Julie and Mike have lived through several life stages in recent years and through it all, they say, was the support of Matt and Madalin.
“Our story is the continuity of going through different life events and how great it’s been to have a source to rely on who understands us and knows our history and has been really accommodating to what our goals are,” says Julie.
The biggest change for this couple, who met later in life, was making the decision to combine their two households into one. But there were also renovations – what to renovate and what not to – a rental property, selling, and transitioning Mike’s mother into a retirement home.
Together for 10 years, Julie and Mike each owned their own home in the same neighbourhood when they decided it was time to move in together five years ago. But whose home to move into, if either, and what to do with the other one?
“We looked at both our properties and tried to figure out, should we move into one, should we sell both, should we renovate one – there’s a lot you can do with two properties,” says Julie, who is a writer and editor. “The Emersons were really great at helping us work through the financial side of things, like the opportunities and costs, the alternatives.”
They decided to move into Julie’s home because she was more tied into her neighbourhood, explains Mike, who is a consultant. Taking advantage of having the two homes, they temporarily relocated to Mike’s home while renovations were done to Julie’s, and Matt and Madalin offered guidance on the types of renovations that are worth doing if you’re staying versus selling.
“There were a lot of things being considered that they helped us with,” says Julie.
Mike had been thinking about renting his home once they were ready to move into Julie’s renovated space and, again, Matt offered guidance, advising them on the ins and outs of being a landlord and renting and how you go about finding good-quality tenants.
But first, there were more renovations to do, this time to Mike’s home, to attract those good-quality tenants. Using the full suite of services the Emersons offer, Matt drew on both his construction background and his extensive knowledge of the market to recommend the renos to undertake. Then he “managed the whole sprucing up,” turning to his network of partners, says Mike. When the home was ready, the Emersons took care of advertising the home, qualifying prospects and presented Mike with three quality tenants to choose from.
Eventually, Mike grew tired of being a landlord and decided to sell his home. “It was a natural” to choose the Emersons to represent them, including undertaking another round of renovations to prepare the home before selling it in 2015.
In the case of Mike’s mother, Matt and Madalin “just took care of the whole thing,” says Mike. The Emersons recommended against renovations this time, advising it was better to sell the home as is. They managed the disbursement of all of the leftover furniture that Mike’s mother did not need in her retirement residence and, of course, they took care of the sale.
“That’s just part of the service that they offer,” says Mike, who has known the Emersons for years. “And this is the way Matt sells himself – he provides an end-to-end service. There’s a lot of agents out there who just want a sale and don’t really want to put anything more into it and I think that’s one of the things that distinguishes Matt & Madalin is that they will put a lot more into it and they’ll take the personal interest.
“He’s got a whole network of people that he partners with, so he just taps into those services and it’s a win-win for everybody. Matt just made it easy.”
Julie and Mike’s advice to others who may find themselves in a similar situation? “Step back a bit and look at all the options,” says Julie. Doing so with the help of Matt and Madalin helped them to avoid making a purely emotional decision.
“It was complemented with some really good knowledge of what was going on in our specific market in our neighbourhood. And that was great to have.”