Trish Bongard Godfrey was the agent for the sale of my father-in-laws house in Rosedale, which sold after only a short time on the market. Together with her sensitivity on the personal side (my father-in-law being 89 years old), she was energetically hard-working, diligent and professional throughout. The whole family ...
“You did an amazing job today. Thanks for your quick work and creativity. You are wonderful to work with. Sorry we couldn’t crack open the champagne with you"
“Dear Trish, Our moving date is quickly approaching and we can’t wait to get settled in to our new home! We’re very excited, but feel we need to give credit where credit is due... YOU! First, we owe you thanks for finding this home; and second, for convincing us to get out of our comfort zone and open our minds a little. You’ve been an excellent realtor throughout this entire process. Many times have we heard from our friends, “Do you have a good agent? Because I know someone...” and every time, we’ve politely declined because we really do love working with you...
I wanted to thank you, on behalf of Lyndsay and myself for your work in selling our house at 367 Walmer Road. You did an excellent job for us. The enthusiasm and energy you expended on marketing the house and exposing it to the widest possible set of buyers exceeded our expectations. We thought your advice on matters related to the listing and marketing were first rate, and we appreciated...
"Fabulous work! Thank you so much for everything you have done to facilitate this sale. You had a clear strategy and put it all into effect with professionalism and compassion. Your work is much appreciated by all of us!" Yonge and St. Clair Condo Seller.
Trish Bongard Godfrey was invaluable to Ann and me as, under considerable time pressure after selling our house, we sought to buy another in a hot market. She gave us all the time we could use to look at possibilities. Her greatest strength was her ability to infer from our reactions to a succession of houses in a variety of locations what would in the long run best suit us.
Thanks to the hard-work, talent and professionalism of Trish Bongard Godfrey, of Bosley Real Estate, Ltd., we have just closed on a property in Toronto, Canada. My husband and I are expats living and working in Taipei, Taiwan but looking to retire back home in Canada in the next few years. Trish was an outstanding agent and given our challenges of time and travel, assisted us in finding the “perfect” home. Trish quickly understood what features, such as light and location, were of utmost importance to us. She possesses an impressive knowledge of the downtown areas of Toronto and her advice was invaluable. There was neither pressure to buy or reject any property. There were many viewings arranged that provided us with an incredible number of opportunities, in our very short schedule, to see the many choices in both design and price range. As a result, we are incredibly thrilled to have found the “perfect” place for us. I enthusiastically recommend Trish Bongard Godfrey to anyone looking for a home in Toronto.
When I decided to sell my first home earlier this year I didn't know much about the whole process. What I did know is that I needed to find the right agent for me. I meet with a couple of realtors but after meeting Trish I knew my search was over right there. Talking with her was comfortable and very oblivious that I was dealing with someone extremely experienced. She answered any questions I had in a way that made it very easy to understand. When presented with her marketing strategy I was blown away. I didn't think selling a house could be so involved. Needless to say the house didn't last over a weekend on the market. The open house was a huge success with plenty of traffic. We got offers the second day for above asking. During the negotiation stage...
Dear Trish, Over the past year, you have been an exceptional real estate agent for us during our relocation to Toronto from London, United Kingdom. Through many phone calls and e-mails from abroad, you were able to get a great sense of what our family needs were, from finding the right schools, and clubs to most importantly narrowing down specific areas of Toronto to live that would be suited to our lifestyles. You were able to commit a lot of time to us during our visits to Toronto for house viewings over the year. As you took the time to get to know our needs and wants, you were able to...
“Dear Trish, I want to thank you for your excellent work in selling my house. I believe that many agents in my area pretty much set their recommendations based on recent sales in our enclave. What you demonstrated was that a wider market perspective could not only justify a significantly higher listing price but secure a sale at that price. All your pre-listing strategies were relevant to the sale and did not demand huge efforts or expense on my part. Your staging and preparation recommendations were based on practical ...
We really love the house and it’s a fantastic location in proximity to the city and all it’s commodities. It has the charm and vintage of old houses along with the small inconveniences that go with them, but that we will get used to in time. The boys are very happy with their rooms that are more spacious than the ones they had [before], and [our daughter] is enjoying her very first bedroom...
“Trish was my real estate agent when I had to purchase my most recent home. I had a very firm dollar limit and wanted to purchase very quickly. Trish helped me to find a place within my budget, in the neighbourhood I wanted, in very little time. Trish really understood the things I needed in a home and very enthusiastically and professionally went about finding it...
Trish, thank you for all you did to sell my condo. You are a professional in every sense of the word. There is no question you are action-driven. You left no stone unturned in selling the unit. Your positive energy and enthusiasm made the whole process of getting ready for the sale so much easier. I appreciated your creative and innovative approaches in advertising the open houses, and your honest and insight suggestions on staging the condo to facilitate the sale. But, what I am really grateful for was your handling of and due diligence re the sale negotiations. Thank you for handling everything with integrity and grace. You’re just top-notch and I would be pleased to give any potential client a reference for you. Siobhan
This is a post to update you from my Iphone (the only device I have operating) about the Toronto ice storm. If you are still in the city, and don't have power, I commiserate! If you have power and heat, enjoy it and Merry Christmas to everyone...
Yes, its time to get ready for winter. Rona Has provided a great checklist which I've shared with you here.
There is not much serious talk about the Toronto real estate market collapsing. A contrary-minded person would likely say that when everyone is bullish, it is the top of the market... any market. But evidence shows that this is not the top of the market, simply - really simply - because there are still more buyers who want to make Toronto their home than there are affordable properties available. Even an earth shattering global event isn't likely to drive everyone away: on the contrary- Toronto looks like a perfect place to live. Buying a home is getting to be a very difficult prospect for the next generation. Many people are thinking about how they can assist their children now for the future. Already, the average home in Central Toronto is almost $1.5 million. Here is a look at TREB prices as of the end of August, 2014:
A few days ago I asked a friend who is in the process of buying and selling what was top of mind as an active real estate consumer. She immediately flipped back an email back saying "overpaying". I think that is probably the state of mind of all buyers, and sellers to in the reverse. Sellers dream of Buyers overpaying! Is it really common to overpay in this market? I am sure my parents, when they bought their first home in Moore Park in the 1950's for about $24,000, thought that they were overpaying- or at least paying a lot of money for that house. That same house recently sold - much renovated of course - for about $1.8 million.
Recently, I've been involved in three property deals in which there were open City of Toronto Building Permits. Older and current open permits can exist when the the owners, or previous owners, fail to ensure that the City has completed their final inspection on permitted work such as structural changes, plumbing or electrical. Toronto Inspectors do not automatically issue paperwork at each inspection which are done at defined stages of each construction or renovation process. An open permit may result because:
Seriously, Toronto real estate prices must be headed for double digit increases this year. Even with all this cold, miserable weather, there seems to be no end of buyers in the $500,000 - $1,000,000 price range... and beyond. Lower inventory- of single family homes- meant fewer sales, bigger demand and that pushed prices up 8.6%, year over year, for the month of February, 2014. Why are prices climbing so sharply? Let's at least partly look at the roles of the three levels of government. Here're a couple of ideas:
The key to a successful buyer's property tour is micro organization. Toronto traffic is a challenging variable. I recently hired a driver to view several properties. He was focussed on route, traffic and parking and I was focussed on my out-of-country buyer-clients and their feedback and questions. There are loads of distractions when you're showing houses, and because first impressions matter a lot, I like to know what people are thinking even before we walk through the door.
So after that nasty ice storm over Christmas, I thought we'd get a break from the cold but it has continued until today. At least we haven't had to contend with more power outages and loss of heating. But that doesn't mean our houses are warm. The cold snap has forced me to snap out of my old-house put-up-with-it malaise and figure out where the air leaks are.
Ok – I love my projects but this one has had the most amazing results! And I am embarrassed to admit that this is one of the things I should have done when we first renovated the house. I am not kidding when I say I used to wake up in the winter with a cold nose. Our second floor bedroom, which was under the story third floor attic space, was cold, drafty and uncomfortable.
I hear a lot about people expressing a desire for a quick get-away vacation. RIGHT NOW! is how it is characterized. Usually it’s talk about going south and getting some sun, but I know a lot of skiers who are itching for some snow – a “smidgen” of which we saw recently in Toronto. I have been thinking about my best vacations and travels, and thought I’d blog that for some alternative inspiration to Sunquest Vacations.
"The House Crash Begins." Vancouver house prices have plummeted by 12%. Toronto sales are stalling. How the meltdown will play out this fall." That was Canadian Business Magazine's cover story on October 1, 2012, by Joe Castaldo. As a realtor I often wonder how these 'media experts' distill all the available information to make these predictions, why they bother, and how accurate they turn out to be. The 'why they bother' question is easy:
When asked about whether all the rain was going to stop, our neighbour in Nova Scotia, the late Albert Oxner, replied “It always has before”. If you are struggling as a result of the rain and flooding yesterday, I am really sorry. If not – lucky you! You probably have a newer home with weeping tiles, or a retro-fitted your older home with a good system. If you are at the Cottage, haven’t turned on the radio or got your morning paper and are just wondering if someone should go into your house and look at your basement, the answer is yes.
I am frequently asked to price a property when it is about to be listed for sale, or sometimes to help owners evaluate their portfolio and to assist them in making longer term retirement plans. When I am asked to give a price, I admit that I am not very happy to come up with "off the top of my head" figures. That might make me seem clever, but it is not sensible. What I can provide is different from an appraisal, which requires a qualified appraiser, and which is often done for other purposes, such as insurance.
You can’t see the smile on my face, but if you could, it is because a few days ago I got my bike out for the first time this year and had a lovely, warm, evening ride out to the Humber River. What I love about being on my bike is that it makes me feel like a kid again and leaves me free to explore Toronto neighbourhoods at a nice pace. My favourite for-exercise ride is heading out to the River and down to the boardwalk to my favourite outdoor public pool Gus Ryder, at Sunnyside. As a sailor, I have always used and enjoyed the waterfront, and since becoming a cyclist again I have a new appreciation for the inner city green spaces and rivers which can only really be accessed on foot or on a bike. It also makes me understand how critically important it is to have numerous, safe, connected bike lanes and paths all over the city for the benefit of commuters and recreational cyclists.
Downtown Central vs the GTA Happy New Year. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, Housing sales in 2012 in Toronto was a tale of two markets: the market we experienced before the Mortgage Rule Changes and the one after. The switch happened mid-summer, 2012. Have a listen to what the TREB analyst says. Have look at the sales stats last year, compared to the previous 3 years. Prices are up, the number of sales are down slightly.
My front porch has been an embarrassment since we bought this house in 2008. But because we had other renovation projects, I decided to leave this, and the driveway -which is easily damaged by construction waste-bins- as the last of heavy-materials work to be tackled. Also, I have some great guys whom I really trust and I wanted them to do the work when they had time, if possible.
It’s important to update your will after you have a baby. (edit: and after you buy a house!) Many Canadians haven’t taken the most basic estate planning step which is writing a Will. They should. Without a Will, your estate doesn’t automatically go to your spouse and children, but ends up being distributed according to the rules of your province. For example, Ontario’s rules differ from those in Quebec and Manitoba. In addition, without proper planning, almost half the value of your assets could disappear to cover capital gains taxes and probate fees. Here are 10 steps that can help ensure your final wishes are carried out simply and smoothly.
My friends Cynthia Webb, Vice President Leadership Gifts, and Catherine Nugent, Senior Redevelopment Officer, Bridgepoint Health Foundation, recently invited me to tour the new Bridgepoint Hospital and the Don Jail, which is part of the Bridgepoint campus redevelopment. The Hospital specializes in complex care and complex rehabilitation, including medical, physical, occupational, and spiritual recovery. My mother-in-law, Mary, had two extended stints at the current facility, and I was eager to see the new buildings and learn about the leading-edge ideas that have gone into the site plan and building design.
For a few years I served on the Board of Directors of a Canadian charity called the Natural Step Canada, which dedicates itself to helping people and organizations work towards a sustainable future. That’s a simple way of saying what they do, but it’s actually very complex. The incredible people in this international network are trained and visionaries talented in organizational development, environmental science, communications, community outreach,
Last month, we headed off to New York City for a few days over the school break. The weather was fantastic, and it’s always a city perfect for walkers (and shoppers). We stayed at The Alex Hotel, which has 2 bedroom suites with kitchenettes (good for traveling with teens), at pretty reasonable prices. We reserved through on Booking about a month before. The beds were very comfy – the rooms tight, but big windows and a great location. While we were there, we were invited for drinks by a gentleman whose 7,000 square foot, stunning, multi-storied co-op apartment was a museum!
St. Clair West Renewal The renewal of the St. Clair west area (if the Mayor would please sit down and be quiet) is inevitable. Folks who have own property north and south of St. Clair, between Yonge Street and Oakwood Avenue have seen a lot of changes over the past 20 years with immigration and population movement. But arguably transit has been one of the biggest game changers. About 30 years ago, the TTC Subway was extended up along the west line, and it crosses St. Clair at Bathurst Street.
It is almost embarrassing to admit to you that I got into this career by starting out making a bunch of mistakes, but here goes. When we moved to Ottawa in the 1990’s, I looked at many houses, and finally fell in love with a house that was ‘For Sale by Owner (FSBO) or “Fiz-bo”. It was an old Victorian farm house in Alta Vista with a huge lot, and it defined charm.
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