Well, what did I learn from upsizing our family home during a pandemic? I can tell you this - never, and I mean never, would I recommend upgrading your home in the midst of global chaos. ;) Oh, did I mention we found out we were expecting in April 2020? Right at the brink of the world's meltdown. Talk about timing! Even as a realtor myself, this was a stretch.
Let's rewind a bit to understand how I landed in this whirlwind.
Fresh out of high school, I confidently marched into Wilfrid Laurier University, eager to master Communication Studies. Man, was that a letdown. I thought it'd be all about verbal communication, which is totally my jam. But no, it was all about pen to paper aka “essays”. Not really my thing.
So, given my chatty, sociable nature, I thought I'd give real estate a shot. As a 23-year-old newbie, convincing people to entrust me with their life's biggest investment felt like a Herculean task. My parents' friends wish I had more years of experience, and my own friends were starting their careers so they were too cash-strapped to invest in anything.
But then, I hit my stride in the leasing game. As my peers graduated and flocked to downtown Toronto, I found my niche. Those leases gradually turned into first-time home purchases. And voila, I became a downtown Toronto mainstay, guiding friends and acquaintances to their first condo or townhome.
Fast forward to when these first-time buyers were seeking something bigger, quieter, and more family-friendly. That’s when the pandemic struck. Seven years into my real estate journey, we also decided it was time for us to upsize. We got edged out of the overheated Toronto market and found ourselves buying a fixer-upper in Mississauga-where I grew up. And boy, did it need fixing. My wife, battling hyperemesis gravidarum during her pregnancy, was sick round the clock.
Work was a roller coaster, with the real estate market at an “unprecedented” high. I was juggling my job, managing renovations, and caring for my wife. Everything was on backorder. Our daughter came home to a makeshift dining setup, and we were renting a fridge.
Yes, it was a total gong show!
But you know what? It was also the best time of my life. It nudged me to slow down, hire a buyers agent to help with my clients, and prioritize my family. I learned to be patient while we waited for our home to come together. Above all, it underscored the importance of putting family first.
This wild ride continues to shape my empathy and understanding for my clients who are navigating life's twists and turns while planning a move.
So, would I want to relive this experience? No thank you. But I'm immensely grateful for the lessons I learned and the priceless moments that happened in between. Knowing which areas and homes are solid investments versus those that just look good on paper is what separates the good from the bad in real estate. And that's a skill I take immense pride in.
So whether you’re ready to upsize your home, get your foot into the door or wanting to downsize, reach out. I promise you, I’ve either been through it personally or have helped many other families just like you.
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