GETTING TO KNOW: DARRYL WATTY – CHESTNUT PARK REALTY WEST

INTERVIEW BY CAI SEPULIS

ONE COULD SAY THAT DARRYL WATTY EMBODIES THE PRIME CHARACTERISTICS OF A SUCCESSFUL REAL ESTATE AGENT. ATTITUDE. DILIGENCE. AND THE RIGHT TYPE OF HUSTLE. HE BELIEVES THAT HIS MISSION IS TO EMPOWER HIS CLIENTS WITH THE INFORMATION THEY NEED TO MAKE SMART JUDGEMENTS AND SHREWD CHOICES ABOUT HOMES, REAL ESTATE, AND HOME IMPROVEMENT – BECAUSE ANY PURCHASE IN THIS REALM IS A LIFESTYLE DECISION.

RECENTLY, TOQUE’S CAI SEPULIS SAT DOWN WITH THIS SPIRITED AND ALERT REALTOR TO CHAT ABOUT HIS JOURNEY IN REAL ESTATE, ABOUT MARKET TRENDS – AND ABOUT WHERE TO GRAB A GREAT LUNCH IN THE REGION.

CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH REAL ESTATE? As the son of an urban planner, I grew up surrounded by conversations about city development and the character of neighbourhoods. To me, real estate isn’t a job – it’s a way of life.

IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE CURRENT MARKET? For as long as I’ve been selling real estate – for over a decade now – we’ve been blessed here in the Golden Triangle with a robust economy and increasing property values. New inventory is trickling into the market only in the form of high-rise condos and smaller-sized lot offerings on city peripheries.

WHAT TYPE OF REAL ESTATE DO YOU FOCUS ON? I firmly believe in the future values of established neighbourhoods and irreplaceable real estate. You can’t duplicate history or aged brick, you can’t make greenspace out of thin air, and no developer can make a mature tree-lined street from scratch. These things have inherent value and serve to insulate property values down the road.

ANY TIPS FOR FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS? As the old saying goes: ‘The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second-best time is now.’

ANY TIPS FOR SELLING YOUR HOME? Get professionals in the moment you begin thinking about a move. Get a plan started to make the flow of the home as cohesive as possible, giving your ideal buyer every possible reason to want to move quickly on your home.

ANY UP-AND-COMING NEIGHBOURHOODS TO KEEP AN EYE ON? In Waterloo, I’m a big fan of the homes in and around Allen, Bristol, and Rodney Streets. They’re well-built, 1960s-era homes on big lots close to Uptown Waterloo, but also framed by primary roads in and out of town. In Kitchener, I really like the upside of Midtown and Victoria Park neighbourhoods. In Cambridge, keep an eye on Preston, as it has undeniable locational appeal. In Guelph, I love some of the smaller century homes close to the centre of town.

THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB? Hands down, it’s those moments when real estate becomes truly real, like when I’m showing a prospective home to a client and can see their eyes light up as they realize that this is the house for them.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN WATERLOO TO TAKE A BREAK? OR GRAB LUNCH? If I’m in the mood for comfort food, there’s no place around that compares to the Grand Trunk Saloon in downtown Kitchener. Or, if it’s a sunny day, I gravitate towards The Boathouse on the lake in Victoria Park.

YOUR FAVOURITE PASTIMES? I love playing with my boys, Ashton and Anson. And I’m a junkie for golf, hitting the gym, and playing rec-league soccer.