You Don’t Have To Settle!


3 minute read

April 15, 2010

What the heck is a “starter marriage” anyways?

Just as many would advise against “settling” for that somewhat/almost special-someone, I would strongly advise against “settling” for a property after you’re grown tired of searching.

She’s out there – keep looking!  I mean, the property is out there…..yes….she is…


Last Friday night once my knitting class was over, I went home and ran a warm bubble bath and poured myself a glass of white wine.

I read the latest Judith Krantz book in my lavender bath robe as I waited for the sea salts to dissolve in my tub, and I then I began to casually browse the new movies on TMN On Demand.

Has everybody seen Up In The Air?

What a movie!

There are so many underlying themes!

The delicate balance between work and life.

Aging and generation gaps.

Goals, hopes, dreams.

Expectations, plans, futures.


Corporate America.

And of course, the concept of true love and the idea of “settling.”

The idea of “settling” for a life partner once you reach a certain age draws some serious comparisons to “settling” for a property once you reach a certain time frame.  I guess the only difference is – people seem to move around a lot during life.  Take that last sentence to mean whatever you like…

A client of mine has been looking for that “special” property for the better part of six months now.  He and his girlfriend are looking to move in together and the market pressure is certainly getting to them.

They both want out of their parents’ houses, and they obviously want to start their lives together under the same roof.

But they just haven’t found the right property.

Mario and Katie have officially anointed themselves as “real estate experts” on account of having seen so many places.  About half-way through our search, Mario was promoted and thus he increased his price ceiling by a good $40,000.  This opened a whole new option set for us, and of course, it re-ignited the search.

We’ve seen every condo in the King West area between $350,000 – $400,000 in our targeted buildings during the past six months, save for a few where we knew we already didn’t like the floor plan, on account of being experts.

Last weekend, Mario and Katie saw a unit at 1000 King Street West that was a great “value play” at $399,000.  It was 1000 square feet, and had two large bedrooms (split plan) and two four-piece bathrooms.

I loved the unit right away simply for the price, but Mario wasn’t convinced.

Katie proclaimed, “Honestly, I just want to get something already.  I’m just so tired of looking.”

I understand her frustration entirely.  Finding a place means moving out of Mom & Dad’s house, and moving in with Mario!

But then Mario said something that put it all into perspective: “I don’t want to settle.

He figured that they had been looking for so long already, that he didn’t want to “settle” for something that wasn’t right all the way.

This condo didn’t have the “wow” factor he was looking for, and although it probably sold for under market value, it just wasn’t worth settling for.

He had that, “If I’ve waited this long, I can wait longer” mentality.

The move to purchase a property is life-altering and it’s not one that you can do on impulse, or out of frustration.

I think Mario understands that Katie wants to start her new life in a downtown Toronto condo so badly that she’d be willing to accept less than perfection.  Right now, she admittedly wants anything!

But they’ve decided to keep the search going, and they refuse to settle for something that’s somehow less than what they drew up in their minds when the search started.

And you know what?  I agree with them.

You can’t settle. 

Because eventually, you’ll either regret the purchase decision of your condo, or in our parallel world, you’ll get divorced.

You don’t want to settle.

You don’t want to be that 29-year-old girl who’s biggest two fears in life are spiders, and the idea of waking up one day and being 30-years-old and single.

I was once set up with a girl just like that.

She was 29, and I was only 25.

She was clearly looking for her husband, as she did NOT want to be 30 and single, and thus she proceeded to interview me over the weirdest lunch “date” I’ve ever had.

“Any history of mental illness in the family?…….pass the ketchup, please…..”

I wonder if she ended up “settling” for somebody that wasn’t Mr. Right instead of continuing her search beyond her desired time frame.

Mario and Katie are in this property search for the long haul.  The busy spring market will bring about a flurry of new listings, and if it takes another month, two months, or into July, they are willing to wait for the perfect property.


…..thoughts from the gallery on starter marriages?

Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

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  1. earth mother

    at 7:28 am

    Larry King is divorcing his 7th wife (actually 8th divorce, since he married one woman twice)…. Jake Gylenhaal is 29, just split from Reese Witherspoon, now searching again… People have individual tolerance levels, it seems, whether it’s love or property!!

  2. Toronto Waterfront Condos

    at 5:01 pm

    The difference is that you can’t sell your wife to upgrade to a higher end model in a few year while gaining equity, and maybe even some extra money from investing into the first one….

  3. Destructicus

    at 12:29 am

    I respectfully disagree with Toronto Waterfront Condos. But let’s ditch the genders here.

    People are attracted to what is seemingly unavailable. If a person is hitched it increases their value in the eyes others seeking company, because it gives the impression one’s company is so valuable another will invest themselves heavily in it. One could totally manipulate that situation into an “upgrade”, depending on how cold, and calculating the individual.

    The real difference is in the emotions. If you invest yourself in a spouse expecting to upgrade then you lack basic the sensitivity and compassion of a civilized human. Expecting to upgrade a house you’re bidding on is fine, cause the house won’t get depressed once you leave for an “upgrade”, then eat/drink itself off the market.

  4. fidel

    at 7:45 am

    wife’s depreciate in value quicker than automobiles

  5. George

    at 8:59 am

    I feel there is enough selection within Toronto to find a suitable place for anyone within a couple of months, unless you are looking for some ridiculous bargain.

    Six months is a long time to be dissatisfied with your living arrangements. At some point, you have to get on with your life, especially if anything will be an improvement over what you currently have.

  6. Tanya

    at 11:40 am

    Sometimes however it is the “staging” that makes people go wow! And sometimes people don’t have the vision to see that a diamond-in-the-rough could be their jewel with a little paint and work. If the buyers don’t like the layout, well difficult to change. But if its just cosmetic I think its best to help them see what it could become.

  7. Dave

    at 2:08 pm

    With respect to wives and husbands, I once read a pithy piece of advice which said that with respect to anything which flies, floats or xxxx’s, it is always cheaper to rent than to own.:-)

    As far as settling? I think there is a lot of benefit to lowering one’s expectations!

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