Do you have a number of problems, or a problem with numbers?
In real estate, the address of a home can add value or detract from the value. Sound silly? Well, it’s a very real issue for those who feel strongly about the number 13 or 4. Most of us are familiar with the common stereotype about the ‘unlucky’ number 13, and quite often it will be omitted from the sequence when numbering floors in a condo or apartment building. I have never noticed it missing on a residential street, but I’m sure it happens.
I read some stats in a May, 2013 article in The Toronto Star that said ‘According to the 2011 census, of the 184,000 people who live in Richmond Hill, more than 100,000 emigrated from another country. (This is interesting for another reason now!) Almost 28,000 are from Hong Kong or China.’ For that reason, the number 4 is an especially hot topic when it comes to real estate in Richmond Hill. In Cantonese and Mandarin, ‘four’ sounds very similar to their word for ‘death’. Culturally, people who come from these backgrounds feel strongly about not buying a home that is numbered ‘4’. They have to decide to either leave that home off their shopping list altogether, or look into requesting an address change with the municipality.
John Weber learned about the importance of a house number earlier this year when he worked with a family that has recently emigrated to Canada from China. They looked at a number of homes and finally decided on one that would work the best for them. Unfortunately there is a ‘4’ in the house number. I contacted The City of Barrie to ask what steps need to be taken to change that number. I was told that once the new home owner takes possession of the home they can send an email to the City requesting the house number change. As long as the Director of the Planning Department is in agreement, and as long as 911 is OK with it as far as emergency services still understanding where the home is, then the request is generally approved. Nothing is guaranteed, but the process generally has positive results. It takes roughly 60 days to go through everything, but it’s definitely a viable option for a family who isn’t comfortable with the number on their home.
As REALTORS, John and I try our best to be aware of every possible issue that can come up when working with our clients, and are always willing to learn more! Nothing surprises me anymore and I find it very interesting to learn about different cultural and ethnic beliefs.
If you would like more information about numbers and how they can affect real estate, feel free to contact me or John. You can reach John at John@JohnWeberTeam.com or by cell at 705-727-6111. You can reach me at Christie@JohnWeberTeam.com or by cell at 705-220-1152.