For many buyers and sellers in the Canadian real estate market, trade-offs have been incorporated into the homebuying strategy. Working with their real estate agents, families are balancing must-haves with nice-to-haves, meaning that they are prioritizing what needs to be included – internally and externally – in the home. Since this is the most significant purchasing decision they will make in their lifetimes, Canadians are engaged in a balancing act and trying to buy a residential property that best fits their lives.
Despite these realistic pursuits in the current economic climate and housing market, Canadians still possess core needs when on the homebuying hunt.
Although you might need to de-prioritize certain features and amenities, homeownership means that you can still maintain the most basic living aspects.
So, what core needs do many Canadians refuse to concede? First, let’s take a look at the findings from a new study conducted for RE/MAX.
The 5 Core Needs Canadians Have When Looking for a Home
Here are five core needs Canadians have when looking for a home:
#1 Energy Insulation
With utility costs eating up a chunk of households’ paycheques in recent years, families are assessing their options to save money, especially during the winter when the heat needs to run higher and longer. The report found that energy insulation, like windows, is a core need for many Canadians when they are searching for a home.
#2 Storage Space
Let’s be honest: Many new homes in North America have gotten smaller, especially with more condominiums being erected across Canada that contain bachelor apartments, one-bedroom units, and 1+1 suites. As a result, having a space for storage in your home, whether a semi-detached house or an apartment, has become a necessity. Even as more families try to downsize their lifestyles, 700-square-foot units for four people (two parents and two children, for example) certainly require storage space and maybe a locker.
According to the report performed for RE/MAX, Canadians view their homes as safe spaces. In fact, 41 percent of first-time homebuyers envision their homes as safe spaces. Moreover, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of Canadians consider the safety of a neighbourhood as a top priority when deciding where to purchase their next home.
Researchers concluded that homebuyers increasingly value the added sense of safety and well-being of their homes and communities.
#4 Floor Space
Is your office in the corner of your bedroom? Are your kids doing their 2,000-word book report on Crime and Punishment? Are you exercising in the living room while your family watches television?
In today’s post-crisis world, households are combining everything into a single space, be it work or school. This can be challenging, especially if you are already confined to a small area. Because of the newest adjustments to our lives, Canadians value floor space since they use their rooms for working, schoolwork, watching movies, eating food, exercising, and everything else society has learned can be done without leaving their homes.
In addition to greater square footage, the home’s layout also matters. The property’s location matters, but the rooms’ location may also be crucial in future builds.
Perhaps the best term to describe this trend is flexibility.
“Very often, people are willing to go for smaller spaces, but they want really flexible, well-designed smaller spaces,” said Ken Greenberg, the former Director of Urban Design and Architecture for the city of Toronto, in the report.
Is it time to make the bedroom great again?
Chelsea Hamre, a RE/MAX real estate agent, might have said it best: “People are bringing more intentionality and purpose to how they are utilizing space. The office needs to feel different from the kitchen or the bedroom. They’re looking for spaces that can shift their mindset.”
Over the last few years, the line between work and home life has increasingly blurred. Bedrooms are no longer solely used for sleeping (and perhaps scrolling through your Twitter feed on your phone) as they now have multiple purposes. However, like floor space being a core need for today’s crop of homebuyers, the number or size of bedrooms is also imperative for many Canadians.
Industry observers argue that the future of housing will need to accommodate the fact that the home is also a workplace. Consider this finding from the recent study compiled for RE/MAX: more than one-fifth (21 percent) of Canadians describe the home as where “I spent my time learning and developing,” up from 11 percent.
In other words, the new generation of homeowners needs a dedicated workspace to foster a productive work environment.
Can an extra bedroom or a new concept design achieve this objective?