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“My life is now forever changed after seeing this house.”

Posted June 24, 2016 by Paul in Messages from Paul

These, the words of a teenager who sheepishly asked to tour through one of our listings, during an “agent only” event.

How glad I am that we invited her in.

There was a certain elation in her statement, as she headed for the door to leave.  But also a simplicity in what she said that reminded me of precisely why our business is so profoundly enjoyable: because houses do indeed change lives.  And perhaps because it is the “commerce” of the agent to assist in buying and selling, the risk remains that we occasionally forget the impact that a home – its structure, rooms, spaces and volumes – have on the very way in which we see ourselves.

Now, this young lady was taken aback by a home of remarkable detail, rich in the loves and treasures of the owners who rather vigorously lived there.  It was, in keeping with our fascination with unique urban homes, quite the space.  And the way in which the owners had cared for their home, been stewards to its design and spirit, the way in which they celebrated it with the careful attention paid to artwork, furniture, books… it was a celebration of tremendous, resoundingly beautiful space.  This house had an effect, not just on the owners who were inspired by the home, but an affect on those like this young girl who toured it.

And indeed, by being as aware as she was, this young visitor so eloquently expressed the degree to which great homes change us.  They expose us to slightly elevated ways of living.  They remind us that home celebrates family.  They re-infoce that the people who we surround ourselves with need space to laugh, create, eat and enjoy. They reflect the history of both the owners, and the structure.  They remind us, of the importance of home.

Thank you for stopping in, young lady.  Your words remind me of why I love what I do.

Buckle in, this should be fun…

Posted September 7, 2015 by Paul in Messages from Paul

It’s inevitable, being involved in residential real estate, that the conversation of market health with come up – frequently.  Utterly understandable, really.  When I was a food & wine critic, I became rather accustomed to “Oh, so what’s your favourite …” and so today I’m equally at ease responding to “what do you think will happen …”. For the purpose of being emphatic and hopefully clear, let me say here, now, the following : my crystal ball is on the fritz, but geez are things looking outstanding.  The meta-concerns of the market (inflation, consumer confidence, interest rates, monetary supply and other…

Buyer Beware? No, Buyer be Informed

Posted April 14, 2015 by Paul in Messages from Paul

“Buyer Beware”. Seems like really useless advice to me, because it’s a catch-all for anything and everything that may go wrong.  In truth, it always struck more more as an ass-covering device, to pull out after something had gone totally amiss, only to demonstrate that the person who uttered the warning might have known better.  With a little finger wagging.  Along the lines of “I told you so”.  And just pray it wasn’t uttered in the latin, elevating the statement to pure snottiness. “Buyer, Be Informed”. We receive numerous calls from buyers looking at modern properties throughout the city, seeking…

Buyer Beware? No, Buyer be Informed

Posted by Paul in Messages from Paul

“Buyer Beware”. Seems like really useless advice to me, because it’s a catch-all for anything and everything that may go wrong.  In truth, it always struck more more as an ass-covering device, to pull out after something had gone totally amiss, only to demonstrate that the person who uttered the warning might have known better.  With a little finger wagging.  Along the lines of “I told you so”.  And just pray it wasn’t uttered in the latin, elevating the statement to pure snottiness. “Buyer, Be Informed”. We receive numerous calls from buyers looking at modern properties throughout the city, seeking…

Authenticity and Credibility

Posted by Paul in Messages from Paul

“Buyer Beware”. Alarmingly useless, isn’t it?  Seems more like a provocation to feel like a complete idiot upon the discovery of something untoward when it’s much too late, than anything approaching sage guidance.  It’s even more snarky and elitist when issued in the latin… “Buyer Be Informed” is how I prefer to think about it. And when it comes to modern homes across the city, there’s absolutely no better guidance that can be given to anyone consider purchasing pre-construction properties. Be informed, and be clear about the integrity, provenance and experience of those who propose to you a modern home. We…

Our Avenues are Getting Crowded – thankfully…

Posted November 2, 2014 by Paul in Messages from Paul

Our Avenues are Getting Crowded And let me tell you, I think that’s a great thing. It wasn’t long ago that we spoke of midrise development in fairly vague terms. Mainly about the lofty ambitions of lining core arteries with sensibly-scaled, “city building” structures.  There were city guidelines produced, discussion panels, a flood of newspaper profiles and the kind of urban design chatter and enthusiasm that I saw the first modern townhome projects give rise to.  But 5 years ago there were only a handful of pionering midrise buildings underway, and I had the pleasure of helping to bring many…

Shock of The New : not so shocking after all…

Posted April 11, 2014 by Paul in Messages from Paul

I giggle a little bit when a neuron misfires and I’m suddenly connecting what I do today for a living, with what I studied in university. Let’s go back… Most people think I must have studied architecture, or graphic design, or some equally visual field. Fact is, I laboured through a 4 year BA while simultaneously promoting bands, djing, throwing raves and scouting nightclub locations. But back to my communications degree, and these wonderful ‘quasi texts’ that I swallowed whole. One was Neil Postmans’ “Amusing Ourselves to Death” (hardly academic, but as close to analytic poetry as writing gets), another…

Modern Niche is Really Growing in Toronto

Posted July 6, 2013 by Paul in Messages from Paul

It’s amazing how a ‘niche’ can grow so extraordinarily quickly. Only a few years ago, I was helping to bring the very first new wave of modern housing design to the city – seemingly fairly alone in the wilderness with only a few brave pioneers. A few homes at a time… Today, to my delight, modern and distinctive properties are top of mind for so many buyers in the city. So much so, in fact, that for two years running our new developments have been awarded “Project of the Year” for low-rise at the BILD awards – the building industry’s…

The Truth About Toronto Real Estates

Posted February 14, 2013 by Paul in Messages from Paul

There. I’ve gone and done it. A snazzy headline to catch your attention which suggests some long-winded and divinely accurate analysis of the future of Toronto Real Estate. Heck, keep reading, we might even invite you to buy a book or attend a seminar… Ahem, sorry for any disappointment. As my past clients know, when the conversation of investment comes up, I really try to focus attention on what I believe to be the true consideration: what will living in a particular home, in a particular neighbourhood, truly mean to you? What kind of ‘investment’ in your own happiness and…

Will You Keep on Building Higher, ‘Till There’s No More Room Up There…

Posted November 8, 2012 by Paul in Messages from Paul

If you are of a certain age, I challenge you to keep that song out of your brain for the next hour. Not so easy, is it? As a teenager and into my early 20s, I worked fairly consistently as a dj. While my true love was early house music – and I sought any opportunity to fill my crates with obscure 12″ tracks, picking up gigs at such illustrious venues as the Lizard Lounge or Rockit – what ultimately paid the bills were good old high school dances and weddings. I was not a wedding singer, but the next…

Where Do We Go From Here?

Posted September 29, 2012 by Paul in Messages from Paul

I’m asked with enough frequency “where do I see the market going”, that I’m able to hopefully provide a fairly considered response. Entirely accurate? Well, ultimately only time will tell. The two greatest developments of late in my business have been the emergence of consequential infill “at grade” housing, and some very exciting mid-rise developments. I’ve had the honour of helping to bring some exceptional developments to the market, some of which we are now seeing ’emulated’ by other builders. That’s entirely flattering, of course, but it also creates a challenge for the buyer: trying to identify the authentic from…

© 2015 Unique Urban Homes Paul Johnston

All Rights Reserved
Paul Johnston, Salesperson, Right at Home Realty Inc Brokerage
895 Don Mills Road, Suite 112, Toronto, Ont M3C 1W3

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