Women and Homeownership

Homeownership for women hasn’t always been an easy path.

It wasn’t until the Married Women’s Property Act nearly 140 years ago in Ontario that women were allowed to legally purchase property on their own.

Since then, women have gained many rights in Canada—but even in this day and age, homeownership can still present some unique challenges for women.


Inflation inhibits the ability to save for a down payment, but for women there can be another key factor.

Women are often paid less than men for jobs where they hold the same title.

To bring awareness to this issue, International Equal Pay Day was formed to highlight the wage discrepancies.

While not every industry is faced with a pay gap, many still have a ways to go.

The difference in income impacts a woman’s capacity to save for a down payment, and makes homeownership more difficult to attain.

Single Parenthood

Co-parenting your kids after a divorce is quite common these days.  

But, in times where that is not the case, the percentage of single-mother households is higher than single-father households.

“In 2016, 81.3% of children aged 0 to 14 in lone‑parent families were living with their mother, and 18.7% were living with their father.” (Source: Stats Canada)

While the number of single-father households is on the rise, women are still the primary caregivers in these situations.

As a single parent, homeownership is even more financially daunting.

There are subsidies available for parents, but they do not cover the entire cost of childcare or basic needs.

The ability to pay all your credit cards on time—and in-full—proves to be much more challenging under the circumstance of having to provide for a family.

Missing payments on credit cards or holding a high balance can also decrease a credit score, and in turn decreases the ability to apply for a home.

Lower Qualifying Ratio

In Canada, homebuyers are subject to mortgage debt service ratio calculations (GDSR and TDSR).

Both of these calculations use gross annual income as part of the equation to determine whether someone can qualify for a mortgage.

With monthly utility bills and household costs on the rise, a lower income due to the wage gap for women creates an even further barrier to homeownership.

Although women face unique obstacles on the path to becoming homeowners, there are alternatives to help make this dream become a reality sooner.

Our EP Homes program gives everyday people with 0% down the opportunity to pursue the path to homeownership.

The program allows you to save for a down payment while benefitting from our complimentary financial coaching provided by industry experts.

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Black Communities in Canada

Black communities across Canada have helped shape the neighborhoods in our towns, cities, provinces and territories.

They have been home to some of Canada’s most legendary musicians, engineers, politicians, athletes, entrepreneurs, artists and activists.

In honour of Black History Month, we’ve put together a list of some of the most prominent Black communities to discover and celebrate their influence on Canadian culture.

Amber Valley

Amber Valley is an Albertan farming community approximately 160 km north of Edmonton.

It was founded in 1910 by Black Americans escaping the violence and racial hostility of the US in the 20th century.

Originally called Pine Creek, and later renamed Amber Valley in 1931, the town was home to nearly 300 Black community members.

“Among the settlers who established the community were the Bowen, Sneed, Murphy and Edwards families.

Jefferson (J.D.) Edwards and his wife Martha were two of the first people from Oklahoma to settle in Amber Valley.  

Willis and Jean Bowen and their children were originally from Oklahoma. In 1909, they settled in Vancouver. They moved to Amber Valley in 1912.

One (of the Bowen’s grandchildren), Oliver Bowen, was an engineer. He went on to design and construct the city of Calgary’s light rail system, also known as the CTrain.”
(Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia)

Little Burgundy

Historically referred to as the “Harlem of the North”, Little Burgundy was once a prominent Black community in Montreal.

Formally enslaved Black Americans fled to Canada with some finding employment on the railway stations.

“(Little Burgundy’s) proximity to two railway stations attracted Black men who worked as train porters when it was the best of the low-paying jobs available to them.

That history gave birth to a unique Black community along with a vibrant Canadian jazz scene and thriving Black institutions which continued to thrive until the community was torn about in the name of urban renewal beginning in the mid-1960s.

(Though the neighbourhood has been through gentrification) new generations are reclaiming the rich history left behind.” (Source: CBC)


“Africville was a primarily Black community located on the south shore of the Bedford Basin, on the outskirts of Halifax.

The first records of a Black presence in Africville date back to 1848, and it continued to exist for 150 years after that.

Over that time, hundreds of individuals and families lived there and built a thriving, close‐knit community.

There were stores, a school, a post office and the Seaview United Baptist Church, which was Africville’s spiritual and social centre.” (Source: Canadian Museum for Human Rights)

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The Canadian Housing Market in 2023

The Bank of Canada had a significant impact on the Canadian Housing Market this year.

Their goal to lower inflation resulted in several rate increases throughout 2022 making the dream of homeownership more difficult to achieve for some.

Many millennials, families new to Canada and self-employed Canadians are trying to figure out what their homeownership journey will look like in 2023.

We’ve researched what some of the experts are saying to try and give you an idea of what the Canadian Housing Market in 2023 might resemble.  

The Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) senior economist, Shaun Cathcart, broke down how he foresees the Canadian Housing Market in 2023 in an interview.

Shaun stated that “… as far as getting back to “normal”, the (biggest) question for housing markets is not as much where the top (interest rate) will be, how long it will stay there, or when will rates start coming back down?”

He continued to say that the focus for 2023 for future homeowners will be, “when will rates be back at lower levels?”

Shaun’s projections also touched on what the Bank of Canada’s path forward may look like.

He mentioned, “the Bank (of Canada) doesn’t say what they think the path for interest rates will look like, but they do have a forecast for inflation, and inflation is what guides their interest rate decisions.”

“They currently project inflation will be back at around 3% (year-over-year) by the end of 2023 and to fully return to the 2% target by the end of 2024.”

Home prices

Deciding when the best time to buy a home can be a tricky question.

According to a Global News article, RBC’s assistant chief economist, Robert Hogue, stated that “with the slowing pace of decline in both home sales and prices, there are ‘early signs the correction is approaching its final stage’.”

“He said prices could eventually hit a low point in ‘the early part of 2023’, but cautioned the timing would vary from market to market.”

“Hogue suggested this bottoming out would coincide with the Bank of Canada stabilizing its benchmark interest rate—the central bank signaled in December it could be near the end of its hiking cycle—and that for those looking to break into the market, this might be where affordability is best in the year for prospective buyers.”

Homeownership in 2023

While these projections may give a glimpse into an end in sight for rate increases, they cannot confirm if, or when, they will go down back down.

For those that are ready to start the homeowner journey, or are simply unable to stay in the rental market, the Bridge to Homeownership™ Program (BTHO) might be for you.

Our program offers newly-built and like-new homes in the all of Alberta..

We strive to make a meaningful positive impact in the community by giving everyday people who have the mindset to be homeowners an opportunity they otherwise wouldn’t have.

If you have zero down payment, are new to Canada with no established credit history or are self-employed, we may be able to help you on your homeownership journey.

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Team Spotlight: Jay

At EP Financial, people are at the heart of everything we do.

We are passionate about helping our clients be their best financial selves and our team be their best selves at work.

Our people are talented in their fields and gain hands-on entrepreneurial experience by bringing new financial products and concepts to life, every day.

At the core of our EP Homes division is none other than our Property Manager, Jay.

Meet Jay

Jay joined the EP team with a combined 15 years of experience in both commercial and residential property management.

As the Property Manager for EP Homes, Jay interacts with our Bridge to Homeownership™ clients on a daily basis and is always there to lend a helping hand.

A typical day for him consists of producing reports in the morning, going through client lists, scheduling home visits with clients, assisting with any operational system changes, and gathering information and analysis for system development.

Where it all started

Jay’s previous experience was in commercial property management for nearly 15 years. Looking for a new challenge, he jumped into residential property management four years ago.

When asked what the main difference between commercial and residential property management is, Jay believes you have to be more personable and flexible in your communication style in order to relate to your clients.

In commercial property management, there wasn’t as much fluctuation with clientele, so everyone had a mutual understanding of what needs to be done from both the client and the property management side.


Highlights and challenges

Jay has certainly experienced some highlights throughout his career at EP Homes.

But his biggest highlight is always when he receives feedback from the clients through emails, and sometimes even thank you cards.

Nothing makes him happier than building a rapport with each client and knowing they had a positive experience with EP Homes.

“… if you address something with Jay or Roselem, they will address (the issue) right away”

– The Estrellas

While there are many highlights of the job, it doesn’t come without some challenges.

For example, there are times when clients struggle with understanding the terms of the lease like permitting property management home inspections throughout the year, so warranty issues can be captured.

These moments can be challenging, but Jay always approaches them with a positive attitude and never ceases to get the job done.

Life at home

When not at the office, Jay (also known as Jay T or JayJay) spends his time with his wife and kids, and enjoys making dinner for everyone.

He tries to do something healthy every day, whether it’s making a smoothie, going to the gym, playing tennis or simply taking a walk.

When he’s not spending time with his family or doing something healthy, Jay watches his favourite sports teams, the Lakers or the Knicks.

Unbeknownst to some, Jay is also a skilled carpenter—and while he loves music, he claims that music does not love him.

On Sundays, Jay starts his morning with a cup of coffee and makes his rounds to friends and family members to mow their lawns or shovel their walks.

So, it’s no wonder that when asked who he would change places with for a day, Jay replied, “Keanu Reeves”—a kind and humble guy whom he admires both as an actor and person.

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Home Warranty

Home warranty is mandatory for all newly built homes in Alberta, but what does that mean?

The Alberta New Home Warranty Program covers work done on your new-build home and the material used.

The duration of the warranty depends on the types of defects; which are broken down into 1, 2, 5 and 10-year warranties.

To help you identify what is covered and for how long, we’ve made a list. 


Under the New Home Buyer Protection Act, the Government of Alberta requires a “minimum warranty coverage on all new homes constructed in Alberta.”

The 1-Year Home Warranty covers labour and materials concerning how your home was built and which materials were used.

According to the Government of Alberta website, items included under this warranty are defects relating to “flooring, staircases, baseboards, cabinets, railing and other trim and fixtures.”


The 2-Year Home Warranty addresses defects with materials and labour related to both delivery and distribution systems.

It referring to, “electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning” according to the Government of Alberta website.

These systems are also referred to as building systems.


The 5-Year Home Warranty covers building envelope defects.

This system is composed of materials and labour pertaining to components that “separate the controlled interior air from the exterior,” as per the Alberta New Home Warranty Program.

What does this refer to exactly?

The defects covered are the roof and exterior walls which include the siding of your home, windows and doors.

But, there are some variables when it comes to doors and windows.

Hardware for doors and windows i.e: latches and weatherizing are covered for a year under materials and labour—however, if the rough openings are compromised, that would be warrantied as building envelope.


The 10-Year Home Warranty is for structural coverage.

This includes the frame and foundation of your home, but excludes drywall.

Other areas

While the warranties above apply to Alberta, it is important to keep in mind that different regions within Canada have varying coverage.

According to the Homeowner Protection Act and regulations, new homes built in B.C. by licensed residential builders must be covered by mandatory, third-party home warranty insurance.

-BC Housing

Renovation warranty

Recently, the Bridge to Homeownership™ Program has expanded to include like-new homes providing our clients with another alternative path to homeownership.  

The renovations to each home vary depending on the type of enhancements required—however, EP Homes will only work with contractors whose subcontractors guarantee a 1-year material and labour warranty.

These subcontractors are composed of other trades that specialize in their area i.e. drywallers, carpenters, painters, etc..

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