My parents are from Hong Kong. With very little money but many hopes and dreams, they decided to leave their home. They came here to Toronto in the '70s. I was their firstborn, and my sister came a couple of years later.
I remember when I was 5 my parents bought their first house. My mom worked in a factory and my dad was a cook at a Chinese restaurant. They didn't make a lot of money. My parents had to be creative to buy a home. The house was renovated on the top floor to have bedrooms, a kitchen and a washroom. We lived on the main floor and basement. Our tenants lived on the top floor. My parents created a rooming house where we resided under the tenants. That house was the first experience that I remember about anything to do with real estate. They went on to buy another 2 homes after that first house. I now believe anyone should be able to create wealth and stability with real estate.
I was 30 and renting a house with 3 other roommates. My cash flow was amazing and I had a lot of disposable income as my rent was only $500 per month. I was also dating my future wife at the time. We were living like most people in their 30’s. Having a lot of fun and not thinking about investments and our future.
My Mom, understanding that real estate is a sound investment, insisted that I buy a condo. I didn’t want the responsibility. But she persisted and gave me $20,000 as a down payment.. I bought my first condo for $200,000 in 2006. It was a struggle. It was hard giving up going out all the time. I had to stop ordering take-out and had to start buying more groceries. My wife and I didn’t have any future plans. The one grown-up thing that we did was get married a couple of years later.
During that time when we lived in that condo, my wife was trying to get her real estate license. I was helping her with the math section and thought it would be fun to do the course with her. She decided she preferred the staging side. So she switched gears and started working towards getting an education in interior design. I kept on going and received my real estate license. She gave me her blessing to become a realtor.
After 5 years of living at our condo, it appreciated by $120,000. We’d recently had our daughter Olive. We outgrew that first home right away. We did some light renovations and staged our own condo. My wife has a great eye for design. With our teamwork, we ended up selling that condo for a record price for the building. I didn’t know it at the time, but my wife was going to join me. We were about to create a real estate team together.
The increase in equity gave us an opportunity to buy a condo townhouse. We spent about 4 years in that home. We staged that property to appeal to as many buyers as possible. It ended up selling in multiple offers. We understood what buyers are looking for. The sale price was the highest amount in the complex. Our next home was a larger detached house with a basement apartment. It cost us less monthly to live in the detached house compared to the condo townhouse. Soon we renovated and sold it in order to buy our dream home.
Owning real estate has given me and my family opportunities that we would never have had if we kept renting. We learned from owning and selling properties and applied it to our real estate business. We lived through a lot of the pain points our clients are currently experiencing. Every move had complexities that we had to deal with. But we solved them and incorporated them into our business.
Our goal is to help our clients do the same. We’ve been through it, we understand the need for more space. The desire to build wealth for their families. The pressure of completing all the little things to get the home on the market. We know how hard it is trying to find trades to help with repairs. We are a full-service team to help you with all the above. We know that moving is stressful. It doesn’t have to be! Our "Working for you method" takes care of the small details.