Client’s Stories

Let me tell you about Matt and Cheryl and their sweet daughter Kate. These guys had been saving for a while to be able to buy their first home…which they did this week. I was so impressed with their hard work ethic, but even more by their obvious love and respect for each other…not to mention their devotion to their little girl, who is almost too cute for words.

Buying a home in this market is difficult…there’s a real shortage of homes to sell (sellers, are you listening? If you are thinking of selling this is the time to call me). That means for every good house that comes on the market, there are several buyers lined up to jump on it. That also means multiple offers on each house we liked…and we lost out several times.

Multiple offers are particularly challenging for first time home buyers…the offer with the most money and fewest conditions usually wins. That leads to the auction effect where people spend more than a property is worth and leave out conditions that are on the table for their protection.

One of the things I appreciated about Cheryl and Matt was their willingness to listen to advice about not going over budget, or leaving out crucial conditions like financing and home inspection. Taking a chance on a huge and expensive purchase doesn’t make sense in the long run, yet we see other clients doing just that in order to win. Kind of like winning the battle but possibly losing the war…

After each house we lost, I promised them better house would come along…and it finally did. We got in quickly, but didn’t compromise on budget or conditions. They went through the process determined to get the best possible house for their money without compromising on doing things right.

Moral of the story…wait for the right house and don’t settle for less…and stay focused on the end goal without compromise.


 

I met Bill and Kat when I showed them a house I had listed in Corunna. That wasn’t the right home for them, but I fell in love with their two little boys (Liam and Cullen) at first sight. So full of energy and curiosity, they reminded me of my own son now all grown up. I was so glad we were able to continue to work together to find the right house for them.

These boys are the highlight of this couple’s lives…and buying a new home to give them a great school, and a huge yard to play in was their highest priority. So we looked at pretty much everything in their price range in Corunna… some fixer uppers, some a bit high in price…until we found the perfect spot for them, a great 2 story home walking distance to Liam’s school.

So what’s the moral of this story? Making your family your highest priority always pays off in the end. It blessed me to see the love this couple have for their little boys. Watching those boys grow up as really good kids means a lot too. I saw them recently, and they still greet me with a hug!

I would love to be the one who helps you search for the best home for your family. If you don’t already have a Realtor you are working with, let’s talk. We can discuss your options and see if we can find the place for your family to grow together.


What do you do when you live a long way away…but want to relocate to the Sarnia Lambton area? We love doing relocations, and when we heard about Jen and Paul’s desire to move closer to family, we knew we would love to help them.

The first step was welcoming their family to join us in searching for the right home for Jen and Paul. We toured the home together, pointing out the pros and cons (both are equally important) and answering questions about the property. Sometimes we had answers right away, but we aren’t afraid to admit we need to get more answers when we had to…so off we went to do research when needed.

The family felt Jen and Paul would like the home, so we did a video tour with Jen and Paul, walking through each room and again pointing out features…and flaws. We had some concerns about possible dampness in the basement, so we had 2 separate basement experts in the look at the problem, then had the experts chat with them by phone with their findings.

Jen and Paul felt comfortable moving forward with the house, so we did a successful ‘long distance’ offer to buy the home of their dreams right here in Lambton County. When Jen and Paul finally came to see the house they bought ‘long distance’, they already felt like they were coming home!

Moral of the story? Relocating can be hugely stressful for everyone in the family, but we will do everything we can to make the process exciting and rewarding. Sometimes a scary step of moving to a new area can be the adventure of a lifetime.


The good news about falling in love is, well, falling in love! The bad news is it may mean making a move from a house that you absolutely love. And that’s what happened to my friend Monique. She came to me as a referral from another friend…and quickly became a friend in her own right.

Monique had a bittersweet dilemma; she had married a wonderful man, who treats her like the treasure she is, and he had gone out and bought her dream home for her! But it meant selling the home that she had poured her heart and soul into. Selling a home is often a very difficult decision and so it was for Monique. We worked together to find the buyer who loved and appreciated her home as much as she did, and although there were some tears on leaving (okay, lots and lots of tears) she knew it was time to move on to the next wonderful phase of her life with her new husband who adores her (as he should).

What can we take away from Monique’s story? That life often brings change unexpectedly and is an opportunity for growth. That sometimes we have to leave something we love behind to find something even better. And that taking a step in faith can be the best thing you’ve ever done.

I would love to be the one who helps you move on to the next stage of your life. If you don’t already have a Realtor you are working with, let’s talk. We can discuss your options and see what exciting changes are in store for you!


I would love to introduce you to Dan and Lauren…two of my recent favourite clients. Actually, their story starts a while back…they were referred to me in early 2014 by previous clients. Dan and Lauren were a delight to work with. It took a while to determine what their hearts really wanted (a small acreage in the country) vs what their heads thought they wanted (a 2 story in College Park), but once that was narrowed down we were able to focus on finding the right property. They worked hard to get their finances in good order to be ready to make their purchase.

And here’s where the story gets interesting…it took a year and half to find the right property. During that time we looked at countless properties, had 2 offers fall apart because of septic issues… and they discovered how tiring and frustrating following their dream could be. I sent out over 500 letters to potential sellers trying to find their dream property…with no luck. The biggest challenge I faced was encouraging them to hold the course and not settle for less than what they really wanted…and believe me there were many times they were ready to give up and go live in a subdivision.

In early December, they moved into their dream property, a great house and huge 43 acre woodlot including a pond and all the wildlife one could imagine. Let me tell you, they are thrilled!

But here’s the moral of the story: take the time to really narrow down what’s important to you and why it’s important. Listen to your heart as well as your head. Make sure your budget can afford your dreams…then don’t give up. Don’t. Give. Up. The right property will come along if you are patient.

I would love to be the one who helps you with your home search. If you don’t already have a Realtor you are working with, let’s talk. We can discuss your options and see if we can find your dream property.


Jim, Julie and I met at an open house in Wyoming last year and I knew right away I wanted to work with this great family. Along with their 2 kids (Hi Zach and Emma-Jo!), Jim and Julie wanted to buy their very first home. And here’s where hard work and determination comes in…these guys are salt of the earth, hardworking folks, but sometimes the market remains just a bit out of reach for many people.

That’s where the Lambton County Home Ownership program can help. It provides people who qualify for a mortgage (as Jim and Julie did) with help for the down payment. New money comes out in April each year. When it runs out it’s gone until the next year, but once in a long while money becomes available after it has officially run out. And that’s what happened for Jim and Julie…they received a call that money had come into the program unexpectedly, and they and another family were in line to receive it. The only pressure was that the first one to the gate with a house to buy would get it. So we dropped everything and went to work to make sure Jim and Julie and their sweet kids were at the front of the line! It seems like their house had just been sitting there waiting for them…it was on the market for a while and the price had come down to fit their budget perfectly. So, we bought it! And they’ve joyously moved into their forever home.

Here’s what we can take away from this story: hard work does pay off. If you have a dream to own your own home, it can happen with hard work and determination. And there is help out there for those who may need a bit of a boost.

The Lambton County Home Ownership Program also helps people who are able to buy a house on their own but may need help with funds to do renovations. If you want information on either program check out their website: https://www.lambtononline.ca/home/residents/housingservices/
Or contact me and I can share from personal experience what details I know about the programs.

I would love to be the one who helps you with your home search. If you don’t already have a Realtor you are working with, let’s talk. We can discuss your options and see if we can find your dream property.


One of the biggest decisions our clients make is when to make a move, especially when their current home may not be a good fit any longer. I met Tom and Belva at an open house several years ago in the midst of their decision making, and this was a hard one as their property was also their business. They ran a therapeutic horse riding program for kids, something they were passionate about. It was getting harder to manage the chores and responsibility that comes with such a big commitment and were questioning if it was time to move. But this was more than just a move; it was a whole life style change and the end of their own business that had meant the world to them.

We talked back and forth for several years while they agonized over their decision. They had also had bad experiences with Realtors in the past, so this was a trust building experience for them as well. Despite looking at many resale homes, it became clear that to get what they wanted and needed building might be the best option. So we went to work and found a great builder (Frank Iacobelli!) then drew up plans and underwent the whole building process.

They spent last Christmas in their new home. Was it a problem free process? Nope. I’ve never seen so many glitches in a building process with difficult rules and bureaucracy. Their persistence in working through the municipal officialdom was truly remarkable and in the end it was worth it.

So here’s what we can take from these lovely people’s journey: take your time making big decisions about moving. It’s too big and expensive a decision to make hastily. Don’t be surprised if there are bumps in the road along the way…comes with the territory. And moving on to the next stage of life may be stressful, but wonderful all at the same time. I just spoke with them today after a lovely camping trip away, something they couldn’t do before they made this giant leap of faith!


There is no doubt about it…sometimes the house buying journey isn’t easy. We had the privilege of helping other family members buy their first homes, so when it was time for Mike and Alexa to begin their first time home buying search, we felt honoured that they came to us for help. And that’s when the adventure began.

We looked at a lot of homes…and that’s okay…we would rather look at a gazillion properties to find the right one, than to settle for the wrong one (nothing like signing up for a long term financial commitment on the wrong house!). We finally found the right place…needed some work, but Mike and his family are hardworking people ready to put in the sweat equity to create the perfect space for these newlyweds.

Here’s where the story gets interesting…the Sellers were just plain awful (actually, awful doesn’t begin to cover it, but we want to remain family friendly in our posts-). So many years for the Sellers in this home, and so many memories to leave behind…so we understood how hard it would be for them. But even we were surprised at how hard they took their decision to sell. Much must remain unsaid here, but this is the worst behaviour I’ve ever witnessed from someone selling their home.

Moral of the story…be prepared for a lot of emotion from the other parties in the deal. Sometimes life has thrown them a curve and they react towards innocent parties like our buyers in unfortunate ways. Thankfully, our buyers are classy people who weathered the storm with integrity. But boy…do they have a story to tell-)!


Hi…my name is Amos and I am 3 years old. I live in a new house!! And I have my own bedroom with a big boy bed because I’m a big boy now. Mommy, Daddy, and I moved here from a real big city where Daddy says homes are too spensive (that means they cost too much money). We met with Laurel and Garry, who are Realtors. That’s a funny word but Mommy says they help people who want to buy a house. I liked being with them because I got to hold the flashlight for Garry when we looked at stuff. We saw big houses and little houses. We saw houses that smelled funny and I didn’t like them.

But finally we found just the right house! It’s bright and sunny. My Mommy smiles a lot and my Daddy likes it too. It’s just the right size and has a back yard I can play in with my toys! And it’s near a park where I can meet my friends and play together. PS…AND I’m a big brother now too!!