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News and Updates

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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Real Estate Myths and Truths: QUIZ

Real Estate Myths and Truths: QUIZ

Courtesy of https://www.remax.ca/

Real estate can be complicated. First of all, we’re talking about a bundle of your hard-earned and harder-saved money. Second, there are many different factors that can affect the trajectory of the housing market, including economics, politics and others. It’s vital that homebuyers and sellers assemble a knowledgeable team of professionals to help answer all the questions that will inevitably arise. In the meantime, here are some common real estate myths – and truths!

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Local market remains very stable and resilient

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

WINNIPEG — July sales activity decreased 4% from July 2017 and was off only 2% from the 5-year average for this month. If you remove the exceptional record-setting month of July 2014 which was close to 1,500 sales, the 1,376 sales transacted this July are less than 1% behind the average sales activity for this month. July 2017 was the second best July on record at 1,438 sales.

The narrow range in percentage terms of sales activity between this year and the 5 –year average for all MLS® sales in July is also exemplified in the two closely followed property types of residential-detached and condominiums. The 1,006 residential-detached sales in July decreased 2% from the 5-year average of 1,030 sales while the 176 condominium sales are just short of the 5-year average of 180 sales.

“We need to keep perspective from month-to-month and even year-to-year that despite what appears sometimes as drop off in sales activity or elevated sales in other instances, our local market remains very stable and resilient to wide fluctuations,” said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “Our home sale prices as well show a high degree of consistency and this is in part attributable to an economy that is one of the most diversified and stable in Canada.”

One property type which did shine in July was single-attached. It is another affordable housing option for buyers to consider when making their purchasing decision. Single-attached sales in July were up 44% over July 2017 and have increased 3% over the first seven months of 2018 in comparison to the same period last year.

Both new listings being entered on the market in July and the inventory at the end of the month are up over 8%. There are 5,278 MLS® listings available for sale in August.

Year-to-date sales activity is down less than 7% from the same period last year with sales of 7,944 while dollar volume of nearly $2.4 billion is 5% off last year’s record-setting pace.

Price range sales activity for residential-detached properties in July shows the $250,000 to $299,999 price range has the highest percentage of total sales at 19% with the next higher and lower price ranges of $300,000 to $349,999 and $200,000 to $249,999 placing second at 16% each. There is still a wide disparity in the highest and lowest price sales price at $1,665,000 and $38,500 respectively.

Condominium price range sales activity in July shows double-digit price range sales percentages in price ranges from $100,000 to $349,999. The most active price range remains the $150,000 to $199,999 at 29% however not far behind is the $200,000 to $249,999 one at 23%. The highest condo sale price in July was $964,950 with a condo unit selling for $99,000 at the other end of the price spectrum.

“It is evident from looking at the many price ranges, and the significant difference from the lowest to highest sales price, that there are considerable options to choose from with over 5,000 MLS® listings available,” said Dudeck. “The month of August has become one of the more active real estate months for sales, so we can expect many buyers to take advantage of what lies before them.”

An interesting milestone for Manitoba has been noted in the Manitoba Economic Highlights report released monthly by Manitoba Finance. It says that in 2017 the working age population (15-64) went over one million persons for the first time. This growing labour pool enables Manitoba business to draw from it to create more jobs which in turn drive housing purchases and significant economic spin-offs from them.

The latest 2017 Altus Group Report prepared for the Canadian Real Estate Association shows for every MLS® sale in Manitoba, $52,500 is generated in additional economic activity. Direct and indirect employment also results from the purchase and sale of MLS® listings.

“You need to be working with a REALTOR® – a professional who knows how best to advise you on navigating the current real estate market to maximize results,” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “Advanced planning and preparation will make it easier for you to get a head start on meeting your home buying and home selling needs.”

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Moving tips to add to your TO DO list

Moving tips to add to your TO DO list

Preparing to move into a new home can be overwhelming. Needless to say you have a lot on your plate, so we reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers — a panel consisting of RE/MAX Sales Associates from throughout Canada — to make a list of the most important moving tips a buyer should keep in mind to prepare to move into their new home.

Address Forwarding

Forward your mail. Missing important government notices, taxes, and health care reminders can mean missing deadlines and incurring penalties.

It can be hard to remember which ones all need to be done, but if you write down all of the bills and mailing you have received in the last 1-2 months you should be sure you covered all of the bases. A few to keep in mind include your doctor, dentist, driver’s license, and credit card companies.

Movers

Moving takes a lot of energy (and muscle), therefore it’s best to leave it to the experts. Hiring movers will take a lot of the stress away from you, allowing you to focus on the more important logistics on moving day. And remember, have a list and don’t leave anything until the last minute!

  1. “Book the movers! All other activities revolve around this schedule.” – Tammy Marcoux, RE/MAX Camosun, Victoria BC
  2.  “Prepare well in advance, really important – mark your boxes and count them – place the number of the box where it can be seen, as well as a list of the number of boxes and their contents, separately in case something is misplaced or lost – label everything!” – Sharon Black, RE/MAX Kelowna, Kelowna BC
  3. “When moving day comes, make sure every last thing is in a box the night before. Make it easy for yourself – the only thing you should be doing on moving day is putting your night clothes and bedding in a clear plastic bag and getting dressed.” – Dawn & Lawrence Setter, RE/MAX First Realty, Parksville BC
Utilities & Services

You don’t want to arrive to your new home and have a bunch of tasks to do that you could have done ahead of time, you will be busy enough as it is. Arrange your utility hookups and services (internet, phone, and TV) ahead of time to ensure a smooth changeover and installation.

Child Care & Pet Care

On a day like this you want as little distractions and things to keep an eye on as possible. “Arrange for child and/or pet care the day of the move so that you can put a full day of work into concentrating on the move.” – Tammy Marcoux, RE/MAX Camosun, Victoria BC

Cleaners

Moving takes longer than you would expect, and the last thing you will want to do at the end of moving day is clean your old house. Hire a professional cleaner to ensure that you leave your place clean and tidy for the new owner. Also, consider having your new home cleaned before you move everything inside in order to get off on the right foot.

Get Rid of Stuff

The less you have to move the better, especially if there are things you just never use. Get rid of unnecessary items before you move – it takes a lot of time and energy.

Ask for Help

Don’t try and do it all on your own. Your friends and family are excited for you, ask them to help where they can!

Other Good Tips from our Influencers:
  • “Have a box that will travel with you or will be the first out of the truck with cleaning supplies, snacks, and water.” – Stewart Peddemors, RE/MAX Colonial Pacific Realty, Surrey BC
  • “I’ve found most clients pack highly valuable items such as jewelry, fine art, small electronic gear, and personal keepsakes themselves and do not send them on the moving truck.” – Jerry Geen, RE/MAX Kelowna, Kelowna BC
  • “Make sure everyone has their phones powered up and that everyone has eachothers number should something happen.” – Stewart Peddemors, RE/MAX Colonial Pacific Realty, Surrey BC

Courtesy of remax.ca

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July Home Maintenance

https://www.moneysense.ca/spend/real-estate/renovations/home-maintenance-checklist-summer/

1) Replace furnace filters

Why: To keep your furnace running efficiently, you need to change the filters every three months. These filters collect airborne debris and allergens. Keeping a dirty filter means your furnace has to work twice as hard to push out heat.
How: Slide your old filter out (and put it in the garbage. Slide the new filter in. When in doubt, check your furnace’s manual (either hard copy or online). If your filter is not disposable you will need to hand wash the filter to get rid of all dirt and debris. Remember, use a non-toxic cleaner and tap water—nothing else.

2) Measure and grade your soil

Why: Soil and landscaping needs to be graded away from your home. This means that the slope of your lawn needs to be moving away from your house. This is because water will take the path of least resistance. If the dirt in your yard slopes towards your home, water will follow the slope and then find the easiest point of entry into your foundation.
How: For efficient drainage paved surfaces should have a minimum 1% slope, while turf, such as grass, or landscaped areas should have a minimum slope of 2%. To help you calculate: a 2 feet drop over a 100 foot long yard would create a 2% grade (or slope). If the distance is 10 feet, you’ll need a fall of 0.2 feet (roughly 2.5 inches) to create a 2% slope. If you only need minor adjustments to recreate the right grade, use a landscaper’s rake (aluminum rake on a handle that can grasp and clean debris out of lawns and dirt). For more comprehensive grading go online for how-to videos.

3) Fill foundation cracks

Why: Water can enter into small cracks and holes in your foundation and, over time, can cause significant damage to your foundation. To protect your home repair these cracks and holes.
How: Clean away dirt and debris and then fill the holes and cracks with sealant.

4) Clean up mold and mildew

Why: Mold and mildew grow where water sits on absorbent surfaces. Left alone, the spores will continue to grow and making the mold/mildew patch grow in size. Left even longer and the spores will eventually penetrate from the surface to the inside of its host (say a wooden window frame) and eventually start to sprout and grow in other areas where moisture is an issue.
How: Using rubbing alcohol and water spray the mold and mildew and then scrub it away. Remember to use gloves and a face mask as mold and mildew can be a respiratory irritant.

5) Replace cracked caulking around windows and doors

Why: Wooden windowsills and doorframes are prone to rot and this becomes an easy access point for pests, such as termites or carpenter ants or wasps to enter (as well as a great place for mold and mildew to start sprouting).
How: Don’t caulk over the old caulking. Instead, use a knife to remove the old caulking and then reapply a new seal around the window/door. As an added bonus, the new caulking will also help eliminate any drafts which will decrease your summer and winter energy bills.

6) Replace worn shingles and cracked or bent roof flashing

Why: Your roof is your home’s first line of defence when it comes to keeping out the elements. But this means your roof also takes a beating. Now that the weather is better you’ll want to inspect your roof. Any loose shingles will be a weak spot in your roof’s defence system—a place where water and pests can gain entry into your home.
How: The initial inspection should be from the ground. Note any areas where shingles look loose or out of place. Once done, you’ll want to take a ladder and inspect the shingles a little closer. Remember to use a harness (or hire a professional). To replace shingles, you’ll need a roof tile, roof nails and a hammer. Remember to remove the damaged shingle and inspect the board underneath for damage. For the flashing (the metal that joins the seams of each roof line) make sure there are no parts lifted up or curled. Also make sure the caulking is sealed and solid.

7) Test your hot water’s pressure tank valve

Why: Hot water tank valves do, on occasion, get blocked up and this can turn your tank into a pressurized bomb. To make sure you don’t have a dangerous hazard in your home, simply test the valve once per year.
How: Place a bowl underneath the valve (don’t use your hand or a cloth as the water is scalding hot). Then turn the valve. The valve is working if water pours out.

8) Test all faucets for leaks

Why: A leaky faucet doesn’t seem like a big deal, but did you know that one leaky faucet can lose up to 34 gallons per year.
How: Place a bucket or bowl under each external and internal faucet. Come back the next day. If there’s water in the bowl, your faucet leaks. If it leaks, first change the washer located in the faucet (shut the water off first). After that you may want to call a plumber (or if you’re really handy go online for some DIY videos).

9) Locate and check main shut off valve for water

Why: Typically your plumbing pipes won’t stop working (although they may spring a leak). But the reason why you want to test your main shut off valves once per year is to ensure that this shut off hasn’t seized. Too many times, a homeowner forgets about the shut off valve until one day a plumbing nightmare happens. To repair it (or at least prevent more damage) the homeowner will rush to shut off the water in the home, only to find the shut off valve is seized.
How: Simply twist the handle left and right. Open it up all the way and close it down all the way. If there is rust or gunk, consider cleaning off the dirt and spraying a bit of lubricant. You just want to make sure the valve is in good operating condition.

10) Check bulbs, outlets and cords

Why: Bulbs in outdoor lights, indoor and outdoor electrical outlets and cords should all be examined.
How: Broken bulbs should be replaced. Broken outlet covers should also be replaced. Outlets and cords that get hot to the touch should also be replaced, as it means the lifespan of this product is coming to an end.

 

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