Tyler Suchan

RE/MAX River City

Cell 780-945-1318

Email: tylersuchan@gmail.com

Canadian Real Estate Wealth

Thursday, November 30, 2023 6:49:57 PM UTC
The Rise of Green Buildings in Canadian Real Estate

As environmental issues continue to be pushed to the forefront, sustainable housing solutions are becoming more and more important. Driven by growing environmental awareness and the promise of long-term economic benefits, both developers and buyers are increasingly prioritizing sustainability.

This shift is not merely a trend but a response to pressing global challenges such as climate change and resource depletion. In Canada’s market, green buildings are offering compelling advantages — from higher property values and tenant retention rates to regulatory benefits.

Sustainable Buildings and The Canadian Market

For developers, the investment in green technologies and sustainable materials often results in properties that are not only energy-efficient but also yield higher market values. Consumers, on the other hand, are drawn to the long-term cost savings and the promise of a lower carbon footprint.

Niagara falls, known for its majestic beauty and breathtaking natural wonders, is a popular destination located in the heart of Niagara. With its powerful cascades and awe-inspiring views, Niagara Falls continues

The synergy of these factors is transforming the Canadian real estate market, making sustainable buildings an increasingly popular choice. In particular, the use of smart home features to regulate the usage of HVAC systems and energy expenditure is proving quite popular among new developments.

Green Features That Boost Property Value

Increasingly, buyers and renters are willing to pay a premium for homes that showcase sustainability and energy efficiency. In tandem with sustainable building incentives, going green can be a very profitable decision for both developers and buyers alike.

  • Solar panels: These provide a renewable source of energy, substantially cutting down on electricity costs and reducing carbon emissions.
  • Energy-efficient appliances: Appliances with high Energy Star ratings are not only a selling point but also reduce long-term electricity consumption.
  • Rainwater harvesting systems: These systems collect and store rainwater, which can then be used for gardening or other non-potable purposes, reducing reliance on municipal water.
  • Insulated windows and doors: Quality insulation reduces heat loss, translating to lower heating and cooling bills for the occupant.
  • Smart thermostats: These allow for more precise control over home heating and cooling, leading to energy savings and increased comfort.
  • Native landscaping: Utilizing plants that are native to the area can reduce the need for water-intensive lawn care.
  • Electric vehicle charging stations: As electric cars become more common, having a home charging station can be a major selling point.

Incorporating these features into a property can help owners meet the increasing demand for sustainable living options. They can also significantly elevate their property’s market value as the market shifts more and more towards sustainable solutions.

Tenant Satisfaction & Comparative Market Analysis

Tenants in eco-friendly properties often enjoy lower utility bills, improved air quality, and the psychological benefits of living in a sustainable environment. These factors contribute to higher tenant retention rates, offering landlords a more stable income stream.

Meanwhile, comparative market analyses show that green properties generally command higher rents and sales prices, often spending less time on the market compared to traditional properties. This mutual benefit for both landlords and tenants underlines the long-term value of investing in green building features.

According to Market Research Future in 2021, the market for green buildings was estimated at over 550 billion USD (756.2 billion CAD). The industry includes property developers, researchers, and real estate agents working together to build and move sustainable housing and commercial spaces, and is expected to grow by an average of 9.5% annually all the way through 2030.

Green Buildings & Commercial Real Estate

The 2019 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction from the International Energy Agency revealed that the commercial real estate sector was responsible for about 40% of global carbon emissions.

Accordingly, there has been a significant amount of pressure placed on the commercial real estate sector to lessen its carbon footprint by implementing a host of green building solutions. The vast majority of these solutions are focused on exterior environmental design, such as green roofs, solar panels, and low-emissivity windows.

These eco-friendly elements can increase the property’s marketability, attracting tenants who prioritize sustainability. Moreover, green features often result in lower long-term operational costs, which can be a selling point for potential tenants.

Additionally, sustainable buildings may qualify for various government incentives, providing financial benefits for developers. Overall, green features enhance both the appeal and profitability of commercial real estate projects.

Clean Growth & Climate Change

The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change provides a national strategy aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and driving sustainable growth. Within the context of the real estate industry, the framework lays emphasis on transitioning towards energy-efficient, low-carbon building designs.

By promoting the adoption of green building standards, it seeks to revolutionize how residential, commercial, and public buildings are conceived, built, and operated. It encourages developers to incorporate energy-efficient technologies, which can result in cost savings in the long term.

For the real estate industry, adhering to the framework not only aids in environmental conservation but also offers economic incentives, aligning profitability with sustainability. While there might not be specific tax breaks at the federal level exclusively for green building, there are grants and funding options available for energy-efficient retrofitting and new construction through programs like the Canada Infrastructure Bank and Natural Resources Canada‘s funding opportunities.

Provincial governments also have their own set of incentives. For instance, British Columbia has the CleanBC Better Homes program, which provides rebates for energy-efficient home improvements. Ontario has had various programs to encourage energy-efficient homes, such as the Green Ontario Fund, although the availability of these programs can change.

Municipalities may offer additional grants or reduced fees for green building initiatives. For businesses, there can be benefits related to property taxes or development charges, depending on local programs.

It’s advisable to check the most current government resources for the latest information on incentives related to green building in Canada.

A group of people standing on a grassy field with the CN Tower, one of the iconic green buildings, in the background.

Future Outlook

The future of green buildings in the Canadian real estate market appears promising, bolstered by a growing awareness of environmental issues and an increasing focus on sustainable living.

Technological innovations in energy-efficient systems and construction materials are likely to make green building practices even more accessible and cost-effective. As policy frameworks continue to evolve, developers and investors can expect stricter sustainability mandates, potentially unlocking more government incentives to support green initiatives.

Market demand for eco-friendly properties is expected to rise, offering opportunities for higher profit margins and long-term investment value. Overall, the confluence of consumer preference, technological advancement, and supportive policies sets the stage for a greener future in real estate.


The rise of green buildings is more than a passing trend in the Canadian real estate market; it’s an impactful movement towards sustainability and long-term economic viability.

Developers, investors, and consumers alike are recognizing the multi-faceted benefits of eco-friendly construction, from reduced operational costs to increased property values and tenant satisfaction.

Policy support in the form of frameworks and incentives further solidifies the role of green buildings in shaping the country’s real estate future.

As technology continues to advance and market demand for sustainable properties grows, green buildings stand to be the cornerstone of a more sustainable, profitable, and socially responsible real estate market.

How To Find A Good Real Estate Lawyer: A Step-by-Step Guide

Navigating the complex world of real estate transactions can be daunting, especially when it comes to the legalities. Whether you’re buying your dream home or selling a cherished property, the importance of having a savvy real estate lawyer by your side can’t be overstated.

But with so many options out there, how do you zero in on the right legal expert for your needs? Fear not, because we’re about to dive into some insider tips that will steer you towards a real estate lawyer in Ontario who’s not just competent but perfect for your situation.

Stay tuned as we unpack the essentials of finding a lawyer who will not only guide you through the legalese but ensure your real estate journey is as smooth as possible. You’ll learn how to sift through the noise and find a trusted professional who understands the nuances of your local market.

Why You Need a Real Estate Lawyer

Embarking on a real estate transaction, you’ll soon discover the critical role of a real estate lawyer in ensuring a smooth process. As intimidating as the cluster of legal documents might appear, your real estate lawyer delves into the paperwork, making sense of complex clauses and stamping out pitfalls that could disrupt your transaction.

In Canada, the legal landscape governing property transactions mandates a meticulous approach where legal expertise is non-negotiable. Your real estate lawyer isn’t just a navigator through dense contractual jungles; they’re an essential compliance officer. Their in-depth understanding of property laws provides the sturdy backbone you need when buying or selling a home.

Imagine trying to access Ontario’s Electronic Land Registration System without the right credentials. You’d quickly hit a wall. This system, integral for registering property transfers and searching for land records, is accessible only to lawyers and select professionals. It reveals a significant facet of their role – bridging the gap between legal requirements and your goals.

Moreover, the value of a real estate lawyer extends beyond document scrutiny. They are your financial sentinel, accurately handling the calculations and financial nuances accompanying property transactions. Coupled with their ability to double-check legalities, they safeguard you from overstepping legal boundaries and encountering unexpected liabilities.

While steering through the real estate transaction, consider the engagements between your lawyer and other professionals like your realtor or mortgage broker. Evaluate the synergy and timeliness within this professional triad, and you’ll appreciate the behind-the-scenes labor they expertly manage.

Remember, the utility of a real estate lawyer doesn’t dissolve post-closing. Whether it’s a future refinance, property investment, business matter, or the drafting of a will, their expertise spans diverse legal needs. Once proven effective, a real estate lawyer not only delivers results but becomes a longstanding ally in your legal affairs.

Lawyer hands holding out pen to sign business contract, sales agreement closeup

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Real Estate Lawyer

Choosing the right real estate lawyer can be the linchpin to a successful property transaction. There are several key factors you should consider to ensure that you’re partnering with a professional who will guide you effectively through the maze of legalities.


The experience of your real estate lawyer can make a substantial difference in your transaction. A seasoned lawyer will have had the opportunity to encounter diverse scenarios and overcome various challenges within the real estate realm.

Look for someone who has:

  • Handled numerous transactions similar to your case
  • Practiced specifically in real estate law for several years
  • Knowledge of local real estate regulations in your province

Seeking a professional with a wealth of experience means you’re likely to receive knowledgeable guidance which can streamline your transaction and potentially save you from any unforeseen pitfalls.


In the legal world, a lawyer’s reputation often precedes them. A commendable reputation is an indicator of reliability, competence, and satisfaction amongst past clients. To gauge a lawyer’s reputation, you should:

  • Ask for referrals from people you trust who have recently completed a real estate transaction
  • Read through online reviews and testimonials
  • Check with the local bar association for any records or recognitions

A lawyer who has earned accolades from clients and peers alike is likely to carry those high standards into the service they provide for you.

Fee Structure

Understanding the fee structure and being clear on the financial commitments from the outset is crucial when selecting a real estate lawyer. Transparent fee arrangements can help avoid future surprises regarding costs. When discussing fees, consider the following:

  • All-inclusive quotes for fees and disbursements to avoid hidden costs
  • An itemized breakdown of what you’re being charged for
  • Realistic estimates from lawyers with varying degrees of experience

Remember, the lowest fee may not always equate to the best value. A lawyer offering a competitive but realistic fee is likely considering the complexities of your situation and the level of expertise required to manage it.

When choosing a real estate lawyer, a balanced assessment of experience, reputation, and fee structure can lead you to a professional suitable for your unique needs. Engaging the right legal help can secure not just a successful transaction today but also a trustworthy advisor for your future real estate endeavours.

Where to Find a Good Real Estate Lawyer

When embarking on the quest to find the right legal representation for your real estate transactions, you’ve got a variety of options at your fingertips. Let’s navigate the resources available to ensure you make an informed selection.

Personal Referrals

Start with the power of word-of-mouth by seeking personal referrals. Your network – friends, family, and colleagues – can provide valuable insights based on their first-hand experiences. A recommendation from someone you trust carries weight because it’s based on a history of satisfactory service and proven results. It’s likely that others in your circle have been through similar processes and can share the positives and negatives of working with their real estate lawyers. Leverage their experiences to create a shortlist of potential candidates.

Bar Association Referral Services

Next, utilize the resources of the provincial bar association. They maintain lists of licensed practitioners which can be filtered by specialty, including real estate law. Here are some reasons why consulting the bar association makes sense:

  • Verified Licenses: Ensures the lawyers are eligible to practice in your location.
  • Specialisation Confirmation: Helps you verify lawyers who specialise in real estate.
  • Disciplinary Records: Provides transparency about any past disciplinary actions.

By contacting the bar association or checking their online directories, you can find lawyers near you who are well-versed in the specifics of local real estate law.

Online Directories

The digital landscape offers myriad options for finding a lawyer, with plenty of websites listing qualified professionals. However, when searching online, it’s crucial to navigate to reputable sites to ensure the information you gather is reliable. Look for platforms that go beyond mere listings to offer client reviews or matching services based on your unique needs. The Law Society of Ontario, for example, provides a comprehensive directory that includes information on lawyers’ insurance and any practice restrictions.

couple with agent visiting house

Local Real Estate Agents and Brokers

Finally, consider talking to local real estate agents and brokers. These professionals engage frequently with real estate attorneys and can provide recommendations based on their direct experience with legal partners during transactions. Since agents and brokers have a stake in smooth closings, they’re likely to suggest lawyers who facilitate successful outcomes. Remember, a competent agent’s network can be an invaluable asset in your search for a good real estate lawyer.

Choosing the right real estate lawyer is a pivotal step towards ensuring your property transaction is handled with expertise and care. Make use of these resources for an informed decision that aligns with your real estate goals.

Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Real Estate Lawyer

Specialization in Real Estate Law

When you start your journey to buy or sell property, you’ll encounter legal complexities that demand an expert’s touch. So first, ensure you’re dealing with someone who’s not just a jack-of-all-trades but a master of one—real estate law. You should inquire about the number of years they’ve dedicated to this field and whether it’s their principal area of practice. This could involve asking:

  • How long have you been involved with real estate law specifically?
  • What percentage of your cases are related to real estate?

Knowing they have a track record of dealing with transactions similar to yours can provide peace of mind that your legal matters are in the right hands.

Availability and Responsiveness

A lawyer’s expertise is only as valuable as their ability to be accessible when you need them. Quick response times are crucial. You may want to know:

  • What’s your policy on returning calls or emails?
  • Will I be able to contact you directly if I have urgent questions?

Finding out how a potential lawyer handles communication can prevent future frustration and ensure your transaction isn’t hampered by avoidable delays.

Communication Style

Effective lawyering goes beyond legal maneuvering—it’s about how well your lawyer can communicate with you. Look for a lawyer who distills complex legal concepts into understandable language. Consider asking:

  • How do you explain complicated real estate terms to your clients?
  • Can you provide examples of how you’ve helped clients understand the legal aspects of their transactions?

Their answers will paint a picture of their communication methods and how those will align with your needs.

Approach to Problem-Solving

Real estate deals often hit snags, and that’s when you’ll value a lawyer with a proactive and creative approach. To gauge their problem-solving skills, explore questions like:

  • How do you handle unexpected issues during a transaction?
  • Can you share an experience where you spotted potential problems early and navigated through them successfully?

The ability to foresee and tackle issues can mean the difference between a seamless transaction and a real estate nightmare.

Fees and Billing Practices

Money matters, and transparent discussion on fees and billing is essential. Clarify the financial aspects upfront to avoid surprises. Pertinent questions might be:

  • Can you break down your fee structure for me?
  • Are there any additional charges I should be aware of, such as for disbursements or searches?

It’s vital to grasp the complete picture of potential costs in order to budget effectively for your legal expenses.

A man and a woman talking at a desk in an office.

How to Assess the Suitability of a Real Estate Lawyer

When you’re on the hunt for a real estate lawyer, you want to ensure that you’re entrusting your property transaction to the best possible professional. By doing your homework and knowing what to look for, you’ll be in a strong position to assess a lawyer’s capability to represent your interests effectively. Here’s how you can evaluate their suitability:

Reviewing Credentials and Qualifications

The first step is to check the credentials of any potential real estate lawyer. You’re looking for someone with a robust track record in the field of real estate law. This means:

  • Specialization: They should have an evident focus on real estate law.
  • Experience: Look for lawyers who have facilitated numerous transactions similar to yours.
  • Education: Ensure they have received their legal education from a reputable institution.
  • Memberships: Membership in real estate law associations could be indicative of their commitment to the field.

Make sure you’re choosing a specialist, not a generalist. Real estate law has its complexities, and you need someone who navigates it daily.

Checking for Any Disciplinary Actions

Verify whether the lawyer you’re considering has had any disciplinary actions taken against them. This info can typically be found by:

  • Searching the provincial law society’s database for any past or current restrictions on their practice.
  • Checking with the local bar association to confirm that they’re in good standing.

Disciplinary actions are red flags that warrant further investigation before proceeding.

Reading Client Reviews and Testimonials

Hearing from those who’ve walked before you can provide invaluable insight into a lawyer’s capabilities. When reading reviews and testimonials:

  • Check reputable sites like ThreeBestRated for well-rounded perspectives.
  • Don’t just focus on positive feedback; assess negative reviews for patterns that might be concerning.
  • Look for comments on their communication, efficiency, and problem-solving abilities.

Remember, personal recommendations from friends and family often hold more weight since they can give detailed accounts of their experiences.

Requesting a Consultation

Finally, a consultation is your opportunity to:

  • Assess the lawyer’s responsiveness. Did they reply to your email promptly?
  • Gauge their team’s competence. Is there a team and do they seem knowledgeable?
  • Explore their approach. Do they ask insightful questions and offer bespoke solutions?

During the consultation, observe if they explain complex legal terms in an easy-to-understand fashion. This is crucial for a smooth and transparent client-lawyer relationship.

By undertaking these steps, you’ll gather enough information to make an informed choice about whether a particular real estate lawyer is not only qualified but also the right professional to represent your interests in your real estate endeavors. Remember, your real estate journey is significant, and ensuring you have the right legal guidance is paramount.


Securing the right real estate lawyer is pivotal in safeguarding your interests. Armed with the knowledge of what to look for and where to look, you’re now equipped to navigate the legal landscape with confidence. Remember, assessing their experience, reputation and how they charge is just as crucial as your personal rapport with them. By asking the right questions and doing your due diligence, you’ll find a legal ally who not only understands the intricacies of real estate law but also aligns with your communication style and problem-solving approach. Trust your instincts and the information at your disposal to make a choice that feels right for you. Your ideal real estate lawyer is out there, ready to guide you through your property journey with expertise and dedication.

How Investing in Older Properties Can Offer Unseen Benefits Over Brand-New Pre-Builds

The Canadian real estate market is often buzzing with discussions about the merits and drawbacks of various investment options. One debate that frequently captures attention is whether to invest in older, existing properties or opt for brand-new pre-builds.

While new constructions offer the allure of modern amenities and less immediate maintenance, older properties come with their own set of often-overlooked advantages.

The Allure of the New

Brand-new pre-builds in the real estate market offer immediate appeal. They feature the latest amenities like smart home systems and energy-efficient appliances, ensuring a luxurious and convenient lifestyle. Built to current safety standards, these properties require less immediate maintenance, saving both time and money. Additionally, warranties often cover major systems, adding financial security. These factors collectively enhance the property’s resale value, making new builds a tempting investment option.

A large white and black building with a car parked in front of it, ideal for investing purposes.

The Forgotten Charm of the Old

Older properties possess an understated appeal that frequently goes unnoticed in the rush for newer, shinier options. These homes are rich in character, featuring architectural details like crown molding, hardwood floors, and unique layouts that are hard to find in modern constructions. But the charm doesn’t stop at aesthetics; older properties offer a level of customization that new builds often can’t match. They serve as a blank canvas, giving investors the freedom to renovate and personalize, thereby adding significant value to their investment.

Location, Location, Location

The location of a property is often cited as its most valuable asset, and older homes have a distinct advantage in this regard. Typically nestled in well-established neighborhoods, these properties offer more than just a place to live; they offer a lifestyle. 

Mature trees line the streets, public transit is often readily accessible, and essential amenities like schools and grocery stores are often within walking distance. The established infrastructure and strong community bonds in these areas not only elevate the quality of life but also hold the potential for excellent investment returns.

Sustainability Factor

Choosing to renovate an older property can be a win-win for both the investor and the environment. 

By opting to update rather than build anew, you’re essentially recycling a structure, thereby reducing waste that would otherwise end up in landfills. This approach also minimizes the energy-intensive process of new construction, from the manufacturing of new materials to their transportation. In a time when eco-conscious living is more than just a trend, investing in an older property aligns well with sustainable values, offering both environmental and ethical returns on your investment.

Financial Incentives

Investing in older properties in Canada comes with a financial silver lining, thanks to a range of tax benefits, grants, and incentives designed to encourage renovation. 

For instance, the Home Buyers’ Plan is a notable program that allows Canadians to tap into their Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) to finance the purchase or construction of a qualifying home. Such incentives not only ease the financial burden of purchasing a home but also make older properties an increasingly attractive investment option, offering tangible savings that can be reinvested or saved for future use.

The Renovation Potential

One of the standout features of older properties is the scope they offer for value-enhancing renovations

Unlike newer builds, which often come with a premium price tag for any upgrades, older homes allow investors to make impactful changes at a fraction of the cost. Even straightforward modifications, such as fitting energy-efficient windows or updating the kitchen with modern appliances, can yield a substantial increase in the property’s market value. These renovations not only improve the home’s functionality but also make it more appealing to future buyers or renters.

A large stone mansion nestled on a lush green lawn, providing an exceptional opportunity for investing.

Risk and Reward

Every real estate investment carries a level of risk, be it a sparkling new build or a charming older property. However, the key to minimizing this risk lies in thorough due diligence. 

For older properties, this means going beyond the usual home inspection to include in-depth neighborhood research, checking zoning laws, and even assessing future development plans for the area. By taking these extra steps, investors can not only mitigate potential risks but also uncover hidden opportunities for value appreciation, making older properties a rewarding investment when approached with care.


When it comes to real estate investment, older properties offer a treasure trove of benefits that can make them a more appealing choice than their brand-new counterparts.

They bring a unique blend of character, architectural richness, and customization possibilities that new builds often lack. Add to this the advantages of established neighborhoods, sustainability, and financial incentives, and it becomes clear that older properties are not just an investment in real estate, but also an investment in a lifestyle and community. By unlocking these hidden values through smart choices and due diligence, investors can find that older properties offer a unique and rewarding investment avenue.

Breaking Points Can Lead to Positive Transformation if the Moment is Seized

Our housing supply system is severely strained, to say the least. Some would argue it is broken. Either way, we’re hitting a wall. 

In addition to lofty mortgage rates and supply chain issues, the development approvals process for residential projects is too lengthy, and taxes, fees, levies, and development charges are exorbitant. The problem has been festering for decades under successive governments. We’ve had a false sense of security on housing for some time. But the canaries are now singing. The crisis is hitting home. For too long, politicians have fiddled around the edges of the issue, never really tackling it head-on. They’ve introduced band-aid solutions based on political calculations rather than economic reality. 

With the consensus that interest rates won’t be coming down significantly anytime soon, it could get even more challenging for millions of Canadian homeowners. In 2024 and 2025, for example, up to 2.2 million mortgage holders will be renewing in a significantly higher interest rate environment. The good news, however, is that the situation can be fixed. We could eliminate the excess taxation, red tape, and bureaucracy that is choking the housing supply and embrace badly needed innovation.

Possible Fixes to the Problem

We’ve pretty well killed the first-time home buyer.

A man is holding a calculator next to a model of a house, exploring its breaking points.

Taxes, fees, and levies account for 31 per cent of the cost of a new home. That means on a $1-million home, a buyer is paying $310,000 to governments. When that figure is averaged over the life of a mortgage, it adds hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest.

We must start by cutting these excessive and exorbitant add-ons. Recently, the federal and provincial governments cut the GST and HST on new purpose-built rental buildings. They should do the same with owner-occupied housing. What, in principle, is fair for new renters should be the same for new home buyers. We should eliminate an equivalent amount of taxes for those buying principal residences.

Permitting RRSP funds to be used for buying principal homes – at least for first-time domestic home buyers and possibly those who are downsizing – without penalty would be a good move.

At the very least, we must stop governments from continuing to add new measures and raise costs. We must stop taxing housing like alcohol and bring back measures that spurred housing projects. 

Millennials and Gen Z first-time home buyers, as well as those downsizing, are being hammered by tax increases. Adding more costs and regulatory interventions should be stopped until we right the ship.

Streamlining the approvals process would also help. Despite all the talk, the situation seems to have paradoxically worsened. Modernizing and digitizing the process is proceeding at a glacial pace. Excessive taxation and inefficient approval procedures inhibit innovation and only add to costs.

Meanwhile, offsite construction needs to be further explored, and consideration given to incentivize companies to build modular housing plants in Canada. When offsite construction is used, there is a 30- to 50-per-cent reduction in time spent on a construction site for mid-size projects. While crews are preparing the foundation for a project, construction can begin in the plant.

More Skilled Trades Essential

A businessman holding a model house in his hands, showcasing its breaking points.

To make it all work, of course, we will need more skilled trades. We must continue to push for systemic changes in education and immigration. We must convince parents, teachers, and guidance counsellors that a career in the trades where you learn while you earn is rewarding and lucrative.

We must look to immigration to boost the number of workers in the residential construction industry, reduce barriers to licensing in regulated professions by enabling immigrants with experience to get their qualifications faster, and bring in more newcomers with experience in the voluntary trades. The question on this and other issues is whether the bureaucracy responds. I hope so.

We know that – when faced with a challenge – the residential construction industry can and does respond. We did it during COVID. When other industries were forced to close, we kept building. Our industry has a solid reputation for getting the job done. Millions of homes have been built without incident over the decades. We are also the greenest building jurisdiction in North America.

Although the housing market has been dealt some severe body blows, the industry is resilient and agile. As bad as it may be, there are opportunities to turn things around. The timing is right to fix the system. Breaking points can lead to positive transformation if we are willing to seize the moment.

Richard Lyall is president of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON). He has represented the building industry in Ontario since 1991. Contact him at media@rescon.com.

Landlord Wants to Sell House: Tenant Rights & Next Steps

As a landlord, deciding to sell your rental property can be a strategic move to maximise your investment, but it’s not without its complexities. You’re not just selling a property; you’re navigating a space shared with your tenant, whose rights must be considered.

The Canadian real estate landscape presents unique challenges and opportunities in this scenario. You’ll need to balance your financial goals with legal obligations and tenant relationships. This article will guide you through the process, ensuring you’re well-informed and ready to make the right decisions.

Stay tuned as we delve into what you need to know when you want to sell your house as a landlord, from observing tenancy agreements to handling potential conflicts with grace.

Challenges Faced by Tenants When the Landlord Wants to Sell the Property

Security and Stability As a tenant, the security of your tenancy can be disturbingly unstable when the property you’re living in is put on the market. Your home, a place of comfort and personal space, transforms into a showcase for potential buyers. This increased foot traffic is not only a privacy concern but disrupts the quiet enjoyment of your rental space.

Finding Alternatives In tight rental markets, finding a new place on short notice can be a daunting task. Availability of affordable housing is often scarce, and the spectre of moving adds financial strain to already budget-conscious tenants. The pressure to locate and secure a new home within a potentially short timeframe creates a stressful situation.

Legal Rights Awareness Understanding your legal rights can seem like a maze of legislatively dense information. Knowing where you stand legally is paramount. For instance, are you aware that your tenancy rights remain intact even after the sale? Certain procedures must be followed by your landlord to respect these rights, and familiarising yourself with them safeguards against wrongful termination of your lease.

Collaboration Over Conflict Ideally, cooperation between you and your landlord eases the transition. Open dialogues can mitigate potential conflicts, particularly when it comes to property showings. However, balancing your rights to reasonable enjoyment against the landlord’s aim to sell can cause friction. If conflicts do arise, they should be tackled with respect and clear communication to find an acceptable compromise.

Landlords seeking to sell should weigh the tenants’ standpoint as part of their exit strategy. For tenants, staying informed and seeking advice when necessary can help navigate the uncertainties of a landlord’s decision to sell. Being proactive about your housing options may also offer a degree of control during this period of change.

Real estate agent handing over house keys

Understanding Your Rights as a Tenant

When your landlord decides to sell the house you’re renting, it’s important to know where you stand. Your tenancy agreement is your first point of reference in determining your rights during the sale process.

Reviewing Your Tenancy Agreement

Your tenancy agreement is crucial in understanding your rights and obligations. If you have a fixed lease term, you’re entitled to reside in the property until the lease expires. This holds true even if the property changes hands. Rent paid in advance, typically for durations between 12-18 months, solidifies your tenure for that period. Be mindful of the specifics outlined in your lease, including clauses on property sale which might impact your right to occupancy.

In the case of verbal agreements, which are less common, your rights can vary significantly. For instance, in California a verbal lease of under a year is legally binding while in Washington, these arrangements are deemed month-to-month tenancies. Check your local laws to understand the implications of a verbal lease.

Knowing the Notice Period

Both landlord and tenant are required to give notice when ending a tenancy. You’re entitled to a 60-day notice period starting from the first of the month following the sale of the property. If substantial renovations are on the cards necessitating the property to be vacated, an N13 notice providing 120 days’ notice must be issued by the landlord. Keep in mind that these notices do not necessarily mean immediate eviction – your tenancy agreement retains its validity throughout the notice period.

Exploring Your Options for Staying in the Property

The transition after sale doesn’t always mean you have to leave. If the new owners are amenable, you could continue renting under the existing lease terms. The Residential Tenancies Act outlines that:

  • Lease transference to the new landlord should maintain the original terms.
  • Rent cannot be increased within 12 months of the last increment, adhering to rent increase guidelines.
  • If in the midst of a lease, it continues until expiry with no obligation to sign a new agreement.

For tenants whose landlords are open to negotiation, there might be flexibility to extend move-out dates or adjust lease terms. When improvements are planned for the property that require permits and an empty space, landlords may terminate the tenancy—with adequate notice. However, you may exercise the right to move back in once renovations are completed.

Various scenarios could play out: the new owner might keep you as a tenant, consider the property purely as an investment, or even offer you the chance to purchase the property yourself. Understandably, each option requires different considerations and planning.

As the real estate market evolves, so do the trends in tenancy rights. While your legwork now could ensure stability, changes in legislation and market dynamics may alter tenancy agreements and rights in the future. Being informed and proactive protects you against unforeseen circumstances in the volatile housing market.

Communicating with the Landlord About Their Decision

When your landlord decides to sell the property you’re renting, it’s crucial to engage in effective communication to ensure your rights are respected and your living situation remains stable. Approaching this conversation strategically can help you navigate the transition with minimal stress.

Scheduling a Meeting with the Landlord

Your first step should be to arrange a formal discussion with your landlord. Here’s how you can proceed:

  • Request a Meeting: Reach out to your landlord and ask for a time to discuss the sale. Aim for a date that’s soon enough to address any concerns promptly but allows your landlord time to prepare.
  • Prepare Your Questions and Thoughts: Write down any questions or concerns you have about the selling process, how it’ll affect your tenancy, and what your rights are during the transition.
  • Choose a Neutral Location: If possible, meet at a neutral location where you can both feel comfortable and free to communicate openly.

Understanding your lease agreement thoroughly before the meeting will empower you to present your case effectively. Remember, landlords are obliged to give reasonable notice before showings and need to consider your right to reasonable privacy.

Discussing Your Concerns and Possible Solutions

During the meeting with your landlord, it’s important to express your concerns clearly and seek possible solutions that accommodate both parties. Here are some subjects you could address:

  • Notice Periods: Clarify how much notice will be given for showings and ensure this adheres to the “reasonable notice” norm established in your current rental agreement, typically 24 hours.
  • Showing Times: Ensure showings are scheduled at reasonable hours, commonly recognized as between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Your Rights: Discuss the tenant’s right to not be disturbed unreasonably, and how that translates into the number and frequency of showings.
  • Potential Extension of Termination Date: If facing eviction due to the sale, inquire about the possibility of extending the move-out date, particularly if you have compelling personal reasons or hardships.

Discuss potential “cash-for-keys” deals but be wary of your rights. It’s vital to do your research on current market rents and consider any financial strains you may incur from moving. Should negotiations with the landlord not result in a satisfactory outcome, remember that mediation through the Landlord and Tenant Board is an option to strive for an amicable settlement.

When facing the complexities of a landlord selling the property, knowledge is power. It’s crucial to grasp the full spectrum of your rights by tapping into legal resources in your area or online before making any binding commitments. Local community legal clinics can provide guidance, ensuring you make informed decisions that protect your tenancy.

Should negotiations falter and you find yourself facing an eviction, meticulously review any order from the Landlord and Tenant Board. Spotting errors in the order could be key to filing a successful request for review. In severe cases, an escalation to the divisional court may be appropriate.

  • Review LTB orders for errors
  • File a request for review with the board
  • Consider an appeal at divisional court if necessary

Accessible legal advice can further empower you to address evictions that smell of bad faith. You can seek various remedies including:

  • Financial compensation for the upheaval of an unjust eviction
  • Reinstatement into your unit if you were erroneously evicted

In cases where you feel wronged by swift lease terminations or abrupt service withdrawals, the option to head to small claims court stands open. Here, you could potentially be awarded reparations for the landlord’s failure to respect proper notice periods.

It’s about holding landlords accountable for their actions and obtaining just compensation for any mistreatment during the sales process. Keep an eye out for trends in the rental market to stay informed and prepared for any scenario. Remember, in the dynamic landscape of Canadian real estate, being proactive and well-advised is your best strategy.


Preparing for the Sale of the House

Ensuring the Property Is Presentable for Viewings

When you’re gearing up to sell your house, first impressions are crucial. Stage your property to showcase its full potential. You know a well-presented property not only sells faster but often at a higher price. Tidy up, declutter, and consider professional cleaning to ensure the place is immaculate for every viewing. Remember, properties without tenants sell for more than the last comparable sale—so mimic that vacant polish.

It’s in your interest and the landlord’s to keep the place in top condition while it’s on the market. Don’t hesitate to discuss with your landlord the prospect of hiring a cleaning or yard service during this period. It removes the burden of maintenance from you, especially if you’re in the throes of moving.

Next, tackle the legalities. Check your lease to clarify the notice you should get before showings and the times landlords can schedule them—typically, this should be at least 24 hours and within reasonable hours.

Cooperating with Potential Buyers and Their Agents

Smooth cooperation is key when your home is being shown to potential buyers. Understand that many are open to purchasing a property with a tenant, while others may prefer vacant possession. Either way, present the house well to appeal to the full spectrum of buyers.

With agents coming through, you want to know what to expect. Communication is paramount. Arrange viewing times that work for you and discuss what level of tidiness is expected. And don’t forget, while you’re not obliged to major clean-up efforts, a neat space can help expedite the sale process.

Additionally, work with your landlord to decide if leaving the premises during showings is an option preferable for all parties involved. Some landlords may offer incentives like a sponsored coffee date to ease the temporary displacement.

Leverage the landlord’s motivation to sell by negotiating terms that benefit you, such as scheduling viewings at a convenient time. With professional real estate agents specializing in tenanted properties at the helm, rest assured knowing they’ll streamline the process to minimize disruptions to your routine. They understand the dance between selling fast and respecting your rights.

Adapting to this transitional phase may pose challenges, yet it’s an opportunity for both you and the landlord to achieve your respective goals. Stay informed on your rights, communicate openly, and maintain a collaborative spirit to navigate this period effectively.

Dealing with the Transition Period

Preparing to Move Out

When it’s clear that your landlord intends to sell the property, preparing for your impending move becomes a priority. Knowing you have 60 days to vacate from the end of your rental period allows you some time to plan. Yet it’s imperative to take into consideration current market rents and factor in moving expenses that will arise.

Landlords are mandated to provide an N12 form, notifying tenants of the move-out requirement. This notice is given either 60 days before the end of a rental period or within a 30-day window post-sale, depending on if the new owner wishes to reside in the property or continue leasing it.

Protect your interests by ensuring the landlord follows through with their stated intentions. If they do not move in after you vacate but instead list the property for sale, you are entitled to contest this. The penalty for such an act by a landlord can reach up to £25,000, and you may be able to claim costs for moving and potentially higher rent at your new home.

Consider also discussing with your landlord the compensation for your move, ideally one month’s rent, as stipulated by law. This negotiation should reflect your real-world expenses and could even include a bonus to facilitate an early departure, which could prove beneficial in giving you a cushion of financial security as you find a new place.

Requesting a Reference from the Landlord

A solid reference from your current landlord can be invaluable in securing your next rental. Approach the topic tactfully, especially during this transition phase. You’ll find it beneficial to have a letter that speaks to your reliability as a tenant and punctuality in rent payments.

Leverage your history of promptness and care for the property when requesting this reference. If your tenancy has been notable for timely communications and swift reporting of maintenance issues, mention these as points of merit.

Equally, remind your landlord of your cooperation during showings and your flexibility. Such cooperation could give you leverage in securing a positive reference, which in turn will ease your path to securing your next home. Remember, gentle negotiation can lead to amicable agreements, paving the way for a smoother transition for both you and your landlord.


Navigating the sale of your rented home may seem daunting but knowing your rights and options eases the process. Stay proactive by reviewing your lease, understanding notice periods and exploring the potential to continue renting post-sale. Communication with your landlord is key—set up a meeting to discuss your concerns and be open to solutions. Should you need it, remember mediation and legal advice are at hand to ensure your interests are safeguarded. As the property transitions to new ownership, maintaining its appeal and negotiating terms for showings will serve you well. Lastly, prepare for your next move by factoring in costs, securing a reference and discussing any due compensation. With these strategies, you’ll manage the sale with confidence and secure your housing future.

Overcoming Credit Hurdles in Real Estate Transactions

Navigating the complexities of real estate transactions becomes even more challenging when bad credit enters the equation. For real estate agents, mastering the intricacies of credit issues is not just beneficial—it’s essential. 

Your ability to guide clients through these financial hurdles can make the difference between a closed deal and a missed opportunity.

The Impact of Bad Credit on Real Estate Transactions

When it comes to securing a mortgage, bad credit is more than just a minor hiccup; it’s a formidable roadblock. 

Traditional lenders often shy away from applicants with less-than-stellar credit profiles. Even when approval is granted, it usually comes with strings attached, such as exorbitant interest rates and stringent loan conditions. This financial burden can make the dream of homeownership seem out of reach for many. 

Similarly, a high debt-to-income ratio can not only reduce the loan amount for which a buyer is eligible but also raise questions about their financial stability. These issues serve as significant stumbling blocks, complicating what is already a complex real estate transaction process.

Two real estate professionals shaking hands in front of a table.

Strategies for Real Estate Agents to Assist Clients with Bad Credit

Navigating the real estate market with clients who have bad credit requires a proactive approach and specialized strategies. Here are some key steps to consider:

Mortgage Pre-Approval

Initiating the home-buying journey with a mortgage pre-approval is invaluable. This step provides a clear financial snapshot, allowing you and your client to understand exactly what they can afford. It also adds credibility to any offer they make on a property.

Credit Repair and Consultation

Improving a client’s credit score isn’t an overnight process, but it’s an essential one. Encourage your clients to seek advice from credit experts who can provide targeted strategies for score improvement. This could range from settling outstanding debts to correcting errors on their credit report.

Documentation Gathering

The mortgage application process involves a lot of paperwork. Guide your clients in collecting all required documents well in advance. This includes proof of income, debt records, and any other financial statements that lenders may require. Having these documents ready can expedite the application process and improve the likelihood of approval.

The Role of Lenders and How to Negotiate for Better Mortgage Rates

Types of Lenders

  • Traditional Banks: Often stringent with credit requirements, but may offer more competitive rates.
  • Credit Unions: Typically community-focused and may be more flexible with credit issues.
  • Private Lenders: Generally the most lenient with credit, but often at the cost of higher interest rates.

Negotiation Strategies

  • Shop Around: Don’t settle for the first offer. Encourage your clients to explore multiple lenders to find the most favorable terms.
  • Leverage the Down Payment: A substantial down payment can be a strong negotiating point. It reduces the lender’s risk and can often secure a more favorable interest rate.
  • Highlight Other Financial Strengths: If your client has a stable income or significant savings, use these as additional leverage points during negotiations.

A couple is exchanging keys to their new home as a symbol of their accomplishment in the real estate market.


In real estate, mastering the intricacies of bad credit isn’t just beneficial—it’s vital for your career and the financial well-being of your clients. 

Your expertise in understanding the ripple effects of poor credit on mortgage approvals, and your skill in negotiating more favorable loan terms, can be the deciding factors in closing successful deals. By implementing the actionable advice and strategies discussed in this article, you empower yourself to guide your clients through the maze of credit challenges.

Crossing The Border: How Canadians Can Make Their Mark in Detroit Real Estate

Canadian investors are increasingly exploring opportunities outside their home country.

Detroit, with its close proximity to Canada and historical significance, is emerging as an attractive destination for these discerning investors. The Ambassador Bridge not only links the two countries physically but also opens doors to the potential-rich Detroit real estate market.

Once the core of the American automotive sector, Detroit now presents a unique landscape for real estate investment, marked by a combination of affordable properties and promising market trends. The city’s transformation from industrial stalwart to a hub of real estate opportunity makes it an appealing choice. This shift has created an environment where historical character meets contemporary growth, offering Canadians a distinct advantage in a market ripe with possibilities.

Detroit’s Allure for Canadian Cash Flow

Given the sky-high prices of Canadian real estate, especially in urban areas like Toronto, investors have started looking elsewhere to find real deals with the potential for big returns.

In that way, Detroit’s real estate landscape contrasts sharply with the high property prices in many parts of Canada, offering a more accessible and financially viable entry point. This affordability, coupled with Detroit’s ongoing urban revitalization, has spurred a rising demand in the rental market, making it an attractive option for those looking to generate steady income from their investments.

“Detroit’s market presents a compelling mix of low entry costs and high potential for cash flow, which is particularly appealing to Canadian investors,” explains Joe Hammel, an experienced Detroit real estate expert and the leader of the Fire Realty Team.

“The city is undergoing a significant transformation, and this evolution is creating ample opportunities for investors to tap into a profitable rental market. Today, Detroit offers a unique opportunity to diversify their investment portfolio and achieve significant returns for prices that you just can’t find in many Canadian real estate markets. For example, some of our favorite investment properties are single-family homes in the surrounding suburbs that can be purchased for a little over $100k. It’s not just about the immediate gains but also the long-term growth prospects that this market offers.”

Two businessmen shaking hands in front of a canadian flag.

Unraveling Myths About Detroit Investments

Detroit’s real estate market, often misunderstood, holds untapped potential for Canadian investors.

One prevailing myth is the perceived high risk associated with investing in the city. This misconception is deeply rooted in past decades and overlooks Detroit’s significant strides in recent years, which have transformed it into a market rich with opportunity.

Another common belief among potential investors, particularly those unfamiliar with the area, is that success in Detroit’s market is contingent on extensive local knowledge. While understanding the local market nuances is advantageous, the fundamental principles of sound real estate investment, such as in-depth research, due diligence, and strategic planning, are universally applicable.

Building Bridges in Real Estate Investment

The Windsor-Detroit region is home to three key infrastructural elements that connect Detroit, Michigan with Windsor, Ontario: The Ambassador Bridge, the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, and the Gordie Howe International Bridge (slated for completion in 2025).

These structures do more than connect Canada and the United States; they are vital arteries for Canadian investors eyeing Detroit’s growing real estate market. The Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel have long facilitated travel and logistics, especially advantageous for investors who value direct involvement in their cross-border investments. The upcoming Gordie Howe International Bridge promises to further enhance this connectivity, offering a new avenue to easily manage and visit properties.

Joe Hammel underscores the strategic importance of these bridges for Canadian investors: “The various bridges between Windsor and Detroit are more than just physical connections; they make Detroit an ideal city for Canadians looking to invest in U.S. real estate. These crossings enhance the ease of access and commerce between the two countries, offering Canadian investors unparalleled opportunities to tap into Detroit’s real estate market. This strategic proximity and fluid connectivity position Detroit as a prime location for Canadians seeking profitable investment avenues in the American real estate landscape.”

Navigating Detroit’s Market: Strategies and Insights

Successfully investing in Detroit’s real estate market, particularly for Canadians, hinges on a strategic approach informed by a deep understanding of the local landscape. Crucial to this process is a comprehensive analysis of neighborhood trends, property values, and rental demand in various parts of the city. Establishing connections with a network of local experts, including real estate agents, property managers, and contractors, can offer invaluable insights and support in this endeavor.

Through Fire Realty, Joe Hammel has worked with countless investors looking for knowledgeable real estate professionals. “Navigating Detroit’s real estate market requires a blend of thorough research and strategic planning. For Canadian investors, it’s essential to delve into the economic climate and regulatory environment of the city. Understand the unique challenges and opportunities of investing in Detroit, an international market with its distinct dynamics. Armed with this knowledge and the right local connections, Canadians can unlock the full potential of Detroit’s real estate, turning it into a landscape of lucrative opportunities. You just need to speak with the right people. It’s not just about seizing immediate returns but also about fostering long-term growth within your investment portfolio.”

A man and a woman sitting on a couch.


Detroit’s real estate market is a goldmine of opportunities for Canadian investors, highlighted by its affordability and strong potential for cash flow.

Detroit, shaking off old myths, has emerged as a fertile ground for real estate investment, driven by strategic location and evolving market conditions. For Canadians, understanding these dynamics and employing informed investment strategies can unlock significant returns.


Joe Hammel and the Fire Realty Team stand ready to guide Canadian investors through the nuances of Detroit’s promising real estate landscape.

Your Credit Score’s Role in Landing the Perfect Mortgage Deal

If you’re considering buying a new home, the term “credit score” is likely to be one of the first things you encounter in your journey. This three-digit number is more than just a numerical summary of your financial history; it’s a key indicator that mortgage lenders use to evaluate your reliability as a borrower. 

Your credit score can significantly influence not only your eligibility for a mortgage but also the terms and interest rates you’re offered. In essence, it serves as a gateway to homeownership, affecting how much you’ll ultimately pay for your dream home over the years.

How Credit Scores Are Calculated

Understanding your credit score starts with knowing how it’s calculated. This crucial number is a snapshot of your financial reliability, determined by a mix of several key factors:

Payment History (35%): This is the record of your payments on credit cards, retail accounts, and other loans. Timely payments boost your score, while late payments, defaults, and bankruptcies have a negative effect.

Credit Utilization (30%): This measures how much of your available credit you’re using. A lower ratio is viewed more favorably, as it suggests that you’re not overly reliant on credit.

Length of Credit History (15%): This takes into account how long your credit accounts have been operational, including the age of your oldest account, the age of your newest account, and the average age of all your accounts.

A family sits at a table and talks to a real estate agent about their credit score.

Types of Credit in Use (10%): This reflects the kinds of credit you have, such as credit cards, installment loans, and retail accounts. A diverse portfolio is generally seen as favorable.

New Credit Inquiries (10%): This includes the number of recently opened credit accounts and the number of recent inquiries into your credit report. Opening many accounts in a short period can be seen as risky behavior.

In Canada, Equifax and TransUnion are the primary credit bureaus responsible for collecting this data and calculating your credit score. These organizations use a similar but not identical methodology, so your score may vary slightly between them.

The Direct Impact of Credit Scores on Mortgage Interest Rates

Your credit score doesn’t just affect whether you’ll be approved for a mortgage—it also plays a pivotal role in determining the interest rate you’ll be charged. In essence, the better your credit score, the more favorable the interest rate you’re likely to receive. This isn’t a minor detail; even a slight difference in interest rates can translate into thousands of dollars saved over the life of your mortgage.

For instance, data from Canadian financial institutions reveals that interest rates can fluctuate by up to 2% based on your credit score category. To put that into perspective, on a $300,000 mortgage, a 2% difference could mean paying an additional $60,000 in interest over a 25-year term.

Tips for Improving Your Credit Score Before Applying for a Mortgage

If you’re eyeing the best mortgage deals, elevating your credit score should be at the top of your to-do list. A higher score can translate into substantial savings over the course of your mortgage. Here’s how to make it happen:

Timely Bill Payments: Consistency in paying your bills on time is crucial. Even a single late payment can dent your credit score.

Debt Reduction: Aim to lower your credit card balances, thereby reducing your credit utilization ratio. This is a quick way to give your score a lift.

Credit Report Accuracy: Mistakes on your credit report can unfairly lower your score. Both Equifax and TransUnion offer free credit reports; make sure to review them for any inaccuracies.

Expert Guidance: For tailored strategies, consider reaching out to reputable Canadian organizations like Credit Canada. They offer credit counseling and financial planning services to help you navigate your credit landscape.

A man and woman handing over keys to a house, assessing credit score.

Common Myths About Credit Scores and Mortgages

Misinformation about credit scores can lead to costly mistakes, especially when you’re in the market for a mortgage. Let’s set the record straight on some of the most common myths:

Myth 1: Self-Checks Lower Your Score

Fact: Contrary to popular belief, checking your own credit score has no negative impact. These are considered ‘soft inquiries’ and don’t affect your score.

Myth 2: Perfection or Bust for Best Rates

Fact: While a stellar credit score can get you favorable mortgage rates, it’s not the end-all-be-all. Lenders consider other factors like income, debt-to-income ratio, and employment history.


When it comes to landing the perfect mortgage deal, your credit score is more than just a number—it’s your financial passport to better opportunities and significant savings. 

Don’t underestimate its power; a favorable score can unlock doors to lower interest rates and more flexible mortgage terms. So why wait? Take control of your financial future now. Review your credit score and seek expert advice from a qualified mortgage advisor. Your dream home could be just a few credit points away!

Should You Purchase a Pre-Construction or Already Existing Home in Calgary?

Deciding between a pre-construction or an existing home in Calgary is a significant choice for any potential homeowner.

The city’s housing market offers a variety of options, each with its own set of benefits suited to different needs and lifestyles. For those facing this important life decision, it’s about balancing the allure of a new build with the charm of an existing home. Exploring what each option means for life in Calgary involves looking at long-term financial implications, customization opportunities, and the practicalities of timing and location with goal of making a choice that aligns with one’s personal vision of home.

The Case for Pre-Construction: Crafting the Future

The allure of a pre-construction in Calgary lies in the promise of a home that is truly your own.

Future homeowners are drawn to the canvas of possibilities that pre-constructions provide, offering an opportunity to personalize their living space in a way that existing homes simply cannot match.

Jesse Davies, a prolific Calgary-based Realtor and the leader of the Jesse Davies Team, elaborates on the appeal: “When buyers are looking purchasing a pre-construction, they aren’t just choosing a house; they’re envisioning their future. With pre-construction, they get to select their finishes, decide on the home’s features, and (depending on the project) maybe even alter floor plans to suit their lifestyle. This level of customization ensures that the home they move into is perfectly aligned with their lifestyle and taste. 

But it’s about more than aesthetics; it’s about functionality and efficiency. Most new builds come with the latest in home technology and energy-saving features. When I help my clients find a pre-construction, they aren’t just interested in investing in a space that looks good, but one that will stand the test of time and adapt to changing needs.”

A new home under construction.

The Charm of Existing Homes: Embracing Tradition

Many homebuyers in Calgary are attracted to existing homes for their immediate move-in readiness and established surroundings.

These homes offer a contrast to the blank slate of a pre-construction, with the advantage of allowing buyers to visualize and inhabit the space without the delays of construction. They are often set in neighborhoods that have developed over many years, with homes that typically feature more extensive living spaces and substantial outdoor areas, reflecting the generous building practices of earlier times.

Jesse Davies elaborates on the practical benefits, “Existing homes have a unique appeal that’s evident the moment you step through the door. My clients are frequently drawn to the distinctive features these homes offer. In older homes, that can include original hardwood floors, intricate moldings, and a sense of timelessness that comes with well-crafted structures. In newer homes, they can offer many of the same qualities as pre-constructions but with immediate move-in appeal. 

It’s also about the immediate sense of home these properties provide. They’re nestled within communities where relationships have been built over time, where the streets are shaded by mature trees, and where each house has its own presence. For buyers, it’s the opportunity to enjoy a home with a history of its own and the space to create their future.”

Financial Analysis: Cost vs. Value

Navigating the financial aspects of home buying in Calgary requires a careful examination of cost versus long-term value.

The initial price of a pre-construction home often reflects the latest design trends and building technologies, which can be an attractive investment for those looking for a modern and energy-efficient living space. These features, while potentially costly upfront, may translate into savings on utilities and maintenance, not to mention a higher resale value due to their contemporary appeal. You shouldn’t understatement the cost savings of energy-efficient windows, heating, cooling, and fixtures over time.

Conversely, existing homes might present a more affordable entry point into the housing market. The trade-off, however, can include dated features and the potential need for renovations, which can add up financially. Yet, these homes often sit in established neighborhoods, where the value is buoyed by mature landscapes and community infrastructure.

The true cost of a home extends beyond the purchase price; it encompasses the potential for appreciation, the lifestyle it affords, and the ongoing costs of upkeep and upgrades. Buyers must consider their current financial situation and future fiscal health, weighing the immediate benefits against the long-term investment to determine which option aligns with their financial goals and home ownership aspirations.

Timing and Turnkey: The Practicalities of Moving In

The timeline for moving into a new home is a critical factor in the decision-making process.

Pre-constructions in Calgary offer the excitement of watching your home come to life, but they also require patience. The construction phase can take several months to over a year, and unforeseen delays can extend this period further. This wait time is a significant consideration for buyers who have a specific timeline or are coordinating the sale of their current home with the purchase of a new one.

Existing homes, by contrast, provide the convenience of a quicker move-in. Once the purchase is finalized, the transition to your new home can often occur within a few weeks. This solution is particularly appealing for those who need to relocate promptly due to personal circumstances or job commitments.

The readiness of an existing home can also be a boon for those looking to avoid the interim period of renting or the dual burden of carrying two mortgages. For many, the ability to move in immediately—and without the stress of overseeing a construction project—is a compelling advantage that can tip the scales in favor of an existing property.

Community and Location: Setting Down Roots

An excavator in the dirt with a home in the background.

Choosing between a pre-construction and an existing home in Calgary often comes down to the desired community and location. Pre-constructions are typically part of new developments, offering the excitement of shaping a burgeoning neighborhood. These areas promise the development of new amenities, such as schools and parks, which can be highly attractive to those looking to contribute to the community’s growth from the outset. However, these new neighborhoods can also lack the more “organic” feel that can develop over time in neighborhoods that have existed for decades.

Jesse Davies shares his observations: “My clients are often torn between the allure of new developments and the established charm of older neighborhoods. New developments offer a blank canvas, not just in terms of the home but also the community. There’s a unique opportunity to grow with the neighbourhood, to be part of the first chapters of its story. When you purchase a brand-new home, it is indisputably ‘yours,’ as no one else has ever lived in it.

Conversely, homes in established neighborhoods offer a sense of history and community you can feel as soon as you walk down the street. These areas have seen generations come and go, and there’s a comfort in that continuity. For many buyers, this established sense of community is what they’re looking for—it’s immediate, it’s tangible, and it’s something that only time can create.”

Conclusion: Making Your Choice in Calgary’s Market

Ultimately, the decision to purchase a pre-construction or an existing home in Calgary hinges on a blend of personal preference, financial strategy, and lifestyle needs.

Pre-constructions offer a fresh start with customizable options and modern amenities, while existing homes provide immediate occupancy and the charm of established neighborhoods. Each choice carries its own set of benefits and considerations, from the financial implications to the sense of community each provides. Prospective homeowners must weigh these factors carefully and consider the present impact and future legacy of their decision to select a home that best fulfills their dreams and suits their way of life in Calgary.

Whether you are looking for pre-constructions or already built homes in Calgary, the experienced and knowledgeable Realtors at Jesse Davies and the Jesse Davies Team can help you find the home of your dreams.

Fixed Mortgage vs. Variable: A Comprehensive Guide for Canadian Homebuyers

The choice between a fixed mortgage and a variable mortgage is a pivotal decision for Canadian homebuyers. Both options present unique advantages and challenges, each catering to different financial needs and risk tolerances. Understanding these mortgage types is essential for first-time buyers and real estate professionals alike, as it directly impacts long-term financial planning and home ownership in Canada.

Understanding Fixed Mortgages

A fixed mortgage is characterized by a constant interest rate and uniform monthly payments for the entire term of the loan. This type of mortgage provides a stable and predictable financial structure.

Pros of Fixed Mortgages

Predictable Payments: The monthly payments are set at the outset, ensuring homebuyers can plan their budget without surprises.

Stability in Volatile Markets: Fixed mortgages offer protection against fluctuating market interest rates, maintaining the same rate even if the broader interest rates rise.

Cons of Fixed Mortgages

Potential Higher Costs: The security of a fixed rate might come at a premium, often resulting in higher initial rates compared to variable mortgages.

Lack of Flexibility: Fixed mortgages don’t allow borrowers to benefit from falling interest rates without refinancing.

Keywords: mortgage, calculator.

Understanding Variable Mortgages

Unlike fixed mortgages, variable mortgages have interest rates that adjust based on market conditions. This type of mortgage is tied to an underlying benchmark interest rate, allowing for potential savings but also introducing more risk.

Pros of Variable Mortgages

Potential Lower Costs: Variable mortgages often start with lower interest rates than fixed mortgages, potentially saving money if interest rates remain stable or decrease.

Opportunities for Market Advantage: Borrowers can benefit from falling interest rates, leading to lower monthly payments.

Cons of Variable Mortgages

Fluctuating Payments: The variable nature means payments can increase if market interest rates rise, leading to budget uncertainty.

Risk in Rising Interest Rates: Sudden or significant increases in interest rates can strain the budget, making financial planning more challenging.

Comparison Between Fixed and Variable Mortgages

Choosing between a fixed and variable mortgage is a complex decision that requires careful consideration of various factors tailored to an individual’s financial situation and the prevailing market conditions. Here’s a detailed comparison to guide this crucial choice:

  • Interest Rates: Fixed mortgages offer stability with a set interest rate, while variable mortgages may provide initial savings but come with the risk of fluctuating rates.
  • Payment Flexibility: Fixed mortgages provide predictable monthly payments, making budgeting simpler. In contrast, variable mortgages may offer lower initial payments but can change, requiring adaptability in financial planning.
  • Risk Tolerance: Those seeking stability and predictability may prefer fixed mortgages. Conversely, those willing to take on some risk for potential savings might opt for variable mortgages.
  • Long-term vs. Short-term Perspectives: Fixed mortgages may be suitable for those planning long-term stability, while variable mortgages might appeal to those looking for potential short-term gains and who are comfortable navigating market volatility.
  • Economic Considerations: Understanding the current and forecasted economic environment, including interest rate trends and governmental monetary policies, is essential in this decision-making process.
  • Personal Financial Goals: Aligning the mortgage type with individual financial goals, such as homeownership duration, investment strategies, and risk appetite, ensures that the chosen mortgage aligns with broader financial planning.

        Asian couple sitting on the couch, giving thumbs up.

Impact of Economic Factors

Mortgage decisions in Canada are influenced by several economic factors. Canadian interest rates, set by the Bank of Canada, directly affect variable mortgage rates and indirectly influence fixed rates. Housing market trends, including fluctuations in prices, demand, and supply, impact mortgage affordability and choice.

Federal and provincial regulations, such as mortgage stress tests, define eligibility and terms, while broader economic conditions like inflation and GDP growth provide context for interest rate trends. Additionally, global economic policies can influence Canadian interest rates and the housing market. Together, these factors shape the financial landscape, guiding informed decisions between fixed and variable mortgages.


Choosing a mortgage in Canada requires understanding personal finances and market conditions.

First-time buyers should assess their risk tolerance and financial stability to decide between fixed and variable mortgages. Homebuyers can also utilize tools like mortgage calculators and seek professional financial guidance to understand potential costs and align their mortgage decisions with individual needs and goals. Real estate professionals must stay updated on market trends to offer timely advice to clients. By embracing these strategies, Realtors and other real estate professionals can confidently guide their clients through the mortgage landscape, securing financial solutions that support both homeownership dreams and long-term success in the Canadian real estate market.

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