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April regains some lost momentum in 2018

http://www.winnipegrealtors.ca/Resources/PressRelease?fileID=494

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

WINNIPEG  –  April sales began to take off like our Winnipeg Jets.  Sales of 1,283 were more spring-like in numbers as only down 1% from last April and up nearly 2% over the 10-year average for this month.  New listings of 2,621 in April increased 7% from the same month last year while the existing inventory at month end of 4,550 was up nearly 4% over 2017.

MLS® dollar volume of nearly $390 million just edged out last year’s total. Year-to-date dollar volume climbed over $1 billion and is less than 5% off last year’s first four month total dollar volume. Year-to-date sales of 3,511 are down 6% from the same period in 2017.

April’s average residential-detached sales price was just under $330,000, a modest increase over April 2017. Helping elevate this average sales price was a home in East Fort Garry which sold above list price for $2.6 million and three other million dollar plus home sales in the Waverley West MLS® area.

The April condominium average sales price of $236,027 was down slightly from April 2017. Condo sales of 165 were ahead of last April’s total by 5%. The highest percentage increase of all MLS® property type sales in April was duplexes at 50%.

“Clearly market activity picked up in April to show once again how resilient the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region can be in the face of some adversity with new mortgage qualification rules in place as well as higher mortgage rates,” said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “A real enduring strength of our local market in the last few years has been its affordable prices with different options to choose from given overall balanced market conditions.”

A true test of this year’s return to more seasonal sales activity will be this month as last May had the highest monthly sales ever at just under 1,700 sales. Can it be a jet-fuelled month? Only time will tell but there are positive signs as a result of solid market metrics in April.

While there are more listings on the market going into May than there were last year this does not mean they are all evenly distributed amongst varying property types and areas within the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region.  Residential-detached listings of nearly 2,400 lean towards tighter market conditions based on expected strong sales the next few months and condominium listings of almost 900 show a more elevated inventory and more opportunities for buyers to with longer days on market to sell and greater selection available.

One clear difference too between these main property types is the percentage of listings selling for above list price in April. 28% of residential-detached properties sold for above list price compared to 9% for condominiums.

As the market  gets busy at this time of year you need to be contacting a REALTOR® to make sure you are well positioned if selling your property, and if buying, prequalified and ready to make an offer if the right property is listed in your preferred area,” said Marina James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A slow start to the first quarter

http://www.winnipegrealtors.ca/Resources/PressRelease?fileID=493

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

WININIPEG – Sales in March resulted in a slower first quarter especially in comparison to the two best years on record in 2016 and 2017.  Sales of 2,228 are down over 8% from the first 3 months in 2017, and 4% over the 10-year average.  March sales of 974 decreased 12% from March 2017, and 5% over the 10-year average. March new listings at just under 2,100 were down to a lesser extent at 5%.

Current inventory of MLS® listings going into the second quarter is almost identical to last year. It sits around 3,900 listings with a modest percentage gain of residential-detached listings available while condominium listings slipped slightly.

It is fair to say while market fundamentals are firmly in place in the local market, new mortgage rules combined with higher mortgage rates in the last year have made it more difficult for some buyers to purchase their desired property. This not only applies to first-time buyers, but to existing home owners who instead of listing their property have decided to stay put as the tougher qualifying environment keeps them from moving ahead with a new purchase.

As in other real estate markets across the country, strong year-end sales within the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region in November and December in advance of the January 1, 2018 new stress test on uninsured mortgages would have had a pull-forward effect on sales happening this first quarter.

Of course you can never discount mother- nature either as March has been unseasonably cold and did nothing to motivate buyers to kick start the spring market.

“The second quarter is by far the busiest quarter of the year and it will truly tell the story if the slow first quarter start is just that,” said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®.  “We need to see if April regains some of the market momentum lost in the first quarter.”

Further analysis of both residential-detached and condominium properties provide a few observations.

While condominiums saw sales drop 14% in the first quarter, they are only 1% below the 10-year average.  The average sales price of $240,740 was less than 2% below the more active first quarter of 2017.

Residential-detached, the most expensive property type class and one most vulnerable to recent policy-related moves to slow down the housing market, experienced an 11% decline over  the 2017 first quarter, and a 7% drop off in same period sales over the 10-year average.  The average sales price was higher however at $327,959 compared to $319,549, up nearly 3%, and the average days to sell was 29 versus 27 in 2017.

It is also worth noting the ratio of total sales price, to total list price, edged up to 99% in the month of March.  This high percentage ratio can be attributed in part to a number of MLS® areas seeing whatever listings they had available sell quickly.

“ The majority of MLS® areas which experienced the biggest decrease in residential-detached sales compared to last year were in the more affordable price ranges and often had a corresponding drop off in available listings,” said Dudeck.

This same pattern was less apparent with condominiums which had more of an issue with less listings being sold compared to last year.

“As this first quarter demonstrates, changes occur within property types, price ranges and areas throughout the market region, “said Marina James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.  You need to be calling a REALTOR® to advise you on your best course of action.”

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Goodbye rent . . . hello home ownership

http://www.winnipegrealtors.ca/Resources/Article/?sysid=3253

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

By Geoff Kirbyson

Renting is a great option for students and young couples but eventually it’s time to move up to the big leagues and own a house or condominium.

Sure, it’s nice to have the relatively worry-free lifestyle when you live in an apartment building or a floo­r of a house and aren’t tied down long term to any property or even city. You can pay your rent and phone bill every month while leaving the pesky property taxes and utilities to your landlord. But your older (and wiser) self will thank you the earlier you can get into home ownership, said Blair Sonnichsen, Realtor and past president of WinnipegREALTORS.

“When I make my mortgage payment every month, my equity position improves. When I rent, the money I pay goes towards paying somebody else’s equity position. While I’m free from most maintenance responsibilities and risks as a tenant, when I leave, I leave behind all that I’ve paid,” he said.

Equity, of course, is the difference between what a property is worth and what you owe on it.

Building up equity in your home can help you in several non-housing ways, too. If you want to borrow money from your bank or credit union for whatever reason — home improvements, a new vehicle, a cottage or investments — equity provides the necessary leverage to qualify you for that money.

Perhaps the biggest transition for home buyers is adjusting their lifestyles and possessions to their new space. For example, the bedroom suite that they bought for their spacious apartment likely won’t fit in the more cramped confines of their starter home or the big-screen TV that looked great on their apartment wall might completely overwhelm their living room.

There’s also a big adjustment to make financially. If your monthly budget is $1,400, you’ll quickly find what you pay in rent doesn’t go nearly as far in a house. Home insurance, property taxes and utilities will whittle down your buying power. The general financing rule is for every $6 you have in annual income, you can get $1,000 in mortgage.

So, let’s say your fixed expenses are $500 per month. The remaining $850 could help you get a mortgage of about $140,000. When you factor in a downpayment of 10 per cent, you’re looking at a house worth a little north of $150,000. A couple of decades ago, that would have been quite the place but many would-be homeowners are in for a rude awakening in 2018.

“Young adults today like to step out of their parents’ home into their first home of an equal quality of life. For most people, that’s not possible. That’s a big adjustment,” he said.

While landlords are usually looking for tenants to move in as quickly as possible, that’s often not the case with home sales and renters need to be prepared for that, Sonnichsen said.

“I’ve had clients say to me, ‘we’re getting married in July and want to move into our new home in September. Should we start looking now?’ The answer is ‘no,’ because (sales) are closing in 60 to 90 days,” he said.

Once you decide to make the transition, you’re probably going to want the advice of a Realtor to choose the home that will best meet your needs and expectations. But there’s more to it than looking in the Yellow Pages (ask your parents) or going online. Sonnichsen recommends visiting a few open houses, not necessarily to check out the kitchens and bathrooms — although you can do that, too — but to meet the Realtors putting them on.

“You’ll see the Realtor that sits on the couch and doesn’t acknowledge the people in the room and you’ll have the Realtor who has snacks and treats, is prepared and talks to the visitors. I encourage homebuyers to interview their agent. An easy place to find a Realtor is a public open house,” he said.

A Realtor can provide all the information you’ll need to make the right decision about making the move from rent to building your home equity. They’ll have the expertise you need and help you with managing your options.

geoffkirbyson@mymts.net

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January sales of 571 mirror last January’s total sales activity

http://www.winnipegrealtors.ca/Resources/PressRelease?fileID=491

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

WINNIPEG –  It is often said that Winnipeg’s real estate market is steady and stable. January exemplified this description by delivering a repeat performance from January 2017. It was uncannily similar in total MLS® sales, active and current listings, and dollar volume.

MLS® sales of 571 and dollar volume of $156 million are both up less than 2% over January 2017. The inventory of 3,096 listings is almost identical to 2017 and current listings entered onto MLS® in January were just under 1,500 in comparison to 1,502 last year.

“Too early to tell how much impact the new stress test effective January 1, 2018 on uninsured mortgages will have on the local market,” said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “And we should not forget that the stress test on insured mortgages in late 2016 will still be a factor in 2018.”

When you look closely at the MLS® property types a few differences emerge. The inclement weather may in fact have something to do with slower rural sales activity in residential-detached sales as they were down 12% in comparison to January 2017. Condominiums which had a strong start in 2017 were not quite as robust this year, though in line with the 5-year average of 90 sales.

Other property types made up for slower residential-detached and condo sales with some significant double-digit increases over January 2017. Of note were duplex sales increasing 44%, single-attached sales up 35%, and vacant land transactions rising 53%.

“This is the first full calendar year where City of Winnipeg impact fees apply so it will be interesting to watch and compare if vacant land sales continue to increase as the majority of WinnipegREALTORS® vacant land inventory is outside the city of Winnipeg in the rural municipalities,” said Dudeck. ““He added only 3 of the 26 vacant land sales were in Winnipeg.”

“REALTORS® know market conditions as they see what is transpiring every day in the market” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “You need to be contacting a REALTOR®. They can assist your own individual needs based on the property type you own or may be interested in buying.”

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No slow down for downtown Winnipeg growth

http://www.winnipegrealtors.ca/Resources/Article/?sysid=3230

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

By Geoff Kirbyson

Downtown Winnipeg has come a long way, baby, since a group of protesters formed a human chain around the Eaton’s Building to give it a 40-hour hug back in 2001.

Since then, more than $2 billion has been spent on new construction – including a little facility now called Bell MTS Place where Eaton’s used to stand and where the Winnipeg Jets now play – upgrading heritage buildings and retrofitting office, commercial and retail space in and around the central business district.

The combination has sparked an unprecedented jump in the number of people who not only work downtown but live there, too. Over the last five years, the downtown population has grown by 7 per cent to nearly 17,000.

Trevor Clay, chair of the WinnipegREALTORS commercial division, remembers the days before the new Manitoba Hydro headquarters, the SHED (Sports, Hospitality & Entertainment District) and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

“You had office tenants leaving downtown to set up shop in the southwest because companies wanted to go to the suburbs where they had cheap parking and were close to good restaurants. Now some of the best restaurants are downtown and people are going to Bell MTS Place for Jets and Moose games and concerts. There are many reasons to come downtown now,” he said.

In fact, Clay, who is also a principal at Capital Commercial Real Estate Services, a Winnipeg-based commercial brokerage and property management company, believes Winnipeg’s downtown is in as good shape as it’s ever been.

“There’s lots of positive activity and private investment and lots of demand for residential and retail space,” he said.

Clay will be hosting a commercial real estate panel at the WinnipegREALTORS annual Forecast Breakfast, which takes place Feb. 7 at 8:30 a.m. at Canad Inns Polo Park. Much of the focus will be on problems that stakeholders would have begged to deal with just a few years ago.

Chief among them is what kind of impact will the True North Square development, currently rising into the skyline on Hargrave Street, have on the three office towers at Portage and Main?

A number of high-profile tenants, such as Scotiabank and law firm Thompson Dorfman Sweatman, have already announced their intentions to relocate to True North Square when it’s completed this summer.

Clay said while there might be a bit of a lag in filling the soon-to-be-empty space at Winnipeg’s most famous corner, the more pressing issue will be landlords of Class B and C office space upping their games.

“We’re seeing a flight to quality. Tenants in older office, industrial and retail spaces are looking to get into better locations. (Those landlords) are going to have to figure out how to compete in a more competitive market,” he said.

The Forecast Breakfast’s commercial real estate panel includes Paul Jordan, CEO of The Forks North Portage Development, who oversees The Forks; Angela Mathieson, president and CEO of the CentreVenture Development Corp., Winnipeg’s downtown redevelopment agency; Tom Janzen, an associate at Scatliff+ Miller+Murray Inc., a local architecture firm; and Sasa Radulovic, a partner at 5468796 Architecture.

Downtown residents are going to have some company at Winnipeg’s biggest tourist attraction in a few years. Jordan said he and his team are entering the final planning stages to redevelop 12 acres of surface parking lots into condos and apartments.

The first phase will be about 300 units but he hopes there will be five times that many by the time everything is built out.

“Since Day 1 at The Forks, there were always plans to have residential. We’re going to create a European-style village with four to six-storey buildings, great little piazzas and public parks,” he said.

Things will be just as busy over at CentreVenture, where the new three-year business plan will focus on realizing the potential of SHED, particularly around True North Square and the surrounding buildings. Mathieson is also eager to build the downtown population.

“We’re very optimistic about the future. We don’t want the momentum to stall. We need to achieve a high level of affordability downtown. The people with the highest propensity to live downtown are younger and they have less income. It’s a real challenge to have housing at a price point that is affordable for that target market.”

geoffkirbyson@mymts.net

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Get a jump on the 2018 housing market!

http://www.winnipegrealtors.ca/Resources/Article/?sysid=3209

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

Get a jump on housing market to find a hidden gem
Jan 19, 2018

by Todd Lewys

It’s a saying most everyone is familiar with: strike while the iron’s hot.

Now is the time to strike if you’re looking for a new home, said 2018 WinnipegREALTORS® president Chris Dudeck.

“With over 3,000 MLS® listings (3,037, to be exact), there’s definitely an opportunity for home buyers,” he said. “There’s a real opportunity to get a jump on the market and find a hidden gem.”

But that window of opportunity is a relatively short one, the asssociation president added.

“The spring real estate market usually starts to heat up around mid- to late-February, so now is the time to start looking.”

Why is that?

“By starting early, you’ll deal with way less competition,” said Dudeck. “With a lesser number of buyers looking, you can go through homes without feeling pressured, and perhaps find the home that’s right for you at a great price.”

It’s important to note that the key to finding the right home lies in enlisting the services of a knowledgeable REALTOR®.

“Sometimes buyers don’t know what they don’t know (and) that’s why it’s so important to find a Realtor who will guide you through the market.

A Realtor can not only help you explore the opportunities that are out there, but help you identify the one that suits you best,” added Dudeck.

Make no mistake about it, there are bona fide opportunities out there in the housing market.

With selection at a high level, buyers can find the home that best suits their needs and budget, whether it be a condo, duplex, townhome, detached single-family home or even a mobile home.

Sales numbers through the first two weeks of January have been solid, noted Dudeck.

“They’re actually up about 10 per cent over last year, with new listings up by around 10 per cent, as well. There’s great value to be found in all kinds of properties.”

That’s why it’s important to make a move now if you’re serious about finding a home.

At the same time, it’s important to keep an open mind about where you want to buy.

“A lot of people get focused in on a particular area that they want to live in,” said Dudeck.

“While that’s understandable, I think it’s important for buyers to realize that there are good homes in all kinds of neighbourhoods across the city.”

Again, it’s critical to rely on a Realtor’s expertise in this instance.

“A Realtor will guide you to explore different neighbourhoods — ones that are nearby the one you want to live in, even ones a bit further out,” said Dudeck.

“You can’t afford to lose sight of the quality homes that exist in other areas.”

In other words, buyers, if they don’t mind buying a bit further out, can find a home that provides them with more bang for their buck in the form of more space, amenities and, in many cases, a smaller mortgage, which is important in the new era of the mortgage stress test.

At the same time, buyers, particularly first-time buyers, can also move up in the world.

“By getting into the marketplace, you’re no longer paying rent. Instead, you’re gaining equity and appreciation.

“And by purchasing a home, whether it be a detached single-family home, side-by-side, townhome or condo, you stand to capitalize on the market increase over the next five years or so,” added Dudeck.

What’s the bottom line here?

If you’re in the market for a home, take advantage of market conditions that are about as close to ideal as they’re going to get.

“There’s a bit of a window — about a month or so — before the real estate market starts to heat up,” emphasized Dudeck.

“If you’re looking for a home, find a good Realtor, and don’t be afraid to explore other neighbourhoods and different property types.

“As I said earlier, now is a great opportunity to get a jump on the market and find a hidden gem.”

Association past-president Blair Sonnichsen said that there are many affordable housing options available that Realtors are able to indicate to buyers.

In 2017, Sonnichsen said that, with the help of Realtors, it had “become apparent … that buyers were making adjustments within certain propery types to attain their dream of acquiring a place to call home.”

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Solid December closes out a successful year of MLS® sales activity

http://www.winnipegrealtors.ca/Resources/PressRelease?fileID=485

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WINNIPEG – A solid result in December of 635 MLS® unit sales and a dollar volume over $179 million capped off a successful year in 2017.

Actual percentage differences in comparison to December 2016 were relatively modest but positive with sales up 3%, dollar volume rising 7% and listings increasing 8%. All MLS® property types performed exceptionally well in December with only residential-detached experiencing a drop of 8% in sales. A total MLS® inventory of 2,851 listings is available for sale as 2018 begins.

2017 finished up strong with a total of 13,525 sales, down less than 1% from the record year of 2016 where 13,632 sales were transacted. A new annual dollar volume record was set in 2017 with $3.92 billion worth of MLS® sales – an increase of close to 4% in comparison to 2016.

When asked for his insight on 2017, outgoing WinnipegREALTORS® president Blair Sonnichsen said, “Considering tougher mortgage qualification requirements were in effect for insured mortgages, two Bank of Canada interest rate increases were brought in, and impact fees were imposed by the City of Winnipeg on new residential development, we are particularly pleased with our MLS® market performance. This indicates to me our REALTORS® worked diligently with mortgage brokers and financial institutions to overcome any challenges clients may have encountered in this regard. REALTORS® as a result were able to conclude nearly as many sales as they did in our record year of 2016.”

A byproduct of 2017 which has been noted before, is the many affordable options available to buyers in the WinnipegREALTORS® market region. It became very apparent early on in 2017 that buyers were making adjustments within certain property type categories or between them to attain their dream of acquiring a place to call home.

“Within the many neighbourhoods of Winnipeg or the outlying rural municipalities in the capital region, buyers made informed choices and took advantage of one of the most affordable residential real estate markets in the country, “said Sonnichsen.

2017 was a year where stronger move up market activity helped offset some drop off in the first-time buyer price ranges for single family homes. One clear example of higher end sales gaining ground over 2016 was the fact there were 45 million dollar plus homes sold in comparison to 30 in 2016. Even condominiums saw a spike in million dollar plus sales with 6 compared to none in 2016.

More move up sales activity in 2017 was a contributing factor in lifting the annual average sale price upward for both residential-detached and condominium property types. The residential-detached average sale price went from $302,726 in 2016 to $315,720 in 2017. The condominium average sale price rose over $9,000 to $244,687 in 2017.

Residential-detached average sale prices for the MLS® zones of Winnipeg and rural municipalities outside the city show price gains over 2016 with only Winnipeg North decreasing slightly.

The southwest zone eclipsed an average sale price of $400,000 in 2017 for the first time. When you have over 300 sales in one MLS® area (Waverley West) in this zone having an average sale price of $546,664 you know it will skew the entire zone’s average sale price higher. This MLS® zone also includes Tuxedo which had an average sale price of $853,378.

Speaking of residential-detached sales in 2017, despite the sales gains noted in higher price ranges, over half of all sales still occur under $300,000 with the busiest price range from $250,000 to $299,999 commanding a total market share of 21%. It is worth noting the $300,000 to $349,999 price range for the first time in 2017 supplanted the $200,000 to $249,999 price range as the second most active price range. The average days on market to sell a home in 2017 was 29 days, 2 days quicker than 2016.

The highest sale price for homes was $2,460,000 with the lowest selling for only $10,000.

The most active price range for condominium sales in 2017 was from $150,000 to $199,999 at 28% of total sales. Another 35% of condo sales occurred fairly evenly in the next two higher price ranges from $200,000 to $249,999 and $250,000 to $299,999. The average days on market to sell a condo in 2017 was 43 days, 4 days quicker than 2016.

The highest sale price for condominiums was $1,575,000 while the lowest was $42,000.

Some other property types did not take a backseat to residential-detached and condominiums in 2017. In fact they outperformed them in terms of sales increases over 2016.

Single-attached properties had a double-digit increase of 12% to finish at 537 sales and a 4% market share. Town houses showed the largest sales increase of them all at 19% while commercial jumped 8%. Residential-detached sales were actually down 2% from 2016 and condominiums which started off the year with high monthly percentage gains over 2016 finished up with an increase under 3%. Condominium sales were only 9 sales short of the annual record set in 2014 when 1,798 sales were transacted on WinnipegREALTORS®’ MLS®.

“What these different property type outcomes illustrate is how important it is to consult with a REALTOR® – your local market expert – on what is happening with respect to your specific property type and how you need to navigate the market to get the best results,” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.

WinnipegREALTORS® will get into more detail with analysis and explanation of what happened in 2017 when it hosts its 12th Annual Forecast breakfast on February 7, 2018. It will also look ahead to what it expects to happen in 2018 with new federal mortgage lending guidelines, the potential of more Bank of Canada interest rate increases and municipal elections.

“One real strength of our local market is its stability,” said Sonnichsen. “As we embark on a new year I believe Manitoba’s resilient and diversified economy will once again help us meet the headwinds which may pose a challenge to us in 2018.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Home security tips while you’re away on a winter vacation

http://www.winnipegrealtors.ca/Resources/Article/?sysid=3191

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

Going away for a winter vacation is more fun when you can relax knowing your home is safe!

Here are some home security tips and suggestions to help give you peace of mind while you are away.

To protect your home, consider both security against break-ins and preventing any internal or external damage.

Don’t signal that you are not home whether it’s for a weekend or a few months, during the winter it’s easy to tell when someone is not home:

• Shorter days means unlit windows are obvious as early as 4 p.m.

• Frequent snowfalls leave a snow buildup and a lack of tire tracks in your driveway.

• Trash not taken out to the curb on garbage day shows you are not home.

• Unopened accumulated mail and flyers is also a telltale sign.

The first thing you may wish to do is take precautions for the security of your home. Make your home look lived in and also secure your entryways and valuables:

• Prevent burglary by making your home looked lived in.

• Set your lights on a timer so they turn on when it gets dark.

• Arrange for snow removal and salt your walkways.

• Arrange for mail pick-up or forwarding.

• Ensure that your house and belongings are secure.

• Disable your garage door to prevent a break-in.

• Use deadbolt locks on your external doors and windows and sliding locks on glass doors or French doors.

• Gather your valuables and store them at another location or in a safe.

• Advise your local police station that your home will be unoccupied and perhaps a patrol car may be able to swing by during occasional shifts.

• Don’t post on social media about leaving for vacation.

• Prevent appliance malfunctions and damage.

The next main concern for leaving your home during the winter is the risk of any damage occurring. From weather to malfunctioning appliances, you may want to consider a number of areas to keep your home safe:

• Get your furnace checked for routine maintenance. You want to ensure your home temperature will be stable in your absence.

• Have an electrician inspect your main electrical panel and general wiring to prevent risk of any outages.

• Keep your room doors and cabinet doors open to let warm air circulate where pipes are located.

• Prevent flooding: shut off the water to washing machines and dishwashers, drain and shut off outdoor water faucets.

• Prevent rodents and pests: clean your oven, get rid of any perishable or uneaten food, and close your fireplace flue.

Last but not least, for your peace of mind, consider asking a trusted friend or neighbour to check in on your place when you are gone. They can look for signs of burglary, burst pipes, or any damage. A trusted visitor can also make your house look lived in, keeping your snow cleared and collecting your mail.

— SmartMoves, Canada Post.

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