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Moving in With a Roommate

The rise of Canadian real estate has been a hot topic this past year. With many Canadian’s unable to buy on their own, they’re led to invest with others for the additional support or rent if that’s not an option.


Today, the notion of living with a roommate has become very common not just for those in their early 20s but for adults and families as well. Sharing a space whether it’s with your friend, partner or a stranger can be challenging. We made a list of some important questions to address before moving in with a roommate.


What’s your day-to-day schedule like?


Get a better idea of who the person is and what type of routine they have. Their routine will tell you how often they are home and what they do professionally and recreationally.


Are you a night owl or an early bird?


Finding out what time a person generally goes to bed and wakes up will give you a lot of insight. If you have conflicting sleep patterns, be cautious of your noise level during these hours.


What is your favourite way to spend a Saturday night?


If you are a homebody who likes to spend most Saturday nights curled up with a cozy blanket and a good movie, searching for a low-key roommate would be a better fit.


Do you have pets?


There are additional factors to consider when adding pets into the mix. Depending on the size, type and personality of the pet, there might be responsibilities not just for the owner but for the roommate as well. Make sure allergies aren’t an issue!


What’s your biggest pet peeve?


When living in close proximities with someone, you will discover what makes them tick sooner or later. Be open, honest and realistic about your expectations.


Are you neat or messy?


When it comes to cleaning, pulling your weight is important when living with a roommate. Make a cleaning/chore schedule to prevent miscommunication and confrontations in the future.


Do you like to cook at home?


This is a great follow up question that will open the dialogue to groceries and whether you will be sharing anything such as condiments or kitchen appliances. It will also indicate how often there will be dishes at which point you can clarify cleaning responsibilities.


How do you prefer to communicate and resolve conflict?


Some people prefer to communicate face to face and others via text or email. Perhaps a combination of sending a quick text letting your roommate know what the issue is and then discussing in person later will lead to a more productive outcome.


How do you plan on making rent/bill payments?


This question is very straightforward and necessary to discuss. Ensure your assets are protected by confirming who is in charge of what, how the payments will be made and what will be done if a payment cannot be made by one party.


These questions will lead to some great discussions between you and your potential roommate. After all, there are certain things you should know about each other before deciding whether to live together. There’s nothing worse than realizing after the fact you aren’t the right fit.

The Unexpected Cost of Moving

There is more to moving then just the move itself. Factor in as many variables as you can when creating your budget as it’s better to be over prepared than under.


Although you can never completely anticipate all the unexpected costs of moving, sticking to a budget and leaving extra room for last minute add-ons will make the process less stressful. Here are 4 things to help you prepare for the unexpected on your local or long distance move:


Temporary Accommodations


Sometimes there can be lag between moving out of your old home and into your new one. Whether the delay is planned or unexpected it can cause a rift in your plans. An over-night stay may be all you need but sometimes a long-term rental is necessary. There are affordable options available such as extended hotel stays, bed and breakfasts, Airbnb, or even renting an apartment or house. Planning for this type of expense as early as possible will help eliminate any surprises in terms of cost.




If your home isn’t ready for occupancy or you’re downsizing into a smaller space, you may find yourself in need of short or long term storage for your belongings. If you decide to hire a mover, full service moving companies often have storage options available. For longer-term storage needs, ask your mover what options they recommend or if a third party facility might be more cost effective.




Don’t forget to plan for the little ones! Arranging for a babysitter may cost extra but it will definitely save you time in the long run. Consider hiring a sitter not just for moving day, but for the days leading up to the move as well as you will be doing the majority of the packing and organizing then. You will have your hands full with the move; the last thing you need to worry about are what the kids are doing!


Replacing Old Items


One of the advantages of moving is being able to sort through your belongings as you pack. You can finally get rid of the old set of pots and pans you’ve been meaning to for decades and toss, sell or donate other dated items! Although purging feels great, make sure to consider the cost of replacing the old items with the new ones. Set aside a reasonable budget for this. If you are downsizing or upsizing, you may need to buy new furniture and appliances to fit your updated space.

Using a Moving Calendar to Stay Organized

Have you ever uttered the words, I won’t forget or I’ll write it down later? If there’s one piece of advice we can provide you when planning a move, it’s to stay organized.


There’s a lot to think about in the weeks and days leading up to a move that you don’t want to worry about whether or not you’ve forgotten something. Keeping everything as organized as possible will help lower your stress levels and make the process much easier. One of the best ways to prioritize and organize your time is with a moving a calendar. Here are 3 reasons why a calendar will help you and your family have a successful move:


Accomplish Your Objectives


There is a lot to think about and accomplish during the moving process from finding a mover, packing, setting up new accounts, etc. Even for highly organized people it can be overwhelming to stay on top of it all. Creating a moving calendar will allow you to see the big picture. You can spread out your tasks over time and plan out realistic deadlines and goals. Give yourself extra time to accomplish each task as things always take longer than expected!


Schedule in Other Activities


The more organized you are, the more time you’ll have to schedule in miscellaneous activities or much needed down time. Writing everything in a calendar will allow you to see where you can be flexible and fit in non-move related days. Making the time for fun activities and important people will help you destress and buckle down when necessary.




Start a moving day countdown! If you have small children, a calendar countdown is a great way to get them involved. Creating a timeline of events will eliminate surprises and allow you and your children to prepare and adjust to all the changes. Not to mention it feels amazing getting to knock off all the accomplished tasks along the way!


Ultimately, a moving calendar will help you meet your deadlines and stay productive during a high stress time. A digital calendar is also a great option to consider as they often give you the opportunity to link to your phone or email and create reminders and alarms. You can even print off a copy to put on your fridge!


To make it easy for you, we’ve created a free personalized moving checklist and calendar right on our website. Visit our Moving Tips page and simply type your move date and family name to get your day by day guide. The moving calendar includes important tasks and timelines you may not have thought of and is a great tool to use when planning your move.

Decorating a Rental Property

Making a rental property feel like your own can be a challenge especially since you’re often limited by the type of alterations you are allowed to make.


Although adding personal artifacts and home décor pieces are a great way to show your personality, it’s not always enough. As a tenant there are still plenty of ways you can decorate a rental beyond your personal knickknacks. Here are four reversible decorating tricks to try at home:


Light Fixtures


Lighting can really set the overall tone of a room. It’s not uncommon for a rental property to have outdated or standard light fixtures that not only give off poor lighting, but are unpleasant to look at. There’s an easy fix for that! Swap out the old light fixtures for something more stylish and new. There are many budget friendly options available to help you set the right tone. Make sure to keep the old fixtures to replace once you move out.




Updating your kitchen cabinet pulls and door knobs is another small way to make a huge impact in your rental. Take a trip to the local hardware store for a classic look or visit a vintage store for something more unique. Make sure to take the old hardware with you when scouting for new ones to ensure they are the right fit. Don’t forget to keep the old hardware somewhere safe.




A good kitchen faucet can make a world of differences when it comes to functionality and style. Since we spend so much time in our kitchens, the last thing you want is a leaky or rusted faucet. There are a wide variety of colours, styles, and functionalities available to choose from all at an affordable price. Your landlord will not object to an update like this!


Window Covering


Curtains and window treatments are an immediate way to transform your rental with personality. If new blinds are out of budget, draw the eye away with a nice set of drapes. Curtains are a non-permanent way to bring colour, texture and style to your walls. Make sure to hang the curtain rod 4-6 inches above the frame to create the illusion of a taller window.


Making your rental more aesthetically pleasing is not as difficult as you think especially with these four decorating tricks! If you’re unsure whether you are allowed to make an update to your rental property, take a look at your lease agreement. Getting written permission from your landlord is another way to ensure you have covered all your bases.

Tips to Grown the Perfect Lawn

You don’t need to have a green thumb to grow the perfect lawn.


By giving it a little love and following some basic rules, you too can have a lawn all your neighbours envy. Here are 4 tips to help you grow the lawn of your dreams.




Learning how to properly cut your grass is the first step to achieving a beautiful lawn. You want to make sure you are cutting high and frequently so that the grass doesn’t grow too tall and stays fresh by trimming off any damaged ends. If you cut too low, this will cause permanent damage and prevent growth. Always mow a lawn dry so it is less likely to clump and avoid mowing during the hottest time of day. It is also important for the lawn mower blades to be sharp enough to cut the grass without leaving any uneven pieces. After mowing, clear any trimmings left on the lawn which can block the grass underneath from getting nutrients.




Water is one of the most essential parts of keeping a perfect lawn. The best time to water your grass is in the early morning. This way the water has time to sit during the day and the soil can absorb all of the water with the sun rays. If you water the lawn at night the soil will stay damp and won’t be able to absorb the nutrients properly. Make sure you are giving enough water to soak the soil and roots underneath (about 6 inches on average).




Aside from water, fertilizer is one of the best kept secrets to a rich green lawn. The optimal time to start using fertilizer is in the spring right before the onset of summer’s hot temperatures. Lawn fertilizers are made with essential nutrients to help promote growth, thickness and colour. However, there is such thing as too much fertilizer. It’s important to not overfeed your yard as this can cause damage to both the new and old grass. The general rule of thumb is to fertilize when your grass is doing the most growing which will depend on your climate. Liquid fertilizer should be applied to your grass once a year to keep it healthy and boost some of the nutrients for the season.




Weeds can be the biggest pain when it comes to taking care of your lawn. The best thing you can do for your lawn is to confront them immediately. If you let weeds sit, they will grow and expand and take over before you know it. There are a number of ways to get rid of weeds by using government approved pesticides (check with your local municipality for a list) or natural alternatives. If you have children or pets using natural repellants may be your best option as it is less harmful to anyone that goes on the lawn. Some of the best natural ways to get rid of weeds is using boiled water or a vinegar solution. It is not recommended to pull weeds out by hand because the roots often break and will sprout more. Once the weeds are gone you will have yourself a perfect lawn.

Is Corporate Relocation for You?

Corporate relocations are a frequent occurrence within global companies as 80% surveyed by Atlas Canada relocated employees between countries.


Making a move for your career can be a scary adjustment; picking up everything you own and moving somewhere you’ve never been. That being said, it can also be a great opportunity and a fresh change in your life. You may be asked to relocate across town, across the country or even overseas. The distance will all depend on the needs of your particular company. When deciding on whether relocating is for you, be sure to do as much research as you can before making the decision, and use all the resources available. Here are a couple ways to discover if a corporate relocation is for you.


Use Your Connections


When preparing for a move, there are many ways you can get ready just by using what you already have around you. One of the easiest resources available to you is reaching out to your coworkers that have relocated before, for tips on how to prepare for the moving process and what to expect. Maybe someone in your workspace has worked in the location you are relocating to and knows the office culture. Another great way to use your connections is by reaching out to people outside of work that might have lived in or visited the city before. This way you can get an outside look at the social atmosphere of the location.


Explore the City


Feel free to go check out the location as looking on the internet and word of mouth can only tell you so much. Take a trip out to the city and get a real look and feel of the area. There’s no better way to know if you will suit the city other than seeing it for yourself. Also, visit the office and the expected neighbourhood you will be living in; take a look at the commute and the social atmosphere. Maybe you’re into fitness for example. Take a look at the gyms or trails in the closest proximity of your new potential home. Don’t be afraid to also try something new. Perhaps you are moving somewhere up north and you’ve never lived in a colder climate before and always wanted to try skiing. Try to look at the move as an opportunity rather than a challenge. Taking a trip out to visit is the best way for you to know if the location suits you and/or your family.

How to Save Money on Your Move

Managing all your expenses can be one of the biggest challenges when moving to a new home.


The best way to control costs and stay in budget is make a list of all your potential expenses. This will allow you to see which areas are essential to spend in and which areas you can cut down. Below are 4 surefire ways you can cut costs and save money on your move without compromising on quality.


Hire a Credible Moving Company


If you are planning to hire a mover it’s important to be extra cautious in your research to make sure you choose a credible company. When searching the internet today, there are just as many rogue movers as there are legitimate ones. Rogue movers are attracting customers by creating slick websites, offering low ball prices, setting unrealistic service expectations and then holding a shipment hostage for more money. You will end up spending way more than you bargained for to get your belongings back and quite often items will be lost or damaged. Hiring a credible moving company from the beginning will ensure your belongings are in good hands. There are steps you can take to ensure the mover you hire is a credible company. Take a look at our “How to Choose a Mover” video for more information.


Sell Old Furniture and Knickknacks


Moving is a great opportunity to go through your belongings and discard of any old, unwanted items. Instead of tossing these items, consider selling them. A garage sale is one of the easiest ways to dispose of old junk and make some money while doing it. Just like the expression goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”! If you don’t have the time for a garage sale, try selling your items online instead. There are many free, user-friendly forums where you can buy and sell directly from your computer. If you prefer to donate, a local charity is a great option for any non-perishable items. The more you donate the more money you will end up saving in moving expenses.


Do Your Own Packing


Although many movers offer professional packing and unpacking services, the additional cost may be out of your budget. A great way to save some extra money during a move is to do some or all of your own packing. Ask family and friends to lend a helping hand; it can make the process much quicker. Remember to give yourself lots of time! Rushing through the packing can result in damages to your belongings. Ask your Atlas Agent for helpful brochures and visit our Packing Tips page for some great advice.


Collect Your Own Packing Supplies


Before purchasing any boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, tape, etc. take a look around your house to see what packing supplies you have. The earlier you do this step, the more time you will have to start saving and collecting supplies. Give your local dollar store or liquor store a call to see if they have any spare boxes. Your workplace could also be a great option for extra materials. It never hurts to ask!

Millennial Home Buying Trends

About one-quarter of Canada’s population are millennials; those born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s. With most of them finished or on the verge of finishing school, many are now taking a more active interest in home ownership. Already we are seeing trends in the way millennials are purchasing real estate and the location they are choosing. These young Canadians are paying close attention to the market and areas where they see growth in employment and affordable real estate. The majority of millennials are looking to purchase a home in the very near future, also taking in the investment opportunity that comes with purchasing real estate.




Today more millennials are expressing their confidence in purchasing a home, with the buying intentions increased by the economy, job security, and their parents. Young Canadians are saving and planning their finances for their future, especially for home buying. Millennials are watching the housing market closely with interest rates rising and the price of homes going up and down. Along with student debt on their backs, millennials are showing an interest in home buying as a top financial concern, with just over a quarter of them putting money toward this goal and saving for a down payment. On top of saving, many millennials are looking to their parents for some assistance in home buying. Most of their parents at the perfect age to start downsizing and give their kids a step up on the property ladder.




Millennials are all about modernization and convenience; they are migrating to cities that are adapting to a new more modern way of living. When looking for real estate millennials are showing a trend in looking for multi-purpose rooms and unique interior designs such as ceilings. Millennials are looking at large urban centers such as Toronto and Vancouver (expected to expand into Ottawa and Montreal), for condos as they are more affordable and in their budget. These cities offer a large social atmosphere and an expanding work on public transit to make it easier to get around. In the larger cities, they also look at where job growth is happening and become more pulled to looking at real estate in these areas. If you’re looking for more information, on these large urban cities be sure to check out our City Guides page.

3 Smart Things to Set-Up Before Moving into Your Home

There is a lot going on when moving into a new home from relocating, to unpacking, to cleaning and everything in between. Now imagine having to juggle all that without lights, in the freezing cold and unable to find the paperwork for your utilities company. That’s a scary thought! To avoid these types of scenarios and make the transition a little easier on you, we’ve put together a list of 3 important tasks to complete before your move in date.


Create a Folder of Important Documents


Moving doesn’t just involve changing houses; it usually involves switching other major places as well like doctors, banks, schools, etc. Doing so requires a ton of paperwork – yuck! The best way to get ahead of all this paperwork is to start collecting and organizing it right away. Create a folder with labels and file your records accordingly. Don’t forget to make extra paper or digital copies in case something is misplaced in the hustle of the move. Some of these important documents include:


  • Medical records – doctor, optometrist and dental
  • Bank records
  • School records
  • Pet records
  • Home/car insurance
  • Utilities
  • Moving paperwork


If possible, personally take this folder with you to your new home so that you have the information readily available should you need it.


Discontinue and Transfer Utilities


Utilities such as hydro, electrical, gas, internet, cable, phone, etc. are often forgotten about during the process of moving. Not only do you have to cancel the services at your old address, but also arrange for the reconnection at your new address. A simple address transfer may be possible if your current provider services your new neighbourhood. But most likely you will have to research new local suppliers in the area, especially if you are moving to a different city or country. Begin this process at least 3 weeks before your move in date, as notice is usually required for both discontinuing and setting up utilities. During peak moving season it can take up to 2-3 weeks for the arrangements to be made. Don’t risk moving into your new home without these essential utilities; it would be quite the challenge!


Find a New Specialist/Establishment


When it comes to important issues like your health, education and financial well-being, don’t take these matters lightly! Just like you would do your research before selecting a mover, do the same to find the best specialist/establishment for you and your family. Once you’ve found the right one, have your records transferred over to the new administration. Use your folder of important documents we discussed above to make this process quicker and easier!


Ultimately, there is a lot to think about and accomplish during the moving process.


Stress levels are high and a spare moment is hard to come by. Making sure the 3 tasks above are completed prior to your move date will make the transition much easier and less stressful.

6 Must Dos When Moving into a New Home

Change the Locks

Being handed the keys to your new home is a very exciting time! However, don’t forget these keys once belonged to someone else. The previous homeowner may have given a spare key to family, friends or neighbours. The best way to feel safe and secure in your new home is to replace or rekey the old locks. Rekeying is an alternate way of changing the locks without having to fully replace them. If you want your locks to be a different colour or design, consider replacing the hardware completely.


Spring Cleaning

Take a day or two before moving in to give your house a good thorough clean from top to bottom. It is best to get this done before your belongings arrive so you aren’t stuck migrating around furniture. Start by tackling rooms that collect the most dirt such as the kitchen and bathroom. Buy new cleaning supplies like brooms, mops and sponges to get the best results.


A Fresh Coat of Paint

Don’t underestimate the power of paint! A fresh coat can change the shape, size and atmosphere of a room all at once. It is also a great budget friendly way to add personal style to a space. Generally, light, cool colours make a room feel bigger whereas dark, warm colours tend to create a small, intimate setting. Once you have selected a colour scheme to match your taste, paint away!


Feng Shui

Create a happy well balanced home through feng shui decorating. The first rule in creating a good feng shui is eliminating all signs of clutter. Next, try incorporating as much natural and layered lighting as possible to make the room feel bright and airy. Finish the look by choosing the right colour scheme to match the mood you desire. For a more advanced feng shui, try adding dimension with shapes and texture.


Change the Landscape

Does your home have enough privacy and curb appeal? Consider adding fencing, trees, bushes and flowers to create a more private setting. Commemorate the year you arrived at your new home by planting a tree!


Have a Housewarming Party

Celebrate your new home with family and friends! Throw a gathering to show off your new living quarters and all the hard work you put in to making it your own. A housewarming is also a great way to meet your neighbours and get integrated into your new community.