Your family, friends and the real estate industry keep telling you the upside of buying a home or condo -- like not throwing your rent money down the drain.

But you are paralyzed by the downside -- like not being able to pay your mortgage.

You work hard for your money (sometimes at a job you don’t even like) so your home would have to give you enough benefits to outweigh your sacrifices. 

And yet, when you talk to friends, you find they are unhappy, stressed or worried about their own homes. Some worry about the sheer weight of having a mortgage - and the things that they’ve had to give up to keep up with it - like restaurants (when they hate cooking). Others have bought cheaper homes in more outlying areas only to suffer a soul (and family life) destroying commute. 

Their homes don’t seem to enhance their lives -- only hinder them.

It might even be worth all the stress of buying in a high-pressure real estate market like Toronto if you could at least be guaranteed a million dollar nest egg at the end. 

But the Toronto market is not only expensive - it’s always changing. And that means going up as well as down.

You only have to open a paper or go to a dinner party to hear about some financially disastrous real estate decision someone has made. 

And yet -

You can’t help but feeling that by not buying a home, you may be missing out on living in the kind of space that you (and those you love) would thrive in.

As a real estate analyst whose research is frequently cited by lead institutions such as the Bank of Canada and leading media such as the Globe and Mail, BNN Bloomberg and CBC, I have warned about downturns including the 2016 bubble and told consumers where not to buy in 2017, analysis that was confirmed when the Bank of Canada cited my research in measuring areas of decline in 2018. I’ve also seen first-hand the devastating fall out from bad real estate decisions made by regular Torontonians through the emails I get from the public desperate for my help in fixing (usually unfixable) situations after the fact - some of whose stories mirror this awful story about a family that tried to buy their forever home in Stouffville.

But in my own real estate practice as President of Realosophy Realty, a Toronto-area real estate brokerage, I’ve seen hundreds of life-enhancing decisions made by our clients, that have allowed them to live well on their own terms -- whether they choose to live in the city or suburbs and whether they spend more or less than the average on their homes. 

How have they been able to do this? 

By observing the principles of what we call “Defensive Home Buying” - a strategic and practical action-based approach to real estate - shared by all of the brokers, agents and team members at our brokerage, Realosophy.

For us, “BUYING SMART” means “BUYING DEFENSIVELY”. It means capturing as much of the upside that real estate has to offer while minimizing its downside risks.  

It means ensuring that your home helps you build the life you want -- not expose you to financial risk and stress in your life.

After studying housing markets for two decades, I can assure you that making better real estate decisions is not about luck, or timing, or wealth.  It’s about asking ourselves the right questions before we even buy a house.  

We created this course because we believe that every home buyer needs it -- and because we do not see anything else like it being offered to consumers. Most of the info you get through news media and the real estate industry is focussed on the process of buying a home -- figuring out what you want in a home, what your budget for a home is, what a mortgage pre-approval is, what a home inspection is and so on. 

But while the process is important, there are far more important questions you should be asking yourself. 

To help you learn how to buy defensively, I’ll walk you through why the home buying advice most buyers get today (online, in books, from real estate agents and banks) is actually leading them to make very bad decisions -- including deciding how much you should be spending on your housing costs in the first place.

Once we have a better understanding of why the advice you’re getting now leads to bad decisions, I’ll walk you through what you should be doing instead.

This is the course you should be taking before you come in to see a real estate agent, whether here at Realosophy or anywhere else.

I look forward to getting started -- 

John Pasalis


P.S. As this is the first-time I’m packaging this material into an online course, I’m keeping the cost low for the first 20 people a little while longer.  The first 20 spots sold out the first day, but I would like to continue to keep the cost low for now because I’m looking for feedback from you on how I can make this course better.   

What You'll Learn

  • If You Should Rent or Buy

    Know when your life goals or current circumstances would leave you better off renting -- no matter what your friends & family say.

  • Your Housing Ratio

    Figure out how much of your income you should be spending on housing -- and why the rule of thumb number banks suggest is wrong.

  • How to Analyze a Property

    Use data to help you spot hidden problems that even home inspectors can’t see.

Bonus material

This Four Week Course Includes the Following Bonus Material

  • Weekly Live Q&A with John

    Every week, John hosts a live online Q&A where course learners are able to ask their personal real estate questions.

  • Leading Market Research

    John shares his widely-cited research into Toronto's real estate market -- including exclusive data normally restricted to Realosophy clients.

  • Private Facebook Group

    Course learners access a private Facebook group to discuss the course material with fellow home buyers and attend weekly Q&As with John.

Course Details


  • $50.00
  • 100% Money Back Guarantee


  • All course instruction, exercises and bonus materials delivered fully online.
  • Learner will require access to a stable internet connection. (You may need headphones or a private room as you will be listening to audio.)

Time Requirements

  • This course can be completed at your own pace, but we recommend completing one section per week for a total of four weeks.
  • John will hold weekly live Q&A sessions in a private Facebook Group

Each week, learner will: 

  • View course lessons (approximately 30-60 minutes a week)
  • Complete course exercises (optional)
  • Participate in a one-hour weekly Q&A with instructor (optional).
  • Participate in online group discussion (optional).


  • John Pasalis

    John Pasalis

    John Pasalis is President of Realosophy Realty, a Toronto real estate brokerage which uses data analysis to advise residential real estate buyers, sellers and investors.

    A specialist in real estate data analysis, John’s research focuses on unlocking micro trends in the Greater Toronto Area real estate market. His research has been shared with the IMF and cited by the Bank of Canada and CMHC.

    A frequent commentator on the Toronto housing market and real estate consumer and industry issues, John has contributed to the Globe and Mail, CBC, BNN Bloomberg, TVO’s The Agenda, Toronto Star and other media, government and industry organizations. He most recently advised the Government of Dubai on international best practices for the real estate sector.

    John holds a B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Toronto and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Business Administration from the University of Toronto and Henley Business School.

Featured In

  • BNN Bloomberg
  • CBC
  • Bank of Canada
  • The Globe and Mail
  • Toronto Star

Course Cost

With a 100% Money Back Guarantee

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why should I sign up?

    This is the course you need to take before you meet up with any real estate agent to ensure that you buy a home in a way that enhances -- not hinders -- your life.

  • How do I know if this course is for me?

    If you're wondering about or are planning to buy a home now or in the future and you want to think through your decisions as well as possible, with the help of authoritative, unbiased advice using the latest in real estate research and data -- then this course is for you.

  • Is this course for first time buyers?

    This course is designed with first-time buyers in mind, but many of the concepts apply to people buying for a second time or more.

  • Does this course cover home buying basics?

    Not exactly. This is a more strategic course that is focused on helping potential home buyers make real estate decisions that protect their money and enhance their life. You can browse the full curriculum below.

    If you require a full walk through of more basics topics, like how to get a bank pre-approval or make offers on home, please refer to Realosophy’s Home Buyer Guide, available for free on our website.

  • Is this course specific to the Toronto real estate market?

    No. Many of the strategic concepts taught in this course can be applied to housing decisions in any city in the world.

    But if you live in the Greater Toronto Area, you will get the additional benefit of John being able to respond to more specific real estate market-related questions in the live Q&A. (Please note that John will not able to respond to specific market-related questions for markets outside the Toronto area.)

  • I would like to work with John or another Realosophy agent to buy a home -- do I need to take this course first?

    Definitely not required -- but it would be very useful! Everyone at Realosophy is committed to the principles shared by John in this course.

  • Do I have to have John or anyone else at your brokerage, Realosophy, work with me as my real estate agent before, during or after this course?

    No. This is a perfect opportunity for you to be coached by one of Toronto’s leading real estate authorities -- even if John is not your personal real estate agent.

    In fact, this course tells you what you should know before working with any real estate agent.

  • Will you or your brokerage, Realosophy, pester me after I attend?

    No. We will email you useful content such as Toronto real estate market reports and information about upcoming courses and services -- you can simply click to unsubscribe at anytime.

  • How does your money-back guarantee work?

    If you're unsatisfied with the course at anytime, just send us an email and we'll send you a full refund.

Course curriculum

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