The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed our work lives in unimaginable ways. With remote work becoming the new normal for many Canadians, the boundaries between home and office have blurred. As a result, home buyers are now seeking properties that cater to the demands of this evolving work environment. In this blog post, we will explore the changing preferences of Canadian home buyers in the wake of remote work, including the rising importance of home offices, the need for flexible spaces, and the desire for easy access to local amenities. Join us as we delve into the world of remote work and its impact on the Canadian real estate market.

The Power of the Home Office

The shift to remote work has emphasized the need for dedicated home office spaces. Home buyers are increasingly looking for properties that offer a separate room or area to serve as their professional sanctuary. Whether it's a spacious den, a converted spare bedroom, or a purpose-built office, the home office has become a crucial consideration. Real estate developers and sellers are recognizing this trend and showcasing properties with appealing and functional office spaces to attract potential buyers.

Adaptable and Flexible Spaces

Remote work has also highlighted the importance of flexible spaces within homes. Buyers are seeking properties that can easily adapt to their evolving needs. This includes versatile rooms that can serve multiple purposes, such as a guest bedroom that can be transformed into a workout area or a living room that can double as a meeting space. The ability to reconfigure spaces to accommodate different activities has become a top priority for buyers who value versatility and adaptability in their homes.

The Desire for Accessible Amenities

With fewer commutes and more time spent at home, the local neighborhood and its amenities have gained newfound significance. Home buyers are placing increased importance on proximity to essential services, recreational facilities, green spaces, and quality schools. The desire for a well-rounded and convenient lifestyle has become a key factor in the home buying decision. Canadian buyers are now seeking properties in neighborhoods that offer a range of amenities within walking distance, reducing the need for excessive travel and enhancing the overall quality of life.

The Suburban Resurgence

As remote work allows for more flexibility in choosing where to live, suburban areas are experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Buyers are looking beyond the urban core, seeking larger homes and more spacious lots in suburban neighborhoods. The desire for extra square footage, outdoor spaces, and a quieter environment has driven the migration to the suburbs. With improved internet connectivity and the availability of remote work options, many Canadians are finding that suburban living provides the perfect balance of affordability, space, and quality of life.

The Impact on Housing Affordability:

The rise of remote work has had a notable impact on housing affordability. As workers have greater flexibility in where they can live, demand for housing in certain areas has surged, driving up prices. Previously less desirable locations, such as smaller towns and rural areas, have seen increased interest and rising property values. On the other hand, traditionally expensive urban centers have experienced a slight softening in the real estate market as some buyers look for more affordable options outside of major cities. This shift in demand and its impact on housing affordability is an important consideration for both home buyers and sellers.

The Bottom Line

The pandemic has accelerated the remote work revolution, reshaping the preferences of Canadian home buyers. The need for functional home offices, adaptable spaces, and easy access to local amenities has become paramount. Suburban areas have witnessed increased demand, offering larger homes and a more relaxed lifestyle. At the same time, housing affordability has been influenced by shifting buyer preferences. As the remote work trend continues to evolve, the Canadian real estate market must adapt to meet the changing demands of home buyers seeking properties.


Ah, the age-old question for Canadian home buyers: should you go for a cozy condo or a spacious house? It's a tough call, indeed! In this blog post, we'll embark on a journey to unravel the pros and cons of each option, considering factors like lifestyle, affordability, maintenance, and investment potential. By the end, you'll have a better grasp of which path suits your needs and preferences. Let's dive in and explore the world of condos and houses!

Lifestyle Considerations

  1. Condos: If you crave a low-maintenance lifestyle and prefer urban living with amenities at your doorstep, condos are a sweet deal. They often offer perks like fitness centers, pools, and 24/7 security. Plus, shared maintenance responsibilities can free up your time for other activities.

  2. Houses: If you dream of having more space, a backyard for barbecues, and a white picket fence, a house might be your cup of tea. With greater privacy and the opportunity to personalize your property, houses cater to those seeking a more traditional suburban lifestyle.


  1. Condos: Generally, condos are more affordable upfront, making them an attractive option for first-time buyers or those with a limited budget. Condo fees cover some maintenance costs, but be sure to consider these ongoing expenses when calculating affordability.

  2. Houses: Houses often come with a higher price tag, particularly in sought-after neighborhoods. However, they can provide long-term value appreciation, offering potential returns on investment when it comes time to sell.


  1. Condos: Say goodbye to mowing the lawn and shoveling snow! Condos often come with maintenance services, taking care of exterior upkeep, landscaping, and common areas. However, keep in mind that you'll be paying monthly condo fees to cover these services.

  2. Houses: With a house, you have the freedom and responsibility of maintaining your property. From lawn care to repairs, you're in charge. While this allows for customization and control, it also requires time, effort, and potential costs.

Investment Potential

  1. Condos: Depending on location and market conditions, condos can offer attractive investment opportunities, especially in urban areas with high rental demand. Rental income and potential appreciation can make condos an appealing choice for investors.

  2. Houses: Houses, particularly in desirable neighborhoods, tend to appreciate over time, offering potential long-term investment gains. Additionally, houses provide the flexibility to expand or renovate, increasing their value even further.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to the condo vs. house debate, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. It ultimately boils down to your lifestyle preferences, financial situation, and long-term goals. Condos offer convenience, amenities, and affordability, while houses provide space, privacy, and investment potential. Consider factors like maintenance obligations, location, and your future plans to make an informed decision.

Remember, there's no right or wrong choice—only what suits you best. So take the time to weigh the pros and cons, consult with a real estate professional, and explore both options. Whether you go for a vibrant condo or a charming house, make sure it feels like home sweet home. Happy house hunting, Canadian home buyers!


Hey there, future homeowners! If you're gearing up to dive into the Canadian real estate market, there's a vital factor you need to wrap your head around: the notorious Canadian Mortgage Stress Test. Don't sweat it, though! In this blog post, we'll decode the ins and outs of this test, equipping you with the knowledge you need to navigate the process like a pro. So, let's buckle up and demystify the Canadian Mortgage Stress Test!

What is the Mortgage Stress Test? Picture this: You're ready to secure a mortgage to finance your dream home, but before lenders hand over those sweet, sweet funds, they want to ensure you can handle any financial curveballs life throws at you. Enter the Mortgage Stress Test—a way for lenders to assess your ability to make mortgage payments if interest rates rise or your financial situation changes.

How Does the Stress Test Work? Here's the lowdown: When you apply for a mortgage in Canada, you'll need to undergo a stress test to determine the maximum loan amount you qualify for. This test involves evaluating your finances based on a higher interest rate than the one you'll actually be paying. The purpose? To ensure you have enough financial resilience to handle potential rate hikes in the future.

Key Details to Keep in Mind:

  1. Qualifying Rate: The stress test uses a qualifying rate, typically the Bank of Canada's five-year benchmark rate or the contractual rate plus 2%, whichever is higher. This qualifying rate helps determine the maximum loan amount you can borrow.

  2. Higher Monthly Payments: The stress test assesses your ability to make mortgage payments at the qualifying rate, even if your actual mortgage interest rate is lower. This means you need to demonstrate that you can handle higher monthly payments.

  3. Impact on Affordability: The stress test may lower your purchasing power, as it reduces the loan amount you're eligible for. It's important to factor in this potential impact on your budget when house hunting.

  4. Insured and Uninsured Mortgages: As of this writing, uninsured mortgages (with a down payment of 20% or more) are also subject to the stress test. Previously, only insured mortgages required the stress test. Keep this in mind when planning your financing options.

Navigating the Stress Test Successfully

  1. Determine Your Maximum Budget: Consulting with a mortgage professional can help you understand how the stress test affects your maximum loan amount, enabling you to set a realistic budget for your home search.

  2. Stress Test Before House Hunting: Getting pre-approved for a mortgage and undergoing the stress test beforehand allows you to focus on properties within your financial comfort zone.

  3. Consider Future Rate Increases: Although the stress test evaluates your financial capacity at today's rates, consider the potential for future interest rate hikes to ensure you're prepared for any changes.

  4. Save for a Larger Down Payment: Increasing your down payment can help offset the impact of the stress test on your loan amount, giving you more purchasing power.

The Bottom Line Phew! You've made it through the Mortgage Stress Test crash course. Armed with this knowledge, you can approach the Canadian real estate market with confidence. Remember, the stress test is designed to protect both you and the lender, ensuring you can handle potential financial fluctuations down the road. So, connect with mortgage professionals, crunch those numbers, and find your dream home within your financial reach. Good luck, savvy home buyers!


If you’re trying to decide if now’s the time to sell your house, here’s what you should know. The limited number of homes available right now gives you a big advantage. That’s because there are more buyers out there than there are homes for sale. And, with so few homes on the market, buyers will have fewer options, so you set yourself up to get the most eyes possible on your house.

Here’s what industry experts are saying about why selling now has its benefits:

Brendon Ogmundson, Chief Economist at the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA):

“The persistently low inventory levels across the country are contributing to heightened competition among buyers. This is leading to multiple offers on many properties.”

Craig Wright, Chief Economist at RBC:

“We continue to see a tight housing market in Canada, with supply struggling to keep up with the strong demand. Sellers can take advantage of this situation, as well-priced homes are attracting considerable attention from buyers.”

Dana Senagama, Economist at the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA):

“The undersupply of housing in many regions of Canada is intensifying market competition and putting upward pressure on prices. In certain areas, the market is already heating up significantly, but we are unlikely to see the price premiums witnessed in the previous spring and summer.”

Jason Mercer, Chief Market Analyst at the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB):

“Desirable properties that are priced competitively and well-maintained continue to receive multiple offers, often resulting in sales above the asking price in various parts of the country.”

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about selling your house, connect with a real estate advisor who can share the expert insights you need to make the best possible move today.


To sell your home this spring, it may need more preparation than it would have a year or two ago. Today’s housing market has a different feel. There are more homes for sale than there were at this time last year, but inventory is still historically low. So, if a house has been sitting on the market for a while, that’s a sign it may not be hitting the mark for potential buyers. But here’s the thing. Right now, homes that are updated and priced at market value are still selling fast.

Today, homes with curb appeal that are presented well are still selling quickly, and sometimes over asking price. According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist:

“In a market where costs are still high and buyers can be a little choosier, it makes sense they’re going to really zero in on the homes that are the most appealing.”

With the spring buying season just around the corner, now’s the time to start getting your house ready to sell. And the best way to determine where to spend your time and money is to work with a trusted real estate agent who can help you understand which improvements are most valuable in your local market.

Curb Appeal Wins

One way to prioritize updates that could bring a good return on your investment is to find smaller projects you can do yourself. Little updates that boost your curb appeal usually work well. Investopedia puts it this way:

“Curb-appeal projects make the property look good as soon as prospective buyers arrive. While these projects may not add a considerable amount of monetary value, they will help your home sell faster—and you can do a lot of the work yourself to save money and time.”

Small cosmetic updates, like refreshing some paint and power washing the exterior of your home, create a great first impression for buyers and help it stand out. Work with a real estate professional to find the low-cost projects you can tackle around your house that will appeal to buyers in your area.

Not All Updates Are Created Equal

When deciding what you need to do to your house before selling it, remember you’re making these repairs and updates for someone else. Prioritize projects that will help you sell faster or for more money over things that appeal to you as a homeowner.

The 2022 Remodeling Impact Report highlights popular home improvements and what sort of return they bring for the investment (see graph below):

Remember to lean on your trusted real estate advisor for the best advice on the updates you should invest in. They’ll know what local buyers are looking for and have the latest insights of what your house needs to sell quickly this spring.

Bottom Line

As we approach the spring season, now’s the time to get your house ready to sell. Connect with a local real estate agent today so you can find out which updates make the most sense.


One of the first steps in your homebuying journey is getting pre-approved. To understand why it’s such an important step, you need to understand what pre-approval is and what it does for you. Business Insider explains:

“In a preapproval [sic], the lender tells you which types of loans you may be eligible to take out, how much you may be approved to borrow, and what your rate could be.”

Basically, pre-approval gives you critical information about the home buying process that’ll help you understand your options and what you may be able to borrow.

How does it work? As part of the pre-approval process, a lender will look at your finances to determine what they’d be willing to loan you. From there, your lender will give you a pre-approval letter to help you understand how much money you can borrow. That can make it easier when you set out to search for homes because you’ll know your overall numbers. And with higher mortgage rates impacting affordability for many buyers today, a solid understanding of your numbers is even more important.

Pre-Approval Helps Show You’re a Serious Buyer

Another added benefit is pre-approval can help a seller feel more confident in your offer because it shows you’re serious about buying their house. A recent article from Forbes notes:

“From the seller’s perspective, a preapproval [sic] letter from a reputable local lender can often make the difference between accepting and rejecting an offer.”

This goes to show, even though you may not face the intense bidding wars you saw if you tried to buy during the pandemic, pre-approval is still an important part of making a strong offer. In fact, Christy Bieber, Personal Finance Writer at The Motley Fool explains, it may be the most important part of making an offer:

“Pre-approval maximizes the chances you’ll be able to actually close the deal – and sellers want to see that.

The fact that a pre-approval gives you a better chance of getting your offer accepted is undoubtedly the most important reason to complete this step . . .”

Bottom Line

Getting pre-approved is an important first step towards buying a home. It lets you know what you can borrow and shows sellers you’re serious about purchasing their home. Connect with a local real estate professional and a trusted lender so you have the tools you need to purchase a home in today’s market.