Authenticity and Credibility | Paul Johnston Unique Urban Homes
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Posted April 14, 2015 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 receive ongoing calls from buyers in the city looking for assistance in determining the legitimacy of various new construction projects.  And I welcome those calls, because there are few decisions with the kind of gravity and important of who you are going to buy a home from.  My guidance is consistent, and hopefully of consequence: what is the team’s pedigree, experience and authenticity?

I’ll address those in reverse, because so much is being made about “authenticity” in today’s luxury marketplace.  There are those, for example, who insist that the ultimate luxury good is the Hermes purse, because it’s an expression of a tradition that dates back many generations, and the craftsmanship that goes into the item – especially it’s hand-made reputation – is the purest example of fine workmanship from experience.  The Hermes bag, therefore, is an authentic expression of the company’s finest traditions.

So when you are purchasing a modern home, is it an authentic expression of the style?  There are countless (cringe-worthy) examples of builders in the city who simply mimic some of the standards of modern building, to create a pastiche or “knock off” of the modern home.  They do so, I believe, because they don’t respect their customers sufficiently to assume they will ask the right questions: who is the architect, and what are their triumphs in modern design? Who are the builders, and what is their familiarity with the intricacies and demands of a modern structure? Who is the design consultant, and what is their commitment to authentic, well executed and comprehensive modern design?  Who is representing the project in the marketplace, and what is their understanding of the ways in which a home needs to function in order to succeed as a modern family home?

To my mind, this is the single most important exploration that a buyer can make when pursuing a luxury modern home – who is behind it?  Because a home is a physical expression of expertise, inspiration and aspiration – the expertise of knowing what works best, the inspiration to strive for the finest, and the aspiration to build upon a body of work already proven.  Those who are committed to modern homes in the city understand their responsibility to the very people who inhabit the properties we help to create.

And so it comes to experience, and the need for every buyer to inform themselves of the team’s past efforts and achievements.  Does the architect boast a relevant and inspiring portfolio of work? Does the developer demonstrate a visible commitment to modern design? Does the builder have examples of well-executed and graceful properties in the city that stand as part of their commitment to modern architecture? Does the team demonstrate a capacity to care?

And what is their pedigree? What are the accomplishments of the architect, the builder, the interior designer, the consultants, the sales team?  Do their have a pedigree that might elevate them to a standard of conduct and performance that you would expect (and rightfully so) from the people you entrust to build your home?




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

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