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Standing in my pyjamas in front of the toaster, I glanced at the bread wrapper. Something caught my eye. On the side of the bag, “the Tuna Salad” gave a three-step recipe for a tuna sandwich (“1. Mix tuna with mayo. 2. Spread onto one slice of bread. 3. Smush another piece on top.”)

I frowned. Who doesn’t know how to make a tuna sandwich? I wondered.

It occurred to me then that this is proof, perhaps, of our world’s current scope and pace of life. Is making a simple sandwich now an accomplishment?   Are people are too busy to teach their kids how to make the basics? Do we no longer regard our kitchens, and by extension our homes, as key places to nurture ourselves?

Surely this doesn’t jive with the significance houses have in our society. Whether townhouse, condo, semi-detached, or single family, our dwellings are, according to statistics and sales figures, the most important things we devote our time, attention and money to. The current real estate market in our area is as competitive as it has ever been, as buyers vie with each other for a smaller supply of homes. Current Canadian debt to income ratio (the amount of debt for every dollar of disposable income people have) is a $1.65, an all-time high, and according to Statistics Canada, most of that is mortgage debt.

So, home ownership is often expensive, time-consuming, and stressful. Yet this does not come into play, apparently, when we think of “home.” RealSimple magazine recently asked readers, “What does home mean to you?” Answers included “Anywhere my kids are,” “A place you can feel comfortable cooking in your pyjamas,”, “My mother’s cheese pie baking in the oven,” and “Home isn’t a place; it’s a feeling.” Not a mention of mortgage rates, drywall, or granite.

More people are accepting smaller living spaces, as long as they are efficient and well thought out, according to the PWC 2016 report “Emerging Trends in Real Estate.” More homeowners are also opting for renovating what they have instead of moving to ever-larger homes on smaller lots. Maybe bigger isn’t always better; maybe we just need a comfortable, safe, and well-tended place to teach our kids how to make a tuna sandwich.

Stay tuned, and we’ll show you how.

Sources:

http://www.pwc.com/ca/en/real-estate/publications/pwc-emerging-trends-in-real-estate-2016-en.pdf

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/statistics-canada-debt-income-financial-1.3634166

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