A Journey To Home Ownership

College Street / Little Italy

At urbaneer.com, our objective is to educate, guide, and gently steer Buyers and Sellers through the complexity of Toronto's real estate market from beginning to end. We have no agenda beyond serving your needs, refining your priorities, and accomplishing a successful property trade at a pace perfect for you.

We occasionally share the stories of past clients to demonstrate our process. Here's a testimonial from Matt:

“My partner and I (both first time home buyers) began looking for a permanent place to live in May of 2010. We were pretty sure we wanted a house rather than a condo but that choice was cemented after Steven’s feedback on the market affirmed our thoughts. While we loved the west end, we understood that the east (Leslieville in particular) was likely to be more in our budget.  With both of us being career and travel oriented freelance workers (writer and photographer), we had to have a place that was turn-key ready and low maintenance.

Step one was for Steven to educate us in the general market state and specific housing stock while he synched up with our personal aspirations for our house.  I cannot overstate that one of the biggest benefits to working with Steven is that he genuinely cares about who his clients are – not just as clients – but as people (and I say this echoing the thoughts of almost a dozen people who I know who have worked with him). He isn’t eager to get you into A house, he’s excited to help you find YOUR home.

Rather than pushing us in one direction or another (or towards a quick sale), Steven brought us to properties that allowed us explore and discover what we were truly looking for in a house. He gave us the most valuable thing he could: time.

After seeing dozens and dozens of houses, we had finally found the home for us and were ready to make an offer – or so we thought. Truth be told (and hindsight being 20/20), we were suffering from the emotional drain of a fruitless search and had convinced ourselves that we had found our dream home when, in fact, we had found a really nicely renovated kitchen in a big house that wasn’t in an ideal location and had a lot of major (potentially costly) issues to resolve. Making a decision based on Steven’s foresight, we listened to his counsel and walked away.

Then it was back to searching. Endless searching. Until finally we found something…

Heart break.

A property had come up in the central west area. Miracle of miracles, it was within the high end of our price range and didn’t have anything wrong with it. It was time to pull the trigger – and fast. We knew the market was in a frenzy but we didn’t know how to make an appropriate offer within the context of that frenzy.  Steven did.

And it involved a lot of running.

Running to line up a home inspection. To the bank to get a bank draft. To Steven’s to sign the paperwork. And then we ran into our first bidding war. We lost the place by a few thousand dollars (the property went for 112% of its asking price) and went for consolation drinks.

Six months into our cooling search, I was called to work a contract in Nova Scotia. Obviously that was problematic for us, so we came up with a strategy: carry on looking, swap MLS listings and thoughts via e-mail and, should anything promising come up, I would fly home and view the property.

Life is the stuff that happens when you’re making plans.

Right after I left home from a visit, a property JUST came to market (the MLS listing wasn’t even fully complete). Steven insisted that it was a property worth seeing in person so my partner dropped everything and went to see the place with him. It was perfect– caps lock PERFECT for us -(down to original wooden inlay flooring and a basement apartment rental unit that would help out on the mortgage front). Things were looking up – except the listing agent and seller hadn’t set an offer date – they were taking offers anytime. We knew what that meant in that market: it would be snapped up before its open house.  

Unfortunately, I had forgotten to pack my time machine. Obviously we had to give up…

OR we could go with Steven’s plan.

Within 3 hours, my partner signed an offer to purchase with one condition. And it was massive. I had 48 hours to fly home, see the house (and have a house inspection) and either give it the thumbs up or kill the deal.

I should say that I am 100% certain that there is no way we could have pulled this condition off unless we had Steven’s long-standing professional relationship with the listing agent and Steven’s word, (as one of the city's top producing realtors with 20+ years experience), that despite our unusual conditions, we weren’t insane, just really, really serious first time Buyers.

I flew home. As expected, the place was PERFECT. Within six hours of my viewing of the property (and 24 hours of it coming to market), Steven had secured the house for us.

And he did it below the asking price.

It sounds like the impossible deal when we relate it to people – especially in this market – but it wasn’t. It was good timing, diligence, tenacity and trust – trust that Steven had built and honoured at every turn.

Work with him and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Matt M.

Can we be of assistance? Please know we're here to help sellers and buyers with all their real estate needs.

~ Steven and the urbaneer team


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