Mary's Blog

 TIMING THE SALE

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As first-time homeowners, you might get to a point where it’s time to sell your house and move on to your next home. However, you don’t want to sell your home at the wrong time—you might have trouble finding buyers or you might miss out on making the most money back.

Therefore, it’s crucial to watch the market in order to gauge whether it’s time to put your house up for sale. There are several things to consider before doing so, especially when it comes to a decision as big as this.

Here are a few tips for watching the market when deciding to sell your house:

     Consider the time of year

     Think about the job market

     Research your local housing market

     Don’t get obsessed with timing

Consider the time of year

As you may recall when you bought your first house, there might have been a time of the year that you favoured when looking for a new home. This undoubtedly influences other homebuyers.

It’s crucial to consider the time of year since there are numerous effects that a season has on a home and the real estate market. Buyers typically stray away from the coldest months of the year, which is why most buyers look to purchase homes between the spring and fall seasons.

Many people would rather buy and move to a new home during the spring and summer months to avoid the worse conditions in winter. Moving homes is very much a hassle, so it’s understandable that new homeowners would want to move during a less busy time of year. Families find it much more convenient for their kids to move to a new home and area when school is out, as this would give them enough time to settle in before they start a new year at a different school.

However, that isn’t to say that you should only sell your house between the spring and fall. While many buyers may be looking for a new home, there may be more competition on the market during these months. Other sellers understand that this is a great time to sell, but many don’t realize the amount of competition they may face.

Despite the time of year and the potential amount of people looking to buy, the number of listings can be abundant. This can impact how long you’ll be listed until you find the right buyer. Some sellers might find it more advantageous to tackle the market when there are less listings and competition. While there may be fewer buyers, there are always people looking to purchase homes year-round. Keep your eye on the market and consider if it’s truly time to sell your house.

Think about the job market

Finding the right time to sell goes beyond than simply the time of year. A good way of determining the best time to sell involves thinking about when people want to buy. The hotter months of the year may be convenient times for families looking to move. However, people also look for homes when new jobs become available.

Research your local housing market

Pricing is critical to figuring out when to sell your home. Home-sellers would much rather sell their house at market price or higher than incur a short sale. Research past housing prices in your area to gauge the current state of your local housing market. Figure out if the market is up or down. It’s important to determine the state of your housing market when deciding to sell your home, as it can loosely predict if housing prices may go up or continue to fall.  Ask Mary for help with this! 

Don’t get obsessed with timing

While timing may seem like everything when selling your home, you must make a key decision at some point. Homeowners looking to sell often become obsessed with timing, when at the end of the day, a decision does just have to be made.  Talk to Mary about creating the best plan for you. 

 


 TIPS FOR SELLERS


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Buying and selling a home can be a highly time-consuming process with a myriad of intricacies that influence the length and scope of the deal. Thus, for first-time sellers, mistakes are bound to happen—especially if they lack the know-how and experience surrounding the process.

Every homeowner would want to sell their house for the most money possible, which typically results in a back and forth dialogue between sellers and buyers. However, if a first-time seller doesn’t understand the numerous intricacies that go into selling a home, they might end up with a few regrets.

Market Evaluation. 

After you've provided the address of your home to me, along with a list of upgrades, I will begin my task of evaluating your home. The best part of this is the home visit, where you show me your most prized possession!  We will discuss price, market and a marketing plan unique to you. 

Prioritizing open houses over showings

While first-time home-sellers may think that open houses are prime opportunities to efficiently showcase your house to multiple buyers at once, open houses are not as advantageous as these people think.

Despite open houses being an opportunity for home buyers to view the house, serious buyers would much rather have a more intimate time with the house. This is why many buyers schedule showings for the houses they want.

Showings are imperative to selling your house. They provide buyers with an opportunity to explore the house on their own time and form a decision by themselves. Buyers might find it inconvenient or difficult to freely explore a potential home if they have three other buyers around the house doing the same thing. Some buyers want a more private viewing of something that they might live in one day. This level of intimacy allows prospective buyers to freely envision a potential life in your home.

Every showing is an opportunity for buyers to inspect your house and see if it’s something they want. Thus, you should never turn one down. Potential buyers are sometimes hard to come by, so you need to capitalize on every opportunity that may lead to getting your house sold.  When I get individual callers, I can also pre-qualify them much more successfully than I am able to when they come to a more informal open house.  This encourages the likelihood of quality buyers only entering your special place, your home! 

Not cleaning their home

When you put your house up for sale, your house needs to look at its best. In doing so, you appeal to much more buyers and receive more bids. No buyer is going to place an offer on a house after attending a showing and seeing a messy house.

A house needs to be clean and things need to work. Wash the dishes, make the beds, sweep the floors, and fix the lights. As an agent shows prospective buyers around the house, ensure that all the lightbulbs throughout the house are working. Make sure that all the rooms are tidy, and everything works as it should. Turn your home into a model house.

While some sellers might do it out of security, the lack of personal items within a house can provide buyers with an idea of how they, personally, live in the house. Many personal items in a house can evoke a high level of your own personality within a home. If you’re trying to get the house to appeal to someone else, then you should do your best to allow them the opportunity to picture themselves in it.

Create a welcoming atmosphere for buyers attending a showing. Provide them with the opportunity to really see themselves in the house. Don’t give buyers a chance to be put off by your home—give them a reason to stay and make an offer.

I have often had sellers tell me that they don’t want to do anything to prepare the house for sale. This is fine, but in the eyes of the buyer, they will often want a discounted price as well if they have less ease imagining what life will be like in your house. 

 


What is Your Home Worth? Home Value Estimator! 


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RE/MAX is pleased to announce the launch of its new Home Value Estimator in Canada, in partnership with Teranet and now available to consumers on REMAX.ca.

What I’ve found when I’ve looked at the estimator is that the price range is quite large and cannot take into account many market factors or upgrades the estimator can’t possibly know about.  The Home Value Estimator is considered a guide only, and homebuyers and seller are still encouraged to contact me for a more accurate valuation. 

Below is a statement from RE/MAX as to why it was implemented.  RE/MAX continues to stay above the curve in technology and the wishes of consumers. I love it! 

“Today’s homebuyers and sellers are savvier than ever, and most do their own research before reaching out to a real estate agent to start the process,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director at RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Region. “A big part of the decision to buy or sell is determining if it makes sense financially. Unfortunately, home values have always been a murky area for consumers, as prices vary dramatically from one city to the next, and even between neighbourhoods within the same city. Our new Home Value Estimator provides that insight on demand, empowering consumers to make an informed decision.”

Getting a home value estimate is easy, and it’s free. Users simply log into their profile on REMAX.ca, or register to create one, and enter a Canadian address that’s piqued their interest (which isn’t already listed by a real estate agent). Then select the desired address from the drop-down menu. The home value estimate will appear at the top of the searched property page.

“We are proud to partner with RE/MAX to bring greater insights to consumers when researching the value of residential properties. Understanding current market value estimates is crucial when making selling and purchasing decisions,” says John Robinson, Vice President, Commercial Solutions at Teranet. “The Home Value Estimator leverages Teranet’s national property information database and sophisticated mathematical models to produce current market estimates for residential properties across Canada. This is yet another example of how Teranet is helping to streamline the buying and selling process for Real Estate professionals and their customers.”

“RE/MAX understands that today’s consumers want as much access to information as possible. The RE/MAX Home Value Estimator generates accurate, up-to-date estimated values of properties within seconds,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “Anecdotally, we’ve already received a lot of positive feedback regarding the usefulness of this tool during our pilot project in Kelowna, BC. We’re excited to now offer free home estimates for communities across the entire country.”



4 TIPS WHEN LOOKING AT AN OPEN HOUSE

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Whether you are a first-time home-buyer or a current homeowner looking to downsize, more than likely you will be viewing houses or attending open houses while searching for the perfect home. Regardless of how experienced you are with home buying and home owning, there are always things that are missed when going through the house hunting and home buying process.

Slow down & take your time.

Buying a house is your biggest investment, so why wouldn’t you want to slow down and take your time when viewing a property? Sometimes people miss details such as whether or not the garage is big enough, how much sun exposure the house gets during the daytime and what sorts of repair and maintenance is going to be required to maintain and upkeep the property (such as the size of the yard and the condition of the roof). Another important point to keep in mind is to check both the inside and the outside of the home.

Upgrades & Wants vs. Needs.

Upgrades are a huge factor to keep in mind when shopping for your dream home. It is a lot easier (and cheaper!) to re-paint the walls or replace cabinet hardware in the kitchen and bathroom than it is to re-work the floor plan of the house.

Cosmetic upgrades can be easily done and are relatively low in cost, while major upgrades such as renovations or re-designing the floor plan can very quickly add up in cost.  Check storage options; does it have enough to fit your lifestyle and belongings?.

Go back and take a second look.

One of the most important things to remember is that it’s a good idea to go back and take a second look at a property you viewed and liked. There is a lot to take in when viewing a home, so revisiting the property and having another look around is always a good idea. It not only lets you get a second feel for the space, you might also notice something that you didn’t see before. After the open house, contact me to go back to look at it with you, (if you love it); that’s what I’m here for! 

Don’t be afraid to ask.

I have heard from clients at times they almost avoided asking me questions for fear of ‘bothering’ me.  That’s never the case!  Always ask. My top priority is to find you the perfect home and be with you every step of the way. Never feel that you are inconveniencing me by asking sending overquestions.  I love hearing from you. 

The agent hosting will likely ask if you are working with a Realtor.  Just tell them you are working with me, and they can direct any further questions over my way. 


Welcome To Summer!

Hey!  I hope you’ve had a lovely spring!  The market has been in full swing, despite the late warm weather start, and it’s here to stay.  

Facts:  If you bought or sold in May this year, you were part of a record breaking month! 

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We are going strong with our average price for a single detached home in Winnipeg and surrounding areas of $334,639.  Early this year, I put out several stats reports of some of my favourite neighbourhoods and how they faired in relation to these averages.  If you’re curious, I can help you to learn if your area is above or below this average price point.  Wolseley and Tuxedo sit above the average, while the West End (North of Arlington) will be below.  Knowing things like this can help you in your search and in pricing your home for sale! 


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Outdoor Soccer Mom duties have begun again, and I love this action shot of Mason here!  My friend Steven Stothers took this photo of him, along with the pic you see beside it at Investors Group Field watching the new Canadian Premier League play.  I guess having a son who loves soccer has turned me into a fan.  I love learning about what he’s into.  Have you ever had a loved one’s interest turn you into a convert in a way you didn't think was possible?  It surprised my brother who has been living in Alberta for over a decade to hear that his artsy, non-sport-loving sister, has been converted.  

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 I will say that it’s not always easy to get to games in spring market, but I do try.  We also split season tickets to watch the new Valour FC play.  We’ve seen two games so far, and it’s great to see this kind of talent in Winnipeg.  

 

You may have noticed my braces the last time we worked together.  Well…. three years later, they’re finally OFF!  I think this picture depicts the freedom I have now.   Further in the newsletter I’ve included a video I’d made while I had them on, but the real estate points will stay valid for a while yet. 

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July 1st, 2019 marks a Real Estate Birthday for me.  Ten years!  I can’t believe how much time has passed.  That first day I recall just going around whispering to those I knew at Canada Day events, “hey, I’m in Real Estate now.”   I can’t remember when helping my first buyer or seller occurred after that, but I know it wasn’t on that first day!  I remember calling as many people as I could, and recall someone saying, “really, you’re calling me for that?  I have to go.” This makes me smile now.  Sooooo many rejections coming out of the gate, and yet, out of sheer perseverance, I’m still here!  I am grateful for the work I do everyday. 

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I want to introduce you to someone I think is just sublime in her profession as a mortgage broker.  I've added a note written from her in my website.  I hope you can see why I think she’s someone you might want to reach out to for your real estate lending needs, switch-overs, or just general lending talk!  

 

I hope you all have a lovely summer! Send me a note if you are so inclined, to let me know what you’ve been up to! 

 

 

 Grow Your Garden Now, And All Year Round


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Do you have a green thumb but no garden to grow your greens? Indoor farming methods have seen a resurgence over the past few years, particularly with many condo dwellers who don’t have access to a garden. Not only does growing your own herbs indoors provide you with fresh ingredients daily, but there are other benefits too.

Year-round greens: Indoor gardening or farming means you can grow greens all year around, with no worries about weather conditions. As long as your home is equipped with the right tools and lighting, you can cultivate your indoor garden throughout winter and during extended grey periods.

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Practical solutions for greenery in a small space: Sometimes a condo or a studio space can feel restricting, but adding plants and greenery can really make a difference. If you’re looking to spruce up your small space, indoor gardens are both practical and beautiful! Grow your favourite herbs and vegetables to use in meals while lounging in a fresher, more inviting space.

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Hyper-local: The farther your produce has to travel from farm to table, the more harm it does to the environment due to pollution from transportation. Indoor gardening will allow you to grow your own greens at home all year round, eliminating the negative environmental impact that imported goods contribute to. You can get similar ingredients right in your own kitchen, which is only steps away! It could even save you some trips to the grocery store.

Looking to get growing? Building a DIY indoor garden is quite simple! Once you find the right space for your growing shelf, you’ll need LED or fluorescent growing lights, seeds, soil and containers to start the planting process. You could even tap into hydroponic technology with its own growing light system, which does all the hard work for you!

Indoor gardening is a great way to cultivate your green, regardless of the type of home you live in. You’ll reap great benefits for the home and your wallet without too much effort on your part. As long as you have the right equipment, you can enjoy fresh, hyper-local ingredients and the joy of gardening, all year round!

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Calculating ROI For Your Rental Property 

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As all investments go, every investor seeks to make the best returns possible. Return on investment (ROI) is an assessment of an investment’s cash flow (how much did you put in, and how much are you getting back in return?). Experienced investors know that calculating the ROI from their properties is vital to determining how well their investments are performing overall.

Despite there being many ways in determining a property’s ROI, calculating the ROI can be as simple as using a fairly standardized formula. The ROI of a property can be equal to its annual profits, determined after its expenses, divided by the cost of the investment.

ROI = net income (gross income – costs) ÷ costs

For example, a property may have cost $50,000 to acquire. This property generates a profit of $6,000 per year, minus all of its yearly expenses. Thus, the ROI of this property is 12%. In short, one of the ways of calculating the ROI of a property is to divide the property’s net income by the amount invested in the property.

However, determining the ROI of a property involves calculating both the income and cost of the investment. To do this, you need to consider a number of different financial factors that contribute to a property’s ROI.

What factors affect the ROI of a real estate investment?

      Debt (mortgage or loans)

      Tax and insurance

      Maintenance and rehabilitation

      Equity

      Rental income

Debt

To calculate the ROI of your properties, you first have to determine the total cost of your investment. While some investors may have paid out-of-pocket when purchasing a property, others may have received financial assistance in the form of mortgages and loans.

One of the biggest costs of a property investment is any debt paid or to be paid throughout the course of your investment. Be it a monthly mortgage payment or loan, these financial expenses are crucial to calculating your ROI, since these payments are deducted from your property’s gross income to determine the net income.

Things like the amount that the bank has provided you, the term of the loan, and its interest rate are among the important considerations that need to be made when calculating the net income. Knowing these particular details can accurately calculate the ROI of your property as time passes.

Tax and Insurance

Property tax and insurance are important factors in determining a property’s ROI. This is due to taxes and insurance being among the numerous expenses that need to be accounted for when calculating ROI.

Both property tax and insurance are similar in the sense that they vary between property, city, and province. They are two expenses whose determination involves a third party—be it an insurance company or a provincial property assessment organization. For example, calculating your annual property tax requires an assessment from a provincial organization to determine the value of your property which is then multiplied by the total tax rate, while an insurance rate is determined by a particular insurance company.

Maintenance and Rehabilitation

Throughout your many real estate investments, you’ve probably come across repairs or undergone renovations. From fixing faulty plumbing to rewiring shoddy electrical work, repairs are a common occurrence for investors—especially those who use house flipping as a way to generate quick profits. Professional repairs aren’t necessarily cheap; and depending on the amount of repairs needed for a specific property, this expense can be quite costly.

Renovations, on the other hand, are typically used across all investors who seek to increase the value of a property with the intention of selling it at a higher price. Rehabilitation encompasses the various expenses, including repairs and renovations, that are used to ‘rehabilitate’ the property and increase its value.

On top of that, electrical and plumbing systems need to be routinely maintained to ensure that amenities remain functional. It is for this reason that maintenance and rehabilitation costs need to be considered when determining a property’s ROI.

Equity

As all property owners know, properties can change in value over time. Ideally, any real estate investor would want to build equity within their properties, which is done as investors pay off their loans or mortgage and as the market value of their property increases.

This is obviously crucial to investors, since the higher the equity, the more money investors are able to use for future investments. Property equity is a critical factor to determining a property’s ROI, as it is a result of paying off loans which attributes to the increased income of a property.

Another method, known as the cost method, involves calculating a property’s ROI by dividing the equity of a property by its costs. However, property equity must first be calculated. This is done by subtracting the total cost of the property from its market value.

For example, a property may have been acquired for $300,000. Renovations and repairs cost investors roughly $25,000, which increased the market value of the property to $400,000. With the total cost of this property being $325,000, the equity would be worth $75,000.

Therefore, the ROI can be calculated using the cost method by dividing the property’s equity by its cost. In that case, the ROI in the above example would be calculated as follows:

ROI = $75,000 (equity) ÷ $325,000 (cost) = 23%

Rental Income

Tenants are typically a property’s main source of income. The amount of tenants that are renting out your property, the amount you charge your tenants, and the frequency at which you charge them—be it monthly or annual—all contribute to your property’s income, which affects its ROI. Thus,having an occupancy rate that is close to 100% with each occupant helping you generate a suitable monthly or annual income is critical to receiving a better ROI and increasing profits.

If you want to talk more about this, I can walk through your own home to help you make choices on what will give you the best return.  We can also discuss more on rents vs purchase prices, among many other factors that affect your ROI within Winnipeg. 




Condo Fees, What Do They Cover?

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Monthly condo fees are paid above and beyond your purchase price, and are unique to the condo buying market. Simply put, condo fees cover the services and utilities of the condo building on a macro level, not just your unit. The amount can vary between condo corporations, as there is no standard rate in the Canadian condo industry. Generally, maintenance fees are calculated per square foot of the condo space, so the monthly costs depend on the size of the unit. Costs can also vary based on what utilities and amenities are available to residents. For example, a condo that only has a weight room should have lower maintenance fees than a condo that includes a gym, swimming pool, sauna, barbecue area, screening room, party room and meeting rooms. These amenities all require maintenance and staff to run them.

Most developments’ condo fees also cover utilities such as water and waste services. Some buildings even include heat, electricity, cable and Wi-Fi. A few other things that are covered that you may not have considered are the exterior building maintenance, landscaping, snow removal, and all common elements shared by residents.

What do monthly condo fees cover? Here’s a breakdown of common ways your maintenance fees are invested:

      Upkeep and improvement of amenities such as pools, saunas, gyms/weight rooms, party rooms, etc.

      Maintenance and improvements to exterior environment, such as landscaping, window/facade cleaning, patios, barbecue areas, snow removal, lawn care, etc.

      Condo Reserve Funds that kick in if there’s a major renovation planned or in case of an emergency repair.

 

When you decide to jump into the condo market, one of the first things you should ask me about are monthly condo fees. While condos fees can fluctuate wildly from building to building, looking at other buildings by the same developer can show you if fees have increased. They do this because of differences in amenities, location, management, age of the development and size of units. These are just some of the things you should be aware of before signing.

 


So, How Much is my House Worth? 

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One of the many benefits of owning a home is having the ability to sell it one day – hopefully for a healthy profit, which can then be leveraged to purchase a larger home, an investment or recreational property, or help finance your retirement. Once you decide that you’re ready to take the leap and list your home for sale, the next question you need to ask is, “How much is my house worth?” This is a loaded question indeed. It opens the floodgates to a slew of other factors that will each impact your decision on asking price to varying degrees.

The Price Is Right

I can’t stress the importance of setting the right asking price. An overpriced home runs the risk of sitting (and stagnating!) on the market for a prolonged period of time. This can seriously hurt your bottom line, especially if you’ve already purchased another home and you’re paying two mortgages simultaneously. Beyond that, overpricing your home could make competing listings look even more attractive. Oftentimes, fixing the issue isn’t as simple as just re-listing the home at a lower price. Buyers who are shopping the market will have already seen your listing, and they will either discount it as old news, or they may wonder what’s wrong with the property, in light of the price reduction. An overpriced home is not an ideal situation to find yourself in, in any selling scenario. On the flip-side, underpricing your home means leaving money on the table. Setting the right price from the get-go will ensure your listing attracts serious buyers, and some feasible offers too.

So, how much is my house worth? Let’s find out.



June 6 2019

RE/MAX of Western Canada Awards $16,000 to High School Graduates  

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Kelowna, BC (April 11, 2019) – Sixteen students from Western Canada will be awarded a RE/MAX 2019 ‘Quest for Excellence’ bursary, valued at $1,000, during their school commencement ceremonies.

The annual RE/MAX Quest for Excellence program encourages graduating students from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon and Northwest Territories to submit an essay detailing the contributions they have made to their communities. The bursary winners have all demonstrated exceptional motivation, leadership and communication skills.

“This year’s Quest for Excellence winners have all shown leadership qualities far beyond their age,” says Marie Sheppy, Manager, Corporate Affairs, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “It’s amazing to see how much of a positive impact these individuals have made to their communities.”

“The Quest for Excellence program gives us an opportunity to acknowledge amazing young leaders throughout Western Canada,” said Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “RE/MAX is honoured to support these inspirational students. Congratulations to all of the 2019 recipients!”

Quest for Excellence Bursary Winners are as follows:

      Timothy Bayer, Cold Lake, AB

      Sage Benet, Kitimat, BC

      Austin Cavan, Grande Prairie, AB

      Megan Estrada, Richmond, BC

      Courtney Fornasero, Kelowna, BC

      Rikki Frost-Hunt, Stonewall, MB

      Manroop Ghuman, Surrey, BC

      Keeley Hatch, Sherwood Park, AB

      Brittany Krammer, Prince Albert, SK

      Ken Liang, Vancouver, BC

      Jessica Nott, Winnipeg, MB

      Simon Rai, Port Coquitlam, BC

      Olivia Rokochy, Swift Current, SK

      Leann Rompain, Victoria, BC

      Shamama Siddiqui, Edmonton, AB

      Sarah Zaitlin, Calgary, AB

  

My Montreal Adventure 


I have a 16 year old son… just turned… so I wanted to do something to honour this special birthday.  He’s been studying French in immersion since kindergarten, so I thought it would be nice for us to visit Montreal together!  

There was a catch.  We would do ALL of the things Montreal can offer in a week in winter, but on one of the days, he had to speak French to everyone we encountered, order our food, and organize our directions and travel plans that day, all while I did not say a thing.  I have baby french.  Actually, it is worse than baby French.  One thing we quickly learned was that the way he has learned the language in Winnipeg is a totally different accent, and spoken much slower!   

We also realized that as soon as a server or someone heard us speak english to each other, they would switch to speaking english to us, so we dealt with that by whispering.

Sadly, we did not get photos of the two of us together, but my son was able to explore and capture the beautiful architecture with his new camera.   We visited McGill University, where he practiced with their soccer team, ate poutine at the famous La Banquise.  

The NHL Jets happened to be in town, so we expected a slaughter from “us” against the Canadiens’, brought our signs to show our support, wore our jerseys, etc. It was the other way around, if you recall the game on February 7th.  That was a sad day, but we still enjoyed ourselves. 

On one of the days, we visited Notre Dame Basilica. I think it may have been the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited.  I was in complete awe of the craftsmanship and care taken to build this structure. You must visit.  

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 Museum of Modern Art.

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Other places we visited:  Mile End, Le Plateau, Old Montreal, Downtown, Old Port, and so many amazing restaurants. 

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For a cultural experience,  I observed a dance show at Place des Arts and was completely entranced by the technicality and beauty of the work by dancers from Agora de la Danse.   

Every place I visit has me curious about the region's real estate.  I learned about the market there, which is currently experiencing a strong sellers market, and their prices for a residential average home is approximately $100,000 more than our average here. Same rings true for purchasing a condo!  Winnipeg is still one of Canada’s most affordable city’s to live in, but it surprises me how affordable a place like Montreal is when you compare with our other major city centres across the centre. 

My son conquered the all french speaking day, and we didn’t get lost once.  I can’t wait to go back.  Next time I will visit in summer. 

All photos were taken by my teen. 


February 21 2019

Luxury Home Selling - An Art Form

Find an agent who can sell your luxury home like it’s an ART form.  


With so many uncontrollable factors at play, selling a luxury property can be more of an art form than a science. That being said, there are a handful of steps I will take to make sure your high-end home gets the star treatment. I will utilize selling techniques that will put your soon-to-be-profitable property on the top of luxury buyers’ lust lists.


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1. I will pick the right Audience:

Since luxury homes come with high price tags, there’s a very specific portion of the population who can pursue them. Creating a predictive psychological profile of your potential high-end buyer will help you hone in on their wants, needs and dreams. You’re not casting a wide net, but  looking for a specific audience for marketing—if you build it, they will come.


2. Story Telling: 

Sure, you’re selling incredible features and design elements, but what else is going to motivate a purchaser? We will look at the lifestyle your home will offer a buyer, such as proximity to an excellent Pilates studio, protected parklands and top-notch schools. I love stories, and I want to tell yours.


How?


3. Time to Focus In:

When deciding which areas of your home to focus our marketing, the two most important rooms are the master bedroom and the kitchen. In the kitchen, we will  call out the high-end appliances it has, such as a Viking stove or Bosch dishwasher.  The buyer for your home will look for brands. In the bedroom, it’s all about the special features, such as a walk-in closet and spa-like ensuite.


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4. Price is Right: 

Setting the right price on a luxury property is extremely important — and difficult. There are fewer comparable homes to reference and they tend to be custom-built with features that aren’t necessarily for everyone. Make the price too high and it will sit on the market, only to force you to pop it up again later at a lower asking price (never a good look). We will view similar properties that have sold quickly in the area that will help set an ideal range.


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5. Is your agent a People Person?

Marketing, showing and selling a luxury property takes a lot more finesse than an average home—the stakes are higher. Look for a real estate agent who’s well versed in the language of luxury, and who understands the power of professional presentation. Make sure they’re tech-savvy as well—social media has become a massive tool for getting a listing in front of the right eyes.  I will meet with you to fully understand the beauty of your home, and then let me do the story telling with my team of marketing experts.  


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February 12 2019

2019 Market Forecast

By Todd Lewys

If you were to use one word to describe Manitoba’s real estate market in 2018, it would be turbulent.

With home buyers rocked by a trio of factors, the market slowed down, leading to lower-than-predicted sales performance in several key areas, said WinnipegREALTORS® MLS Market Analyst, Peter Squire.

“Of all the different factors that affected the market — rising interest rates, impact fees and of course, the federal government’s stress test — the stress test had the greatest impact. However, although 2018 sales figures were down, they were still ahead of the 10-year average.”

Still, while they were far from disastrous, 2018 figures were somewhat sobering: home sales were down 4.7 per cent from 2017, while condo prices dropped by 2.4 per cent.  

Meanwhile, total MLS dollar volume dropped by four per cent. 

However, as Squire noted, sales figures were still ahead of the 10-year average. 

Total MLS dollar volume was $3,774,372, 462 in 2018, as compared to $3,921,016,014 in 2017 — not a huge drop.

And while last year’s home sales went down to 9,287 from 9,741 in 2017 — condominium prices also dropped by $5,771 — home prices increased to $321,945 in 2018, an increase of $6,229 over 2017.

The upshot of all of this is that the province’s real estate market remained steady despite being challenged on multiple fronts.

Squire said that while those challenging factors are still present, home buyers look to be adjusting — something that’s been suggested by solid home sales in January.

At the same time, the commercial market is also performing well across the board. 

Like the residential market, it’s benefitting from the province’s steady, diversified economy, which is being bolstered by steady immigration and strong employment.

Consequently, Squire is cautiously optimistic about 2019.

“My forecast is for home sales to go up zero to three per cent, home prices to increase by zero to two per cent, condo prices to decrease by two to zero percent — and for total MLS® dollar volume to increase by zero to two per cent,” he said. “A good start in January isn’t necessarily a predictor for how things will go during the rest of the year, but I believe 2019 will be a better year than 2018.”

He added that — as in the past — Manitoba’s real estate market will remain steady to due to several enduring factors.

“The economy is stable, population growth is steady, Winnipeg’s metropolitan region is growing, and housing remains affordable,” said Squire. “Those factors should continue to offset external factors like NAFTA, (rising) interest rates and the mortgage stress test.”

That said, keynote speaker Benjamin Tal — Deputy Chief Economist with CIBC World Markets Inc. — noted that external forces such as economic uncertainty in Europe (BREXIT), China’s bid for technological and economic dominance, a potential U.S. — China trade war — and decisions made by The Fed and the Bank of Canada on interest rates — are going to make for interesting times.

And then there’s the vexing mortgage stress test to contend with, like it or not.

“Winnipeg doesn’t need such harsh medicine,” said Tal. “Certain markets should be left alone, and Winnipeg is one of them.” 

He suggested that the federal government take a less rigid approach to administering the stress test, a move that would make it more reasonable.

“Why does it need to be 200 basis points? They should make it more flexible and adjustable so it can be applied better to different markets. Damage to the country has been significant, so they need to look at making the stress test more flexible.”

Despite all the turbulence surrounding real estate transactions, those in the market for a home in Winnipeg and surrounding areas should be encouraged.

With a good supply of homes and affordable home prices, there’s a home for everyone — now, and well into the foreseeable future.

Thanks to a strong economy, resilient, hard-working Manitobans — and the ongoing efforts of dedicated REALTORS® — Manitoba’s real estate market figures to remain the shining star among markets in Canada.​

 

January 21 2019 

Clean Your House - Change Your Life

Something I often see clients struggle with is the mass amounts of STUFF that is in their house.  I have literally seen STUFF paralyze individuals from moving on to a different life.  STUFF stopping a person from moving to a new city where family resides, a cheaper place, inhibiting a will or wish to travel… C’mon, get rid of the STUFF!  Eons ago I had a different blog format than I do now (just started one back up again!  I love to share with you).  I feel the entry below applies to the present as well as it did then, so I won’t reinvent the wheel on this story.  I am a firm believer that personal items can have as much damage on our soul as do hanging onto past resentments, relationships that no longer work, or ideas that just have to go.  Since I wrote this entry, I’ve become familiar with the #konmari method for tidying up.  Marie Kondo, a lovely woman from Japan has written extensively on this topic, author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”  She is currently starring in her own Netflix series, helping families to literally CHANGE THEIR LIVES by learning to “tidy up”.  My method below almost feels similar… check out the series to find out how.  Hint: it has to do with only keeping what brings you JOY. 

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Original Entry (written in spring): It’s that time again.  The addition of sunlight, longer days, and warmer weather brings a healthy burst of energy that inspires us to create positive changes in our lives.   We take time to reflect on the changes we wanted to implement over the winter months and now we have the strength to do them.  Time to execute.  Questions we may ask ourselves:  What do I really need right now?  What do I have that I want to keep, let go of, and what do I want to allow room for to grow in my present life?  This may include financial matters, personal matters, friends, healthy choices, and STUFF!  Stuff, we all have a lot of stuff.  Too much!  

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I recently underwent an excellent process in my own household that I want to share with you in a hope that it may inspire you to do the same.  With the lengthy winter months beginning to bog me down, I came to the conclusion that it was time to make some serious alterations in my own home.  I am a true believer that where we hang our hat, what we do there, and who we love there, will spread success into the rest of who we are.  So, I began to ask the questions above.  After much introspection, I ventured forward, starting with a box.  One box of things.  My goal was a large one.  Can I downsize everything I own into exactly HALF of what it is now?  Huge task!  One large box came out, with an empty box of half its size.  After a brief hesitation, I began to fill the teeny box with what I loved, and everything else went into either a give-away, throw-away, or sell pile.  If I can’t fit it into my life right now at this moment, I don’t want it to clutter what I enjoy now.  If I didn’t have a place for it to be worn, displayed, shared, or kept sacred, it went.  One box led to another, one room led to another room.  With each part of the cleansing process, inspiration grew to what I want to have in the future, and that fun has already begun.   There have been many trips to places that need what I had; church, friends, and a neighbour or two.  

What have I gained from all this?  I gained a newfound burst of energy, renewed growth, and a clarity of purpose that is beyond compare.  Clarity in the areas of business, personal, and family.  So I challenge YOU, to ask yourself:

What do I really need to operate in my life?

What can I let go of?

What can I share?

Who can I help?

What do I want in the future, and where do I need to make room for that growth?

With spring underway, you may be thinking of making your house into more of a home, or getting ready to sell, and if that is the case, you WILL need to do this.  It will not only make you feel lighter and happier, but it will add value to your most valuable asset.   Your home. 


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De-clutter your home.  De-clutter your life.

Note: I still do this as a practise.  I might do one area of the house, my desk, or pick a category like clothing.  I always feel amazing afterward!  Send me a message about your own tidying up process.  I love to hear about it! 

 Happy cleaning!

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 Places you can donate your gently used items to (these are my personal recommendations):

·      Big Brothers and Big Sisters Association – 204.943.5437 - Clothing and Household Items 

·      Things – Royal Winnipeg Ballet – 204.284.7331 - Antiques, Collectibles, Home Furnishings, China, Jewelry, Silver, Artwork, Lamps

·      Villa Rosa (convalescence home for young or unwed mothers to learn about parenthood and finish their education) – 204 786-5741 - Fabric, Car Seats, Exercise Balls

·      Children’s Hospital  - Books (This link will show you drop-off points!)

·      Clothes Closet – 204 284-9311 – Suits, Jackets, Pants, Skirts, Blouses, Tops, Shoes, Boots, Coats, Accessories, Jewelry, Scarves, Purses, Belts. Plus-sized clothing is always in high demand.

·      Winnipeg Pet Rescue – 204.832.7387 - Canadian Tire Money, Cat Litter Scoops, Air Freshener, Brooms & Dust Pans, Cat & Dog Toys, Soap, Blankets and Towels, Other Pet Items… 

·      Into the Music – 204.287.8279 - LP’s, CDs, Cassettes

·      Hands of Hope – 204.261.8607 - Furniture, Household Goods

·      Habitat ReStore – 204.233.5160 - Link has a list of acceptable/unacceptable donations

·      Mennonite Central Committee – 204.694.3669 - THRIFT STORE BEST SELLERS = Leather furniture, Anything mid-century modern, Oak Dining Sets 

·      Into the Music – 204.287.8279 - They pay cash for quality used LPs, CDs, Music DVDs, Music books, Cassette tapes, Music Memorabilia·     

·      Winnipeg Humane Society – 204.982.2021 - LONG list of things they need! Check out their website! Can Even Donate Your Car!  

·      Winnipeg Public Library – 204.986.6841- Books, DVDs, Video Games, CDs

·      C.R. Bears and Co arogasky@shaw.ca – 204.269.9089 - Fur Coats (to be made into teddy bears!)

·      Centre Flavie-Laurent – 204.231.9513 - Mattresses, Box springs, Bedframes, Bedding, Dressers, Cribs & Baby Accessories, Kitchen Tables & Chairs, Sofas & living Room Chairs, Dishes & Cutlery, Pots & Pans, Washers, Dryers, Freezers, Stoves, Books 

·      Arts Junktion – 204.942.5865 - Art supplies, Leather, Beads, Jewelry, Board games, Trophies, Magnets (HUGE list of things to donate on website!)

·      The Salvation Army – 204.953.1500 - Accessories, Antiques, Clothing, Computers, Electronics, Furniture, Housewares, Media & Books, Seasonal Items, Textiles, Toys

·      Teen Challenge – 1-800.632.6095 - Donate your Car! (working or not, tax receipt provided)

·      Goodwill – 204.943.6435 - Books, Clothes, Furniture, Appliances, Linens, Household Items, Sporting Goods, Toys

·      Oyate Tipi Cumini Yape – 204.589.2265 - Household Items (All listed on website & free pickup!)

·      International Hope Canada – 204.774.1102 - Medical Equipment & Supplies 

  



December 22 2018

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December 12 2018

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When I was creating my “fun to-do” list, I hadn’t realized how many events happen in November. My list is a combination of events that are yet to occur, but hurry, many are ending soon!

 

1. One of my favourite holiday movies created into a Radio Play! I saw this on the weekend.  So good.  It’s a special story. RMTC Presents: “It’s a Wonderful Life” (Runs Until Dec. 15)

 

Okay.. a few of the next events happen on the same night, so you will have to pick and choose! 

 

2. A Christmas Event that typically sells out! JP Hoe Hoe Hoe (Dec.14) 

 

3. I’m a bit of a groupie for this children’s performer.  The Dirty Catfish Brass Band is also making an appearance, so bring your dancing shoes! Al Simmons (Dec.14)

 

4. There is nothing like the sound of an all Boys’ Choir.  My son was a member of this choir for one year. It was lovely.  Winnipeg Boys Choir (Dec. 14)

 

5. I have an affinity for surprising moments, and coming across the most beautiful lights during this time of year. If you don’t want to limit those times to random occurrences, take a drive to Lindenwoods to view this wonderful light contest! Linden Woods Lights Contest (Dec. 18)

 

6. As a former dancer, I will tell you that the RWB’s Nutcracker is a must see.  If you haven’t been to a full length ballet, it is the perfect one to start with.  It has something in the show for everyone; young and old, but especially the youthful at heart. Royal Winnipeg Ballet Nutcracker (Dec. 19-29)

 

7. Staycation?  Santa is visiting the Fairmont Guests! Santa Suite at the Fairmont (Nov. 25-Dec. 23)

 

8. Get your tickets soon!  The winter break for students will be a busy time, so you might want to visit before or after! I have been once before. Adorable! CanadInns Winter Wonderland (Nov.30-Jan.5)

 

9. See how holiday lights, trees and decorations have changed from the 1880s to today, and learn about the history of electrical development in our province.  This will be interesting! All That Glows: Then and Now (Nov. 14-Jan.3) 

 

10. View famous Winnipeg light displays, residential and business, on a tour bus this holiday.  You will have a chance to see a few of the previous events I listed all in one night! Christmas Lights Tour of Winnipeg (Dec. 12, 17, & 19)


The kick-off for me is the Santa Clause Parade, which I attended last month.  RE/MAX has a float… this is me “driving” the semi, pulling said float.  On the right is, well… you know who that is. 


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Mary Pidlaski
Mary Pidlaski
Associate
520 Academy Rd Winnipeg MB R3N 2A8