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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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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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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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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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Is there radon in your home?

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas, formed by the breakdown of uranium present in all soil and rock.

Some radon may be present in almost all homes, but the amount of radon depends on several factors: soil characteristics, type of construction, foundation condition, pressure difference between house and the soil, and weather.

Because of the many factors contributing the radon amounts, the way to know the amount in your home is to test by purchasing a kit or hiring and professional.

For more information on radon, click on the resources below:

https://www.crea.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/A_Homeowners_Guide_to_Radon_CREA.pdf

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/environmental-workplace-health/radiation/radon.html

http://www.cancer.ca/en/prevention-and-screening/reduce-cancer-risk/get-involved-mb/radon-in-manitoba/?region=mb

 

 

 

 

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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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Stay warm and safe this winter

 

 

 

 

 

Space heaters are not a permanent solution for heating your home, but sometimes they are nice to use to add some warmth and comfort on cold winter days. Here are some tips to stay safe and avoid potential shock or fire:

  • Make sure the space heater is suitable for where you intend to use it.
  • Place the space heater where it won’t be near any flammable materials.
  • Check for a model with a tip-over switch that turns off the heater if it is knocked over.
  • NEVER USE AN EXTENSION CORD. Always plug your space heater directly into an outlet.
  • Never leave children unsupervised in rooms where a space heater is running.

For more safety information check our the December 2017 issue of Energy Matters from Manitoba Hydro  https://www.hydro.mb.ca/your_home/heating_and_cooling/index.shtml#

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