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Hanna Mohammed

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Are Canadians purchasing homes prematurely?

Purchasing a home is a large part of the North American dream, but maybe, Canadians should be rethinking before signing their names on that dotted line.

New housing statistics suggest that home purchasing is at an all time high at 70 per cent. But some economists fear that people are investing just for the sake of having a home without truly considering all the financial repercussions that come along with making such a large purchase.

York University’s Schulich School of Business Professor Moshe Milevsky feels that new homeowners have to think more critically about the market. Because of the U.S. housing crash six years ago, Moshe says home ownership doesn’t necessarily make sense for a mobile workforce that has to deal with fluctuating property values.

Many economists are saying that Canadian government has played an active role in encouraging people to own homes prematurely.

Ben Rabidoux, creator of the Economists Analysts blog, suggests that the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has provided an unrealistic cushion for homeowners, encouraging them to purchase.

With CMHC loan mortgage insurance, a prospective homebuyer only needs to pay five per cent down on a home. Banks will secure a loan because it will be covered by the CMHC insurance.

Although Canada’s homeownership statistics are through the roof, other countries paint a very different picture. Seventy per cent of Europeans, in cities like Amsterdam, London and Paris, rather rent than own. In some South American countries, people wait till they have 70 to 80 per cent of the money needed.

Essentia

For Jack Dell‘Accio, the founder and CEO of Essentia, sleeping on an organic mattress is essential to living a healthy life.

He previously owned a company which customized cabinetry for high-rise buildings, and although an entrepreneur at heart, he never imagined that he would have founded the company that makes the world’s only all-natural memory foam mattresses.

After his father was diagnosed with cancer, Jack discovered that everything around us has the potential to affect our health. Being exposed to various health practitioners, he became intrigued by the relationship of the environment to our bodies and was inspired to do his part in helping people become healthier.

The idea to create a memory foam mattress came from Jack’s father who worked in the latex and foam business. He had discovered that there were several problems with using latex in memory foam, most importantly, performance. Latex, which is made from rubber tree sap, doesn’t allow for adequate blood circulation for spinal alignment and support. Jack decided to take conventional latex and reconfigure the technology to turn it into natural memory foam. It is the only mattress of its kind. The mattresses are designed to give support to every arch and curve in the body and provide many physical benefits for any age range.

Jack launched Essentia in 2006 and the business has grown exponentially ever since with stores in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, New York and Santa Monica, Denver, Berkeley, Chicago and Seattle. There are currently plans to open locations in Ottawa and San Francisco.

Jack believes that Essentia has a bright future and mattresses are just the beginning and they also now offer support pillows, organic sheets, natural dog beds and crib mattresses for babies.

“I think there is huge potential in just the technology more so than in any other field. Non-toxic foam should be the only existing foam out there,” he says.

Essentia has been featured in O magazine, on the Rachel Ray Show, Anderson Live and the Dr. Oz Show where they were the number-one hot list product for one year and subsequently caused a website crash after a massive influx of online visitors.

Essentia is more than just a green company, they believe in the green and health-minded philosophy through and through. “It’s how we exist.”