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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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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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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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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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What does it mean to “port” your mortgage?

To port or not to port

https://www.ratehub.ca/blog/porting-or-transferring-your-mortgage/

If you’re considering porting, it makes the most sense to do it when your mortgage rate is lower than what’s being offered by lenders. But if the mortgage rate you can qualify for is lower than what you currently have, it might not make sense to port. Also, you should look at the penalty to break your mortgage before deciding whether or not to port.

There’s also the possibility you won’t be able to port your mortgage. Some lenders will allow you to do this while others will not. So if you’re planning to move during the term of your mortgage, this is a very important feature to have. A mortgage broker will be able to tell you which lenders are portable.

Also, not all mortgages are portable. For example, most variable-rate mortgages can’t be ported. And the amount of time you have to complete the port, which is usually between 30 and 120 days, varies among lenders. Some will allow just 30 days, which may be tight in some circumstances. But 120 days is usually enough time for someone to complete the sale of their old property and complete the purchase of their new home.

The bottom line

If you’re not planning on moving, the ability to port your mortgage is an important feature because you don’t know what the future holds. If you’re able to port your mortgage, you can save thousands of dollars and won’t be charged a prepayment penalty.

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