Pat Johnston

It’s hard to describe my house search and buying experience but if needed I can easily say it was one of the worst experiences of my life. It was nothing like the house hunters shows on tv where your budgeted income buys you 1 of 3 versions of your dream home. When I started my search I only knew the select communities I wanted to live in and that I preferred an older character house. Being a single income buyer the odds were definitely not in my favour having to compete with dual income families, developers buying to tear down/rebuild, and the liberal governments stress test. I can honestly say if it wasn’t for Todd and Dana I probably would have given up and just rented a rundown apartment above a convenience store in a questionable part of the city… not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I briefly met Todd by chance a few years before my search but the impression he left made it an easy choice as to who I wanted to search with. He has a great understanding of the housing market and which communities are under/over priced. Most importantly to me was his immense knowledge of housing construction throughout the years. Before we’d see a house, based on the year built, Todd was able to explain the floor plan, if the foundation was red brick, cinder block, or concrete, and if any additions to the house were done. Once inside his knowledge continued. He could explain if walls were removed and if done properly, if the layouts of kitchens or bathrooms had been changed, if the house had been lifted for the basement to be dug deeper, and even if the hardwood floors had been replaced and if so what years it was done. Often the houses we’d see would have line ups of potential buyers, would be double booked, or even be open houses. It amazed me in these situations that other real estate agents would be pointing out new color schemes on the walls or unique lighting fixtures that were installed, while Todd and I would head to the basement to look at the bones of the house to see why the kitchen floor was unbalanced and leaning. I knew at these times I had made the right choice.

To compliment Todds knowledge is his sister Dana with her dedication and availability to their clients. In fact there were times she would take my phone calls while she was on vacation in another country. Not only does Dana set you up with the standard automated new listing email program, but she also personally sends you listings that are more detailed to your criteria and even a few that are just outside but might peak your interest. I often work out of the city making my availability limited at times but that didn’t stop from Dana from viewing the houses for me and letting me know if it was a place worth seeing. It’s amazing how a house can be listed at 1pm and Dana not only makes herself available for you to view it but gets you the first viewing four hours later. This is ultimately how I got the house I now live in.

For myself I found that the searching process could be very stressful and often disheartening at times. It was definitely a bonus to have Todd and Dana working with me in the search. If a house turned out to be a bust they were both quick to reassure me that we were on the right path. I also appreciate that throughout the search they took the time to get to know me on a personal level and our conversations weren’t always about houses. Before and after viewing a house we would often talk about work, sports, craft beers worth trying, good places to travel to, etc. I understand that everyone will have different experiences when buying a house, but there were times when Todd and Dana did or offered to do things that were beyond my expectations from a realtor and more inline with what I’d expect from family.

In the end I bought the style of house I wanted, in a community I wanted, and it’s thanks to Todd and Danas efforts. I have no hesitation recommending them to anyone in need of a realtor and if one day I’m in the market for a place again, I know who I’ll be calling.