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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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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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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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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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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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Condominium ownership: is it right for you?

Buying a condo may be the right move for you if you answer ‘yes’ to most of the following:

  • I like the fact that a condominium is an “instant community” and my neighbours won’t be far away.
  • I want to participate in the running of the community with other condominium owners.
  • I don’t want the hassle of shovelling snow, cutting grass, and other outdoor chores.
  • I’ll use some of the condominium’s amenities.
  • I understand that I will pay monthly fees for maintenance and repair of the condominium and will budget accordingly.
  • I know there may be restrictions on the number of occupants in my unit, pets, noise, parking, etc.
  • I’ll read through the condominium’s documents before I buy so there’ll be no surprises.
  • I understand that a board of directors can make decisions on my behalf.

Provided by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Read the complete Condominium Buyer’s Guide.

 

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