Buying a home / Guides

Lifestyle and environment

Resources and getting started

...ayback on that additional investment might be 10 or 15 years, after which you will see a net savings. Not to mention a final product that will be far more durable and have greater resale value. If you plan to build a healthy, high performance home, the best investment you can make is taking the time to do your resear...

Real estate

Evaluating a home before purchase: how to recognize value and potential problems

...an they are underneath; they can be cleaned but that's a cost you should factor into an offer price. Bathroom water damage: Does it have wood around wet areas? Are there signs of water damage anywhere? Are toilets and faucets modern low-flow models ? If appliances come with it, take out your phone again and take a ...

Choosing a home and neighbourhood
Real estate

Shopping for a home? Some tips for finding the right house and neighbourhood

...and water management Interior air quality Interior durability - water resistant surfaces in wet areas Interior design and functionality of space Soundproofing from the exterior and in division walls Good quality windows Quality mechanical systems Just because a home you like doesn't score an A+ on all t...

Prefab Passive House & LEED Kit Homes for Sale in Ontario & North Eastern US
Concept and design

Prefab Passive House & LEED ready kit homes - the future of buying a new home?

...atural wood planks Formica Canada - Green Laminate Products Clean indoor air quality and ventilation Both the EPA & Health Canada recommend healthy Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) for the short and long-term health of homeowners and their families. Beyond carefully selecting the materials in a kit home for a healthy int...

Real estate

Downsizing your home: buying tips for seniors

...home decorated to modern tastes, or has its appearance changed little over the decades? A little effort makes a big difference in how long your home sits on the market. Homes with lapsed maintenance and outdated features sell more slowly and for less than modern, updated homes. A quick sale is important when you're b...

Lifestyle, location and commuting

Home-buying tips for seniors looking to downsize

...home have modifications that will make it easier for you to age in place? For example, does it have a walk-in tub or shower? You should also look for homes that are a single-story, have wide doorways to accommodate a walker, and have lower cabinets and countertops. If these home modifications don’t exist in your ideal ...

Real estate

Real estate

...above items are fairly self-explanatory, other topics will be explored at greater depth in other articles. And just because a home you like doesn't score an A+ on all the above criteria doesn't mean you shouldn't buy it. Just be sure you know what you are buying, and that you have the funds to pay for any improvement...

Bike lanes in Downtown Vancouver
Choosing where to live

Urban living

...an can help you minimize your personal emissions as much as possible, whether you are building, buying or renting. Keep in mind, this is not a sacrifice you are making. A green home usually translates into financial savings and improved quality of life. And it all starts with a home of a reasonable size, in a reasonabl...

Real estate

Are you selling a house? Here are the top 10 things homebuyers look for

...A market study by AVID Ratings Canada for the Canadian Home Builders' Association (CHBA) surveyed 12,000 homebuyers across Canada to see what Canadians are looking for when they go house shopping. We were pleased but not at all surprised by the results - here they are: The top 10 assets that homebuyers value: 1. Wa...

Blower Door Tests - What's the Cost & Who Does Them?
Air and vapour barriers

What is a blower door test? What's the cost? How do you find a company to do one?

...andard new home construction in North America seems to return an average air leakage rate of about 3 air changes per hour. Some building rating systems set ACH targets that must be achieved. The Passive House air leakage rate has to be 0.6ACH or lower , which is several times more airtight than the average home and tha...

Why Electric Heating Systems are Best for Sustainable Homes
Heating with electricity

Heating with Electricity - The Best Choice for High Efficiency & Zero Energy Homes?

...affordable heating system for a house, and the most sustainable for the future. Is buying a new gas furnace a good idea? A gas furnace may last anywhere from 15 to 30 years, but the average life expectancy is 20 years. Also, choosing to add gas to a home means adding additional energy infrastructure, and with that ...