Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a residential real estate broker, and I specialize in Hamilton. I’ve lived here for nearly 10yrs now and started my career here, my husband Salar was able to get a new career path when we moved here as well, opening a few restaurants, starting with a food truck!
Why did you move to Hamilton?
Truthfully, we were living in a small condo in Toronto, and my now husband’s dog Ozzy (RIP) couldn’t deal with condo life. We knew if we were going to last we needed to move somewhere with more space, and I refused the idea of a suburb. Hamilton was the closet city proper, and the real estate prices were so affordable we were able to restart our career plans. We came in knowing very little about the city, and knowing only a couple of people.
What neighbourhood are you living in and why did you choose it?
When we first moved here, we bought a renovated 3 bedroom house in the North End – it was gasp north of Barton! We loved that house and stayed there for 5 years, until we moved to our current home in Stipley near the Stadium. We decided to rent out our first place, used the equity to put a downpayment on this home to allow us to build an investment and to get into another developing neighbourhood which we love as much as we did the North End.
What surprised you most about the city?
Coming in with very little expectations, we were amazed at how welcoming the community was, and how quick to offer support people were. I felt like we were able to make real connections with a wide variety of people fairly quickly.
Any advice for people looking to make the move?
You really need to figure out your priorities, is it price/affordability? Is it the house itself? Easy access to amenities? Don’t follow generalized rules of not living north of this street, or east of that. The city has a lot of wonderful pockets, and many gems get overlooked. The flip of that, is make sure you go into areas with your eyes wide open, whether you’re renting or buying, don’t get swayed by a fancy kitchen with subway tiles in areas that may not work for you.
If someone were visiting Hamilton for the first time, what would be the top three places you would recommend them checking out?
I would say visit King West Books in Westdale, grab some Fresh Cheese or an Avocado Salad at Berkley North on King William and of course hit up MaiPai Tiki Bar for some flaming cocktails! Only 3 is really hard….so I feel I also have to add, some of the best things about the city are the festivals and gatherings so check out a summer Art Crawl, go to the West Hamilton Artist Tour, see some fun theatre at Frost Bites, and check out a film at the Playhouse Theatre.