to write a profile or send a letter explaining why the home is a good fit so the family can decide who gets the house.

Rafos wanted to find a family to buy the home where he and his wife spent the last 25 years. He went as far as asking neighbours if they knew anyone who might be interested, said Sirrine. In his final days, his three daughters, who all reside in the U.S., assured him they would carry out his wish.

“He wants the children that are raised there to experience the benefits of growing up in a tight-knit neighbourhood, where people look out for one another, where people care,” wrote his daughters.

“The community was the asset to him, not the property,” they said.

Their father’s wishes have been included on the property’s feature sheet. Although Sirrine and her sisters never lived in Toronto — they grew up in Ohio — they understood their parents’ street was special with an annual block party and tight-knit neighbours.

“Glen Davis is a place where you know and socialize with your neighbours; it’s where you raise children, it’s where you make a family,” they said.

Rafos was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and had a PhD in chemistry. He worked in various roles in the U.S., Africa and Asia, using his last years to volunteer for international causes, said Sirrine. But when it came time to finally retire and settle down, her parents settled in Toronto, becoming dual U.S.-Canadian citizens. He had four grandchildren and two great grandchildren, she said.

“He was a generous man with his time, his ideas and his money. He went out of his way to find opportunities to facilitate or help with positive changes in the lives of others,” she said.

The Rafos home went on the market last week. It needs a coat of paint and is being sold “as is,” said realtor Michael Hamnett, who is listing the property with Cailey Heaps Estrin of Royal LePage.

Last year, an Oakville home sold for $150,000 less than the highest offer when the sellers were moved by a letter from a couple who wanted to downsize and devote more time to their family and missionary work.

Hamnett said he understands some people might have difficulty believing that the motives behind the Glen Davis Cres. house are genuine. But, he said, “It is a very real story.

“This is absolutely something we are lucky enough to be part of it,” said Hamnett.

The asking price is relatively modest because part of Rafos’s wish was to make the home affordable, said the realtor.

Rafos’s family won’t consider any offers until next Tuesday. But the house has already had 26 showings and about 60 people turned out to a weekend open house. The family has 24 hours to review the offers.

Originally posted by: Tessa Kalinowski, The Toronto Star

Sean Mayers

Sean Mayers

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Regal Realty Inc., Brokerage*
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