Autumn is a great time of the year – falling leaves, football season, apple cider and pumpkin spice-everything. But before you get too cozy watching spooky movies, it’s important to make sure your house is as ready for the changing seasons as you are. Follow this fall maintenance checklist to prepare your home and yard for cooler temperatures.

Repair or Replace Your Roof

This may go without saying, but winter is not the time to work on the roof so inspecting your shingles ( is an important fall home maintenance task. Beyond the slipping hazards ice and snow create, asphalt shingles need to be installed at temperatures between 40 and 85-degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, the shingles will become brittle and cold weather can prevent their adhesive from sticking to the roof. If you notice any missing or peeling areas on the roof, call in a professional for repairs and make a plan to get rid of the old shingles ( .

Inspect and Seal Your Deck

Another fall home improvement must-do is to perform safety checks on your deck ( . J.B. Sassano, president of Mr. Handyman ( , recommends “walking around the deck and sprinkling water on several different areas. If water soaks into the boards, it’s time to reseal the deck. If water forms a puddle or beads up, the deck repels water and will be safe for the winter.”

Inspect Your Fireplace

If you have a fireplace, make sure clearing out the chimney is on your home maintenance checklist this fall. “If your chimney has not been inspected or cleaned this past year, the very best time to do so is now, before the heating season,” says Marshall Peters, director of the Certified Chimney Professionals.

Fireplaces produce deposits which are combustible and can burn at over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Peters. This is hot enough to destroy the chimney liner and even set your home on fire. Find a chimney professional near you to have your fireplace inspected and cleared for safety this year.


After a year of rapidly rising interest rates and falling home prices, 2023 should see more balanced conditions return to most housing markets across the country.

Re/Max Canada forecasts that national prices will fall by a modest 3.3% in 2023 compared to 2022 values. However, certain regions are expected to see sharper declines than others, according to Re/Max’s 2023 housing market outlook, based on survey results from brokers and agents.

Overall, roughly 60% of the country’s housing markets should see a return to balanced conditions in the new year. The trend is already starting to materialize in many regions as a result of current economic conditions, the report noted.

“It’s good to see the majority of markets moving toward more balanced conditions, which is typically defined by 45 to 90 days on the market,” Re/Max Canada president Christopher Alexander said in a statement. “This is a much-needed adjustment from the unsustainable price increases and demand we saw early in 2022.”


The decline in prices in the latter half of 2022 and those that are forecast for 2023 follow a run-up in prices that occurred during the pandemic and into early 2022.

As a result, many markets still posted year-over-year gains in 2022. In the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), for example, the average price of a home rose 11% to $1.2 million for the period January-October. Those gains are set to be erased in 2023 with an expected 11.8% decline in prices by the end of 2023, Re/Max said.

In Vancouver, prices climbed 8% to $1.3 million during the same time frame in 2022, which is expected to be followed by a 5% reduction in 2023.

Smaller cities in B.C. such as Kelowna and Nanaimo also saw significant price increases of 17% and 18%, respectively, between 2021 and 2022. According to Re/Max data, the average sale price in both cities could fall by 10% by the end of 2023.

In Ontario, some markets in and around the GTA are forecast to drop between 3% and 15%, including in Barrie (-15%), Durham (-10%), Kitchener-WAterloo (-6%) and Lakelands West, which encompasses Ontario’s Collingwood and Georgian Bay areas, (-11%).


By contrast, home prices in some regions could stage a rebound. Of the 21 Ontario regions listed in the Re/Max report, over half were expected to see price increases in 2023, ranging from as low as 2% in Oakville to 8% in Muskoka.

Outside of Ontario, price increases are in the forecast for Halifax (+8%), Calgary (+7%), St. John’s, NL (+4%), Edmonton (+3%) and Saskatoon (+3%).

On the whole, Re/Max says Canada’s major cities are expected to become balanced markets with fewer sales and modest declines in year-over-year price growth. Existing homeowners in nearly all markets are expected to drive the majority of homebuying activity with the exception of Ottawa and Calgary, Re/Max says, “where first-time buyers are expected to lead.”

Yet, in spite of Canada’s increasing housing unaffordability, not to mention interest rate hikes and ongoing inflationary woes, many Canadians continue to see homeownership as an aspirational goal.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Canadians believe having their own place is the best long-term investment they can make.

With housing unaffordability as one of the most important issues for Canadians right now, Alexander says policymakers need to step up and improve access to housing.

“As we head into the new year, it’s important that governments work collaboratively to support housing affordability and address the supply challenges that Canadians continue to face,” Alexander says, “in order to make homeownership feasible for those who want it.”


Get Your Home Ready for Winter

Winter is almost here – avoid that “always cold” feeling, expensive hydro bills and headache damages with these easy winter-ready DIY methods. Learn how to help keep your house warm and toasty, how to save money on your hydro bill and how to avoid major damages, like burst pipes, as a result of freezing temps.


  1. Clean the Gutters

After autumn, your gutters will be blocked with fallen leaves. Clean them out before winter come so that when it snows and rains, the eaves troughs will be able to drain water to prevent leaks. To clean them, put a ladder up and bring a plastic bucket and gloves to clean them out by hand. Then rinse the gutters with a hose to get rid of residual dirt.


  1. Reseal the Windows

Windows often have drafts that let outside air in, and a result, spike up your hydro bill. An easy way to test if you have drafts is by lighting a candle and moving it around the window. Where it flickers, there’s a draft. To fix it, reseal the caulk around the windows to prevent cold air from getting in and dollars from getting out.


  1. Clean the Garage

Many of us are guilty of using the garage as an extra storage room instead of parking our cars inside. Now is the perfect time to clean it out, so you can safely store your cars inside during the next snow storm or cold weather alert.


  1. Install Storm Windows

Cozy lanterns and winter landscape seen through the window.


  1. Prep the Fireplace

Get the fireplace ready for a long winter ahead. If you’ll be using it a lot, get an annual inspection to ensure it will run smoothly throughout the winter. If you don’t plan on using it, seal it off to prevent cold air from getting through. Alternatively, if you don’t have a fireplace, consider getting an electric one to help heat up your home (and provide a cozy ambiance) during the winter.


  1. Drain the Hose Pipes

Drain the hose pipes to prevent them from bursting in the freezing climate, resulting in a major renovation. Here’s how: turn off the water to the hose from the valve inside the house, then turn it on outside to let all the water drain out. It couldn’t be more simple!


  1. Pack up the Patio Furniture

Clean your outdoor furniture using these tips before the winter, and store them in the garage during the off season to prevent them from getting extremely dirty under mounds of snow and dust. If there’s no room in your garage, cover them with tarp available at your local hardware store.


  1. Prep the Furnace

Check to ensure your furnace is working well before the cold weather hits. Turn it on and make sure it fires up. You may notice a funny smell at first, but if it lasts a long time, call a professional to get it inspected.  In the winter, remember to check your filters monthly and change them when they get too dirty to ensure proper air flow throughout your home.


  1. Automate the Thermostat

If your thermostat isn’t programmable, you can purchase one for under $35. Program the thermostat so that the furnace turns on to heat up the house every time it reaches a certain temperature. That way, you won’t have to continuously adjust the temperature – this will result in huge savings on your hydro bill.


  1.  Block Drafts

Fix up drafts around your house before the temperature drops. Check areas like around the doors, recessed lighting, and your home’s exterior. Even small cracks outdoors will affect the temperature inside your home. Seal the leaks with weather resistant caulk, and install outlet gaskets to electrical wires and outlets that share your home’s outer walls.


The real estate market has most definitely shifted.
The market has been more “normal” the last few months that the last few years!
There is a LOT of opportunity right now for buyers and sellers- if you don’t ASSUME the market is a certain way based on what you hear in the media.
That only leads to heartache, frustration and lost opportunities.
Sellers- all is NOT lost, homes are still selling!! You WILL need to have your house properly and professionally marketed to garner top dollar.
Buyers - don’t assume sellers will accept an outrageously low price for their home. Yes with prices having slid and fewer buyers searching, you can negotiate price and conditions today and come to a favourable agreement. But the emphasis is on negotiation, and that’s best left to experienced professionals too.


  • Get pre-approved before initiating your home search. Knowing your budget and having a pre-approval in place will impact your ability to craft strong offers. We are still seeing multiple offers with some properties so it is ideal to have a firm offer, and a deposit cheque in hand.
  • Given the relatively competitive market for homes in good areas that are priced to sell, it’s essential to work with an agent who knows the area and has good industry relationships.
  • As we saw earlier this year, avoid trying to time the market. The right time to buy is when you have found the perfect house, knowing you can afford it. 
  • Set your pricing expectations to today’s market. Homes that are priced well are seeing strong sales and, in several recent cases, are selling with multiple offers. Pricing and strategy are critical in today’s market.
  • Put your home on MLS. While many sellers are tempted by exclusive listing offers, exposing one’s home to the broadest pool of potential buyers will aid in getting the highest possible price.
  • The importance of marketing and advertising your property to the public and broker community cannot be understated, so choose a brokerage and agent with leading market share.

The current real estate market is not black and white. It’s nuanced. And there’s lots of wonderful transactions being facilitated… but the key to success is staying curious, open minded, and working with a professional experienced with a more balanced market!