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12/13 - Buying

Part II: The Insider on Toronto’s “Real” Real Estate Buyers | The First-Time Condo Buyer

Toronto's "Real" Real Estate Buyers: The First-Time Condo Buyer | Fox Marin Blog

Toronto’s “Real” Real Estate Buyers

The Toronto real estate market is fiercely competitive. And, while there are real estate buyers out there who have the means (parents) to outright buy a fully renovated detached house, this is not always the case. Yes, there are actual real people buying “real” real estate. In fact, these buyers have real jobs, real stories, and a real commitment to make it happen.

Who are these people? This is part two of our three-part feature series on Toronto’s “real” real estate buyers, all of which are Fox Marin clients. Want those insider tips on home buying? Get it direct from the source! Take a look at the journey of our next awesome buyer clients who has made a purchase with me, in the last year or two.

Missed part one? Here’s The Upgrader interview.


Meet the First-Time Condo Buyer

In the second of this three-part series, we’re featuring one of Toronto’s “real” real estate buyers: the first-time condo buyer. She’s a young, urban professional in her mid-thirties, who works in the luxury car market. With a passion for all things “health and fitness”, she’s thrives at work and at the gym. She’s got a love for design, travel and summer weekends boating at the lake. Before diving in and buying her first condo, she was renting and living with one of her besties in a two-bedroom condo downtown.

Are you a first-time home buyer yourself? You’ll want to get the insider scoop from this interview…

How did you meet Kori at Fox Marin Associates?

A referral through my friend, who met Kori through her good friend. In other words, “the friend train”!

What was it like meeting Kori for the first time?

It was fun, Kori has great energy! She also had a very informative buyer presentation. She was so organized and clearly knew the market well. I showed her presentation to a friend who was so impressed, they ended up using Kori as their realtor. Overall, I felt immediate comfort with Kori.

Do you remember the first property you saw together?

One of the first condos I saw with Kori was in Leslieville. It was nice, but I thought the space was way too small. After seeing numerous properties, I ended up buying that identical condo in that same building, but on a different floor. It’s funny how things play out!

What was one thing you didn’t expect about the home buying process?

You need to act really FAST when you find the right place. Go with your gut! I didn’t realize how fast a transaction can take place. I think mine took one morning. I’m forever thankful!

What is something new you learned about buying a property?

When buying a condo, it’s not all about the specifics of the actual space. For example, the condo’s status certificate can weigh heavily on your decision. My condo has very impressive financials and I see the results of this on a daily basis – it’s clean, organized, and there are no unexpected surprises.

Tell us about anything funny or unusual that took place during your search.

I can’t remember if I saw anything unusual, but I do remember seeing a bachelor pad gone very, very wrong.

What do you wish you knew about buying a home before you started searching for a property?

I wish I knew that finding the right realtor is an important first step. Your agent should have knowledge about building, neighbourhoods and financials. They should also be in-the-know about up-and-coming shops, stores, gyms and new builds that might affect your view. The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you are to make a decision in buying your home.

What was the first thing you were willing to give up on your wish list of must-haves for your property?

A den. It’s a space I really did not need.

What was one thing you were absolutely not willing to give up on your wish list?

Location. One that’s in a safe and fun neighbourhood. 

If you could go back in time and speak to your twenty-something self, what advice would you give as one of Toronto’s real estate buyers?

Be realistic about your budget. I wish I knew that the budget in my head was not realistic with my wants and the reality of the Toronto real estate market (before I met Kori). I would have saved some time looking at condos that were not up to par.

What’s your favourite thing about your current home and the neighbourhood you live in?

My high ceilings and brick accent wall are my favourite things about my current home. I love that I have a low-rise condo building – it’s only seven stories, so it feels quaint and it’s always quiet. I love that a condo building can feel residential, but it’s so close to downtown. So, it really is the best of both worlds living in Leslieville.

If you had a budget of $100,000.00 to renovate your current property, what would you do with it?

Update my kitchen and bathroom once they become tired (down the road). By the way, I LOVE my kitchen.

If you had unlimited funds, where would you live in Toronto and what dream house would you buy?

The Beaches. Somewhere by the water or park, with a killer view.

What advice would you give to a first-time home buyer?

Remember, there are unexpected costs even after you’ve purchased your home. You’ll run into things like needing a new faucet or your air conditioning breaking. So, make sure you have a slush fund.

Real People, Buying “Real” Real Estate

Yes, in this crazy, amazing city of ours, there are real people buying “real” real estate! Even in the crazy competitive Toronto real estate market, there are people making it happen.

Keep an eye out for part 3 of this interview series…

This article is written by Kori Marin, Managing Partner and Broker at Fox Marin Associates. With a passion for Scandinavian design and all-things-Toronto, Kori brings her own brand of charismatic energy, creative integrity, and expertise to her work.