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What real estate and shopping local have in common

Lindsay Smith

By Lindsay Smith/Columnist

This past week I spent some money. I visited the Oshawa Farmer’s market, picked up lunch from a local restaurant, and loaded up a cart at Costco. Why is this important in a real estate column? The point is that I have, for the past 36 years, made my living helping people buy and sell homes locally and when paid for my work, I invest my income back into local businesses and our local community.

In this way, we all win.

This thought was sparked by several happenings over the past week. The first was a conversation with a real estate sales rep from the west end of Toronto. He had a buyer he wanted to bring to Oshawa with hopes of finding a home. After a few minutes, I realized he would need a GPS to even find Oshawa. He was asking which areas were good, which to avoid and if Oshawa had things like Costco or large shopping centres. Clearly, he was coming to our area blind to the many amazing features that it offers and the hidden pockets of homes that are coveted.

The second thing that happened was a conversation I had with a long-term client. He has a cottage in Fenelon Falls and asked me to help him sell his property. I explained he would be better served if he used one of the best, full-time realtors in the Fenelon area. In this way, he would be served by a local sales rep who knew the market as well as I know Durham Region, ensuring he would be taken care of in the best possible manner.

My personal opinion is that a client is best served when they use a local, full-time sales rep.

Using a local sales rep means you are not only tapping into a “local expert,” you are also investing in the local community. Let’s dig into how a real estate transaction benefits the City of Oshawa. These are the metrics from a study done by the Canadian Real Estate Association on what investments are made by a single real estate transaction in Ontario. (2014-2016)


General Household Purchases:                  $4,000

Furniture/ Appliances:                                 $8,325

Moving Costs:                                                 $2,350

Reno’s:                                                              $19,000

Professional Services:                                    $22,925

Taxes: (excluding GST)                                  $10,825



On first notice, the number appears shocking. However, if you think about the many things a buyer purchases to personalize their new home, it makes sense. What is doubly fascinating is when a home sells and the seller moves locally, this number can potentially double. Real estate has been known to lead economies into and out of recessions. In the past month, more than 250 detached homes were sold in Oshawa. This injection of investment, in the 10’s of millions locally is a lifeline that allows local business to survive during times like we are currently experiencing.

Over the past few years, we have seen a large group of buyers moving east to Oshawa. They come for many reasons, one being that the prices of our real estate are less than many other communities in the GTA. Some make their way out on their own and find a local agent while others come with an out-of-area agent. In any case, both the buyers and sellers are the ones that determine if the end result is that the money spent on making a move stays local or benefits another community.

The Oshawa Express is a perfect example of a local business. They report on local happenings, employ local people, and reinvest the money they generate locally.

As a community, we thrive when we support our neighbours. I will continue to work locally and open my wallet for local businesses. This way, my clients are taken care of and in a small way we all can grow a little stronger.

Lindsay Smith

Keller Williams Energy Brokerage