My Home Didn’t Sell! Now What?

7. March 2023 04:33

When it comes to listing your home, most home sellers want three things: 1) to make a lot of money, 2) to put in minimal time and effort, and 3) to sell quickly. But the reality is, selling a home is rarely that simple. And homeowners who try to do it themselves—or receive bad advice—can end up stuck (months later) with a property that hasn’t sold.


If that’s you, don’t panic! We’ve outlined the top five reasons a home doesn’t sell—and action steps you can take to overcome each of these issues.


Not sure why your property didn’t sell? If you’re not already working with an agent or your listing has expired or been withdrawn, give us a call! We’d be happy to offer a free, no-obligation assessment and create an action plan to get your home SOLD.


This marketing piece is not intended as a solicitation for properties currently in an exclusive agreement with another Broker.



If your home didn’t sell after several months on the market, timing could’ve been a factor. Markets are driven by the law of supply and demand, and real estate is no exception.

 When there are a lot of people who want to buy homes (demand) and a shortage of inventory (supply), it’s considered a seller’s market. During a seller’s market, listings tend to get snapped up quickly. In a buyer’s market, however, there are more homes for sale than active buyers. This can cause homes to sell for less money and to sit on the market for a longer period of time before receiving an offer.

 What causes the shift between a seller’s market and a buyer’s market? Economic factors like interest rates, affordability, domestic growth, and the unemployment rate can all impact buyer demand. Over the past year, for example, higher mortgage rates have not only made it harder for some borrowers to qualify for a home loan, they have also sharply pushed up homebuyers' anticipated monthly payments.1 So even if a buyer was interested in your home, they may have passed on it if they couldn’t qualify for a mortgage at your asking price.

 Seasonal factors like weather, holidays, and school schedules can also increase or dampen the activity and motivation of buyers. Additionally, unexpected events, such as a natural disaster or a stock market crash, can cause some buyers to put their purchasing plans on hold until conditions normalize.


Now What?

If timing does appear to be a factor, it may be advisable to delay relisting your property. Of course, that’s not feasible (or desirable) for every seller.

 In most cases, buyers can be motivated to act with a combination of improvements, incentives, and pricing. Where there’s a will to sell, there’s usually a way. Fortunately for sellers, people will always need a place to live, and there will be a percentage of the population that is motivated to buy quickly.

 If you suspect timing played a role in your inability to sell, consult with a knowledgeable real estate agent. We’re in the field every day and have access to the latest market data. We can estimate how long a home like yours should take to sell given current market conditions and help ensure that your asking price is competitive.



 Did your home get a steady stream of showings when it was on the market? If not, you may need to try a new promotional strategy.

 Take a look at the listing description. Did it entice buyers to visit your property? A well-written description should be clear and compelling while highlighting your home’s most desirable features. Additionally, it should have utilized best practices for search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure that it was found by buyers who were looking for homes online.

 And how well did the listing photos showcase your property? Many buyers use photos of a home to decide whether or not to visit it in person. In fact, in an American survey, 85% of buyers who browsed online found photos “very useful” in their home search.2 Poor quality or a low quantity of listing photos could have kept potential buyers from stepping through your door.

 Another factor to consider is whether your listing reached the right audience. This can be especially important if you have a unique or highly-customized home. Working with your agent to make your listing available through your local Multiple Listing Service® System is a great place to start, but some properties require a more robust marketing approach.


Now What?

If you suspect ineffective marketing, consider turning to a skilled professional with a proven approach. We employ a strategic Property Marketing Plan that uses the latest technologies to seed the marketplace, optimize for search engine placement, and position your home for the best possible impression right out of the gate.

 For example, we know what buyers in this market want and can craft a persuasive description to pique their interest. And since good listing photos are so crucial, we work with the top local photographers to ensure each shot is staged to your home’s advantage.

 We also know how to get your listing in front of the right audience—one that will appreciate its unique features. By utilizing online and social marketing platforms to connect with consumers and offline channels to connect with local real estate agents, your property gets maximum exposure to your target market.

 Want to learn more about our multi-step marketing strategy? Reach out for a copy of our complete Property Marketing Plan.



 If your property received a lot of foot traffic but no offers, you may need to examine the impression you made on buyers who visited your property.

 Start with your home’s structure and systems. Are there large cracks in the foundation? How about doors and windows that don’t properly close? Are there water stains on the walls or ceiling that could signal a leak? These can be major “red flags” that scare away buyers.

 Next, examine your curb appeal. Does the yard need mowing or do the hedges need trimming? Are there oil stains on the driveway? Any peeling paint or rotted siding? If your home’s exterior looks neglected, buyers may assume the entire house has been poorly maintained.

 Now move on to the interior of your home. Is it clean? Is there a noticeable odour? Have you taken the time to depersonalize and declutter each room? Buyers need to be able to picture their items in your home, but that’s difficult to do amongst your family photos and personal collections. And oversized furniture and packed closets can make a space seem small and cramped.


Now What?

When we take on a new listing, we always walk through it with the homeowner and point out any repairs, updates, or decluttering that should be done to maximize its sales potential. We also share tips on how to prep the property before each showing.

 In some cases, we will recommend that you utilize staging techniques to highlight your home’s best features and help buyers envision themselves living in the space. Home staging is one of the hottest trends in real estate—because it works! According to, for example, staging could cut in half the amount of time it takes to sell and bump up your sale price by as much as 20%.3 In addition, a survey of North American real estate agents suggests that staging not only helps spark buyers' imaginations, it can also inspire higher quality offers.4

 Some sellers choose to hire a professional home stager, while others opt to do it themselves, using guidance from their agent. We can help you determine the appropriate budget and effort required to get your home sold.



 Many homeowners are reluctant to drop their listing price. But the reality is, buyers may not seriously consider your property if they think your home is overpriced.

 Attitudes have changed since the Bank of Canada started hiking interest rates. Many of today's homebuyers are no longer willing or able to pay as high a price on a new home as they might have when borrowing costs were lower.5 If your home’s original asking price was set using sales data from the market's peak, then you may need to rethink your pricing strategy.

 Economic factors aren't the only reasons, though, for why a home's asking price might not match its market value. Pricing a home can be tricky, regardless of the economic climate, because so many factors can impact how much buyers are willing to pay. For example, unique, highly customized, and luxury properties are particularly difficult to price because there aren’t a lot of comparable homes with which to compare them.

 Regardless, if your home sat on the market for months without an offer, then chances are good that your asking price needs to be reevaluated.


Now What?

If you aren’t in a rush to sell your home, adjustments to timing or marketing may bring in a new pool of potential buyers. And repairs, upgrades, and staging can increase the perceived value of your home, which may be enough to bring a buyer to the table at your original list price.

However, if you need to sell quickly, or you’ve already exhausted those options, a price reduction may be necessary to get your home the attention it needs to sell.

We are local market experts and have access to the latest market data and comparable sales in your neighbourhood. We can help you determine a realistic asking price for your home given today’s market conditions. Just reach out for a free home value assessment!



 If you suspect that your previous real estate agent didn’t do enough—or used the wrong approach—to sell your home, you’re not alone. Many sellers whose listings languish until they expire or are withdrawn feel this way.

While most agents have the best of intentions, not all of them have the skills, experience, instincts, or local market expertise to devise a winning sales strategy in this challenging market.

Or, perhaps you chose not to hire a listing agent at all and have been trying to sell your home yourself. This can be an equally frustrating endeavour.

Although selling your home independently can help cut some costs, it can also be extremely risky and may even lose you money in the long run. For example, research by the Canadian real estate intelligence firm, Insightt, found that For Sale By Owner (or FSBO) homes took more than twice as long to sell in some real estate markets as homes represented by an agent. Insightt's data also showed that FSBO homes were more likely to sell for less than asking price.6


Now What?

If either of these scenarios sounds familiar, you need to ask yourself: “Would I still be interested in selling my home if I could get the right offer?”

 If so, we should talk. We understand how frustrating it can be when you’ve put a lot of time, money, and effort into prepping your property for the market and it doesn’t sell. We also empathize with how disruptive a delayed home sale can be to your life.

 By now, don’t you owe yourself more than the status quo when it comes to your real estate representation? Our multi-step Property Marketing Plan can help you sell your home for the most money possible, and in the process re-connect you with the excitement you originally felt upon first listing. It’s time for a new agent, new marketing, new buyers, and most of all… new possibilities.



 Let's talk. We can help you figure out why your home didn’t sell and how to revise your sales strategy and set your home up for success.

 The housing market has experienced a shift and the waters may be choppier than usual for a while. But there's still plenty of opportunity in the current market: You just need a guide who knows where to look and how to find it.


 This marketing piece is not intended as a solicitation for properties currently in an exclusive agreement with another Broker. The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.

 The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA.


1.     Financial Post -

2.     National Association of Realtors -

3.     CREA -

4.     Money Sense -

5.     The Globe and Mail -

6.     Real Estate Magazine -

How Great Realtors Change Lives

15. February 2023 08:06


Great mentors across different industries typically have one common piece of advice for their students—add value to people's lives. Doing so can bring you wealth and success. But more importantly, it will allow you to carve a fulfilling and meaningful career.

As a realtor, you have the potential to create a significant impact on people's lives. Your job is more than just assisting clients with real estate transactions. In this industry, you become a trusted advisor and a friend to your clients, guiding them through crucial, emotional, and financial decisions. Here are several ways great real estate professionals change lives.

  1. Helping Individuals Advance to the Next Chapter of Their Lives

    As a real estate agent, you will help individuals move forward during significant life changes. You may encounter an engaged couple searching for their dream home, a retiree looking for a new house closer to their family, or a growing household seeking more space. Your daily work approach can significantly impact clients' experiences and determine if they view you as a trusted advisor or just a necessary part of a transaction.

    Recommending a property that can give the best commissions can be tempting. But great real estate agents know that doing so will only lead to short-term gains. Instead, they help clients find the perfect property that matches their needs.

    During the transaction, passionate agents also ensure a positive experience. They listen and understand each individual's unique challenges and goals. They also guide clients through the process and help them smoothly transition to the next chapter of their lives. Realtors build long-lasting relationships and become integral to clients' lives by approaching work to serve others.

  2. Guiding People in Increasing Their Wealth

    For many people, real estate is a crucial part of their financial portfolio. And a real estate agent can help them navigate the market to make wise investments. Great agents advise clients on the best neighborhoods to invest in, the types of properties that will yield the best returns, and how to manage rental properties properly.

    Good real estate agents also tailor advice based on the client's financial goals and risk tolerance. They also inform clients about financial incentives and programs, ensuring they maximize their benefits. A dedicated realtor will make sure that clients invest their money wisely.

  3. Promoting Good Business Practices

    Besides sales skills, real estate professionals also develop marketing expertise. Great real estate agents use their marketing acumen to promote good business practices instead of their wins. They share with their fellow agents and clients how they added value to people's lives. And they make it clear that you can trust them with your real estate transactions.

Become a Great Realtor at Express Realty, Inc.

At Express Realty Inc., we owe our success to every agent's exceptional customer service over the years. Join our team, and we'll help you achieve your financial goals and a fulfilling career!

Top 6 Home Design Trends To Watch in 2023

9. February 2023 06:30

Over the past few years, many of us have spent extra time at home—and that means we appreciate the personal design touches that make a house cozy and comfortable more than ever. Some of us have adapted our dwellings in new ways, from creating functional home offices to upgrading the appliances we use most.

But while it’s important to make your home your own, it’s also smart to think about the long-term impact your renovations could have on its value. Choosing highly-personalized fixtures and finishes can make it harder for future homebuyers to envision themselves in the space. Even if you don’t plan to sell your home soon, investing in popular design choices that are likely to stand the test of time will make things easier down the road.

And if you’re in the market for a new home, it’s wise to keep an eye out for features that might need to be updated soon so you can factor renovation costs into your budget.

We’ve rounded up six trends that we think will influence interior design in 2023, as well as ideas for how you might incorporate them in your own home. Remember, before taking action, it’s always wise to consult with a real estate professional to understand how specific updates and upgrades will affect your property’s value in your local market.

1. Separate Kitchen, Dining and Living Areas

For years, home design has been dominated by open-concept floor plans, particularly for kitchen, dining, and living areas. However, as the pandemic forced families to work and study from home, many struggled to find the privacy and separation they needed. As a result, designers report that more families are choosing to bring back walls to break up the space and create quieter areas.1

That doesn’t mean that we’re returning to an era of dark and cramped spaces, however. Even as walls make a return, it’s important to take care to retain a sense of flow and openness within the home and to prioritize natural light.

If you’re buying or building a new home, consider how you will use the space and whether or not an open floor plan will suit your needs. If you already live in a home with an open floor plan and it isn’t working for you, try rearranging furniture and strategically placing pieces like bookshelves, room dividers, or rugs to create distinct areas within the home and reduce noise. 

2. Nature-Inspired Design

In the past few years, we’ve seen the “biophilia” trend explode, and there are no signs that it will be any less popular in 2023. This trend is all about bringing the outside in by adding natural touches throughout your home.2

This year, design experts predict that natural, sustainable materials like bamboo, cork, and live-edge wood will lend character without being overwhelming. Natural-wood cabinets and accents are also back in vogue.3 Designers emphasize that you shouldn’t be afraid to mix contrasting tones, like white oak and rich walnut, to create a custom and inviting look.1

Colours inspired by nature (think mossy greens and desert hues) will also play into this trend and will blend seamlessly with wood tones. We’re also seeing a return to natural stone countertop materials like quartzite, marble, and soapstone.4

If you’re planning to add new shelving or redo your kitchen, consider turning to these materials to embrace the biophilic look. Or, incorporate elements of the trend by choosing nature-inspired paint colours and adding to your houseplant collection.

3. Lighting as a Design Feature

Spending more time at home has shown us the importance of having the right lighting for specific tasks and times of the day. As a result, many homeowners are reconsidering the ways they light their homes and using light fixtures to change the usability and mood of their spaces.

In particular, homeowners are rejecting bright, flat overhead lighting and replacing it with lamps and task-specific options. A layered approach to lighting—such as using a combination of under-cabinet, task, and ambient lighting in a kitchen—enables homeowners to tweak the level of light they’re using based on the time of day and what they are doing.4

In 2023, we expect to see more statement chandeliers, pendants, and wall sconces in a variety of shapes and materials.5 Thinking about switching up the lighting in your home? Start by adding floor or table lamps and swapping out fixtures before you invest in rewiring your space. Take note of what works and what doesn’t and watch how the light in your home changes throughout the day. You can then use that information to make lighting decisions that require a bigger investment.

4. More Vibrant Colour Palettes

After the long dominance of whites and grays, more vibrant colours are coming back as a way to add character and dimension to homes.

This year, warm and earthy neutrals, jewel tones, and shades of red and pink are particularly popular.6 If your style tends toward the subtle, consider options like light, calming greens, blues, and pastels.

Major paint brands have responded to these homeowner preferences with their newest releases. Sherwin William’s 2023 colour of the year, Redend point, is an earthy blushing beige, while Dulux is embracing jewel tones with Vining Ivy, a rich teal.7,8 Behr’s choice of the year, Blank Canvas, is a creamy off-white that's a warmer version of the stark whites that have been trending over the past few years.9

If you’re planning to put your home on the market soon, it’s better to play on the safer side and avoid extremely bold or bright colour choices when it comes to paint or fixed finishes like tile and countertops. Instead, try incorporating pops of colour through throw pillows, art, and accessories.


5. Curved Furniture and Architectural Accents

Goodbye, sharp corners. In 2023, arches and curves lend a sleek feel that draws on classical design and retro trends while remaining modern.6 Rounded corners feel more relaxed and natural than sharp edges, lending more of a sense of flow and comfort to a home.

If you want to incorporate the trend into your new build or remodelling plans, curved kitchen islands and bars and arched alcoves are all good options—or you can take it a step further with arched windows and doorways. You can also carry this trend through to your light fixtures by incorporating a bubble chandelier or globe pendants.

It’s easy to embrace this look without renovations, too. Look for a softer feel in furniture, with sofas, chairs, and tables that showcase curved edges. Or, break up your space with an arched folding screen and a circular rug.

6. Art Deco Revival

Art Deco, the architecture and design style that took hold in the 1920s and ’30s, is enjoying a resurgence.1As a style, Art Deco is marked by bold geometry, textures, and colours, as well as an emphasis on art. But the 2023 interpretation of this style is likely to be a bit less splashy than its historical roots. Designers predict that instead of incorporating all of the elements of the style, which could feel overwhelming, homeowners will pick bursts of colour or bold accessories to bring some whimsy to their space.

Keep an eye out for vintage mirrors, lamps, or vases that bring a touch of Art Deco glam to your home, or embrace bold colours and fabrics like velvet. Choose pillows and throw blankets in bright colours and geometric patterns to nod to the look without diving in all the way.


Are you thinking about remodelling or making significant design changes to your home? Wondering how those changes might impact your future resale value?

Buyer preferences vary significantly based on your home’s neighbourhood and price range. We’re happy to share our insights on the upgrades that will make it easier (or more difficult!) to sell your home. Give us a call for a free consultation!


The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.



  1. -
  2. -
  3. Home Builder Canada -
  4. -
  5. The Spruce -
  6. -
  7. Sherwin Williams -
  8. Dulux -
  9. Behr -

5 Tips for Succeeding as a Realtor

6. January 2023 20:38



A career in real estate can be lucrative, but it isn’t for everyone. In this competitive industry, success comes down to having the right attitude, skills, and strategies. Learn valuable techniques and practices that top realtors use to build successful careers:

  1. Look for a Good Mentor

As a newbie in the real estate industry, finding out where to start and how to succeed can be challenging and overwhelming. Having an experienced mentor to guide you can help simplify things and shorten your learning curve. A mentor can provide crucial knowledge, insights, and opportunities. They also understand the support and resources a new realtor needs.

The best place to find a mentor is in your agency. Associate yourself with a reputable real estate firm that will invest in your success and lead you to meaningful opportunities.  

  1. Maintain a Professional Image

First impressions last, and this saying is especially true in real estate. Clients will base your credibility and their willingness to work with you on the image you portray them. So, make sure to always look neat and professional. Be polite to prospects and clients, and listen attentively to what they say.

  1. Develop Time Management Skills

Real estate agents have the freedom to choose when they work. But this flexibility can lead to a lack of focus that can cause failure in this cutthroat industry.

Effective time management can increase your chances of success. Create a daily schedule for tasks like prospecting, marketing, and property viewings, and stick to it. When scheduling appointments, factor in unexpected delays to avoid being late and leaving a negative impression.

  1. Use Your Creativity

In this digital age, a real estate sales agent has countless ways to reach potential clients, attract attention, and generate leads. You can create virtual tours of listings, use social media to showcase properties, or host open houses with a unique theme. Make the most of your resources, have fun, and grow your sales!

  1. Provide Exceptional Customer Service

One of the best ways to gain new clients is through current ones’ referrals. And a client will only recommend you to friends and family if they’re happy with your service. So, build and maintain strong relationships with your clientele. Put their needs before your commissions, and make sure they get what’s best for them. Doing so will gain their trust and help ensure repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

Reach for Success With Express Realty Inc.

Join us at Express Realty Inc. if you’re looking for a company to help you reach your full potential as a successful realtor. Our hands-on and dedicated team will provide you with the training and support you need to elevate your real estate career. Apply now and take the first step toward success!

2023 Real Estate Market Outlook (And What It Means for You)

3. January 2023 04:21


Last year, one factor drove the real estate market more than any other: rising mortgage rates.


In March 2022, the Bank of Canada began a series of interest rate hikes in an effort to pump the brakes on inflation.1 And while some market sectors have been slow to respond, the housing market has reacted accordingly.


Both demand and home prices have softened, as the primary challenge for buyers has shifted from availability to affordability. And although this higher-mortgage rate environment has been a painful adjustment for many Canadians, it should ultimately lead to a more stable and sustainable real estate market.


So what can we expect in 2023? Will mortgage rates continue to climb? Could home prices come crashing down? While no one can forecast the future with certainty, here’s what several industry experts predict will happen to the Canadian housing market in the coming year.




Over the course of 2022, we saw the benchmark rate rise at a record pace—a whopping 400 basis points in just nine months. Fortunately, there are signs that the central bank’s series of rate hikes may be coming to an end.2


After last month’s half-point rate increase, Bank of Canada officials struck a noncommittal tone about future rate hikes, prompting economists to speculate that the central bank may pause hiking rates by early spring, if not sooner.3


According to Stephen Brown, a senior economist at Capital Economics, the central bank is likely to hike rates at least one more time before it shifts gears.We would not rule out a final 25 basis point interest rate hike in January,” said Brown in a client note. “But the Bank is very close to the end of its tightening cycle.”3


What impact will this have on mortgage rates? Variable mortgage rates could finally stabilize. However, buyers hoping for a big drop later in the year may be disappointed. Although some market analysts are betting on lower rates, CIBC economist Benjamin Tal thinks that's unlikely as long as inflation remains a factor. “I think that the Bank of Canada is determined to make sure that they will not touch interest rates in terms of cutting them before inflation is totally dead,” said Tal in an interview with Canadian Mortgage Professional.4


Fixed mortgage rates, on the other hand, could continue to trend lower as bond yields crumble.5 James Laird, co-CEO of, predicts that Bank of Canada’s benchmark rate will hold steady through 2023, but fixed mortgage rates may tick down because of bonds. “Bond yields will decrease throughout the year, allowing fixed rates to follow suit,” said Laird in an interview with Canadian Mortgage Professional.6 However, those rate decreases may be fairly muted as long as banks’ borrowing costs stay higher overall.


It's also possible that rates on both variable and fixed-rate mortgages will climb instead. Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem has made clear that the central bank is prepared to keep hiking rates aggressively if inflation fails to dissipate. “If high inflation sticks, much higher interest rates will be required to restore price stability,” said Macklem in a recent speech to business leaders.7


What does it mean for you? While no one can predict the future of mortgage rates with certainty, an end to interest rate hikes could bring some much-needed relief for borrowers. If you have plans to buy a home or renew your mortgage in the coming year, you’ll want to weigh your options carefully when deciding between a variable or fixed rate. Reach out for a referral to a mortgage professional who can help.[1] 




The pace of home sales fell steeply last year as higher mortgage rates priced would-be buyers out of the market. However, some industry experts predict that the Canadian housing market is poised to turn a corner.


Although many buyers and sellers are currently in a stalemate over housing prices, market dynamics may shift this spring as more homes go up for sale.


“Zooming in on demand and supply conditions, the drop in unit sales has been the steepest on record, but the pace of the decline is starting to slow,” write CIBC economists, Benjamin Tal and Katherine Judge, in a recent forecast.8 Douglas Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets, projects that existing home sales will fall through the first half of 2023 and then reverse course and begin to rise in Q3.9


Victor Tran, mortgage expert at Ratesdotca, also speculates that a stabilization in mortgage rates will bring home buyers back out. He told the Financial Post in a December interview: “We may be seeing the bottom of the housing market trough before buyers begin to enter the market in spring of 2023.”10


Buyers’ purchasing power will still be constrained by higher mortgage rates, though, as well as by a stringent mortgage stress test for uninsured mortgages and a hefty monthly payment for insured ones. So a buyer’s ability to participate in the market will depend, in part, on a seller’s willingness to negotiate.


What does it mean for you? If you’re a buyer who has been waiting for conditions to normalize, now may be an ideal time to start your home search. As more buyers begin to enter the market, you’ll face steeper competition and reduced negotiating power.

And if you’ve delayed selling your home, this could be the year to make a move. Reach out to schedule a free consultation and home value assessment.




Canadian home prices have fallen roughly 10% from their peak, and analysts expect they could fall further before moderating in the second half of this year.11


A Reuters poll of industry experts found a wide range of predictions. But on average, the analysts surveyed project that home prices could fall another 7.5% or so. However, the majority report that the risk of a market crash is low.11


A nationwide housing shortage is expected to prop up prices even as sales volume falls. According to Robert Kavcic, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, “We have a unique situation where demand has cracked and buyers can’t qualify for, or afford, early-year prices. But, outside some areas, there’s not a bounty of listings to choose from, and sellers are still able to say ‘no thanks.’”11


Economists at CIBC speculate that home prices will hit a floor in the coming months: “A lower 5-year rate and pent-up demand amplified by demographics will work to establish a bottom in prices by the spring of 2023,” write Benjamin Tal and Katherine Judge.8


RBC Assistant Chief Economist Robert Hogue offers a similar projection: “We expect prices will keep falling until a bottom [this] spring. Our forecast calls for the national benchmark price to drop 14% from (quarterly) peak to trough.”12


What does it mean for you? It can feel scary to buy a home when there’s uncertainty in the market. However, real estate is a long-term investment that has been shown to appreciate over time. And keep in mind that the best bargains are often found in a slower market, like the one we’re experiencing right now. Contact us to discuss your goals and budget. We can help you make an informed decision about the right time to buy.


And if you’re planning to sell this year, you’ll want to chart your path carefully to maximize your profits. Contact us for recommendations and to find out your home’s market value.[2] 




While home prices have fallen, rent prices have surged—rising around 12% year-over-year, according to data from


The average monthly cost to rent a home in Canada is now higher than ever and some analysts are growing increasingly concerned that renters won't be able to keep up with the higher payments. “We're getting close to a point where rents are just simply becoming unaffordable for renters,” said Urbanation president, Shaun Hildebrand, to CBC News.14


But that's not stopping landlords from collecting higher rents. In 2023, affordability challenges for would-be buyers, inflationary pressures, and an overall lack of housing are expected to continue driving up rent prices in much of the country.


“Interest rates are actually working to elevate rent inflation because many people are not buying, so they are renting more,” CIBC Economist Benjamin Tal told CBC News.13


And according to Tal, the higher rates have also disincentivized builders and developers from investing in rental properties. That, in turn, has exacerbated the undersupply of available units.13


It's possible rent prices could ease if Canada's economy deteriorates, says Urbanation's Hildebrand. “But over the medium and longer term with aggressive immigration targets and rental construction that's been stalling recently due to high costs, it's pretty clear that rents are going to continue to rise higher.”14


What does it mean for you? Rent prices are expected to keep climbing. But you can lock in a set mortgage payment and build long-term wealth by putting that money toward a home purchase instead. Reach out for a free consultation to discuss your options.




While national real estate forecasts can provide a “big picture” outlook, real estate is local. And as local market experts, we can guide you through the ins and outs of our market and the issues most likely to impact sales and drive home values in your particular neighbourhood.


If you’re considering buying or selling a home in 2023, contact us now to schedule a free consultation. We’ll work with you to develop an action plan to meet your real estate goals this year.


The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.



  1. CP24 News -
  2. Reuters -
  3. CBC -
  4. Canadian Mortgage Professional -
  5. Reuters -
  6. Canadian Mortgage Professional -
  7. Global News -
  8. CIBC Capital Markets -
  9. BMO Capital Markets -
  10. Financial Post -
  11. Financial Post -
  12. RBC Special Housing Reports -
  13. CBC News -
  14. CBC News -

Home for the Holidays: How To Stretch Your Budget in a Season of Inflation

3. January 2023 04:15


You don't have to break the bank to celebrate the holidays in style—even in this season of inflation. Prices may be higher on everything from food to gifts to decorations, but there are still plenty of opportunities to eke out extra savings.


For example, you can trim your energy bills by up to 20% just by sealing air leaks in your home.1 Other small fixes—such as swapping old light bulbs for LEDs and plugging electronics into a powerstrip—can boost your yearly savings enough to pay off some of your holiday budget.


And thanks to a pandemic-era boom in online shopping, it is easier than ever to find deals on new and pre-owned furniture, thrifted gifts, DIY decor, and more. Even secondhand stalwarts like Goodwill have joined the digital fray, making it a cinch to score gently-used treasures at extra-low prices.2


You won't be the only one bargain-hunting your way to a more financially-stable New Year. Multiple surveys have found that inflation is not only chilling people's spending, it's also prompting shoppers to search for better deals and creative ways to reduce their bills.3


Here are some strategies you can use to boost your holiday budget by trimming household expenses:


  1. Hunt for Deals on Groceries


If you're finding it harder than it used to be to serve your family dinner on a budget, you're not alone. With grocery prices rising at a record pace, many families are struggling to control costs on food staples, such as meat, dairy, produce, and grains.4


That's made pulling off holiday gatherings especially stressful lately. But don't despair: Even with inflation, retailers are still giving motivated shoppers plenty of opportunities to whittle down their bills.


The key is to pay attention to the cost of each item on your shopping list—not just the most expensive—and look for easy swaps and discounts. For example, try buying non-perishable items in bulk, especially when they’re on sale, and only in-season produce. Or trade name-brand goods for less expensive options from a store's private label. As you tap into your inner bargain hunter, you could be surprised by what you save when you’re more mindful of your selections.


And unlike in the old days, you no longer have to clip your way through paper flyers to snag a bargain. Instead, you can save both time and money by scouting for deals online, digitally clipping coupons, and earning cash back through special apps and browsers. For example, coupon aggregation sites, like Flipp, and shopping apps—such as Checkout 51 and Rakuten—make it easy to score discounts and cash back on a variety of purchases, including groceries.


Also, check to see if your neighbourhood grocer posts their weekly flyers online or if has published flyers from other nearby stores. If you're hosting a holiday party, the markdowns you find can help you narrow your food and recipe choices, based on what's currently on sale.


  1. Prep Your Home for Holiday Guests With Pre-Owned Finds


You don't have to sacrifice style for the sake of preserving your holiday budget either. If you're expecting company this year and would like to add some festive flair to your home, you can do so inexpensively—especially if you're willing to decorate with items that are secondhand.


Thrifting is back in vogue, with an increasing number of shoppers preferring pre-owned furniture and home goods. The number of Canadians who shop secondhand has grown.5 In fact, one study found that nearly three-quarters of Canadians now buy pre-owned goods of some type. 6 Plus, buying used isn’t just a great way to save money, it also helps the environment by keeping reusable items out of landfills.


Fortunately, it’s become easier to score secondhand deals online. For example, you can scout consumer marketplaces on Facebook and Kijiji. Or you can take advantage of neighbourhood freecycles and “Buy Nothing” groups. And a number of thrift shops now have e-commerce sites, including major chains, like Goodwill.


If you're handy with a paintbrush or have some basic carpentry skills, you can also modernize some of your existing furniture by upcycling it yourself. Or, if you enjoy crafting, search through your own recycling or sewing bin for raw material to make one-of-a-kind decorations.


Don't stress yourself out, though, if you don't have the time or money to dress your home the way you hoped. Your house can still feel festive and inviting, even if it's not completely done up.


  1. Forgo Major Renovations in Favor of DIY Home Improvements


Holidays are always a tricky time to undergo big renovations. But with ongoing worker and material shortages, now is an especially bad time to commit. Inflated costs can add thousands to your reno budget—and unnecessary stress to your holiday.


Instead of suffering through an ill-timed remodel, you're better off saving this time of year for simpler, less expensive projects you can do yourself.


One winter-perfect upgrade to consider: Build a DIY fire pit so that you and your guests can roast marshmallows and relax in the cozy comfort of your backyard. You can also add some extra ambiance by hanging energy-efficient LED outdoor string lights that change from white to colourful. These are festive enough for the holidays, but also versatile enough to use year-round.


Or, if you'd rather curl up by an indoor fire, channel your DIY energy into a fireplace upgrade. Adding a wooden beam to the top of your mantel can add an extra layer of coziness. Alternatively, re-tiling or painting your fireplace surround can lend contemporary flair.


Just be sure to stick to DIY projects that you know you can do a quality job on—especially if your changes will be difficult to reverse. Feel free to reach out for a free assessment to find out how your planned renovations could impact your home’s resale value.


  1. Invest in Home Maintenance Projects That Cut Your Utility Bills


You can save money by completing basic home maintenance tasks, such as swapping your furnace filter and updating your lightbulbs. But if you really want to lower your bills this winter, consider projects that make your home more energy efficient.


Research by the trade group NAIMA found that most homes in Canada are under-insulated, which wastes energy and money.7 The group estimates that Canadians can potentially save hundreds of dollars per year just by retrofitting their homes. Luckily, there are plenty of DIY insulation projects that you can complete in just a few days. For example, some projects you can do relatively quickly include:


  • Insulating your attic or basement crawl space
  • Weatherstripping doors and windows
  • Sealing areas around the house that may be leaking air, including electrical outlets and fireplaces


The savings you get from these projects can really add up. Natural Resources Canada estimates that walls alone account for roughly 20% of heat loss in homes, so they’re a rich target for tackling costly sources of air leakage.8 And thanks to the Canada Greener Homes Initiative, you can also save a bundle this year by investing in certain energy-efficient upgrades and claiming a tax rebate.9 Be sure to check with us about any municipal or provincial rebates and incentives that may be available, too, before getting started on a project.


  1. Use Expense Tracking to Boost Your Holiday Budget


To avoid overextending yourself during the holidays, one of the best things you can do is track your income and expenses. If your monthly budget is usually tight, you may need to make some adjustments to free up cash for holiday expenditures.


For example, here's a sample budget worksheet that we created. Start by adding in your expenses: Under the “Typical” column, you can list your standard expenses, and under the “Adjusted” column, list any areas where you could cut back on spending.


Then consider how your standard wages may be adjusted this month by extra shifts, additional tips, or an end-of-year bonus. By decreasing your spending and/or increasing your income, you can build room in your budget for holiday gifts and gatherings.







Difference (+/-)


Mortgage/taxes/insurance or Rent




Utilities (hydro, water, gas, trash)




Phone, internet, cable




Home maintenance and repairs














Car payment/insurance




Gas, maintenance, repairs





Health insurance




Clothing and personal care












Charitable contributions




Savings, retirement, college fund









Bonus, tips, other





Total Adjusted Income


Total Adjusted Expenses





Feel free to utilize this worksheet as a template that you can customize to your needs, or ask us for a PDF copy that you can print out and use right away.




We would love to help you meet your financial goals now and in the year ahead. Whether you want to find lower-cost alternatives for home renovations, maintenance, or services, we are happy to provide our insights and referrals.


And if you’re saving up to buy a new home, we can help with that, too. This is the perfect time to score a great deal because only the most motivated homebuyers and sellers are active in the market right now. So reach out to schedule a free consultation. We can fill you in on some of the exciting programs and incentives we’re seeing that help make homeownership more affordable.


The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.



1.     CTV News -

2.     CBC News -

3.     MoneyWise -

4.     Statistics Canada -

5.        Statista -​​

6.        Retail Insider -

7.        NAIMA Canada -

8.        Natural Resources Canada -

9.        Government of Canada -


1.     CTV News -

2.     CBC News -

3.     MoneyWise -

4.     Statistics Canada -

5.        Statista -​​

6.        Retail Insider -

7.        NAIMA Canada -

8.        Natural Resources Canada -

9.        Government of Canada -


The Benefits of Becoming a Real Estate Agent

26. December 2022 17:58

real estate agent.jpg


Becoming a real estate agent is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a new career. This profession offers many advantages and opportunities to those with the ambition and drive to succeed. Here are four reasons to consider a career as a real estate agent.

  1.  You Can Have a Flexible Schedule

As a real estate agent, you can have the freedom to choose when you work. You can set your own hours and clock in as much or as little as you can depending on your financial goals and needs. This flexibility allows you to make decisions that are right for you and your family. Overall, being a real estate agent can give you control over your schedule and work-life balance.

  1. Your Can Have a Lucrative Income Source

One of the most attractive aspects of becoming a real estate agent is the high earning potential. As a real estate agent, you will earn commissions on your sales, meaning the more properties you help clients buy or sell, the more money you can make. Of course, your income will still depend on how creative and driven you are at selling. Some real estate agents can expand their earnings beyond five or six figures. 

  1. Everyone Is Welcome

People from all walks of life can be real estate agents. This profession is open to everyone, whether you are a recent graduate or an experienced professional looking to shift careers.

You just have to meet a few basic requirements, including being at least 18 years old and having completed grade 12. You will also need to get a license. This process involves taking a pre-licensing course that lasts for around nine to twelve months. But don’t worry, the program is available online. 

  1. You Can Become an Expert

As a real estate agent, your clients will turn to you for industry insights and advice. Imagine being able to share your knowledge with others and being recognized for your expertise. You will help people find the right property that fits their needs and build a reputation as a trusted and respected professional in the field. With a career in real estate, you can gain the respect and admiration of your peers.

Start Your Real Estate Career at Express Realty Inc.

Being a real estate professional is a challenging yet rewarding career. Join us at Express Realty Inc. in Ontario if you plan to become a real estate agent. Besides providing extensive training and support, we offer a dual career path for realtors to boost their income. With us, you can have a fulfilling career and achieve your financial goals.

Buy Now or Rent Longer? 5 Questions to Answer Before Purchasing Your First Home

4. October 2022 08:16


Deciding whether to jump into the housing market or rent instead is rarely an easy decision – especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. But in today’s whirlwind market, you may find it particularly challenging to pinpoint the best time to start exploring homeownership.


A real estate boom during the pandemic pushed home prices to an all-time high.1 Add higher mortgage rates to the mix, and some would-be buyers are wondering if they should wait to see if prices or rates come down.


But is renting a better alternative? Rents have also soared along with inflation – and are likely to continue climbing due to a persistent housing shortage.2 And while homebuyers can lock in a set mortgage payment, renters are at the mercy of these rising costs for the foreseeable future.


So, what's the better choice for you? There’s a lot to consider when it comes to buying versus renting. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to schedule a free consultation and we'll help walk you through your options. You may also find it helpful to ask yourself the following questions:


  1. How long do I plan to stay in the home?

You'll get the most financial benefit from a home purchase if you own the property for at least five years.3 If you plan to sell in a shorter period of time, a home purchase may not be the best choice for you.


There are costs associated with buying and selling a home, and it may take time for the property’s value to rise enough to offset those expenditures.


Even though housing markets can shift from one year to the next, you’ll typically find that a home’s value will ride out a market’s ups and downs and appreciate with time.4 The longer you own a property, the more you are likely to benefit from its appreciation.


Once you’ve found a community that you’d like to stay in for several years, then buying over renting can really pay off. You’ll not only benefit from appreciation, but you’ll also build equity as you pay down your mortgage – and you’ll have more security and stability overall.


Also important: If you plan to stay in the home for the life of the mortgage, there will come a time when you no longer have to make those payments. As a result, your housing costs will drop dramatically, while your equity (and net worth) continue to grow.


  1. Is it a better value to buy or rent in my area?


If you know you plan to stay put for at least five years, you should consider whether buying or renting is the better bargain in your area.


One helpful tool for deciding is a neighbourhood’s price-to-rent ratio: just divide the median home price by the median yearly rent price. The higher the price-to-rent ratio is, the more expensive it is to buy compared to rent.5 Keep in mind, though, that this equation provides only a snapshot of where the market stands today. As such, it may not accurately account for the full impact of rising home values and rent increases over the long term.


According to data from the Canadian Real Estate Association, a homeowner who purchased an average-priced Canadian home 10 years ago would have gained roughly $285,000 in equity — all while maintaining a steady mortgage payment.6,7


In contrast, someone who chose to rent during that same period would have not only missed out on those equity gains, but they would have also seen average Canadian rental prices increase by around 34%.8


So even if renting seems like a better bargain today, buying could be the better long-term financial play.


Ready to compare your options? Then reach out to schedule a free consultation. As local market experts, we can help you interpret the numbers to determine if buying or renting is a better value in your particular neighbourhood.


  1. Can I afford to be a homeowner?


If you determine that buying a home is the better value, you’ll want to evaluate your financial readiness.


Start by examining how much you have in savings. After committing a down payment and closing costs, will you still have enough money left over for ancillary expenses and emergencies? If not, that’s a sign you may be better off waiting until you’ve built a larger rainy-day fund.


Then consider how your monthly budget will be impacted. Remember, your monthly mortgage payment won’t be your only expense going forward. You may also need to factor in property taxes, insurance, association fees, maintenance, and repairs.


Still, you could find that the monthly cost of homeownership is comparable to renting, especially if you make a sizable down payment. Landlords often pass the extra costs of homeowning onto tenants, so it’s not always the cheaper option.


Plus, even though you’ll be in charge of financing your home’s upkeep if you buy, you’ll also be the one who stands to benefit from the fruits of your investment. Every major upgrade, for example, not only makes your home a nicer place to live; it also helps boost your home's market value.


If you want to buy a home but aren’t sure you can afford it, give us a call to discuss your goals and budget. We can give you a realistic assessment of your options and help you determine if your homeowning dreams are within reach.


  1. Can I qualify for a mortgage?


If you’re prepared to handle the costs of homeownership, you’ll next want to look into how likely you are to pass Canada's mortgage stress test and get approved for a mortgage.


Every borrower who applies for a mortgage from a federally-regulated lender, such as a bank, must pass a mortgage stress test – even if you have an ample down payment.(Some smaller lenders that aren't federally regulated, such as credit unions, may also put your mortgage application through a stress test, but they aren't required to do so.)9


To conduct the test, a lender will consider your qualifying income, estimated expenses (such as condo fees or non-mortgage-related debt), and prospective mortgage amount and calculate whether you'd still be able to afford the mortgage if your rate rose by a certain amount. You can also conduct your own mock stress test by inputting some income and expense estimates into the Government of Canada's Mortgage Qualifier Tool.10 However, be aware the government's minimum qualifying interest rate could change by the time you’re ready to buy.


Every lender will also have its own approval criteria separate from the feds' minimum. But, in general, you can expect a creditor to scrutinize your job stability, credit history, and savings to make sure you can handle a monthly mortgage payment.


For example, lenders like to see evidence that your income is stable and predictable. So if you’re self-employed, you may need to provide additional documentation proving that your earnings are dependable. A lender will also compare your monthly debt payments to your income to make sure you aren't at risk of becoming financially overextended.


In addition, a lender will check your credit report to verify that you have a history of on-time payments and can be trusted to pay your bills. Generally, the higher your credit score, the better your odds of securing a competitive rate.


Whatever your circumstances, it’s always a good idea to get preapproved for a mortgage before you start house hunting. Let us know if you’re interested, and we’ll give you a referral to a loan officer or mortgage broker who can help.


Want to learn more about applying for a mortgage? Reach out to request a copy of our report: “8 Strategies to Secure a Lower Mortgage Rate”


  1. How would owning a home change my life?


Before you begin the preapproval process, however, it’s important to consider how homeownership would affect your life, aside from the long-term financial gains.


In general, you should be prepared to invest more time and energy in owning a home than you do renting. There can be a fair amount of upkeep involved, especially if you buy a fixer-upper or overcommit yourself to a lot of DIY projects. If you’ve only lived in an apartment, for example, you could be surprised by the amount of time you spend maintaining a lawn.


On the other hand, you might relish the chance to tinker in your very own garden, make HGTV-inspired improvements, or play with your dog in a big backyard. Or, if you’re more social, you might enjoy hosting family gatherings or attending block parties with other committed homeowners.


The great thing about owning a home is that you can generally do what you want with it – even if that means painting your walls fiesta red one month and eggplant purple the next.


The choice – like the home – is all yours.  




The decision to buy or rent a home is among the most consequential you will make in your lifetime. We can make the process easier by helping you compare your options using real-time local market data. So don't hesitate to reach out for a personalized consultation, regardless of where you are in your deliberations. We'd be happy to answer your questions and identify actionable steps you can take now to reach your long-term goals.


The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.



  1. Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) -

  2. Financial Post -

  3. Wealthsimple -

  4. Trading Economics -

  5. Investopedia -

  6. CBC -

  7. Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) -

  8. CMHC -

  9. Government of Canada -

  10. Financial Consumer Agency of Canada -



8 Strategies to Secure a Lower Mortgage Rate

6. September 2022 03:54

Interest rates have risen rapidly this year, triggered by the Bank of Canada’s efforts to curb
inflation. And the July MNP Consumer Debt Index found that 59% of Canadians “are already
feeling the effects of interest rate increases.” 1
Why has the impact been so widespread? In part, due to the rising popularity of variable rate
mortgages. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, in the latter half of last
year, the majority of mortgage borrowers opted for a variable over a fixed interest rate. 2
Variable mortgages are typically pegged to the lender’s prime rate, which means they are
immediately affected by rising interest rates. Homeowners with fixed mortgages aren’t impacted
as quickly because their interest rate is locked in, but they will face higher rates, as well, when
their mortgages are up for renewal. And many homebuyers are finding it increasingly difficult to
afford or even qualify for a mortgage at today’s elevated rates.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to strengthen your position if you have plans to buy a
home or renew an existing mortgage. Try these eight strategies to help secure the best
available rate:

1. Raise your credit score.

Borrowers with higher credit scores are viewed as “less risky” to lenders, so they are offered
lower interest rates. A “good” credit score typically starts at 660 and can move up into the 800s. 3
If you don’t know your score, you can access it online from Canada’s two primary credit
bureaus, Equifax and Transunion. 4
Then, if your credit score is low, you can take steps to improve it, including: 5
● Correct any errors on your credit reports, which can bring down your score. You can
request free copies of your reports through the Equifax and Transunion websites.
● Pay down revolving debt. This includes credit card balances and home equity lines of
● Avoid closing old credit card accounts in good standing. It could lower your score by
shortening your credit history and shrinking your total available credit.
● Make all future payments on time. Payment history is a primary factor in determining
your credit score, so make it a priority.
● Limit your credit applications to avoid having your score dinged by too many inquiries. If
you’re shopping around for a car loan or mortgage, minimize the impact by limiting your
applications to a two-week period.
Over time, you should start to see your credit score climb — which will help you qualify for a
lower mortgage rate.

2. Keep steady employment.

If you are preparing to purchase a home, it might not be the best time to make a major career
change. Unfortunately, frequent job moves or gaps in your résumé could hurt your borrower
When you apply for a new mortgage, lenders will typically review your employment and income
history and look for evidence that you've been financially stable for at least two years. 6 If you’ve
earned a steady paycheck, you could qualify for a better interest rate. A stable employment
history gives lenders more confidence in your ability to repay the loan.
That doesn’t mean a job change will automatically disqualify you from purchasing a home. But
certain moves, like switching from corporate employment to freelance or self-employment
status, could force you to delay your purchase, since lenders will want to see proof of steady,
long-term earnings. 6

3. Lower your debt service ratios.

Even with a high credit score and a great job, lenders will be concerned if your debt payments
are consuming too much of your income. That’s where your debt service ratios will come into
There are two types of debt service ratios: 7
1. Gross debt service (GDS) — What percentage of your gross monthly income will go
towards covering housing expenses (mortgage, property taxes, utilities, and 50% of
condo maintenance fees)?
2. Total debt service (TDS) — What percentage of your gross monthly income will go
towards covering ALL debt obligations (housing expenses, credit cards, student loans,
and other debt)?
What’s considered a good debt service ratio? Lenders typically want to see a GDS ratio that’s
no higher than 32% and a TDS ratio that’s 40% or less. 7
Low debt service ratios will also help you pass a mortgage stress test, which is required by all
Canadian banks and some other types of lenders. The stress test is designed to help ensure
you can continue to afford your mortgage payments even if interest rates rise. You can use the
government of Canada's Mortgage Qualifier Tool to calculate how much you can afford to

If your debt service ratios are too high, or you can’t pass a mortgage stress test, you may need
to consider purchasing a less expensive home, increasing your down payment, or paying down
your existing debt. A bump in your monthly income will also help.

4. Increase your down payment.

Minimum down payment requirements vary by loan size and property type. But, in some cases,
you can qualify for a lower mortgage rate if you make a larger down payment.
Why do lenders care about your down payment size? Because borrowers with significant equity
in their homes are less likely to default on their mortgages. That’s why you will be required to
purchase mortgage default insurance if you put down less than 20%. 8
It’s important to note that some lenders offer discount rates for borrowers who put down less
than 20% – because the required default insurance protects them from any potential loss.
However, the cost of CMHC or private mortgage default insurance will typically exceed any
interest savings. You'll also have to pay interest on that insurance if you add it to your
mortgage. 9 The bottom line: you’ll save money in borrowing costs if you can afford a larger down
Fortunately, there are a couple of government-initiated resources designed to help eligible first-
time home buyers with a down payment, including: 9
● Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) – Buyers may withdraw up to $35,000 (tax-free) from their
Registered Retirement Savings Plan(RRSP). The money must be used to build or
purchase a qualifying home and repaid to the RRSP within 15 years.
● First-Time Home Buyer Incentive – Buyers can take advantage of a shared-equity
mortgage with the Government of Canada. Essentially, the Government will put 5% or
10% towards your down payment, interest-free, in exchange for a limited equity share of
your property. The repayment is due in 25 years or when you sell your home.
We’d be happy to discuss these and other programs, tax rebates, and incentives that might help
you increase your down payment.

5. Weigh interest rate options.

All mortgages are not created equal, and some may be a better fit than others, depending on
your priorities and risk tolerance. For starters, there are several interest rate options to choose
from: 10
● Fixed — You’re guaranteed to keep the same interest rate for the entire length of the
loan. Many buyers prefer a fixed rate because it offers them predictability and stability.

However, you’ll pay a premium for it, as these mortgages typically have a higher interest
rate to start. And if rates fall, you’ll be locked into that higher rate.
● Variable — Your interest rate will rise or fall along with your lender’s prime rate. You can
choose either an adjustable or a fixed monthly payment. However, if you opt for a fixed
payment, the amount that goes towards principal and interest each month will fluctuate
depending on the current rate. Variable-rate mortgages typically offer lower interest rates
to start but run the risk of increasing.
● Hybrid – Can’t decide between a fixed or variable rate? Hybrid mortgages attempt to
address that dilemma. A portion of the mortgage will have a fixed rate and the remainder
will have a variable rate. The fixed gives you some protection if rates go up, while the
variable offers some benefit if rates fall.
What’s the best choice if you’re looking for the lowest mortgage rate? The answer is…it
depends. If mortgage rates don’t rise much higher, or drop back down in a couple of years, you
could win by opting for a variable rate. However, if they continue to climb, you may be better off
with a fixed rate.
Keep in mind that the spread between variable and fixed rates has narrowed as rates rise. 11
However, it's still easier to meet the stress-test requirements for a variable mortgage, since the
threshold is lower. 12 So, your choice may be limited by your ability to qualify.

6. Compare loan terms.

A mortgage term is the length of time your mortgage agreement is in effect. At the end of the
term, a mortgage holder will need to either pay off their mortgage or renew for another term.
There are three major types of mortgage terms: 13
● Shorter-term – These can range from 6 months to 5 years, and they are the most
popular type in Canada. Borrowers can choose between a fixed or variable interest rate.
● Longer-term – These are longer than 5 years but generally no more than 10 years in
length. Longer-term mortgages are more likely to feature fixed-interest rates and hefty
prepayment penalties.
● Convertible – Offers the option to extend a shorter-term mortgage to a longer-term
mortgage, typically at a different interest rate.
Which loan term offers the lowest rate? A shorter-term mortgage will typically feature a lower
interest rate than a longer-term mortgage. However, the rate on a 1-year or a 3-year mortgage
could be higher or lower than a 5-year mortgage depending on the current economic climate
and whether it’s fixed or variable.
Many lenders offer especially attractive rates for 5-year mortgages due to their popularity. 14 But
to find the best rate, you’ll need to compare your options at the time of purchase or renewal.

7. Get quotes from multiple lenders.

When shopping for a mortgage, be sure to solicit quotes from several different lenders and
lender types to compare the interest rates and fees. Depending upon your situation, you could
find that one institution offers a better deal for the type of loan and term length you want.
Ideally, you should begin this process before you start looking for a home. If you get
preapproved for a mortgage, in most cases, you can lock in the mortgage rate for 90 to 120
days. This is especially important when interest rates are rising. 15
Some borrowers choose to work with a mortgage broker. Like an insurance broker, they can
help you gather quotes and find the best rate. They’re paid a commission by the lender, so it
won’t cost you anything out of pocket to use a broker. However, make sure you find out which
lenders they work with and contact more than one so you can compare their
recommendations. 16
Don’t forget that we can be a valuable resource in finding a lender, especially if you are new to
the home buying process. After a consultation, we can discuss your financing needs and
connect you with loan officers or brokers best suited for your situation.

8. Ask for a discount.

When shopping for a mortgage, don’t be afraid to negotiate. In Canada, it’s commonplace for
lenders to discount their advertised interest rates, which are called posted rates. And in many
cases, all you have to do is ask. Of course, the strength of your application will come into play
here – so don’t neglect strategies 1 through 4 above. 17
Keep in mind that interest rates aren’t the only thing on the table. You can negotiate other
contract terms, as well, like prepayment options and rebates. And if you get a great offer from
one lender, you can leverage it by asking your preferred institution to match or beat it. 17

Getting Started

Unfortunately, the rock-bottom mortgage rates we saw during the height of the pandemic are
behind us. However, today’s 5-year fixed rates still fall beneath the historical average — and are
well below the all-time peak of 20.75% in 1981. 18
And although higher mortgage rates have made it more expensive to finance a home purchase,
they have also ushered in a more balanced market. Consequently, today’s buyers are finding

more homes to choose from, a better value for their investment, and sellers who are willing to
If you have questions or would like more information about buying or selling a home, reach out
to schedule a free consultation. We’d love to help you weigh your options, navigate this shifting
market, and reach your real estate goals!

1. MNP Consumer Debt Index -

2. Global News -

3. Loans Canada -

4. Government of Canada -

5. Government of Canada -


7. NerdWallet -

8. Royal Bank of Canada -

9. Government of Canada -

10. Government of Canada -

11. Canada Mortgage Professional -

12. The Globe and Mail -

13. Government of Canada -

14. -

15. NerdWallet -

16. Government of Canada -

17. NerdWallet -

18. -

10 Pro Tips for a Smooth Home Move

4. August 2022 04:12


The process of buying a new home can be both exhilarating and exhausting. But the journey
doesn’t stop when you close on your property. On the contrary, you still have quite a bit to do
before you can begin the process of settling into your new place.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do everything in a day. You don’t have to do it all alone, either.
When you work with us to sell or purchase a home, you’ll have an ally by your side long after
your transaction has closed. We’ll continue to be a resource, offering advice and referrals
whenever you need them on packing, hiring movers and contractors, and acclimating to your
new home and neighbourhood.
When it comes to a life event as stressful as moving, it pays to have a professional by your side.
Here are some of our favourite pro tips to share with clients as they prepare for an upcoming

1. Watch out for moving scams.

Maybe you receive a flyer for a moving company in the mail. Perhaps you find a mover online.
Either way, never assume that you’re getting accurate information. According to The Canadian
Association of Movers, moving scams are on the rise — with seniors, in particular, being
targeted. 1

How can you tell if a moving deal is too good to be true? Trust your instincts. If the price
appears too low or you can’t pin down the mover’s physical business address, try someone
else. The same goes for any moving company representative who dodges questions. Reputable
movers should offer transparent pricing, conduct in-home estimates, and provide referrals and
copies of their insurance documents upon request. 1 For help finding trustworthy movers, reach
out. We’d be happy to share our recommendations.

2. Insure your belongings.

Your moving company promises to take care of your custom piano or your antique furniture. But
don’t just take their word for it. Ask to see how much insurance they carry and talk about how
the claims process works. That way, you’ll know what is (and isn’t) covered in case of loss or
damage. If needed, consider paying extra to upgrade to full replacement value protection. 2
Of course, some items are priceless because they’re irreplaceable. You might want to move
your more sensitive valuables (jewellery, documents, family heirlooms, etc.) in your own vehicle
just to be safe. For added peace of mind, call your home insurance provider if you’re moving
anything yourself. In many cases, your personal property will be covered while in transit for a
limited period of time.

3. Start packing when you start looking for a new home.

As soon as your house hunting begins in earnest, think about packing away things you won’t
need for the next few months. These could include seasonal or holiday decor, clothing, and
books. Tackling just one or two boxes a day will give you a head start.
If you're going to put your current home on the market, you'll want to declutter anyway.
Decluttering will make your home seem larger, and depersonalizing helps buyers envision their
own items in the space. Consider selling, donating, or throwing out possessions you no longer
need. The things you want to keep can be placed in storage until you officially start moving to a
new place.

4. Pack to make unpacking easier.

Have you ever opened a packed box only to find that it’s filled with an assortment of items that
don’t belong together? This isn’t efficient and will only make unpacking harder. A better way to
pack is to bundle items from a single room in a labelled box. Labels can let movers know (and
remind you) where to place each box, whether it’s fragile, and which side needs to be up. Some
people like to assign colours to each room in their new home to make distributing colour-coded
boxes a breeze.

Feel free to unleash your inner organizer with this project. For example, you could create a
spreadsheet and assign each box a number. As boxes are packed, simply fill in the spreadsheet
with a list of contents. Anyone with access to the spreadsheet can log in and quickly find a
desired item.

5. Think outside the box when transporting clothes.

Who wants to worry about boxing up clothes? If you plan on hiring professional movers, ask if
you can leave clothing in your dressers. In many cases, they will use plastic to wrap the dresser
so the drawers don’t fall out during transport. If keeping your clothes in your furniture makes it
too heavy, the movers might be able to wrap and move drawers by themselves.
Another easy transport trick involves turning clean garbage bags into garment bags. Poke a
hole in the bottom of a garbage bag, turn the bag upside down, slide it over five to seven
garments on hangers, and lay the items flat in the back seat or trunk of your vehicle. The bags
will help prevent wrinkling, and your clothes will be ready to hang up when you get to your new

6. Document prior to disassembling appliances and furnishings.

Few things are as confusing as looking at a plastic baggie filled with nuts, bolts, and screws
from your disassembled dining room table or sorting through a box of electrical wires and cords
to see which ones fit your TV.

The best workaround to easier reassembly is to document the disassembly process. Take
photos and videos or thorough notes as you go. Whether it’s your headboard or treadmill, be
very precise. And just a tip: Construct your beds first when you get to your new home. After a
long moving day, the very last thing you want is to be assembling beds into the wee hours of the

7. Prioritize unpacking kids’ rooms.

Children can become very stressed by a big move. To ease their transition, consider prioritizing
unpacking their rooms as their “safe zones.” 3 You aren’t obligated to unpack everything,
certainly. However, set up your children’s rooms to be functional. That way, your kids can hang
out in a private oasis away from the chaos while you’re running around and moving everything

Depending upon how old your youngsters are, you might want to give them decorating leeway,
too. Even if it’s just letting them choose where furniture goes, it gives them a sense of buy-in.
This can help ease the blues of leaving a former home they loved.

8. Be a thoughtful pet parent.

Many types of pets can’t handle the commotion of moving day. Knowing this, be considerate
and seek ways to give your pets breaks from the action. You might ask a friend to pet-sit your
pooch or keep your kitty in a quieter room, like a guest bathroom.
Be sure to check in on your pet frequently. Pets like to know that you’re around. Give them
treats, food, and water throughout the day. When it’s time to transport your pet, do it calmly. At
your new property, give your pet access to just a room or two at first. Pets typically prefer to
acclimate themselves slowly to unfamiliar environments. 4

9. Plan for your move like you’re planning for an exciting vacation.

When you plan vacations, you probably look up local restaurants, shops, and recreational
areas. Who says you can’t do the same thing when moving? Create a list of all the places you
want to go and things you want to do around your newly purchased home. Having a to-explore
list keeps everyone’s spirits high and gives you starting points to settle into the neighbourhood.
And don’t feel that you have to cook that first night. Once the moving trucks are gone, you can
always pop over to a local eatery or order SkipTheDishes for major convenience. The first meal
in your new home should be a happy, welcoming treat. And if you’re relocating to our neck of
the woods, we would love to introduce you to the hot spots in town and recommend our local

10. Pack an “Open Me First!” box.

You won’t be able to unpack all your boxes in one day, but you shouldn’t go without your
sheets, pillows, or toothbrush. Designate some boxes with “Open Me First!” labels. (Pro tip:
Keep a tool kit front and centre for all that reassembling.)
Along these lines, use luggage and duffel bags to transport everyone’s personal must-have
items and enough clothing for a couple of days. That way, you won’t have to rummage through
everything in the middle of your move looking for sneakers or snacks.
When packing your “Open Me First!” boxes, think about which items you’ll need in those first 24
hours. For example, toilet paper and hand soap are musts. A box cutter will make unpacking a
lot easier, and paper towels and trash bags are sure to come in handy. Reach out for a
complete, printable list of “Open Me First!” box essentials to keep on hand for your next move!


Getting the phone call from your real estate agent that your bid was accepted is a thrilling
moment. Make sure you keep the positivity flowing during the following weeks by mapping out a
streamlined, efficient move. Feel free to get in touch with us today to help make your big move
your best move.



1. -

2. -

3. Aha! Parenting -

4. Ontario SPCA -