Blog by Patricia Houlihan - Personal Real Estate Corporation

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Things They Don’t Write About In the House Description

Here are a few of the things that most people don’t consider when writing about the benefits of their home. They are also things you should ask about when house hunting.


1.     Privacy - It is one thing to say that the property is private, but what does that really mean? It is easier to paint a picture of space and conjure an emotion if you add some details. If your apartment is a corner suite, then you have less shared walls and conversations. If it is a concrete building, sound does not carry as well. People rarely mention that an ocean view may mean one less nosy neighbour to that side. Most downtown condos have a wall of windows peering in, watching what you’re eating for dinner. Embrace the privacy of a fence, a hedge, or even subpar view, if it is gives you the freedom to stretch out and do as you choose. If someone says private, turn over a few stones. If you enjoy a special kind of peace in your home - tell us all about it.


2.     The Strata - If you have a good strata, let it be known. If you live in a home and are free from strata politics, headaches and time-wasting meetings - all the better. Make sure you expand on the benefits of a laissez-faire (or non-existent) strata council. If you are buying - do a little research on what kind of neighbours you’ll be making and breaking rules with.


3.     Proximity to the basics, like food - This would be the first thing that our earliest ancestors would consider. The cave nearest the watering hole would be the greatest real estate. However, today in our hustle bustle convenient world we tend to forget that sometimes it’s nice to walk to the corner store to get a litre of milk in your housecoat and slippers. A nearby supermarket is nice, as is a gas station, post office, pharmacy and all those little things that make up a community. It’s nice to have a neighbourhood you can feel at home in. Sometimes it can get lonely in a mansion on the hill.


4.     Kid friendly parks - if you have little ones, or are planning to, you will need a litany of green spaces to keep them amused. Even the biggest park in the city will soon grow tiresome if they spend all their time on the same swings and slides. Every park has a different play area for kids. The closer you are to multiple parks, the more variety. In the case of fun places and kids - more is more.


5.     Smells. You can’t quantify smells and that is why they are almost always left out of description. Unless you are buying in Hawaii - fragrant, and sweet-smelling never seem to fit with Vancouver real estate. It is more bad odours you should be concerned about. Where is the garbage collected? Are their unpleasant alleys behind restaurants nearby? What about the industry in the area? The chicken processing plant in Sunrise springs to mind.  If you are selling, no smell is a good smell, and don’t be afraid to say that. If you are looking, use your ears and nose too.


6.     Water pressure - Real estate descriptions are often too concise to talk about minor details like how fast and voluminous the water coming out of the tap is. But this is one of those things that will drive you crazy over time. Good water pressure is a blessing. A weak drizzle of a shower will do nothing but ruin your morning.



Asking the right questions is a big part of a REALTOR®’s job. My family has been in the Vancouver real estate market for three generations, so we know exactly what to look for, what to avoid, and the details that are worth expanding on for each individual sale. I can help a seller find hidden value, and a buyer avoid traps.



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