The Search For A Healthy Home

Homewatch Newsletter Archive


If you’re a regular reader of ours, you know we help all kinds of purchasers including first time buyers, down-scaling zoomers, investors and people relocating to Toronto. No matter the circumstance that necessitates a purchase, we endeavour to match your housing needs, wishes and dreams with the ideal property.

We take particular delight in taking on the challenge of finding the perfect property for clients who are up against some challenges of their own, be they time constraints, distance or unique property requirements.  If challenge is what we thrive on, our latest clients helped us hit the trifecta in this department.  We love to share what we know, and watch it translate into real-life solutions for our clients.

Our clients, a couple with a young child, had negotiated a quick sale on their Vancouver condominium which resulted in a tight time frame of about 60 days to search, negotiate and relocate into a Toronto property. In the heat of Toronto’s intense, competitive spring market our Buyers, over a three and a half week period, considered most every City property within their budget across the east and west side, from Lake Ontario north to Dupont. While the Buyers reviewed the MLS listings online in Vancouver, their family members in Toronto viewed the properties, serving as their eyes and ears, while offered our counsel, guidance and insight.

This is another instance, where years of experience in the market, as well as formal education in housing and construction methods has come to serve our clients well, because it not only allows us to fully understand the need, but to be efficient and reliable in delivering clients directly to the house that they desire. It’s not just about matching client to property; it’s about harnessing experience and knowledge and leveraging it to identify the most direct path between need and want.

There was an equally important aspect to this home purchase that many Buyers are not familiar with, but should take into consideration when purchasing a family home. Because one of the Buyers was extremely sensitive to airborne toxins like mold and mildew, off-gases from paint and carpeting, and carcinogens like smoke residue and pet dander, it was critical we find a property that didn’t suffer from severe dampness and water penetration, had hard flooring surfaces like tile and wood throughout the space as much as possible, and had good airflow and ventilation. As a former asthmatic myself, I understand how critical a healthy living environment is.

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is a combination of ailments associated with an individual’s residence or place of work. A 1984 World Health Organization report exploring the syndrome suggested up to 30% of new and remodeled buildings worldwide may be linked to symptoms of SBS. Most of the sick building syndrome is related to poor indoor air quality. Sick building causes are frequently pinned down to flaws in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Other causes have been attributed to contaminants produced by outgassing of some types of building materials, volatile organic compounds (VOC), molds, improper exhaust ventilation of ozone (byproduct of some office machinery), light industrial chemicals used within, or lack of adequate fresh-air intake/air filtration.

Although the new green building design goal should be able to avoid most of the SBS problem sources in the first place, the resulting symptoms are often dealt with after the fact by boosting the overall turn-over rate of fresh air exchange with the outside air, minimizing the ongoing use of VOC cleaning compounds, and eliminating conditions that encourage allergenic, mold growth.


Take a look at this 2017 Infographic by

In Toronto’s older housing stock, combatting these issues can be problematic when the structure is often one hundred years or older, which can harbor molds and mildews over an extended period of time. Combine that with a property that has undergone recent renovations, and you’re potentially combining the issues of an older house with the plagues associated with new building materials. For anyone moving into a newly renovated house, one has to be extremely careful that they are not exposing themselves to toxins the body may have trouble processing. Sick Building Syndrome is a growing concern throughout urban environments, in particular for women and children, which research indicates are more susceptible than men.

In the case of the residence that we found for them, its foundation was solid, with the main floor of the house raised several feet above grade, which is not always the case in Toronto housing stock. This means there are larger windows in the basement for ventilation, and the main and upper living areas are farther from ground moisture. The house has an open concept living area with large windows, strip hardwood flooring, and high plastered ceilings which don’t collect significant amounts of dust. The three spacious bedrooms have hardwood throughout, and the washroom has a nook large enough to accommodate a stacking washer/dryer, so my Buyer can install a set upstairs instead of the basement, if required.

The end of this story?  This suitable property was snapped up by our Buyers within 48 hours of coming to market, with a 38 day closing that suited their tight time frame requirement. .

With a deep understanding of the complexities of real estate, and the ability to provide unique solutions to unique Buyers, we welcome the opportunity to share our experience and our knowledge. With a multi-disciplinary education in housing, over twenty years of real estate sales, marketing and development including a sterling reputation as one of Bosley Real Estate’s Top Producers, myself and my team make it our mandate to guide buyers and sellers through all their real estate needs. Log on to to learn more about us! Not online? Just pick up the phone and call us for an introductory package at 416-322-8000.


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