These days, Toronto is well-known for two things: an extremely multicultural population, and a very hot real estate market.
It’s an interesting time to be buying or selling homes.
Loraine Lee visits nearly 200 homes a year. Her clients come from a wide variety of backgrounds.
“The first thing that strikes you is the cuisine. Once you enter the house, you can tell who lives there – by the smell of the cooking. Although nowadays, sellers are very aware and try to either open windows to get rid of the smells or by masking them.”
Born and raised in Jamaica of Chinese parents, Loraine and her family moved to Toronto in the 1970’s.
She’s a gifted writer and former publisher who decided to pursue her passion for real estate 10 years ago. Doing so has opened up the world’s cultures to her, right here at home in Toronto.
The first time she saw an altar in a linen closet, it surprised her. Now, it’s just one of the many religious practices she sees in Toronto homes.
“At one home, the wife was from the West Indies and the husband from India. She had Hindu and Buddhist statues, but also crucifixes and statues of the Virgin Mary. I think she was trying to cover all bases.”
“In the last three to four years, the market has been so hot because of low inventory that Feng Shui seems less important. If the price is right, no one seems to be bothered anymore about the number 4 or that the house is a T-Junction house. There are remedies for those “blockages”, so it’s no longer an issue.“
There are many ways of creating a home. Loraine appreciates them all.
“Some men putter around continually – either willingly or at the behest of their wives – painting, changing floors, renovating bathrooms, laying stone walkways, etc. Some people’s homes are always spotless. There are the folks who spend hours in their garden all Spring and Summer, and the beautiful colours reward them.”
Loraine loves figuring out the diverse needs and values of her clients and her clients’ letters show that they value her going the extra mile:
“Loraine had a way of making us feel as if we were the only clients she had! She really took the time to know us and understand our needs and budget!! With Loraine we didn’t only find a new home… but also a new friend!”
Dedicated to everyone who is trying to buy/make a home in Toronto’s complex housing market and to realtors who do their best to help you.