3 Very Good Reasons to Downsize to a Condo

Trading a single-family home for the convenience of a condo? An increasing number of baby-boomers are turning towards the simple lifestyle of a condominium, and for good reason! If you’re thinking about downsizing, we understand that oftentimes, it’s difficult to give up your large family home. However, sometimes accepting that the responsibilities of a house-owner have simply become too much and it may be necessary to trade in the stress of roof maintenance and landscaping for a quieter, simpler life. Here’s 3 great reasons to downsize:

(Usually) in Close Proximity to Amenities

Perhaps your large family house along the country-side or suburban streets has given you beautiful memories over the years but once you start getting older, making that long drive into town to get groceries can be a real hassle. Usually, condos are kept in convenient locations close to amenities like grocery stores, banks, restaurants and shopping. No more driving through bad winter road conditions just to get groceries on a Sunday, because when you’re living in a beautiful new city home, everything you need is usually within walking distance or just a short drive away.

Eliminates Responsibilities

While it may be difficult to admit, as we get older, tackling household responsibilities like mowing the lawn, shoveling the driveway, or clearing out the gutters becomes increasingly more challenging. By relocating into a nicely sized attached-dwelling, we no longer have to worry about landscaping or property maintenance. And for those who enjoy the responsibilities of a home-owner, perhaps now could be the time to engage in other hobbies you’ve always felt interested in but never had the time for. Who knows? Maybe this new stress-free lifestyle is the one you’ve always needed!

Increases Sense of Community

Many 50+ condos understand that new complex residents are giving up many time-occupying responsibilities and now have extra time on their hands. This is why you can usually find a multi-purpose room inside the condominium (usually by the lobby), used for private parties put on by residents or different events held by the building itself. Many different public speaking, music and other entertainment events are put on in multi-purpose rooms and complex residents are always encouraged to join in which really helps to increase their sense of community.

Whether you’re looking to purchase an attached-home in Barrie, Penticton, Nelson, or Okotoks, selling your single-family home and investing in a stress-free lifestyle of smaller living might just be “the thing” you never knew you needed. From community events, easier access to amenities, and less exhausting home responsibilities, more and more baby-boomers are investing in the sweet lifestyle of condominium living! Find out more by contacting a local agent in a community of your choice.

How “Closing the Tax Loophole” Will Affect your Home Purchase

In the market to buy a new home? Whether you’re in the early stages of browsing through house listings online or you’ve already been going to numerous open houses in your area, there’s something you need to know. If you’re a Canadian citizen and listen to or watch the news, you’re probably familiar with the unaffordable housing prices that are appearing in larger cities like Toronto and Vancouver. In efforts to reduce debt and unaffordability amongst middle class citizens, the feds have implemented new housing rules as of October 17th.

Home-seekers will now have to go through a “stress test” to be able to invest in property. Simply put, in addition to being approved by a mortgage broker for a house loan, the government is also going to assess your household income to see if you’ll be able to make your monthly mortgage payments if interest rates rise. The reason? Home-owners just can’t afford the homes they’ve purchased due to rising interest rates and mortgage approvals beyond their income range. This puts many borrowers in a scary debt situation. The purpose is to avoid granting loans for home purchase if the borrower won’t be able to make their monthly mortgage payments.

On November 30th, another policy change will come into effect with efforts to stabilize the housing market in large cities where middle-class families can no longer afford to live. This policy will require eligibility criteria on mortgage loans that the banks insure with portfolio insurance. This was previously only applied to high leverage insured mortgages and has been put in place to combat foreign investors (who aren’t living in the homes) from investing in realty only to sell the property at a much higher price.

In further efforts to avoid foreign-investors from purchasing and quickly selling properties, the government has implemented principle-residence tax exemption. This is a new policy where exemption will only be available to Canadian residents and will help home-owners avoid paying capital-gains tax on the sale of a home where they are currently living. Residents will also be allowed to designate only one primary-residence.

As you can see, the government is taking drastic measures to increase affordability amongst middle class families looking to purchase a house and lower the risk of the housing market in general.

While Swiss Bank UBS claimed Vancouver as the “greatest risk of a housing bubble in the world,” Ontario’s housing minister, Chris Ballard stated that he’s also very worried about Ontario’s housing market as well. By implementing new policies, understanding foreign-buyers and realty data, the hope is that properties will become more affordable and middle-class debt will be reduced.

So if you’re looking to invest in real estate, make sure your household is in a decent financial position to borrow, otherwise… you may need to put buying a house on hold until you’re in a more favorable financial position that will fully support your mortgage payments. There are plenty of aspects to consider before investing in real estate and while having enough money has always been one of them, it’s more imperative now than ever before.

When you have questions or need help with your real estate purchase, our dedicated REALTORs® will make the process easier. Choose a location and contact a local agent to get started.

Things you Should Definitely Care About when Deciding Where to Live

People often think that moving away from home is too risky or maybe it’s the opposite: they figure that relocating to a big city is the only option. But we’ll let you in on a little secret: moving anywhere you want in Canada is possible too! In fact, deciding where to settle down and being more “choosey” about it comes with plenty of benefits. So instead of settling on where you assume is the best place, do your research! The fulfillment will be worth it when you’re not struggling to make ends meet.


If you’re wondering what the Canadian economy is currently like, experts say it’s looking bleak. That’s why it’s more important than ever to do your research on where you should live in Canada and what to expect from the economy in certain communities. The last thing you want is to move blindly only to realize you can’t find a job and the city is unaffordable. Look for locations with a strong economy, a healthy job market, and affordable real estate. Life will be much easier this way!


Whether you’re a sun-worshipper who would prefer places with excellent beaches or a snow-bunny who would rather be near some of the best ski hills in Canada, weather plays a big role in our personal fulfillment. Before packing up your things, remember you can move somewhere that provides the weather you want. If you feel depressed under cloudy weather, can’t stand a cold climate for long periods of time, or despise the heat, it’s certainly worth looking up weather patterns in Canadian cities before moving there.

Lifestyle & Culture

Residing in a city that provides us with the lifestyle & culture opportunities we enjoy often plays a massive role in our happiness. Would you prefer to live in a community where diversity is celebrated? A place where the arts like theatre, music or art galleries are heavily present? Where culture is honoured through ethnic food and festivals? Only you can decide what’s most important for a city to offer and guess what? You have the ability to research it! Make sure you do.

Housing Market

The Canadian housing market is at risk. You read the news! When wondering what you can do as a tax-payer or home-owner, there is hope. Moneysense wrote an article talking about what to do if there’s a potential housing crash, and their answer? To be a more responsible consumer. Investing in real estate is still a smart decision as long as you do it right. Research locations that offer strong housing markets in Canada and places that continue to provide opportunity for increasing the value of your home if you do decide to purchase property.

Seriously considering a re-location? Now more than ever is important to do your research! You should care about where to invest your time and money but we understand this is an overwhelming decision. Trusted Real Estate is here to help you make an informed decision. We provide real estate opportunities in cities that are growing and thriving like Okotoks and Nelson. Places like Penticton are sunny and warm and boasts a strong economy and Barrie is filled with millennials who appreciate a vibrant nightlife paired with ample outdoor opportunities. Take a look at our city home-pages and see what makes that particular town special. Our agents dedicated to that location will help provide you with the information you need on what may be the biggest decision you’ll ever make.

5 Home Staging Tips to Sell your House Fast

Are you in the midst of putting your house up for sale? The realty process can be lengthy, especially if special care isn’t taken to ensure a potential buyer can picture themselves living in your space. First, take a deep breath! Second, remember patience is a virtue. Third, don’t underestimate the power of staging your home for a fast sale! Clean rooms and special little touches can do wonders for slapping a sold sign out front. Need advice on ensuring your property is top-notch? Here’s 5 great tips on successful staging:

First Impressions are Key

Remember, this is likely the first time real estate seekers are viewing your home in person and have probably already reviewed your property using MLS. While pictures are technically the potential buyer’s first impression (and yes, it’s important to have quality photos as well), seeing the house in person is completely different. You want to WOW them as soon as they step out of their vehicle. As someone who once invested in property yourself, you definitely understand the power of a first impression. Ensure your front porch or walkway is up to par by investing in nice patio furniture and weeding out the garden. A little goes a long way in giving off the vibe of an inviting place to live.

A Clean Living Area is Important

No one wants to buy a dirty house, so the advice is simple: The first thing you should do before people come over is to clean every single room. Along with cleaning, make sure you clear out the clutter too. A space that’s full of junk isn’t nice to look at and can hurt your chances of closing the sale. However, this is where it gets tricky… You don’t want to go overboard either! A space that looks a little too clear & clean can confuse the seeker into thinking your house feels cold and uninviting. Try creating a “lived-in” feel using warm touches such as a fruit bowl on the kitchen counter or a throw blanket over the living-room couch.

Maximize Awkward Space

Adding value to each living area will help in a person’s decision to buy. You’ll want to show how someone can effectively use awkward space so they don’t put it on the cons list when making a decision. Show how a spare room can double up as both overnight accommodations for guests as well as a personal office by adding a small desk and stool alongside a bed. Have a tiny kitchen with door openings in every direction? Use a round table and place it as close to a wall as possible. Avoid rectangular dining tables at all costs as it will look clunky and cluttered. Maximizing awkward space is all about placing the right furniture and accents strategically so this is where further research will come in handy!

Details Matter

Wondering what you need to do before an open house? Whether you have a hole in your hallway’s drywall or a small scratch to the kitchen paint, it’s a smart idea to repair any and all issues, no matter how small or big. Details matter, so if you have a leaky toilet, need to re-caulk the tub, or have a burnt out lightbulb in the dining room, do yourself (and your sale) a favor: fix them.

Accents are a Nice Touch

Fresh and simple accents are a nice way to make an area feel warm and inviting. Try picking up some colourful flowers for the kitchen or replacing the couch’s throw pillows with something brighter. And don’t forget about the seasons! If it’s autumn, put some decorative pumpkins on the coffee table! If it’s Christmas, invest in some festive towels for the kitchen and bath area. Accents can do wonders in creating a comfortable, yet stylish feel.

Looking for effective ways on how to sell your home? Staging strategically is a great way for the buyer to understand what life would be like in the property. The next step? Finding a REALTOR® you can trust to help you sell and invest in a city you’re comfortable in. Trusted Real Estate is here to help you make an informed decision. We offer real estate services in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia in thriving cities like Barrie, Penticton, and Okotoks. The cities may be different but our agents all have one thing in common: they’re dedicated to serving you with patience and integrity. Selling and buying realty starts with us. Take a look at our unique city home-pages and see what makes that particular town special. Already know where you’re looking to sell and invest in? Contact one of our informed real estate experts to get started.

Calling All Millennials: Where You Should Purchase Property

Let’s face it. Buying a home isn’t exactly cheap these days, especially when you’re in between the ages of 18 and 34. Unless you’ve been saving your whole life to make a generous down payment on a house or you’re fortunate to be making around six figures, living in a downtown metropolis like Toronto or Vancouver can be difficult. For millennials, it’s all about the lifestyle. They tend to rent in urban neighbourhoods to be near the hottest restaurants and nightclubs instead of investing in the suburbs where they can actually afford to start paying down a mortgage.

Millennials: we hate to break it to you but the baby boomers who found it important to purchase in the suburbs had it right. If you’re renting downtown without any plans to buy a house, you’re not gaining any equity. Of course, each to their own but without owning large assets, factors like retirement may be a whole lot harder.

If you’re a part of generation Y and are trying to decide “where is the best location to invest in property”, you’ve come to the right place. If living in downtown Toronto or another large city is important to you (and you can afford it) all the power to you – We have REALTORs® in Southern Ontario who will help you find the home of your dreams in downtown Toronto!

…But for the people who just can’t afford that lifestyle, it’s more realistic to buy in the suburbs or in another thriving (smaller) city.

We’ve listed 3 great places below where Millennials should consider purchasing property:

Barrie, ON

Barrie is an up and coming town within 2 hours of Toronto. More and more millennials are relocating to this vibrant waterfront community and they’re absolutely loving it! With an easy commute to the city of Toronto, a strong economy, a mild climate, and an average income of $86.8k, it’s easy to see why real estate sales are booming. Not only do residents get to enjoy the natural lifestyle filled with outdoor opportunities and wine tastings, they also get to enjoy an exciting nightlife filled with colourful concerts and delicious restaurants. If buying in downtown TO isn’t in your budget, consider Barrie! It offers a small town feel with big city excitement.

Penticton, BC

If you became an adult in the 21st century, you’ll find many great rewards while living in the Okanagan. Whether you’re looking for a location to buy a home with the purpose of starting a family or if you want to settle down in a smaller town that still has excellent shopping and nightlife opportunities, look no further than this quiet town in the middle of wine country. With an age majority of 20-64, residents love the stable economy, warm summer weather, mild winters and extensive outdoor opportunities to keep healthy. The beautiful surroundings, breath-taking wineries and close proximity to Kelowna all make this quaint town the perfect place to purchase a house and start the next chapter of your life.

Okotoks, AB

Families from all over Canada are choosing the thriving city of Okotoks to settle down and purchase a home. With the average house price sitting at around $650k and the average income falling at $88k, it’s easy to understand why a younger population is migrating to this charming community. The demographic majority of Okotoks falls between the ages of 0 and 43 which proves there’s a draw to this cozy Alberta town. With the location being within 40km of Calgary along with the city’s affordability, great economy, and rich cultural heritage, the people who reside here are generally a happy generation Y crowd who values culture, history and progress.

There are many rewarding places to invest in property all over Canada that are actually affordable and comfortable. It’s understandable that as someone who’s just starting their life, you’d want to live in cities that are thriving, growing and embrace the change that comes with it. The above 3 cities are all exceptional places to live no matter what lifestyle you’ve chosen for yourself and the best part? They’re actually affordable!

Are you a millennial ready to begin your house-hunting journey in an exciting city? This is the most important decision of your life and we can’t wait to help you out with it. Choose a location that interests you and give our local agents a call to get started.

Things to Consider when Purchasing a Home

Purchasing a home comes with many fabulous rewards! However, with the multiple real estate options found in the city, using an MLS service to find your new home could help you feel less overwhelmed by all of the variety. Are you ready to seriously begin your house hunt? Here are a few things to consider before signing any papers:

Can you Afford it?

There’s an endless debate about whether or not buying a house is cheaper than renting. While this may be the case on a month to month basis, owning property is more than just paying a mortgage. For example, if you have a ceiling leak or a running toilet, the money for home repairs comes out of your own pocket rather than a landlord’s. You also have to remember that you’re also responsible for paying house insurance, property tax, and utility costs. Before investing in real estate, make sure that you’ll be able to afford it.


Once you’ve ensured owning buying property will be affordable, do your research with websites dedicated to that city or town to learn about desirable communities suitable for your household. Look into city crime rates to see whether the house you have your eye on is located in a safe area. Take a drive during rush hour to see if traffic is problematic. If you want your kids to have nearby schools or neighbourhood parks, find out where and how far away they are. With all of these factors in mind, ensure you do your research about whether or not your new investment will be located in an acceptable location before purchasing the home.

Take your Time

Buying real estate is likely to be the largest purchase you’ll make in your life so when searching through property listings, it’s important to be patient and take your time. If you have a checklist filled with “must haves” for your new house, try to find one that closely meets your criteria. While you may not find a perfect match, you also want to be careful if you’re considering an option that doesn’t come with anything on your original list. With that being said, don’t give in to pressure from other parties like family members or real estate agents. You want to feel satisfied with your purchase. Remember, there are plenty of listings to choose from!