When I was a kid, my father gave me some advice that I've embraced whole-heartedly:
“Do what you love, and the money will follow."
Today, I still love what I do, and look forward to each day's new real estate adventures!
I recently received a package in the mail from the Toronto Real Estate Board. Upon opening the small box, I discovered a pretty gold pin, acknowledging my 25-year anniversary as a realtor.
I thought: Seriously? Wow... time does fly by!
I know I'm one of the 'lucky ones', to still love my career today as much as I did when I started selling in real estate in 1992. Embarking on my career during the collapse of the last real estate bubble, I witnessed values drop upwards of 35% within my first few years as a realtor. But, in retrospect, being forced to navigate a market far different than the norm, provided me with some pretty solid real estate fundamentals. In fact, should Toronto's market dynamics change - as the media, big banks, and government appear compelled to make a reality these days - I'm fortunate to have a wealth of experience and knowledge acquired in both good times and bad. After hundreds of real estate transactions across the City of Toronto, involving all types of dwellings, I'm confident in my ability to steer my clients through any transitioning real estate economy.
In the early days of my career, armed with a multi-disciplinary Graduate Degree called 'Planning Housing Environments', I was fortunate to align with several small-scale developers who were converting warehouses into loft condominiums. These included The Button Factory at 200 Clinton Street, The Movie House at 394 Euclid Avenue, The Baseball Glove Factory at 1 Columbus Avenue, The Wellington Worx Building at 436 Wellington West, and The Banquet Hall at 62 Claremont Street, amongst others. Being an active participant in the concept, sales, and marketing of these conversions helped me cultivate the emerging 'Innovative Space Marketplace' and as well as my own creative advertising program. It was a wonderful time to work in Toronto real estate, when 'unique residential design' - including high ceilings, outdoor space, and flexible space plans - was being embraced by the city's shelter industry, and a market who were keen to purchase it.
My 'Canadian Social History and Urban Studies' undergraduate degree, which focused on how Toronto's central city neighbourhoods evolved and subsequently gentrified, has also added value to my real estate career. Given that I've worked from The Beach west to The Kingsway, and from Lake Ontario up to Highway 401 has allowed me to more readily and comprehensively introduce Buyers to areas that complement the lifestyle they envision for their next Home.
Here are some recent examples of how I'm guiding my clients these days with hyperlinks to their stories:
1) Buying The First Property - Thanks To The Bank of Mom and Dad - For $485,000 - Yup, a lot of Buyers are receiving funds from their parents to get into the market, so their housing costs are 'just like rent'. Sometimes it's a portion of the entire down payment, provided as a pre-inheritance, and sometimes it's in the form of a family trust or co-investment strategy. These purchases are in the $300,000 to $600,000 price range.
2) Climbing The Property Ladder - For $780,000 - A good portion of my business is steering Buyers up the property ladder, moving from their first condominium purchase into their first family-friendly house where they can put down roots for the long term, especially given how costly childcare is. They're selling their condos in the mid 400s to 700s, and purchasing in the 800k to $1.4m range.
3) The Corporate Relocation - For $1,750,000 - For those landing in a new city, figuring out the right neighbourhood which complements one's lifestyle can be overwhelming. Fortunately, having lived in Toronto for over 30 years (in 15 residences!) and having my handy History Degree centred on Toronto equips me to guide new residents expertly. These Buyers are in the $1mil to $2mil range.
4) Building The Investment Property Portfolio - For $876,100 - Several of my Buyers have been pro-actively purchasing an income property(ies) in the central core so their children will have accommodations when it's time for them to attend university. These are typically multi-unit dwellings with cap rates of around 3 to 4%. These properties vary in price based on size and income but range from $800k to $2mil.
5) The Downscaling Boomer - For $1,485,000 - Lately, I've been assisting clients moving from their North Toronto family homes as they transition into the next chapter of their lives with smaller luxe properties that are more centrally located, in proximity to the subway, shops, and cultural amenities. The focus is on accessibility - whether that be by bike or walking - as well as being able to stroll home from a five-star restaurant. These clients are selling in the $2mil+ range and downscaling into the $1.4-$2mil range.
6) Finding The Perfect City Pied A Terre - For $495,000 - I'm witnessing more and more clients purchase principal residences out of the city - and even out of the country - where they'll be spending the majority of their time. But they still want to retain their roots here, so they're purchasing sun-drenched condos where they can hang their hat when they come into town. These Buyers are prepared to pay in the $500k - $1.5mil range.
7) Working With Industry Professionals - For $2,060,000 - I'm very fortunate to represent some exceptional architects and small-scale builders - along with their clients - in their quest to create innovative modern dwellings. Given my love for housing and home, I take enormous pleasure showcasing stellar architectural masterpieces, which are commanding prices in the $2mil range.
8) Guiding Clients On Staying In Their Existing Residence - As the costs of buying and selling have skyrocketed - including our nasty Double Land Transfer Taxes - I offer advice on the merit of not moving! My design and urban planning background serve to identify a property's current and future highest and best use, along with ways to optimize resale value. If you're considering a renovation or addition, I welcome offering my insights. In fact, you may want to check out my Tales From Tennis Crescent blog which shares my own efforts to renovate and expand my 1960s purpose-built duplex (which is currently fraught with challenges!)
As someone who prides himself on exceptional personalized service, loyalty, and hard work, I'm pleased to share that I've been a dedicated part of Bosley Real Estate Brokerage, Ltd. since August 1995. Of the past 23 years with the company, I've been one of Bosley's 'Top Ten Producers' for all but two, ranking Number 8 out of over 250 associates this past year. I'm humbled to have my hard work recognized, not only by Bosley and the volume of my transactions but by the testimonials of my clients - some of which you can read here.
My obsession with housing and home is not limited to the marketing and promotions of real estate. I began Houseporn.ca four years ago which explores how our Canadian identity is expressed in the vernacular of Canadian housing and its contents. It's not only a means to showcase my own passion, it's also my commitment to be altruistic. The site serves as a mentorship program for Canadians studying in the fields of housing, history, art, and journalism in a quest to better understand how place influences our domesticity. I envision it being a second career when the time comes, though I'm not anticipating it any time soon given my passion for real estate.
If you're seeking guidance on Toronto real estate, from a 'no pressure, no hassle' realtor who is grounded with a highly-specific Toronto housing education, along with over 25 years of experience, I - along with my team - offer unparalleled advice on the dynamics of our highly-charged market! I offer advice based on personal connections and the ability to listen (really listen) to you. I'll help you refine your housing wants, wishes, and needs pragmatically and sensitively; my informed discernment in all matters of real estate includes being straight up, with zero hesitation to 'talk you out of buying a property' when I don't think it will ultimately serve you well. Here are some recent blogs which demonstrate the breadth and range of my expertise in Toronto real estate:
And from my Dear Urbaneer series --> Dear Urbaneer: Why Is The Toronto Real Estate Market So Hot?
I've been successful because I invest personally in each and every client- not just in the moment of the purchase or sale- but in fully, dynamically understanding how the home at hand will serve you best today and tomorrow in the context of your own goals and in context of market conditions. It's not easy to navigate the emotionally charged waters of the current Toronto market, but know that having an educated, committed ally who can see your whole picture clearly is indeed a strategic move. I love what I do, which is at the base of my passion for the craft and for my clients.
~ Steven and the Urbaneer Team
- we're here to earn your trust, then your business -
Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage - (416) 322-8000
*Did you know Urbaneer was recently listed as one of The Top 25 Toronto Real Estate Agents To Follow On Twitter! and The Top 50 Blogs On Toronto? Consider signing up in the box below to receive our FREE monthly e-newsletter on housing, culture, and design including our love for unique urban homes and other Toronto real estate!
*Love Canadian Housing? Check out Steve's University Student Mentorship site called Houseporn.ca which focuses on architecture, landscape, design, products and real estate in Canada!