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News and Updates

Time to Winterize!

Even though we’ve had a reprieve from colder temperatures, winter is still on the way, and you still have time to winterize your home.

Here are 5 easy ways to winterize and protect your investment:

  1. Seal up leaks in doors and windows with weather-stripping and/or caulk.
  2. Don’t heat an empty house! Invest in a programmable thermostat.
  3. Have your insulation checked to see if any needs to be added.
  4. Schedule a furnace  and water heater tune-up. Remember to change furnace filters and consider insulating your water heater and exposed hot water pipes.
  5. Clean gutters and turn off the water to outside spigots. Drain the lines and check for pipes in unheated spaces to prevent frozen or broken pipes.

 

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Make Your Real Estate Dreams Come True!

REDEFINING SERVICE IN REAL ESTATE

Selling a home in today’s market can be challenging. I understand that. While the market can be challenging, hundreds of homes are sold each week in Winnipeg. What’s the difference between selling your home or failing to do so? The Details! Whether it’s my proven sales approach, effective marketing campaigns, or utilizing my extensive network, no detail is overlooked. I pride myself in the use of technology and innovation to maximize the exposure of your home.

When I say I am “redefining service in real estate,” I mean it! My clients come first. I will educate you on what needs to be done to have a successful sale of your home. There are many components to a successful real estate transaction, You can count on me to be there every step of the process and make sure no detail is overlooked. With a proven track record, the right skill set, and years of experience, I have the right tools to successfully sell your home. If you’re serious about selling your home, I am serious about getting the job done!

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September 2018 Market Update

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

http://winnipegrealestatenews.com/Resources/PressRelease?fileID=500

September Sales Drop 12%

WINNIPEG – September sales of 1,046 were disappointing as they fell 12% in comparison to September 2017 and were off 9% from September’s 5-year average of 1,156 sales. On the other hand, new listings were up 6% and inventory of 5,134 listings grew by 11% over the same time last year.

Year-to-date sales activity shows sales of 10,264 are down 7% over the same period in 2017 while dollar volume has decreased 5% to $3.0 billion.  Listings entered on the MLS® at the end of September are 19,771, up less than 2% from 2017.

If you look back before 2016 and 2017, the best years ever on record where sales after nine months were right around 11,000, year-to-date sales are very much in line with 2015 and 2014 and much closer to 2013 in total sales.

“Winnipeg’s resilient market is being tested this year in light of newly tightened federal mortgage regulations and it is preventing a number of prospective buyers from entering our market,” said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®.  He added, “ The lack of new entrants to a housing market compounds matters further as the cascade effect of more sales occurring further up the real estate ladder is muted due to sellers unable to move on with their plans to buy a home if theirs does not sell.”

We also need to keep things in perspective how Winnipeg and the outlying metropolitan region  housing market is performing relative to many other housing markets across the country. At a Canadian Real Estate Association national conference held this month, delegates were told 50 local markets are down more than 10% and 75 out of 101 markets are experiencing declining sales activity in comparison to year-to-date sales in 2017.

“As always, both buyers and sellers need to consult with their REALTOR to develop a strategy to navigate our current market conditions,” said Dudeck.

In September there were 5 million dollar plus single family home sales with one selling for $2 million. The lowest sales price was $44,500. For condominiums, one unit sold for close to $1 million at $964, 950 while the lowest one went for $66,500.

The average days to sell a residential-detached or single family home was 32 days while for condominiums it was a week longer at 39 days.

A real positive for the Manitoba economy going into the last three months of the year is the recently signed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. It should bring more certainty and economic stability to what was concerning for many Manitoba businesses which rely on exporting their goods and products south of the border.

One of the most important components you need to take into account when selling a home is strategy”, said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.  “Your REALTOR® knows strategy and will help you navigate through complex issues from start to finish.”

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Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving! Clara Mitchell Enns is grateful for all of her clients past, present and future. When you have Real Estate needs, or know of someone else who does, Clara would be honored if you would give her the first chance to be of assistance.

 

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When is the Best Time to Sell?

Is Now the Best Time to Sell?

Selling your home is not only a big decision financially, but also emotionally. Your home is no longer the bricks, drywall, and hardwood floors you fell in love with when you bought it. You have tackled some of life’s many milestones and made memories inside the house you now call a home. Whether you have simply grown out of the house, are choosing to downsize, or you’re looking for a new location, there are many factors that may influence your decision to sell your house.

Check your Finances: Do some research to determine the payoff amount of your loan so you can determine what your sales proceeds will be after you have paid off your loans, closing costs, and REALTOR’s commissions.  The closer you are to the end of your mortgage term, the less additional expenses you will incur.

Do Some Comparisons: Doing your homework is always important! Do some research on the current condition of the real estate market, and look into some comparable properties who have recently sold in your neighbourhood.  You may want to consider selling when it is a seller’s market.

Is your Home Ready to Sell?

We have all heard the many ways you can improve your home to get the biggest return on your investment when selling. While you may not want to make any major improvements, it’s important to ask yourself if your home is in its best condition to sell. At the very least, you need to ensure you have the time to give your home a good deep-clean and de-clutter to ensure it is prepared for showings when the time comes. Take into consideration the length of time it will take to do this to determine a time frame for when you can realistically list your home.

Four Questions to Ask Yourself:

Take a second to think about your answer to these four very important questions. If you’re happy with your answers, you may be ready to sell and if not, it may be worth it to continue weighing the pros and cons of your decision to sell or speak further with a Real Estate Agent to get their opinion.

  • After selling this home, where will you move?
  • Are you still emotionally attached to your current home?
  • Are you financially ready?
  • Are you willing to make changes to paint colours, or upgrades to the home?

When is the Best Time to Sell a House?

Most real estate professionals will tell you that the best time to sell would be the spring, followed by the fall. Spring is desirable for many sellers as it is a great time to showcase your homes best features and many buyers want the transaction to be completed before the summer months. It’s important to remember that since it is the busiest time of the year, you will face more competition, increasing the importance of making sure your home shows at its best.

At the end of the day, the best time to sell is when you’re ready. Call today with your questions and to schedule a free home evaluation.

204-452-9627

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Happy First Day of Fall

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August MLS® sales down 1%

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

WINNIPEG – August sales of 1,274 are down 1% from August 2017 and up 1% over the 5-year average. Dollar volume of $375 million in August was down less than 1% from August 2017. Inventory of 5,163 MLS® listings at the end of August is up 7% over 2017.

Year-to-date sales of 9,218 are off 6% from the same period last year while year-to-date dollar volume of $2.73 billion is down 4% from 2017. Total listings of 17,619 have been entered on the MLS® this year and are slightly ahead of 2017. Where the difference is greater between the two years is in how many of these listings have been sold. There have been 52% sold this year compared to 56% in 2017.

“We have said all along this year that we are comparing our sales activity to one of our best years on record so we have every reason to remain optimistic about our market this year,” said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “As shown last month, Winnipeg remains a stable and resilient market with a real upside in terms of its affordability.”

Speaking of affordability, a September 4th release by the National Bank of Canada of their Housing Affordability Monitor shows Winnipeg and local buyers in particular remain in a very favourable position, especially in comparison to higher-priced housing markets in the country.

The Monitor examines the required mortgage payment on a median-priced home as a percentage of median income for a 5-year term with a 25-year amortization period. Income to buy a representative Winnipeg home of $318,610 is $56,989 while for a representative condo priced at $229,426 the household income needed is $41,037. Saving for the down payment is 28 months for a home and 20 for a condo.

In comparison, Victoria requires 121 months of saving for a home down payment and 48 for a condo based on their much higher median prices. You need an income of $151,611 to buy the $847,619 median-priced home.

Reinforcing the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region market’s housing affordability in August is the fact nearly 50% of all residential-detached sales were under $300,000 with another 17% selling from $300,000 to $349,999. 78% of all condo sales in August were under $300,000.

While the majority of sales activity occurred in more affordable price ranges, this is not to say the upper end of the residential-detached market did not fare well in August compared to August 2017. There were 81 sales of $500,000 and above (6 sold for over $1 million), a 16% increase over last August.

Going into September buyers should also be happy to know the Bank of Canada decided to not increase its overnight rate of 1.5 % as some economists thought possible. The next date for a potential rate increase is October 24, 2018.

“Buyers are in a good position to begin their search in our local market as it has a healthy supply of affordable listings to choose from”, said Dudeck. “With summer vacation over and the children back in school there is no need to put off your buying intentions any longer.”

“REALTORS® are experts in knowing the local market and specific property types you may be interested in purchasing,” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “They can offer you objective advice so you can make an informed decision on what best suits your needs.”

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How Realtors® Help

While most people know that using a REALTOR® is the most important decision you can make when buying or selling, not many people know all of the ways a REALTOR® can help you avoid problems and complications you’ll have to live with for a long time.

Here’s your opportunity to learn from others who discovered too late how the expertise of a REALTOR® could have helped them. Watch their true stories and see exactly how a REALTOR® can help ensure the largest transaction of your life goes as smoothly as possible.

https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/NoRegrets.aspx

 

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Exterior Home Maintenance Checklist

https://www.rona.ca/en/projects/Exterior-summer-home-maintenance-checklist

Courtesy of www.rona.ca

REPAIRS

The roof should be checked regularly; especially if the roof is older than five years and if the area has had a significant dose of adverse weather within recent years.

  • Keep track of the recommended time for which the roof tiles are rated. This can be done by checking the warranty. Usually a roof will need to be replaced once the warranty wears out.
  • If the roof needs to be replaced, consider an upgrade especially if it needs to be replaced sooner than expected.
  • Research roof tiles and recommended amounts of insulation that can be placed underneath if planning a full replacement.
  • Always check for loose or damaged shingles that can be replaced one by one without replacing the entire roof.

There are many projects that can be done to the garage from cleaning to organizing to finding new uses.

  • Begin the season by going through and cleaning the garage.
  • Apply a fresh coat of sealant to the flooring if needed.
  • Think about whether the walls or floor could be painted or freshened with a new coat.
  • There are many inventive ways to add shelving and other types of organizations systems to garages.
  • If the homeowners anticipate converting the home to a universal design, a handicap ramp accessible from the inside of the garage may be a unique way to access the first floor from street level.
  • Bike tires will last longer if the bike is hung on a rack or hook.
  • Rather than thinking about eliminating storage from the garage, think about it as a creative storage area.
  • An extra freezer or other appliances can fit nicely into a garage, especially if shelving accompanies the unit.

There are so many useful ways that a power washer comes in handy for the home.

  • It is recommended that the driveway is cleaned yearly with a power washer prior to fixing cracks and to providing a fresh coat of sealant.
  • The garage floor is another surface that can greatly benefit from a through cleansing.
  • The sidewalks surrounding the home would also need to be cleaned prior to fixing cracks.
  • Concrete porches can accumulate more stains and dirt than one might think. Use a power washer to clean the surface.

Different types of siding need different maintenance schedules.

  • Regardless of the type, all siding needs to be cleaned yearly. Most types can be cleaned with a power washer, but thin vinyl would need a garden hose with an attachment and a cleaning solution designed for vinyl.
  • If there has been some damage to the siding during the year, repair each piece. Hopefully your home came with extra pieces of siding. If not, when new pieces are purchased, plan ahead for the next set of repairs.
  • If the siding is a natural wood or a painted wood, consider restaining and repainting respectively.
  • There are many new types of siding on the market today. If your siding is in disrepair or if it has been high maintenance for the past several years, explore options and plan to replace it. Trim, house colors, and other decorative ideas could be updated at the same time.

Privacy and decorative fences are beautiful assets to the landscaping and are always on the radar for home maintenance project lists.

  • Begin to inspect the fence by making a judgement about the solidity of the post structures. If it needs to be secured, dig around the base down three and a half feet and fill with concrete.
  • Inspect the gate latches and make sure they work seamlessly. If the posts have moved, make an adjustment to the latch. If a repair is not possible or if the latch is too old, replace it.
  • Check to see if the gates open and close smoothly. The gate, along with the latching system, may need to be replaced.

Doors and windows must stand up to the weather and to a lot of wear and tear.

  • The summer is the most ideal time to repaint wooden windows & trims. Begin by scraping, applying a primer, and then painting the units.
  • Consider replacing the doors and windows with energy efficient alternatives that can save the environment, the budget, and taxes.

As the season begins to warm, make sure the air conditioner is working properly well in advance.

  • Have the unit inspected at the beginning of the season yearly. Many homeowners experience the air conditioning going out in the summer months when it is the hottest season and the maintenance repairmen are few and far between.
  • Maintain the shrubbery from around the outdoor unit. Remove shrubs and foliage from within two feet around the unit.
  • Make sure to clean and replace filters when it is recommended by the manufacturer.

During the growing season, lawn equipment is at the height of its usage and need.

  • Regularly sharpen the mower blades; mid-season if needed.
  • If the lawn mower is older than 5 years, make sure it has been serviced before the grass needs regular cutting.
  • Like every other tool and appliance today, consider purchasing a high efficiency mower.

Begin to inspect cracks in the foundation by walking around the perimeter of your home.

  • Repair the cracks with a recommended grout.
  • Inspect and repair cracks within the basement walls.

Prolong the lifespan of the driveway by with yearly maintenance.

  • Begin with the first steps by fixing the cracks with the type of filler recommended for concrete, asphalt, or brick pavers.
  • If years of cracks have been repaired and the driveway is outdated, resurface the driveway with tar / asphalt.
  • Consider redesigning the driveway to complement your home and landscape design. Stone and concrete imprinted design are two trends.

If the automatic garage door has shown unusual habits of opening and closing only halfway, opening again after it has been closed, or making loud screeching noises, it can be both maintained and repaired.

  • Yearly, the garage door can be oiled. This job can be done easily by the homeowner.
  • For doors that are not closing and opening as they should regularly, consider having it inspected and repaired.
  • The springs could be close to the end of their lifespan and will need to be replaced. Do not ever attempt to service the springs; always hire a professional.

Most homeowners think of water when thinking of summer. Make sure to maintenance all water features at the home.

  • Repair outdoor spigots if they are leaking. Occasionally the spigot will need to be replaced if it continues to drip after screwed tightly closed.
  • Prepare the swimming pool for the new season. Begin by using a yearly start up kit and cleaning.
  • If an outdoor hot tub has been in use, consider cleaning and maintaining it because of its prolonged seasonal use.
  • GENERAL EXTERIOR SUMMER RECOMMENDATIONS

When the projects go beyond DIY, hiring professionals is a safe choice.

  • Take care to verify that the professional is licensed, bonded, and insured. If an accident should occur on your property and the professional is not insured, your homeowner’s insurance policy would be liable to cover the costs.
  • Make it a rule of thumb to get three quotes from three different professional companies before hiring one of them.
  • Always ask the professionals a lot of questions about their materials and methods when doing your research.

Remember “safety first” for all projects whether small or large.

  • Take precautions when climbing tall ladders and when working on the roof.
  • When in doubt, hire a professional for projects that are considered a little more dangerous.
  • Always wear eye and ear protection.
  • Read all instructions and warranty details for all newly materials and items. Keep these in a safe file and send in warranty cards.
  • Keep in mind that a building permit is designed to protect the occupants’ safety. Contact your local building department for a permit. They will review your plans so that they pass up-to-date code requirements and they come out to review your work to verify that it is safely constructed.

As always, consider sustainability when planning and purchasing materials for each project.

  • Hiring a sustainability professional to conduct an air check will verify whether or not energy-efficient windows and doors would improve the home’s performance.
  • In a similar way, a professional can conduct an air check to evaluate cracks in walls that should later be patched and repaired.
  • The warmer weather months during the summer are a great time to add insulation to exterior walls and to the underside of the roof.
  • Since many homeowners are now recycling, consider organizing the trash system to accommodate this new habit.
  • Build a compost container for the home, at least twenty feet from the foundation’s perimeter, so that the rich soil can augment the landscaping and vegetable garden.
  • A rain barrel is a practical way to save water by using naturally gathered rainwater to use for watering the landscaping.
  • A current sustainable landscaping trend is the “no mow” design. Though a radical idea, investigate some inspiring design ideas.
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