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Occupational Hazard #1: Sometimes I Fall in Love
One of the occupational hazards of being a real estate agent is that I see a lot of homes. Big houses. Little houses. Modern houses. Character houses. Houses under $500K. Houses over $1 million.
And sometimes, I fall in love. Often my clients end up buying the houses I fall in love with, so at least I still get to visit my amours. But then there are the houses I just can’t let go: modern-house-hidden-inside-an-Edwardian-that-was-for-sale-4-years-ago-on-Delaware-street, I’m looking at you. I still daydream about where I would place my furniture in that house and what my neighbours would be like. For a while, I avoided showing houses on Delaware because I couldn’t bear to drive down that street. Sometimes I fantasize about knocking on their door and making them an offer.
Occupational Hazard #2: I Covet Houses I Haven’t Even Been Into
While walking or driving through the streets of Toronto, I look at houses and wonder what they’re like inside. Have they been renovated? Are the original ceilings and Victorian details still intact? Is there knob and tube? There’s a particular house on Northcote in Beaconsfield Village that I have coveted for years. I watched them build it. I once tried to talk the landscaper into giving me a tour. I have spent far too many hours wondering if that house is as awesome inside as it is outside. I’ve debated how much it was worth. I regularly go out of my way to walk by it with the dogs. A few weeks ago, my dream house on Northcote came up for sale:
Occupational Hazard #3: I Have to Take My Own Advice
For all the time I spend with clients debating neighbourhood investability, house liveability, ROI, price and carrying costs, I also spend time talking about the very unscientific notion of ‘just knowing’ that it’s your house: that moment when you walk into a house and realize that you’re home.
If you’re trying too hard to make a house work for you, it’s not your house. Every Buyer makes compromises, but it still needs to feel like home.
So back to the house on Northcote. It was as awesome as I had dreamed it would be. The design was outstanding. There was a perfect space for our offices. There was a rooftop deck where I could imagine the BREL hot tub (which granted, would not fit in with all the house’s sustainability features). There was an income apartment that would have paid a good chunk of our mortgage.
But you know what? It wasn’t my house. Much as I tried to make it fit, it just wasn’t home to me.
And so the hunt continues…