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Archive for December, 2013

Giving Back to Our Community!

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

When you live in a community and you earn your livelihood from those within it, supporting its causes, its interests and its charitable organizations simply makes good common sense.

That’s the philosophy that underlies the Freeman Real Estate approach as the company continues to reach out to the neighbourhoods it has served for more than 40 years.

“We think local,” says Dan Freeman, who with his brother Elden Freeman are the owner-operators of the 35-member real estate office. “We’re both cognizant of the fact that the community has given us a lot over the years. Many of our clients and friends live in the neighbourhood. It feels nice to give back a little.”

The value of payback is something the Freemans learned from their mother Nancy and their father Barry, who started the real estate business on Bathurst Street in 1971. An old-school businessman, Barry was the first to lend a hand if a person was courageous and desperate enough to express the need for help. That kind of goodwill trickles from one generation to the next and from one sibling to another and it helps the Freemans appreciate where they came from and where they’re heading, says Dan.

In fact, it was under Barry’s direction that Freeman began staging live musical celebrations in Vermont Square Park as a thank you to the community he served. The park is the public crown jewel of the Seaton Village neighbourhood and home to St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club, an amazing organization set up to offer programming to children and youth to help them overcome barriers and develop confidence. The Freemans support the club and their children have enjoyed various programs and activities, which today cover all ages from newborns to adults in everything from swimming to computer labs.

Vermont Park is home to many of the events the Freemans put on. To wish the community a Merry Christmas this year, Freeman Real Estate is sponsoring a free skate on December 21st from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Bill Bolton Arena in Vermont Park.

For the past few years the Freemans have also hosted free historic tours in and around Seaton Village and the Annex. The tours are led by historians adept at bringing the past to life by telling the cultural, economic and political story of an area through its buildings, homes and landscapes. Tours have included the Tollkeeper’s Cottage, Seaton Village and Tarragon Village.

When they can, the Freemans try to employ local talent for their events. David Beadle, a local moth expert, hosted an interactive evening in the park replete with moths and refreshments. Bill the Bat Boy was brought in to edify people about bats and to help them with any problems they might be having.

Both events were big hits. The company’s social consciousness also extends to its staff, many of whom volunteer their time to help
at the various events hosted by the Freemans. In fact, Dan is already lining up ideas for next year.

“Because we’re a very dog oriented office, I’m thinking of having some sort of dog show in the park,” says Dan. “I imagine the community would really love that.”

Giving the Gift of Real Estate

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

For some, it may be the most over-the-top thing you’ve ever done. But that’s according to your friends whose idea of overdoing it is using one per cent milk in their decaf.

Don’t listen to them. Listen to your heart. Because when all is said and done buying a house for your son or granddaughter this Christmas is one of the greatest tangible ways to show how much you love them.

Think of the looks on their faces when you tell them what Santa is bringing this year. Not only will you earn heaps of brownie points with the kids and grandkids, you’re sure to cement a stronger bond with them as well. If not stronger, than at least you’re opening the door to closer ties. Just be careful not to use and abuse the privilege as that only builds resentment and bitterness.

As for that sense of entitlement naysayers say you’ll foster in your kids, that’s all up to you. Ungrateful children who expect too much from their parents behave that way because parents have permitted the unbecoming behaviour.

Besides, there may also be somewhat of an ulterior motive involved in this special gift. Providing a roof for your children allows you, quite frankly, to rest easier knowing they are free from the financial constraints of rent or mortgage payments. Maybe now they can pursuit that MBA they’ve always dreamed of or travel to Africa to do mission work or become a master sommelier. The point is you’re buying them freedom and yourself peace of mind.

You won’t be alone. According to a 2011 national survey out of the U.S. more and more baby boomers are giving their kids or grandkids the gift of home ownership.

Commissioned by Better Homes and Garden Real Estate, the survey said that 20 per cent of baby boomers have already gifted, loaned, or co-signed a loan to support their children or grandchildren in purchasing a home. It also indicated that 70 per cent of baby boomers want to provide this financial support in the future.

The boomers in the survey said that love was the main reason they are willing to provide funding for a house and that they hoped their gift would allow their children and grandchildren to reach the American dream.

That sounds about right for Canadians as well. At Christmas, and any time really, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.


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