Thursday, March 28, 2019


Meet Doug Folsetter and Tricia Taffs of Distinctly Hamilton aka Folsetter Taffs & Associates. I strongly recommend these two for house hunters and house sellers parched for standout service in the greater Hamilton area. But don’t take my word for it (or the bench ad’s). Hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. Actually, Doug and Tricia are much more magical than that. Unicorn’s mouth it is! Get ready to be ‘thought led’ by these two unicorn thought leaders. 

You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll want to buy!

Source: Doug and Tricia's 'Word on the Street'

 All  photos, except where noted, by Tom Vogel,  I

Urban, Suburban or Rural. What team are you on and why?
Tricia - Definitely Urban.  I love the fact that I am able to walk to just about everything.  I spend a lot of time in my car for work driving all over the city.  It's great to come home and park the car.  I love living in an area that has all the amenities that I want and need.  My son and I walk everywhere, even to the dentist.

Doug - I grew up Suburban but any home that I’ve owned has been in an Urban area.  I love it for the same reasons that Tricia mentions above.  I have to say though, that part of me yearns for quiet country living on a couple of acres and space for a workshop but I’d really miss being close to everything. 

Favourite Hamilton Street & Why? 
Tricia- One of my favourite neighbourhoods is finally getting the recognition it deserves after all these years. St. Clair Boulevard is definitely one that stands out.  With its beautiful mature tree lined street, historical homes that boast loads of character, nestled against the escarpment, the boulevard is a real gem.

Doug - This is a tough one.  I love many of the beautify streets in SW Hamilton where I live but I’m going to pick Bay Street because it’s so incredibly diverse.  It features everything from the stunning homes at the base of the escarpment to the beautiful properties overlooking the harbour at the other end, in between is a complete cross section of what Hamilton offers, including both the grittiness and the areas with tremendous potential.

Your favourite part of helping a client sell a house
Tricia - One of my favourite parts of selling a client’s home is being an integral part of the process from start to finish.  Helping them make good decisions on where and what to concentrate on to achieve the highest value.  A fresh coat of paint and a good cleaner go along way.  Those two things alone and can bring in thousands of dollars.

Doug - I love to see the feeling of relief on a seller’s face once we’ve successfully sold their property. The look is even more satisfying if we’re able to sell quickly and for a price higher than they are expecting!  We really strive to make the selling process as painless as possible as we appreciate that it can be a stressful time.  

Source: Doug and Tricia's 'Word on the Street'
Source: Doug and Tricia's 'Word on the Street'

Your favourite part of helping a buyer find a house
Tricia - The feeling after a lot of searching and hunting for the best possible home that fits their budget and criteria, and then finally finding the right one!   With buyers especially, you really become part of their everyday lives. It’s amazing seeing their faces light up when we have found the right home.

Doug - I love it when we can introduce something unexpected.  It could be a specific area or style of home that the buyer didn’t initially consider but in the end turns out to be a perfect fit.    It’s easy to show just the obvious choices but once we get to know our buyers and their preferences, we can often find additional, options.

Why you love Hamilton:

Top 4 list (in no particular order)


1.  All the new restaurants and shops that are popping up in our city.  I love to eat!

2.  Pier 4 and the Waterfront.  Especially the Roller-skating.  One of my favourite activities to do in the summer.

3.  Bruce trail.  I have access to it just a few minutes’ walk from my home.  It’s a perfect walk for Sunny my dog. 

4.  Big City, small town feel.  The community and people I meet every day.  We Hamiltionains are very proud of our city, and we want to see people succeed. 

Doug (Tricia is taking all of the good answers!)

 1.  Waterfront - I love it too!  I’m a sailor have always enjoyed the bay.  There is relaxing and vibrant at the same time.  The sunsets are the best in the city as well. 

2.  Locke Street - It’s been great watching it transition over the last several years to become an area that offers something for everyone.  It’s resurgence really signified the start of Hamilton’s recent prosperity.

3.  The architecture and adaptive reuse - Hamilton has finally embraced it’s classic architecture.  Instead of tearing down, we’re seeing a lot of money and effort being spent on restoring lovely Victorian homes and adapting old commercial buildings to modern uses.  This type of built character can’t be replaced.

4.  Trails - they’re everywhere!  The Bruce trail, trails to the various waterfalls, the rail trails, the Waterfront trails, the RBG trails…  The list goes on. 

Your favourite character detail in old homes
Tricia - Stained/Leaded glass windows.  Being surprised by a butler staircase that still exists. Crown moulding throughout and original millwork.

Doug - High ceilings, slate roofs, intricate in-laid hardwood flooring, ornate newel posts, original built-in cabinetry.

What's the most unusual/difficult feature you've been tasked to find for a buyer?
We’ve had demanding buyers but haven’t come across too many unusual requests.  We’ve found some strange things though such as - fire poles, stripper poles, goat sheds, pigeon pens, a dungeon, a safe room with cameras, a claw foot tub in the middle of a random room, a backyard that was paved but painted green, a basement floor that was made entirely of random granite scraps….  I’m sure we’re forgetting some of the good ones.

What are the most common buyer wants (and how easy are they to find)? How can buyers compromise?
Many buyers want to move up to a larger, move-in ready home with renovated kitchens and baths… a nice yard, garage, and the best neighbourhoods. All for a low price!  It’s natural for a buyer to want a lot out of a house but budget doesn’t always allow for everything.  We try to boil it down to location, size and level of finish and find out which of these is most important to the buyer.  Once we know that, we can help with the tradeoffs.  For instance, if location is most important, we can show a home that’s the right size but needs a bit of thoughtful and inexpensive updating to make it shine...

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How would you describe the Hamilton buyer's market right now?

Buyers are more patient and currently have a more choice. They’re being more picky and waiting for the right home to come along. 

How would you describe the Hamilton seller's market right now?
 There are really two markets right now. Homes that show well, are well located & offer good value are selling very quickly, the others are not.

The next up and coming neighbourhood for gentrification?
Tricia  - One of the biggest bang for your buck neighbourhoods for first time home buyers right now are Crown Point and Homeside.  It's mix  of bungalows and older brick homes close to Gage Park, the Stadium  and Ottawa Street, which has been rapidly changing and  growing.

Doug - I like the North End.  They Bayfront redevelopment will bring a lot of attention and amenities to the area.  It’s sure to grow and change and evolve.  We’re already starting to see in-fill building and high end renovations...

Contact Doug or Tricia:

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