Buying a second home in Montreal

MONTREAL - Living in a North American Gem of a City

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Old Montreal terrace

By the river

Plateau triplex

AFTER COMING HOME we began to think more about buying something there. We decided the most important thing was a location on the Plateau directly west or north of Parc La Fontaine. From time to time (for 3+ years) I browsed the Montreal MLS database. Prices always seemed quite reasonable for the location, a neighborhood that is officially the most creative place in Canada

St. Louis Square

At the belvedre

Industrial Montreal

ONE DAY I moved the price range up slightly to see what it would bring up and there it was . . . . the perfect place on the west side of the the park, and only 75 yards away from it. It was on the second floor of a three-story, three-unit building built in 1906 which had been completely renovated in 1996. It had 1100 square feet, a bay window with an unobstructed view of the park, built-in bookcases and desk, a great kitchen, two balconies, windows on three sides, and was just around the corner from the cobblestone Duluth Street near St. Denis.

Botanical Garden Biosphere Plateau

WE KNEW it was an A+ location, but were we ready to do it? After one week of discussion, we called our agent and made an offer without seeing the property in person. The seller accepted our offer and we made a trip up to see it two weeks later. Of course we had a contingency in the contract that we could see it in person and then make a final decision on whether to proceed. We closed the sale in May, 2006.

Old Montreal

Outdoor terrace

Flowers in Old Montreal

THE SELLER stayed until July 31 and during August we furnished it and made it our Montreal home. We intend to return each summer until retirement and then live there from May 15-October 15 each year.

Park

Feeding the ducks

Biking in the park

WE LIVE IN a high-density neighborhood with many people on foot, roller blades, bicycles, and in small cars (very few SUVs). It is a safe, old city and it is easy to live without a car altogether. There are car-sharing options in Communauto and Car2Go to have access to a car when needed and the pickup points are very near our front door. Montreal is also a city of children, and you see them everywhere: in strollers, playing in the park, preschoolers walking down the sidewalk tied together with their teachers, or on bikes with parents.