Summer Camps in Winnipeg (2023) - The Complete List of Options!

Every year, we have a number of clients migrating to Winnipeg that are looking for fun activities to register their children in.  Also, as parents, I am shocked every year when I talk to fellow parents and they inform me of summer programs I had never heard of!  So as a way to keep track of the offerings, I figured I would develop a comprehensive list of the options.

After sending it out to so many of my parent friends, I realized, you could ALL use a more exhaustive list.  To that end, here is what I have come up with.  I have endeavoured to make this list as exhaustive as possible, but I am human and can miss some options.  If there is a camp that you would recommend, please send it my way.  I want to have a complete list of options all in one spot, so that we all have an easy spot to check year after year.

This is my second year doing this list, and I’ve already discovered several that were missed last year thanks to your comments and feedback.  So let’s keep this list a growing (and updating too, if you find that there are service providers that are no longer in the business).

Also – if anybody else ever gets their child into the Leisure Guide programs, please let me know your secrets.  We have high speed internet, multiple computers, but STILL manage to get locked out of the activities we want for our 3 kiddos.  Le sigh.  Anyways, without further adieu, here is my list for 2023 Summer Camps.  Thanks again to all that provided input or helped me with updates. 

Summer Camps for Children in Winnipeg – Day Camps

Gymboree Summer Camps (Linden Ridge)

For newborn to 5 years with day camps starting for children as young as 3 years old.  Registration now open with more details promised on the Website soon.  Website here:

GymKyds (Southdale)

Ages 3 and up but children must be potty trained and able to use the bathroom independently. A gymnastics-centered program with a variety of weekly themes including sports themes, farm themes and science themes (among others). Full day and half day programs available.  Registration opens March 1st. Website:

Rady JCC Summer Camps (Tuxedo)

Ages 3 to Teens. They offer over 40 different specialty camps with great variety including Amazing Race themes, animation camps, and many other specialized programs.  Early-Bird Registration for Members begins March 7.  General registration begins March 14. Pamphlet for 2023 Registrations can be found here: Website:

My Gym (St Vital)

Ages 3 to 12 years. The camps focus on fitness games, gymnastics (noncompetitive), arts and crafts.  Weekly themes and they advertise that no two camp days at My Gym are ever the same. Full days and half days are available.  Registration is now open.  Website:

Royal Dance Conservatory Day Camps (West Kildonan)

Ages 3-11 years. Offering lessons in dancing with various themes.  At time of production, the complete offerings were not yet available.  Registration open soon.  Website:

Engineering for Kids Summer Camps (Whyte Ridge)

Ages 4-14.  Operating out of Whyte Ridge Community Centre, this program aims to teach science, technology, engineering and math with a hands-on approach.  A variety of themes available including Lego robotics, medieval defence and pirate academy! Registration is now open.  Website:

Fort Whyte Alive (Oak Bluff)

Ages 4 – Grade 8. Heavy focus on nature including swimming programs for those in grades 1 and older. Registration for members of Fort Whyte begins February 28th.  Public registration begins March 2nd. Website:

YMCA Camps (Various Locations in Winnipeg)

Ages 4-12. Offers a variety of programming including swimming, music, dance, outside play, arts and crafts and more.  Registration opens ? Website:

Groove Academy Summer Mini Camps (Various Locations) 

Ages 4+. Kids learn and produce a create performance through the week that they display for friends and family.  There are daily arts and crafts.  Registration is now open.  Website:

Whitetail Sports Camps (Sturgeon Heights Community Centre)

Ages 4-11. Advertises a coaching program to teach the fundamentals of physical activity and education including Yoga, Dance, T-Ball, Kickball and Soccer.  Registration opens March 4th.  Website:

University of Manitoba – Mini U (Fort Richmond)

Ages 5-16.  A variety of programs including sports programming such as soccer, basketball, cheerleading, dodgeball, track and field, hockey, gymnastics.  They also have other programs such as learning about animals, crafting, dinosaur discovery, science alliance. Junior Bison Sports Camps available for children up to age 18 – more detail on that below.  Registration opens March 8th.

WISE Kid-Netic Energy STEM Day Camps (Fort Richmond)

Kindergarten to Grade 12. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – which is what the programming is based upon.  At time of production of this list, we had not heard back on their list of offerings for Summer of 2023 and their Website still showed the 2022 programming.

Discovery Day Camp (East Kildonan)

Kindergarten to Grade 7 (typical age ranges on programs 5-12). Part of Centerpoint Church. They have different themed weeks with programming that involves excursions on a 72-passenger bus including trips to go swimming!  Registration opens March 15th.  Website:

Aquatica Synchro Club (Various Locations)

Ages 5 to 19+.  Offers 3 different summer camps. Activities include: artistic swimming skills, games and crafts to explore our theme, creating and performing an artistic swimming routine, flexibility and strength training. For all skill levels starting with 5-year-olds who are new to the shallow end.  Registration is now open. Website:

Assiniboine Zoo, Zoo Camp (Tuxedo)

Ages 6 -12. Great opportunities for children to meet the animals and animal care professionals and also explore the Assiniboine Park and The Leaf. Registration opens February 28th. Website:

Dakota Community Centre Summer Camps (River Park South)

Ages 6-13.  Offering a variety of options including art classes to multi-sports to specialized hockey camps and clinics. Enrollment is now open.  Website:

Mad Science (Various Locations)

Ages 5 – 11. Offering different weekly themes with a focus on science discovery, outdoor games and physical activity.  Registration is now open. Website:

Manitoba Children’s Museum (The Forks)

Kindergarten to Grade 4 in upcoming school year. They have different weekly themes with indoor and outdoor activities including field trips.  Registration is now open.  Website:

Kid Camps at Winnipeg Humane Society.

Ages 6-13. These camps give children an opportunity to learn about animals and responsible pet ownership. There are crafts, games, and lots of fun.  Various weeks offered through summer 2023.  Registration opens March 31.  Website:

Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) Art Camp for Kids (Downtown)

Ages 6-12. Camps with a focus on art-making, field trips, games and it ends with a camper-curated exhibition! Registration for summer camps is not yet open.  Check back to Website for updates.  Website:

The Beach Volleyball Centre Summer Camp (East St Paul)

Ages 7-12.  A variety of activities including archery tag, giant connect four, Giant Jenga, among other sports.  Registration is now open.  Website:

Code Ninjas (Bridgwater)

Ages 7-14 to learn about coding, game-building and robotics.  Their programming is designed for learning through the process of iteration, reflection and feedback. Registration is open now. Website: For registration.  For a list of Summer March Break Camps:

Red River College (Various Locations)

Ages 8-16 depending on the program. Current course offerings include Girls exploring trades and technology and Camp Canon focusing on photography techniques.  Some in-class but also online course offerings.  Registration for some programs open now.  Other course registrations to open May 8th.  Website:

Sagehill Stables (South Waverley)

Ages 8-16.  A camp for children wanting to learn about horses and riding. Programming includes horseback riding lessons, making crafts, and outdoor activities. Registration now open.  Website:

Assiniboine Zoo, Leaf Summer Camp (Tuxedo)

Ages 9 -12. This camp focuses on plants and they will learn all about different world cultures through plants, food and art. Registration opens February 28th. Website:

Winnipeg Conservatory of Music (Wolseley)

Ages 9 and up.  Offering three summer camps in July including  Fiddle Sessions for all skill levels, musical theatre camp and even Vocal Jazz Camp for Adults. Registration is now open.  Website:

Manitoba Paddling Association Summer Camp (Operating mostly out of Manitoba Canoe & Kayak Centre in Riverview)

Ages 9-14.  Learn the basics of canoeing and kayaking as well as Dragon Boating!  They also have programming that includes arts, crafts, games and special outings. Registration now open. Website:

Summer StudioWorks by Winnipeg Studio Theatre (Downtown)

Ages 10 and up. Teaches the triple threat technique of acting, dancing and signing.  At time of publication, registration for 2023 was not yet open.  Check back to the Website for updates.  Website:

University of Manitoba – Junior Bisons (Fort Richmond)

Ages 12-18.  These are high performance camps with offerings for a variety of sports including soccer, basketball and volleyball. Registration opens March 8th.  Website:

Additional summer camp programs are often offered through the City of Winnipeg’s Leisure Guide for great prices.  But be forewarned, that registration is competitive and often sold out within minutes.  For more information, visit:

Specialized (Sports) Camps:

The Rink – Edge Hockey Skating Camps (Gateway Recreation Centre in East Kildonan).

Ages 5 (born 2017+) to 14 (born up to 2010) with programming for U7, U9, U11, U13, and U15. Full and half day programming offered with a variety of on-ice sessions, boardroom/SIM skate sessions, skills sessions, dryland sessions and multi-sport activities. Registration now open.  Website:

Jets Hockey Development Camps (Various Locations)

Ages 5+.  A variety of camps for those looking to develop as a hockey player.  Registration now open.  Website:

Excessive Speed Hockey (Various Locations but mainly Gateway Community Centre and East End Arena)

Ages 7 and up (must be born 2015 and older).  Aims to develop the love of all things hockey.  They also have specialized Goalie training.  Registration is now open.  Website:

Zajac Hockey (Seven Oaks Arena – Garden City and Gateway Recreation Centre – East Kildonan)

Ages 8-14 and players will be grouped according to age and skill. More of a clinic-style organization with focuses on various skills.  No first time skaters – all players must have a minimum of 2 years of playing experience. Focuses on skills such as shooting, stick handling, passing and skating techniques. Advertises training the likes of Jonathan Toews! Registration is now open.  Website:

Sami Jo Small Hockey Camp (Gateway Recreation Centre, East Kildonan). 

Girls aged 7-17.  One week is being offered in Winnipeg this year from July 17-21.  For players beginner through to elite. Registration now open.  Website:

Sport Manitoba (West End)

Ages 8 – 11.  Offers a variety of activities with a goal of developing movement fundamentals, confidence, teamwork, and multi-sport skills.  Some sport showcases include flag football, badminton, basketball, badminton, fencing, soccer, table tennis, cricket and more.  Registration now open.  Website:

Canlan Sports Summer Camps (St James)

Ages 3 to 14. Offering heavy hockey programming but also multisport camps that introduce sports such as soccer, basketball, kickball, tennis, ball hockey, ultimate frisbee, broom ball and more. Registration for those ages 3-5 mostly involves some parental involvement such as the learn-to-skate programming.  Registration is now open.  Website:

Royal Soccer (Various Locations)

Ages 5-13.  Offers half day and full day programming with a focus on developing children’s love for soccer.  There are swimming options available as well but it will depend on location and age group.  Registration now open.  Website:

Prairie Badminton Summer Camp (St Boniface)

Ages 8-17. Offers full day programming with a goal of developing a greater understanding of Badminton.  Registration is now open.  Website:

Nike Basketball Camp by Four Point Basketball (Tuxedo)

Ages 10-16.  A physically challenging program offered just one week in July.  Players will focus on developing footwork, ball-handling, finishing in the paint and passing. Registration is now open.  Website:

Girls Play Football – Blue Bombers Camp (Fort Richmond)

Ages 9-13.  Teaching girls to try football through drills and skill-specific training challenges. The camp is free and there is a lottery to get in.  Also, it is just one day per week (Sundays).  Registration is now open.  Website:

Overnight or Sleep-Away Camps:

For those with older children, looking to send them for overnight experiences, here are additional options:

Camp Massad (Sandy Hook, Manitoba)

Ages 4 to 18. Focuses on cultural aspects of Judaism. You do not need to be Jewish nor do you need to speak Hebrew to attend. Activities range from court sports, to arts/crafts, drama, swimming, archery, and more! Registration is open now. Website:

Red Rock Bible Camp (Whiteshell, Manitoba)

Ages 4 to 18+. Christian-based camp with a goal of deepening your child’s relationship with God. Located on water and as a result has ample options for swimming, water sports, and more. Registration is open now. Website:

Camp Arnes (Arnes, MB)

Ages 8+ including some family camps.  This is an inter-denominational Christian camp and they do offer some day camps as well, however, you must provide your own transportation there for the day camps.  They have skills programs that involve mountain biking, gardening, baking, woodworking, ropes courses, swimming, kayaking, among others. Registration is open now.  Website:

B'Nai Brith AKA BB Camp (Kenora, ON)

Ages 6-17.  Located on beautiful Lake of the Woods, this camp is an inclusive sleep away Jewish Summer Camp.  Activities include various sports, water activities, climbing, dance, zip lines, archery among many others!  Registration is now open.  Website:

Pioneer Camp (Shoal Lake, MB)

Ages 6-21. Operated by Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship of Canada. The program takes place in Shoal Lake and includes a variety of activities including: canoeing, fishing, sailing, swimming, fort building, archery, arts and crafts, bible studies, campfires and hiking. Registration now open. Website:

Circle Square Ranch (Spruce Woods, MB)

Ages 6-17.  Also Operated by Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship of Canada. Christian-based faith offering a variety of activities with opportunities for horse specialty camps. Registration now open.

Winkler Bible Camp (Winkler, MB)

Ages 5 (Kindergarten) through to Adult. They do have day programs available as well – but transportation may not be available. They offer escape rooms, zip lines, archery, rock climbing, slingshot, swimming, petting zoos, and more. Registration opens March 5th.  Website:

Camp Stephens (Kenora, ON)

Ages 8+.  Also offered through YMCA-YWCA.  One-week to four-week camp options available.  Set on a lake with great outdoor activities.  Registration is open.  Website:

Did I capture them all?  Please be sure to email us: Jennifer@JenniferQueen, if you feel there is something that could be added to this list!

Best realtors in winnipeg manitoba


Jennifer Queen

Phone: (204) 797-7945


Minimalist Living: 5 Easy Steps to Get Started and Why You Should Make the Change!

In recent times, minimalism has gained popularity as a lifestyle choice. Practicing minimalism involves using only items that serve a specific purpose and living a simpler life. I have always aspired to adopt a minimalist lifestyle, but it has proven to be more challenging for me than I initially anticipated. Nonetheless, I am still committed to downsizing the excess clutter and achieving the goal of minimal living - eventually.

Whether it is clothes, books, shoes, kitchen gadgets, kid’s toys, or any other assortment of items, a lot of individuals lead cluttered lives, without even being aware of it. A lot of people can become overwhelmed, me included, with their possessions and overspending on unnecessary items. By creating a stable, sensible and achievable budget, you can effectively eliminate unnecessary items and potentially reduce stress and anxiety. There are various free apps to help you stay on top of your minimalist budget, or if you prefer a traditional approach, excel is still an excellent tool to use.

I have compiled some helpful tips and tricks that can help kickstart the journey towards minimalism, as well as highlight the benefits of this lifestyle.

Five Steps to Get Started Today!

  1. Reduce/eliminate: An essential aspect of minimalism is reducing the excess items that are not necessary, to simplify declutter (I find it most challenging to accomplish this particular step). Start by going room by room and begin distinguishing what serves a purpose in your life and what doesn't. Afterward, assess how you can eliminate items that don't contribute value to your life, and dispose of them accordingly. Easier said than done in my opinion.
  2. Invest in quality instead of quantity: Minimalism isn't about avoiding shopping altogether; it's about being purposeful with what you buy. When you require new items, such as running shoes or winter jackets, kitchen appliances/gadgets, choose high-quality pieces that will endure over time. While a larger initial cost may not be ideal, you'll likely save money in the future by reducing frequent purchases. This also helps with reducing waste/pollution.
  3. Everything needs a place: I will admit this is my favourite step and I do it often – organize! However, what makes it challenging is my husband is the opposite. He would prefer to have everything in one spot. Anyone else in this situation? So, after you have completed step one (reduce/eliminate), designate a specific spot for each item. Utilize storage containers and organizational tools to help store everything you need. If you can't find a suitable location for some of your extra items, it might be worth reconsidering whether you need to keep them. As your minimalist environment takes shape, take responsibility for putting away items once you’ve finished using them. I’m working on this step with my four-year-old, how do you think it’s going?
  4. Reusable items are key: As you begin to simplify your living space, contemplate which items you can repurpose. A few easy alterations: exchange disposable water bottles for a reusable bottle, use containers to store food instead of plastic bags or plastic wrap. Additionally, consider bringing your own reusable coffee cup with you, if you’re a frequent coffee drinker.
  5. One in, one out: The principle of "one in, one out" applies not only to clothing, toys, or kitchen gadgets but also to other possessions. Whenever you acquire a new item, let go of an older one. This approach is a helpful guideline to keep your belongings organized and your living space clutter-free. I really like this step however have yet to utilize it – #2023goals

There are vast benefits of minimal living but the ones that motivate me most:

  1. Less stress: This is a significant aspect for me personally. I dislike having clutter scattered around and prefer a neat and organized home. Living in a minimalist home can bring a significant reduction in stress levels. The freedom to move around and appreciate your living space can relieve a significant burden.
  2. Spend less, save more: Opting to collect only the essentials can lead to financial liberty. Reducing expenditure on unnecessary items will lower your financial expenses and boost your savings.
  3. Eco-friendly: the truth is that most people consume significantly more than what is necessary. This society is characterized by excess, where it’s common to have closets overflowing with unworn clothes and cabinets filled with single-use plastics. The idea of overconsumption does have an impact on the environment, like depletion of resources and increased pollution.

Best real estate agent in Winnipeg


Amy McDermid

Phone: (204) 470-5356


Service Agreements now MANDATORY in Manitoba!

Why are Realtors Asking you to Sign a Service Agreement in Manitoba?

For those looking to move in Manitoba, you might have noticed a few changes in the last couple of years should you have reached out to a Realtor for advice or questions. Some of the changes have been subtle – but some not as much. If your Realtor or potential Realtor has told you that they need you to sign an agreement, prior to providing you with advice or information on listings, there IS a reason for that.  It is simply this: They ask, because now they HAVE to!

What are the stipulations?

Effective January 1, 2022, the Real Estate Services Act came into effect in Manitoba. The most notable difference, in our opinion, is the requirement to have a Written Service Agreement before providing services to ANY client – Buyer or Seller. This must be a written agreement signed by all parties. These agreements have existed for some time, so you may have heard of them before, but only recently have they become mandated by the Manitoba Securities Commission. Some areas that are considered to be a service include:

  • Preparing market evaluations for Sellers
  • Sending listings information to Buyers
  • Preparing and presenting offers
  • Advising on appropriate terms on a contract
  • Advertising a property
  • Showing a property
  • Sharing sales history on properties
  • Providing staging suggestions
  • The list goes on – but you get it!

What do these changes look like?

In the past, we were required to sign listing contracts with Sellers. So, the changes there are more subtle. A Service Agreement should still be signed prior to reviewing our assessment of a Seller’s home – which is oftentimes prior to the signing of any listing contract.  This can make a Seller nervous should they be interviewing many Realtors for the sale.  What we usually will do to alleviate these concerns is sign a contract for only a 3-hour period.  After which, it lapses and they are free to choose whomever they want to represent them in their sale.  They are not bound to us.  However, if you do select us to sell your home, a minimum of a 60-day contract must then be signed for the sale (The MLS requires 60-day contracts in Manitoba – their rules, not ours!).

The most notable difference though is for Buyers. In the past, it wasn’t uncommon for a Buyer to call us, ask us to be setup on a search for their dream home.  We would usually discuss their home search goals, timelines, and advise on what was reasonable and start sending them some comps that we thought could work for them.  This is no longer possible unless we have a signed service agreement upfront.  Terrifying, isn’t it?  Committing to a Realtor without any real opportunity to get to know them seems nerve-wracking – and we agree.  It wouldn’t be our first choice of how to do business, but it is our required choice.  Ours and EVERY other Realtor in Manitoba.

Best realtors in Winnipeg ManitobaWhat it means to sign with our team?

So, what does this mean if you are signing an agreement with our team?  It’s simple!  It means:

  • Putting pen to paper to establish that you have authorized us to work on your behalf.
  • It means setting terms and timelines that YOU are comfortable with. 
  • It sets out terms for canceling the agreement
  • It adds clarity to the Realtor-Client relationship.
  • Our service agreement is exclusive – which means we represent you throughout your entire home-buying or home-selling process.
  • There is no cost to sign our Buyer Service Agreement.  Realtors are typically compensated by the Seller in the transaction, and as a result we sign all of our agreements at 0%!
  • For Sellers, there is no additional fee to sign this agreement beyond what agreed to within our MLS listing contract.

Other housekeeping items

If you are concerned about long contracts, fret not.  We do have an easy cancelation policy.  BUT we also understand that signing an agreement is still scary.  As a result, our team has instituted a quick trial period for those that want to “test out” our services.  The initial contract need only be signed for two weeks.  We like to call this period an orientation period. In this period, we typically:

  • Discuss an overview of the process
  • Put you in touch with the right professionals – such as mortgage brokers, home inspectors, etc.
  • Provide you with a copy of our Home Buyer Guide
  • Start sending you listings and sales statistics for your chosen areas
  • Essentially, get you setup for success!

If you are happy with us after this initial two-week trial, then we can look at signing a more long-term contract.  If you aren’t, consider the contract canceled and you are free to look for new representation!

Please be careful

If you are calling listing agents to go and tour their listings, they are not required to have a signed service agreement with you.  Some might enjoy the freedom this provides from signing a contractual agreement.  BUT keep in mind, it does come at a cost. The Realtor has already signed a service agreement – it just isn’t with you.  They have signed it with the Seller and that allows them to market and show the property on the Seller’s behalf.  What does that mean for you, the Buyer?  It means you are not properly represented and that anything you might say while on that tour could be used against you in future negotiations.  So please, be careful.  We truly believe that it is always in our clients’ best interest to have their own, individual representation.

Even though it is mandatory, we can understand that it is terrifying to sign a contract with someone before really having the opportunity to work with them.  If your fear is that you aren’t going to mesh well with your Realtor, it is important to have that honest discussion upfront.  Clear communication is truly essential, and sometimes it is best to have an opportunity to clarify and explain.

Also, keep in mind that a Realtor that agrees to represent you but does not have this documentation signed upfront is actually breaking the law.  Is that the type of representation you want on your side on one of the biggest transactions of your life?

Can you cancel at any time?

This will differ from Realtor to Realtor, as each Realtor has the right to set out their own terms in their Service Contract.  But for our team, the answer is YES!  Truth be told, if it turns out you don’t want to work with us, you simply need to let us know and we will happily cancel the contract. We would never want to force someone to work with us.   

Additional resources

For more information, here is a link to the Manitoba Real Estate Association’s write-up on these service agreements

Realtors in Winnipeg Manitoba#AgentJen

Jennifer Queen

Phone: (204) 797-7945


Tips to Selecting the Best Custom Home Builder

One of the best parts about being a realtor is helping customers see their dreams come true. For some customers it is walking into a new home and seeing their eyes light up at the sight of the spacious kitchen, or the dazzling ensuite. For other customers they dream of building a custom home. The opportunity to turn your dreams into a tangible reality with a local home builder is a unique experience that does not happen often in most people’s lives.

If this is you, and you are excited about turning the home in your dreams to the home of your dreams you may be wondering “how do I make sure I pick the best custom home builder available to me?”. Building your forever home is an exciting but daunting undertaking. It takes some hard work to find a really good home building partner, but that is well worth the effort when the reward is a dreamy custom home.

Step 1 – Get a List Together

Having toured numerous Winnipeg properties, you realize that there are none that check all your boxes. So, with the decision to build custom, you get to determine exactly what boxes need ticking. Spend time putting together the things that are important to you. Are you looking for a sustainable home to reduce your ongoing energy costs? Are you after healthier materials to reduce your allergies or the VOC’s in your home? What features do you want in your home? Are there going to be saunas? Steam rooms? Elevators for aging in place? Get your scorecard together, and then get ready to start searching.

There are a lot of decisions to make during the home building process, especially if you choose to build a custom home. You will get to choose everything from countertops and flooring to the colour of the door hinges on all your interior doors. You can pick the size, shape, colour and wood species of your baseboards and casing. If you have strong feelings, you can even weigh in on joist end insulation details! Ultimately when building truly custom you can choose as much or as little customization as you wish.

At this stage you should also start looking for interior designers that you will want to work with. Do not begin working with your interior designer until you have found your builder, but due to the volume of decisions and information tracking required for a new custom build, it is helpful to have a designer who can save you time and money by helping to guide your selections.

Step 2 – Gather a Large Pool of Contenders.

At this point it is a great idea to speak to a trusted real estate agent , friends, family members and neighbours about their experiences. They may suggest a great company they have experience with. This company should be top of list to check out. They may suggest there are some companies not worth talking to. There should also be a list for this. At this stage it is a good idea to cast a wide net, use your list of priorities and must-haves to inform your search terms.

While compiling this list make sure you are attentive to the professionalism and response times from the companies. It will be an indicator of how willing and comfortable they are helping you with your custom build. A smooth sales process and attentive listeners at sales meetings indicate they truly care about you and your priorities and will not try selling you stock plans to suit your specific needs.

Custom Built homes in winnipeg

Step 3 – Start Weeding!

When you get to this stage you will want to be quite picky about the ones that make it on to the next interview stage. You want to make sure you do proper research because interviewing and meeting with your top choice builders will take some time. At this stage we recommend asking some very specific questions to confirm they have the capacity or professionalism to deliver a great product with a fun relationship.

There are some good templates available, but the prime point of this exercise is to determine the builder’s confidence at building what you want built. You will want to ask about their previous experience with your list of wants and must-haves, and if they meet basic professional requirements (insurance, what size deposit is required, where do they work, are there hidden fees, what style is their contract)

This step should give you a good idea if you are talking to a custom home builder, or a track builder who wants to sell a pre-designed home. You will need to decide how custom your needs are. If you are after an economical new home where you can choose the floor type and paint colours you may not need a fully custom design-build firm that starts drawing your home from scratch. If you are looking for a unique in-fill home that matches the lot and capitalizes on passive solar heating techniques, you will want to have a fully custom builder.

Some custom builders will have in-house design teams, and others will work with architects they recommend. Both options are good, but you will want to make sure that the design and building components collaborate early and often. With modern technology some design-build firms will provide 3d photo renderings, others will provide full texture elevations, and some will even provide a full VR experience where you can literally walk through the home before you apply for permits.

Step 4 – Start the Interviews

The goal of the process to this point is to find three or four well suited home builders to increase the chances of you finding an excellent match that can make the journey fun and rewarding. With the right partner, you will find yourself guided through a fun and rewarding process. The point of the interviews in step 4 is to figure out “do we get along” and narrow your list of three or four down to one builder to rule them all.  

Up to this point you likely have been talking to just the sales team, but now is your chance to ask to meet more of the team. If you can chat with a production member and accounting member as well as sales team that is great. They will be taking care of you during the process, so it is good to know if you’ll be able to get along. Again, it will be a 1–3-year commitment, so making sure you enjoy interacting with your builder will go a long way!

In the interview phase you will want to ask them about some projects that are like yours and ask how those projects went. What were the challenges, what went well? After you have heard from your prospective builder it would be good to get references from the customer on that project as well as a couple others to ask about their experience with the builder.

You will notice that pricing has been absent from the process to this point. The reason we recommend waiting to talk pricing till the end is that pricing is tough to compare builders on. Some builders price basic across the board, and others will include energy efficient features (like ICF instead of conventional concrete), or upgraded finishes based on your wants list. So square foot pricing doesn’t really work because each builder will assume different specs.

Once you have your list at three or four builders you can now engage in more in-depth pricing exercises. At this point you will want to make sure you have preliminary house plans together with an idea of the finishes you want. When you have just a couple builders pricing you can afford to spend more time with each one to confirm they are pricing the same things. Some builders will give rock bottom allowances regardless of the finish level you request, so make sure you confirm that they are indeed pricing what you asked for.

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Step 5 – Contract Review

Once you have made it through the steps and have narrowed your list down to one solid option, it is time to request the contract and do a formal review of it. It is well worth having your lawyer provide their opinion on the contract, and ensure it is fair to both parties. Some builders will not be flexible on the contract terms and others will be open to revising some terms, though they will likely ask you to pay for their legal fees on having their lawyer review.

The contract is an important thing to make sure you understand and agree with. This will lay out the ground rules for how the project will go and how each party should conduct themselves in regard to timelines, payments, dispute resolution and so on. No matter the conversations about how a company conducts itself the contract will be decisive in what you can expect to be the minimum treatment of your relationship.

Now with a good build, the contract never comes out again after having signed it and the work has commenced. With the homework you have done until this point in selecting your builder, it is likely this will be your experience. However, if things go rough, and either party needs to enforce the contract it is good to be fully aware of what you can expect.

So, there you have it. A guide to follow in anticipation of taking a large, exciting and rewarding step. When you find the right builder, and you can work openly and honestly with each other the process of building a home will become fun and edifying. If you need help finding a lot in a desirable in-fill community, or in a new sub-development, reach out to the Queen team.

dueck builders luxury real estateGuest post from Dueck Builders

Josh Friesen

(204) 806-0616


What to do in Winnipeg in the Winter with local Realtor, Sam Scribilo!

Winnipeg winters often get a bad reputation. Yes, it is cold! But because of our extreme cold temperatures, there are a lot of experiences to get out and enjoy that are unique to our cold climate.

I really enjoy Winnipeg winters (maybe this has something to do with me pretty much being raised in an ice rink) But I promise there is no reason to stay indoors and hibernate this Winter! There are so many things to do here in Winnipeg over the winter and we should consider ourselves lucky as some of them are very unique and cannot be experienced anywhere else! Here is a list of some of my favorite outdoor winter activities offered here in Winnipeg.

Skating on The Nestaweya River Trail

This is one of my favorite Winnipeg winter activities, I find that when the river trail opens up each year I finally dust off my figure skates and enjoy a few outdoor skating sessions. You can access the river trail from The Forks, but there are also many access points along the trail. Each year you will find warming huts along the trail which are the product of an Arts and Architecture competition. – This year there were over 122 submissions from over 30 countries. Six new warming hut designs will join old favorites along the river this year. If Ice skating is not your thing don’t worry you can also enjoy the trail by foot, cross country skis, or even big tire bikes! Equipment can be rented at The Forks.

Celebrate “Joie de Vivre” at Festival de Voyager

What to do in the Winter in WinnipegFestival de voyager is the largest winter festival in western Canada and once a year Saint Boniface (Winnipeg’s French quarter) is transformed into a “winter paradise”. Voyageur, Metis, and first nations histories are brought back to life through historical interpretation as well as throughout the attractions within voyageur park. The festival de voyager has something for all ages! You will find traditional cuisine, an ice bar, snow sculptures, live entertainment as well as recreational and educational activities for kids.

Check out festival de voyager this winter between February 17th- February 26th 2023

Explore Fort Whyte Alive

Fort Whyte Alive is a nature center and a wildlife refuge that aims to connect individuals to nature. They offer over 640 acres of protected green space and daily activities and programs. In the winter you can hit the trails via snow shoes, skis, or big tire bikes. You can also try your hand at ice fishing! Fort Whyte alive is home to the “Richardson Rrunn” toboggan slide which sends tobogganers onto the frozen lake. If you are looking to try a new winter activity check out fort Whyte Alive’s winter programming. They rent equipment and encourage embracing the cold weather to enjoy sparkling snow and crisp winter air.

Challenge the Snow Maze at Amaze in Corn

Head out to A Maze in Corn to challenge the largest snowy maze. A Maze in Corn is home to The Guinness Book of World Record's Largest Snow Maze! You will also find snow carvings and buildings, a slide down Snow Mountain, a giant luge run, bonfires to keep warm, and a variety of snow games. After the fun, you can warm up with a cup of hot chocolate, or an adult drink at The Snow Bar. The snow maze usually opens in January weather/ snow depending

Enjoy the festive Zoo lights at Assiniboine Zoo

Take in the light spectacular “Zoo Lights” this holiday season. During the holiday season, Assiniboine zoo creates a stunning winter wonderland for the whole family to enjoy. Not only are there a ton of light displays, but you can also mingle and enjoy a drink at the Ice Bar, try some tasty treats, and listen to live music and entertainment.

This year Zoo lights runs from Dec. 1st 2022- Jan. 8th 2023

Relax at Thermea by Nordik Spa-Nature

So I know, this one is open all year round but my favorite time to enjoy this Scandinavian Nordic spa is during the winter months. Spend the afternoon relaxing in a winter wonderland at Winnipeg’s premier outdoor spa. The facility includes steam rooms, Finnish saunas, relaxation chambers, heated hammocks, numerous fire pits, and much more.

This is not an extensive list by any means as “Winterpeg” truly does have so much to offer throughout the winter season. So try to get out and enjoy some fresh crisp air this Winter season, you won’t regret it!

Top real estate agent in winnipeg#AgentSam

Samantha Scribilo

Tel: (204) 960-8851


The Return of the Time Clause

I couldn’t remember the last time I had dealt with a time clause on an offer, that is until the last home I sold. Time clauses had almost gone extinct it seemed, but alas, here we are.

Let me start off by giving a quick explanation about what a time clause is. A time clause or a “48 hour” clause, as a lot of us refer to it as, is used when an offer is conditional, and the seller would like to continue to offer their home for sale while the buyer is working on fulfilling those conditions. If another offer comes in and is unconditional during the time where the buyer is trying to satisfy their conditions, the sellers will give the first buyer a 48-hour notice (or whatever time period was agreed upon) to remove or fulfill all their conditions or the property will go to the new buyer.

So, when would a time clause be used? Time clauses are used primarily when the buyer is asking for an extended period to fulfill the conditions on an offer. The most common use for a time clause is when the offer is subject to the sale of the buyer’s home but can technically be put in place for any condition on an offer.

Who benefits from the time clause? Time clauses are for the benefit of the seller; therefore, it is the responsibility of the seller’s agent to make sure this clause is inserted into the offer. Sellers would be taking quite a risk by accepting an offer subject to the sale of the buyer’s home without a time clause included. If that was the case and another qualified buyer came along with an offer, the seller would not be able to entertain that offer during the period that the first offer remained conditional. Another benefit of the time clause is that it can be used as a sort of leverage to try and get a stronger offer from a second buye, but a word of advice:  It is VERY important that the seller is happy with the terms set out in the first offer as even if they do receive a second offer that is much better, the first buyer may surprise you and waive their conditions and you would then be obligated to go with that first offer. 

Is there any risk for the buyer? Slight. It all depends on their situation and if they have a back up plan in place if the notice of another offer is delivered. If the 48 hours (or whatever time agreed upon) starts and the buyer has not yet sold their home, they have two options:

Waive all conditions: In this case the home would go to the first buyer. If the buyer must sell their home to be approved for a mortgage on the new home, this option is a risk.  If they don’t end up selling, they would be risking their deposit as well as any other legal costs associated with the non-fulfillment of the offer to purchase as they would not be able to close on possession.

Mutual cancellation of the offer to purchase: In this case the first buyer would opt to back out of their offer and allow the second offer to purchase to be accepted. The firs buyer’s deposit would be returned to them in full and the home would go to the second buyer. If the buyer’s home was already on the market, the buyer would then need to decide if they are going to continue offering their home for sale. This could result in the buyer’s home selling without them having another home to move into. On the other hand, if they decide to remove their home from the market, there may be some fees associated with the removal of the property.

As I had mentioned before, time clauses were a thing rarely seen in the past few years. This was because in a competitive market, most homes were selling unconditional or with very short condition periods therefore there was no need for these time clauses. Writing an offer subject to the sale of your home was a sure way to not have your offer accepted! Now, with our market balancing out, buyers can write in a few more conditions therefore we can expect to see the time clause make its appearance once again.

Local Realtors in Winnipeg Manitoba#AgentAshton

Ashton Augert

Phone: (204) 781-1767


Reflections on the Current Real Estate Market in Winnipeg, Manitoba

So, the covid pandemic has come and gone, or at least the pandemic portion of it. If you have been shopping for a house in the last year then you may have noticed some changes. Here in Winnipeg, we are back to having options to look at on the market and less competition than you were up against in 2020/2021. The start of 2022 looked as though it would be heading in the same direction, that is until the Bank of Canada announced increases to the interest rates. As it typically does, this increase in interest rates has required purchasers to take a second look at their approval rates for purchases and even the budgets they are comfortable working with. A similar situation occurred in 2018 when the bank of Canada increased the overnight rate. Purchasers slowed down on their search, choose more affordable options and there was a general slow of the market.

Now flash back to the start of 2022, everything looked as though it would continue in the same direction as 2021/2022, that is until the rates began to change in March with the start of the changes to the overnight rate. This allowed people who still had a recent pre-approval to receive lower interest rates through many lenders. Now the overnight rate has risen multiple times in 2022.  Currently at 3.75% thanks to another 50 basis points on October 26th, making this the sixth consecutive increase from where we started the year at 0.25%.  That is the highest it has been since 2008! As someone who actually purchased a home in 2008 I honestly don’t remember being blown away with the rates at the time. I think that the past two years of the Bank of Canada trying to stimulate the economy has left purchasers with a bad taste in their mouths.

If there is one thing to be thankful for as a buyer in the current market it is the ability to choose through options and being able to fully vet a house before purchasing.

During the pandemic homes were typically on the market between 7-10 days. At the end of which an offer date saw multiple groups competing for a house, increasing the prices significantly.  Now with the rate increases we are seeing less and less of that situation. While not gone completely, and it has been around at least over the last decade on certain houses, the odds of getting into a “bidding war” has decreased significantly. This allows buyers to spend time searching through multiple house options and taking a bit more time in figuring out what works for them. In regards to offers this market has also allowed for more due diligence when vetting a property. Offers with longer condition times and home inspection conditions are more common which was much more difficult when competing against other offers.

As a buyer this gives you the opportunity to potentially have multiple viewings on a home, find out what may be needed for work required if you do a home inspection and generally get a better “deal” on a home purchase.

That brings me to purchase prices, however. A lot of conversations I have had with clients and potential clients is the conversation of low offers on properties. While the given market does allow for more negotiation with regards to price you have to remember that values increased dramatically over the past few years. A correction is likely going to happen but you should still be looking at properties within a $5000-10000 amount above your comfort zone.  That means if you are pre-approved for $300K then at most look for a house at $310K, but again that depends on other factors as well. How long has the home been on the market? Has there been a recent price drop?

Some things that haven’t changed though are the steps you should take as a buyer.

If you feel you are ready to start your home search then the first thing you need to do is get a pre-approval from a lender. Even if you have an idea of what you want to spend on a home a pre-approval will dig into your financials and let you know EXACTLY what you can afford to spend. That doesn’t mean you will want to spend that amount either, so once you know what your budget is then move on to step 2. Reach out to a real estate agent. Due to our new regulations governing realtors you will need to have a buyer’s service agreement in place for an agent to help you view homes, advise you on the market and prices and also help you offer on a home. If you want more info on buyers or sellers service agreements feel free to reach out. Once you have a pre-approval and a service agreement with a realtor you are ready to view homes and start your shopping.

As with any change in the market it is best to get advice from the people who do this everyday. My team and I are always happy to talk real estate and are always open to teaching prospective buyers about the market, house information in Winnipeg and how to get going on the plan for your new home.

Top real estate agents in Winnipeg, Manitoba#AgentLogan

Logan Queen

Tel: (204) 226-1261


Five Fall Maintenance Tips

With Fall here, it is important to start thinking about ways to protect your home from the fall and winter elements. Here are 5 fall maintenance tips that will allow you to enjoy homeownership and help you protect your investment!

  1. Service your furnace: I know right now the weather is beautiful – it’s sunny and the ideal fall weather BUT the cold is coming whether we are ready or not. It’s a good idea to have your furnace inspected once a year to make sure it is in good working order. We have all heard the horror stories of someone’s furnace breaking down in the middle of January, on the coldest day of the year (it’s happened to me). Have it serviced before it gets to that point and when prices are more reasonable - fall is a great time!
  2. Clean the gutters (eavestroughs): Get your ladder out and a pair of waterproof gloves because it might get messy (but oh so satisfying!). Climb that ladder and start cleaning out your gutters (try and use the buddy system for safety). This is important to get done before it starts to freeze because having clogged eaves can cause expensive issues down the road. Even if you have gutter guards, it is still important to make sure the eaves or the guards are clear of debris.
  3. Caulking: Important things to have on hand when talking home ownership; window and door caulking, expanding spray foam and clear sealant. This time of year, is perfect to do a thorough walk around of your house. During this walk make sure you are checking for things like dried out caulking, pipes or wiring entering the foundation or siding, rotting wood, etc. You want to make sure everything has a tight seal and consider fixing or replacing anything that looks like water, insects or rodents may be able to infiltrate.
  4. Check for Drafts: Fall is a great time to check and fix your windows and doors for the dreaded winter draft – definitely beats doing it in December. Grab a lighter on a windy day (any day in Winnipeg) and while inside your home move it slowly around a window. If the flame is moving, there is likely a draft. You can also do this with exterior doors! Something I have noticed in my 1962 built home, is a draft through the light sockets/plugs, check yours while you are at it. There are actually products to help insulate these sockets and plugs! Ask me about them and I can share where to get them.
  5. Draining (or bleeding) hoses and exterior taps: This is VERY important to do before the temperature drops below zero. This will prevent ice damaging inside the taps and potential flooding inside your house. Draining your exterior hoses will also prevent cracking and save you money in the spring.

Now, please excuse me, I have to get outside and get started on some of these! I have cleaned my gutters and done a walk around for tight seals. However, there is still more to do to protect my home this season!

Thanks for reading,

Great realtors in Winnipeg Manitoba#AgentAmy

Amy McDermid

Phone: (204) 470-5356


5 Downsizing Tips for Entrepreneurial Seniors

Retirement marks a new chapter in your life, and you might be ready to make some big changes as you leave the workforce behind. For instance, you may want to downsize your home to simplify your life - but you may also be curious about exploring new ventures, like starting a business. Seniors often enjoy running home-based businesses because they require minimal overhead, and you can manage your operations even with mobility issues. By working with The Jennifer Queen Team, you can find a smaller, cozy home that still has plenty of room to run a part-time business! Here’s how to handle downsizing and launching a business simultaneously.

Declutter Your Home

Before moving into a property with less square footage, you’ll need to sort through your belongings and get rid of anything you don’t truly need. You can separate items into different categories and designate what you want to keep, what you can sell, what you can donate to charity, sentimental items to give to family, and broken items that need to be thrown away.

Choose the Right Property

You’ve tackled the decluttering process, and now, you’re ready to start searching for the home where you’ll spend your retirement. This is a big decision, so make sure to work with a great real estate agent who understands your preferences as a retiree. Even though you’re on the lookout for a smaller home, make sure that your new property has space for a home office and business supply storage.

Decide on a Business Idea

You’ve found the perfect home - and now, you’re eager to get your business up and running! But which business model is right for you? You’ll want to choose something you’re truly passionate about but won’t take up as much time as a full-time job. After all, you do want to relax and enjoy your retirement! Profitable Venture recommends becoming a tutor, selling homemade baked goods, pet sitting, babysitting, or teaching people skills that you learned during your career.

Use Helpful Software

Today, you don’t need to keep track of all of your business details with pen and paper. When it comes to managing your company’s finances, you can rely on invoicing and accounting software instead. This is a smart choice even for small businesses!

With the best invoicing software, you’ll be able to maintain accuracy in your financial reporting and speed up the payment process. By choosing software that enables customers to pay online just by clicking on the invoice, you’ll be able to collect payments in a timely manner. Ideally, you’ll want to invest in a system that also alerts you when customers open and pay invoices and allows you to schedule recurring invoices for repeat customers.

Design Your Home Office

In order to run your business effectively, you’ll need a comfortable space to work. You can have a lot of fun designing your home office and giving this workspace a personal touch! Room Sketcher recommends investing in a supportive chair, picking out a desk with plenty of space for your computer and other items you’ll need throughout the day, adding shelving, a file cabinet, or cupboards for storage, using open-top floor lamps to enhance your lighting, and utilizing a cord tamer to get any stray wires and cords out of your way. You may want to place some family photos on your desk or walls for decor!

By downsizing and starting a business in retirement, you can lower your cost of living while making a little extra income. This is a great way to boost your quality of life in your golden years. With these tips, you’ll be ready to thrive as a senior entrepreneur!

Are you in the market for a smaller home? Turn to The Jennifer Queen Team to get the keys to your dream house! Call us today at 204-797-7945 to connect with an agent.

Photo via Pexels

Written by: Claire Wentz


What is HAPPENING in the Winnipeg Real Estate Market?

I don’t feel like I need to add any more fuel to the housing affordability debate, so rest assured – I will stay away from that on this blog post!

But let’s face it – the 2022 Winnipeg real estate market has been one heck of a roller coaster.  I would best describe it as volatile – as it has changed rapidly throughout the year with the first two quarters starting as strong Seller’s market, and the third quarter now showing more semblance of a balanced or perhaps even some might liken it, incorrectly so, to a Buyer’s market.

Here’s the thing: the market is ACTUALLY still considered a Seller’s market.  It just doesn’t feel like it to those that have witnessed the last several months of real estate craziness.  Bidding wars are still happening, we are typically seeing less than 6 months of inventory, and the sale prices are still relatively close to the list price.  All of these are market indicators of a Seller’s market.  However, if you were listening to stories from early in 2022, you will have heard of 20 or more offers on some homes with many selling for $100,000 over list price.  So, when a home sells in under 20 days for 1-2% below list price, it doesn’t sound as exciting for our Sellers. The market has certainly changed – and it was a good time while it lasted – for the Sellers.

I personally, will always prefer a balanced market. I like when there is logic and rationale behind Buyer behaviour.  I also like to see homes being listed near fair market value.  There is nothing that drives me more nuts than underpricing to try and drive a bidding war, or overpricing and just assuming it will sell anyways because the market is “hot”. Balance is where there are many options out there for Buyers to compare, and reasoning wins out.  Balance is where Agents that REALLY know their market tend to excel. 

Let’s face it – the last two years have been anything but typical.  We all thought when COVID set in, that houses would stop selling.  Who wants to buy a house in a pandemic, right?  I’ll tell you who: Savvy buyers who realize the opportunity presented when mortgage rates are at all-time lows.  I think we seriously underestimated just the power of low interest rates – even in the face of a pandemic.  However now, we are seeing that same responsiveness to interest rates now that they are increasing.

Next week, we know that the Bank of Canada will be making one more announcement about their key lending rate.  Most speculation, and I agree, is that rates will likely go up by 0.5-0.75%. I would agree with that and I wouldn’t be shocked if they went on the more aggressive end of the spectrum, as inflation is still out of control. Given the previous increases this year, the combined increase from January 2022 until now, we have seen the Overnight Rate increase by 2.25% in 8 short months.  With next week’s announcement, we will likely be sitting at close to 3% since the start of the year. This might not sound like a lot, but when put in perspective for home buyers, we have to look at the impact it has on their mortgage affordability. The average sale price in Winnipeg as of the July report was right around $400,000. With a 5% down payment and good credit, a buyer would have likely had monthly mortgage payments of just under $1800.  However, with current rates we are talking about adding $400 - $500 to that monthly payment.  This has a huge impact on what Buyers can afford, and will of course have a downward impact on just what they are willing to pay.

Interesting enough, Winnipeg is reporting that its’ actual inventory is down 23% from it’s 10-year average, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. At the end of the day, this is a supply and demand issue that we are facing in our more immediate future. With net positive migration planned again for 2022 and 2023, overtime we might continue to see more of these boom cycles.  In fact, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, CMHC, concluded that Canada needs to build around 3.5 million new homes by 2030 to tackle the affordability issues that many Canadians are seeing.

Real estate statistics winnipeg manitoba 

So how many homes do you think we are building in Canada per year right now?  The stats are in, and we are averaging between 200,000 – 300,000 new doors per year. A serious deficiency based on the projected required housing moving forward. This is a Canada-wide problem, not just a Winnipeg-based problem.  But in my opinion, what is being done to manage the housing shortage, by increasing interest rates is ultimately not the solution. Until our housing starts start matching the needs of our net migration in Winnipeg and in Canada, we are going to continue to see these boom cycles over and over again.

But mark my words, these increases in interest rates will put more strain on the rental markets – and as we start to see those rents climb and interest rates stabilize, we will again see a resurgence in the market.  Interest rates are a Band-Aid fix – but not a long-term solution.  I personally think that if you plan to buy and hold Real Estate that it is still the most solid investment you can make.  And those that feel the market is overheated now, will be kicking themselves for not buying now, 10 years from now.

It is also worth mentioning, that Winnipeg is one of the most stable real estate markets in all of Canada.  In years where other markets were seeing massive boom and bust cycles, our values rose slowly but steadily.  It does make us a boring market to report on – and perhaps that is why so little is reported on about the Winnipeg Real Estate Market – but I like it.  Slow and steady wins the race! I read a statistic that in the last 50 years, there have only been 3 years in which the average sales price declined – but it was followed by a rebound that far surpassed the decline in the following year.  Those years of decline were in years of high interest rates – and we are anticipating to see a slight decline in Q4 and into 2023 largely due to the aggressive interest rate hikes.  However, mark my words on two things: 1. As the market adjusts when interest rates stabilize, we will start to see more buyer confidence and homes starting to trade as they did at those 2019 rates, and; 2. Winnipeg will fare far better than most markets in Canada.  We are hearing predictions from other Provinces that their property values will decline close to 25%.  I would anticipate declines, but nowhere near that.  I would be surprised if we are even into the double digits. 

So there.  I said it. I put my predictions in writing.  I might cringe in a year or so reading this, but if history is the best indicator of the future, I think Winnipeg will come out of this relatively unscathed.

Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know!  I would love to hear your opinion!

Want more advice in this regard?  Whether or not it is a good time to buy or to sell?  Feel free to reach out. Every situation is specific, and we are happy to take a consultation and provide you with honest advice as to what your best options are!

Top selling realtor in Winnipeg Manitoba#AgentJen

Jennifer Queen

Phone: (204) 797-7945


The Lowdown on Interest Rates

Unless you have been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard how “crazy” the real estate market has been over the last few years. We have been seeing homes selling for 100’s of thousands over asking, with no conditions and that was the norm.  Home inspection? Forget it. Financing condition? Good luck. Condition to sell your current home? Now I’m laughing, but lately you might be starting to hear a different tune.

Over the past few months we have started to see a shift in the market to a more balanced market. There are still homes selling over list, but we are starting to see a slow in the demand and buyer’s are starting to be a little more cautious with how they are spending their money. So, what changed? There are many factors that drove the highly competitive “sellers’ market” over the past few years, but in my opinion interest rates were the true driving force. The bank of Canada has been raising rates slowly over the past few months and we are now really starting to see its impact. So, let’s take a closer look into what interest rates are and how they affect the real estate market.

What is an interest rate?

An interest rate is the amount of money your lender (bank, credit union etc) will charge you for borrowing money from them. This is usually calculated annually as a percentage of the loan outstanding. For example: If you bought a house for $500,000.00 and put down 20%, you would need to borrow $400,000.00 from the bank. On this $400,000.00 they are offering you an interest rate of 3.6%; that means that you would be paying $14,400.00 (400,000 x 0.036) in interest for that first year to borrow 400K. The interest paid goes down slightly each year as you pay down your principal amount, but your payments will stay the same for the entire term that you agreed to. This results in a SLIGHT increase in your monthly payment going towards the principal amount of your mortgage and less interest paid each year. (once again emphasizing SLIGHT).

Why do interest rates affect the market?

Simply put, when interest rates are low, buyers have more buying power. What that means is that with a lower rate, buyers can afford a higher monthly payment as they are paying less interest on the amount they are borrowing.

Now for some of the first time home buyers out there, you might be wondering why these rates would have such an impact on the market, but just a 1% increase could mean 100’s of dollars more for you per month depending on how much you are borrowing.

Let’s use the same example as before:

Purchase Price: 500k with a 20% down payment
Amount Borrowing: 400K

Interest rate of 1.6% - $6,400.00/year or $533/month in interest for the first year or $29,272.00 for the 5 year term (this is the rate a lot of banks were offering during the pandemic for a 5 year fixed term)

Interest rate of 3.6% - $14,400.00/year or $1200/month in interest for the first year or $66,844.00 for the 5 year term (this was the average rate prior to the pandemic for a  5 year fixed term)

Interest rate of 5.24% - $20,960/year or $1746/month in interest for the first year or $98.233.00 for the 5 year term (this is the current rate most banks are offering for a  5 year fixed term)

**(remember this is only the interest, your monthly payment would also have the principal amount on it and that amount depends on your amortization period which is a topic for another day!)

As you can see, that is a difference of almost $69,000.00 over a 5 year term in interest paid on a loan of 400K, which has a huge impact on the affordability of a lot of buyers! This might be a shock to some of you and I will use this as a reminder to those of you who haven’t touched base with their lender in the past few months, PLEASE check in with your mortgage broker, your affordability may have changed!

To sum it up, low interest rates give buyer’s more flexibility and a larger range in what they can afford which is very appealing to buyers as it is costing them less money to borrow money. 

When this happens, there is usually a huge influx in demand for homes resulting in homes selling for a lot more money. When interest rates are high, the opposite happens, and that same monthly payment gets you a home in a much lower price range. When this happens, house prices tend to decrease to reflect the buying power of the buyers in that current market. 

Best realtor in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada


Ashton Augert

Phone: (204) 781-1767


Ready to Write an Offer?

As Realtors, it’s our job to support our buyer clients throughout the whole home buying process. When you find a home that you love we want to ensure you feel confident and prepared to write an offer.  That’s why when we first start working with buyers our team makes sure to educate our clients on the offering process that way there are not any surprises when you find that perfect home you want to write on. The more prepared you are and the more knowledge you have make writing an offer on a home a lot less overwhelming.

To make the process of writing an offer on a home seamless, here are a few items to think about before sitting down with your Realtor to complete the offer to purchase contract.

1. Understand an offer to purchase once accepted is a binding contract. 

The first time we write an offer, it will typically take upwards of an hour to explain all of the “fine print”. We want to make sure your feel educated and fully understand what you are committing to. The offer to purchase contract will outline the terms of your offer.

2. Prepare documentation you will need to write an offer.To write an offer be prepared to present the following: 

  • A form of government issued photo identification
  • A deposit cheque made out the listing brokerage- note these funds will come out of your account within 24 hours of acceptance
  •  A mortgage pre-approval letter (if applicable).

3. Get in touch with your bank or mortgage broker and ask how long it will take for them to process your financing. 

If you are writing a financing condition into your offer to purchase, we need to include an exact date and time by which you will satisfy your financing condition. Therefore, before writing an offer we suggest to call your mortgage provider and find out how fast they can process the mortgage.


4. Things to Think About in Advance:

If you have any questions in regard to the following do not stress. Your Realtor is here to help.

The “numbers”

How much money I am willing to pay for the home?

Deposit amount/ Down Payment amount

Do you want to include any terms or conditions?

Are you using mortgage financing and including a financing condition ?

Are you planning to insert a home inspection condition?

Are you planning to insert any other conditions (ask your realtor for a list of common conditions included in an offer)

Possession date

Often the seller will indicate an ideal possession date. However it is up to the buyer. So think about when you would want to take possession of your new home. (note: the average time for possession is between 30-60 days)


Again our team is here to support and educate you through the entire process of purchasing a home but when you have a general understanding of what is required to write an offer to purchase, and have all the documentation required prepared in advance it helps make the process seamless and stress free.

 Top rated real estate agent in winnipeg, manitoba


Samantha Scribilo

Tel: (204) 960-8851


Spring Home Maintenance Tips with Winnipeg Realtor, Logan Queen

What a spring we are having in Winnipeg/Manitoba this year! The amount of calls and questions we have had from clients and potential clients about water entering the home is higher than any year that I have been a realtor, and rightfully so.

The weather conditions in Manitoba this year are causing a number of water related issues to many homes. A quick read through the news and you will see info about the river, ponds and other water bodies in the City of Winnipeg and rural municipalities overflowing with water.

While this can be a trying time for many of the people experiencing these issues this is also the perfect time to find problems and remedy them. I am going to go over some of the issues with water that we have encountered recently and what you can do if any of these situations are happening to you.

Foundations: Due to the extreme amount of snow we received last winter along with the large amount of rain we have been experiencing the past few weeks many people are having issues with water in the basement. Some of these issues related to the foundation of the home can be attributed to a build up of snow, frozen ground and continued precipitation.  The biggest thing to do is to find out what the actual issue is.  This may require removing some of the interior walls in basements if the basement is finished.  While not a fun job it is imperative to find out what exactly the issue is so that it can be repaired correctly.  The chances are that if you have water seeping into the walls from the exterior there is high likelihood that there is a crack in your foundation. Now don’t get too freaked out, a foundation repair can be an easy fix. Finding out the extent of the damage will determine how it can be repaired and what exactly needs to be done. There is also the potential for water to get into a foundation if there is just standing water at the house. Some things to check: is there any water pooling along the foundation walls? What does the grading look like? Is it graded so that the water is running away from the house or towards it? While preventative maintenance is best done in the summer and fall to prepare for spring melt, if you know there are issues that can be fixed now then it is best to get on them.

Top Realtors in Winnipeg talk Spring MaintenanceDownspouts: good operating downspouts/eavestroughs are extremely important for getting water away from a home. Checking that your eavestroughs are not frozen, or clogged with debris is a maintenance item that should be tackled throughout the spring, summer and fall. On the downspout portions it is important that the downspouts are functioning and that they are extended at least 6-8 feet away from the house.

Sump pumps: if your home has a sump pump (typically any home built after 2000 will have one, earlier than that may not) it is important to check and ensure that it is operating correctly. On the exterior of the home you want to have the drain hose connected to the discharge pipe and you want it to be extended a long way from the foundation of the home.  Inside you want to make sure that the pump is operating as it should be, that there is nothing in the pit that could cause a clog in the pump or could cause the float switch to malfunction.

Window wells: checking window wells for water is an important part of keeping your basement water tight.  No matter how good a window you have if there is water pooling up against it, it will leak. Window wells are designed to drain water through weeping tile in the window well down to the weeping tiles at the base of the foundation. Making sure that the bottom of your window well is not covered in debris, leaves, or frozen with snow an ice will help keep it operating correctly. If you find that it is pooling water then you may want to find a pump and drain it of water while we wait for warmer weather.  When the time comes in the summer you may need to see if the weeping tile in the well is operating correctly and if not it may need replacement.

Roof and siding: with all of the snow we received this winter there was the potential for drifts and piles to build up on roofs and in areas that do not typically get wet other than a heavy rain. Checking shingles and any extrusions (chimney, venting) in the roof for damage and water seals will help keep your roof dry. The same thing goes for siding, if there was any water infiltration over winter and any freeze/thaw cycles happening there was the chance for siding to pull away from the home and could leave an opening for water to get in. Checking your siding for any damage, loosening or shifting and that any caulking seals are still flexible and not cracked or broken.

Any home extrusions: any type of extrusion from the basement wall should be sealed.  This could include: A/C piping and cables, ductwork, fan vents, sump pump piping, etc. you should ensure that the openings are sealed, if it is a small space caulking will likely work but if it is larger you may need to have expanding foam or other sealing options.

While this is not the be all end all for issues with water and how to fix them, we know that these issues can cause some major headaches for people. Also know that all houses are susceptible to these issues, not just older houses.  Although older houses have more potential for them even new houses require maintenance to keep them watertight.

If you are having issues with water and do not know who to reach out to we have a list of contractors we have worked with over the years or clients have been pleased with.  We have seen many of these issues over the years and typically most are easy fixes.  The goal is always to have your home as functional as possible and keeping it watertight is one of the best ways to do that.

Hopefully we have some real spring weather on the way and we can look towards hot dry summer days!

best realtor in winnipeg manitoba#AgentLogan

Logan Queen

Tel: (204) 226-1261


Exclusive Listings in Winnipeg

There are a variety of options to market a property – and the recommendations that we give will really vary on a case-by-case basis.  I often find that the most commonly understood type of listing is the MLS listing.  These are the listings that you will see popup on the MLS listing history.  If you are setup to receive notices by your Realtor, you will receive a notice whenever something that matches your criteria pops up.

Another option that Realtors have at their disposal is the exclusive listing – oftentimes called many other names such as a pocket listing, or off-market listing.  Essentially, it means that a Realtor has been given permission to market a property for a seller – and only they have the right to sell the property (as in, they have exclusive listing rights). Now this does not mean that this particular Realtor is unwilling to cooperate with other Realtors.  We have sold a number of exclusive listings in which we would market to our fellow realtors, as well as offer a cooperating commission for anyone bringing a buyer.  The goal (at least in my opinion), is to still ultimately get the house sold for the most amount of money with the least hassle to the seller.

An exclusive listing does tend to have less exposure.  By not being put into the MLS system, which is the number one resource that buyers and their Realtors search, you are definitely limiting the number of eyes that might land on said listing.  However, there are certainly times when using an exclusive listing agreement is appropriate.  Here are some situations in which we have found there to be good reason to list a home with an exclusive listing contract versus an MLS listing agreement:

  • Personal situation of the vendors (oftentimes the desire for a discreet sale)
  • Wanting to test price without having an MLS history of price reductions
  • Concerns about the home itself and not wanting to have too many days-on-market
  • Having greater control and oversight over the buyers coming through
  • Luxury listings in which marketing to the general public isn’t always the best use of resources
  • Privacy concerns in the case of higher-profile individuals

The majority of our clients do end up going with a full MLS listing and it is often more advisable to do so.  However, every sale is different, every seller is different, and thus selecting the alternative that is best has to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

There is no right or wrong option for listing your house in Winnipeg – there really is just a “right for you”.  Please feel free to call us anytime to consult on whether or not listing exclusively (or as a pocket listing) is right for you, or if we would advise utilizing the MLS listing system. OR, sometimes we even do a hybrid variety of both, so that you are able to take full advantage of both strategies.  Again, feel free to reach out for more information.  We are always happy to talk strategy for your specific situation.

If you would like to be added to our exclusive listing list to that you are notified anytime we have a new listing available (that isn't on the MLS), please email us at  We have a number of waterfront Linden Woods properties set to hit the market soon!

Best realtor in Winnipeg Manitoba#AgentJen

Jennifer Queen

Phone: (204) 797-7945


Luxury Real Estate in Winnipeg MB

The strategy of listing or purchasing a luxury property in Winnipeg can vary from that of the traditional home purchase or sale route. Associating yourself with a Realtor that specializes in this market, is paramount to your success.

First, we should really begin by discussing what is considered a luxury property in Winnipeg.  At the time of writing this blog, the average home price in Winnipeg was hovering around $375,000 – and oftentimes a luxury home in any Canadian market is considered double that amount (so around $750,000).  To be honest, I wouldn’t personally classify homes in Winnipeg priced for under $1,000,000 as luxury homes – but you can still purchase VERY nice homes from that $750,000 - $1,000,000 range.  For instance, you can purchase a new construction, custom-built home in some of the newer developments such as Sage Creek, Bridgwater, East St Paul, Headingley, Ridgewood West, for under $1,000,000 and you might even have some lakefront options at that!  The square footage for these homes would typically be around 2000 square feet.  The majority of these homes are often listed on the MLS system and are easily discoverable.

Where I find the market changes is once you start to get over that $1 million dollar mark.  The market in Manitoba for homes in the price point is much more exclusive and becomes even more exclusive as you travel upwards on price.  I can tell you that of all the listings or buyers that I represented within the last year that transacted in home purchases over $1.5 million, every single one of them was never listed on the MLS system.  And there is a reason for this!

When you are transacting in this luxury price point, you are often dealing with many high-profile clients.  Oftentimes, these clients appreciate absolute discretion and value their privacy. Exclusive listings allow a listing agent to shop the property out to fellow agents with known clients, it also allows them greater control over who tours the property.  I have had a number of extremely private sellers that just did not want everybody able to view their home online, or to try and book showings if they weren’t qualified.  And I can absolutely appreciate that!

In theory, the overall process for selling a luxury property doesn’t vary greatly from a typical home, what often changes is the type of marketing, ad copy, and digital assets that are developed for the luxury property.  Oftentimes, the timeline for preparing the marketing also needs to be extended.  However, there are still some key factors that cannot be overlooked:

  • Pricing is still paramount – and oftentimes the comparable property sales are not in abundance.  Having an agent that has toured the competition, is willing to call their fellow agents to get details, and spend hours upon hours of massaging the data is a key to pricing properly.  So be certain your agent is well connected in the luxury home market.
  • Staging is of utmost importance.  A lot of people seem to think that if they are listing their home exclusively, it saves them from the prospect of staging, etc.  However, it is just the opposite in our opinion.  Proper preparation of your home allows you to show the home in its best light, minimize its flaws, improve upon overall flow of the property, and sell the actual lifestyle that owning your home would bring.
  • Marketing is so vital.  If you are planning on listing the exclusive route, you still need to reach the right people.  Having a strategic marketing that includes solid ad copy, pictures in a variety of lights and stages through the day, as well as virtual tours is a top priority.
  • Timing is important too!  There are a variety of factors impacting any market, and having a strategy that will take advantage of seasonality for your home is another key consideration.

We have developed a strategy that involves a two-phased approach to maximizing dollar for our seller clients.  It first begins with an exclusive listing strategy in which we send targeted ad-copy to our peers and client database, we often invite them to a Broker’s Open House, and then allow for private showings. There is obviously a lot more that goes into this strategy, but in essence we keep a small, yet qualified, group of individuals in the know about the property.  These individuals are able to submit their offers prior to the listing ever going into the MLS system.  Should no offers be forthcoming that the seller finds acceptable, then the next phase is to enter the listing into the MLS system and offer the property to the more general public and holding an offer date. 

We have sold a number of waterfront homes this past year, and as a result are often being contacted by buyers to see if we have anything else coming up.  This buyer pool is able to act quickly, and also understands the scarcity that exists in our luxury market.  Oftentimes they are quite willing and comfortable in bidding on property even if that means adding $100,000’s of thousands of dollars to their offer.

I’ll tell you this though: In 2021, we had a number of luxury listings that never hit the market.  ALL sold prior to ever hitting the MLS system.  ALL sold at or above list price, too.  There is something to be said for an exclusive listing strategy when used properly.

Here is a video from one of our more recent luxury realtor open houses. This house ended up receiving 4 offers after this Broker’s Open House and a price $150,000 over the list price. 

Luxury realtor in Winnipeg Manitobaluxury real estate agent in winnipegFor our luxury home buyers, rest assured – there will be a number of options “popping up” in 2022.  And by “popping up” I don’t mean the MLS system.  In fact, the majority of luxury homes selling over a certain price point in Winnipeg sell off the MLS.  So be certain that you are getting a Luxury Realtor that is well connected, has experience dealing in luxury listings in Winnipeg, and is happy to educate and advise throughout the process.  There are also additional qualifications to investigate.  Are they a member of the Luxury Home Institute?  This qualification requires them to have established a track record of selling a certain number of luxury homes every year, and has also put them through rigorous testing process.  The RE/MAX Collection set of Agents is another association in which membership is only granted if you have enough listings over a certain price point within your market.  I happen to be a member Realtor in both of these associations and would be happy to help in your journey should you need representation.  Reach out and we can have a quick consult.  If you are looking for a Luxury Realtor in another market, please reach out as I likely know someone that can be trusted and can make that connection for you!

And finally, if you are buying or selling a luxury home in Winnipeg, congrats to you and best wishes for your continued success!

Luxury Realtor Winnipeg


Jennifer Queen

Phone: (204) 797-7945


Summer Camps in Winnipeg (2022) - The Complete List of Options!

We always seem to have a number of people moving to Winnipeg from other cities, provinces, countries and sometimes continents! This year, we have had an abundance of questions from people moving here on what summer activities there are for kids.

We endeavour to make this list as exhaustive as possible.  These are the options that we have either had our children participate in, or past clients have recommended - but if there are any missing please let us know!  We would love to have a comprehensive list for a variety of activities as well as age groups!

Without further adieu, here is what we have thus far:

Summer Camps for Children in Winnipeg 

Gymboree Summer Camps – For newborn to 5 years: 

University of Manitoba – Mini U: 

GymKyds (Gymnastics) – Ages 3 and up. - 

MyGym summer camps for children ages 3 to 12 years. 

WISE Kid-Netic Energy STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Day Camps. Kindergarten to Grade 12.

Aquatica Synchro Club. Offer 3 camps this summer for children ages 5+ to 19+.  Activities include: artistic swimming skills, games and crafts to explore our theme, creating and performing an artistic swimming routine, flexibility and strength training. For all skill levels starting with 5 year olds who are new to the shallow end.


Assiniboine Zoo, Zoo Camp.  Ages 6 and up. 

Fort Whyte Alive Day Camps for children from 4 years old to Grade 8. 

Mad Science for children ages 5-11. 

Gateway Community Centre – Summer Combine Camp for children born 2007-2015). 

Manitoba Children’s Museum.  Ages Kindergarten to Grade 4 in upcoming school year. 

Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) – programs for children aged 6-12. 

Sami Jo Small Hockey Camp.  Children ages 7-17. 

Winnipeg Conservatory of Music.  Offering three summer camps in July.  Vocal Jazz Camp for Adults, Musical Theatre Camp for Youth ages 9 to 15 years, and Fiddle Sessions open to all ages.

Sagehill Stables for children wanting to learn about horses and riding.  Ages 8 to 14.- 

YMCA Camps (including day camps and overnight camps): 

Red River College: 

Manitoba Paddling Association summer camp: 

Please be sure to email us: Jennifer@JenniferQueen, if you feel there is something that could be added to this list!

Best Realtor in Winnipeg, Manitoba#AgentJen

Jennifer Queen

Phone: (204) 797-7945


Relocating: When Your Loved Ones Need You Closer

Relocating: When Your Loved Ones Need You Closer

There are many steps you can take to try to ensure your senior loved ones are being taken care of when you don't live locally. However, there may come a time when you may find yourself wondering if it's time to move closer to them. If that time is closing in, check out these tips from the real estate experts at The Jennifer Queen Team.

Moving a Senior Loved One

Staying in their own home may be important to seniors. Uprooting a senior may be difficult because they've become accustomed to their surroundings and the community they've built. You'd need to plan on packing or selling many of the things they've accumulated and build new social relationships. 

When You Decide to Move Closer

Consequently, it may be easier for you to move closer than to try and move your elderly parent or loved one. You might want to move them in with you or simply be closer to make things easier and allow them to keep their independence.

In this case, you'll want to look at options for buying a new home. Your mortgage lenders will look at your debt-to-income ratio to figure out what an affordable home for you might cost. Once you crunch the numbers, be mindful in your home search.

Your real estate agent will guide you along the way, but with a competitive market, it’s easy to be lured in by a great deal with a fixer-upper. However, an as-is property can bring a fair share of problems that you don’t need with this type of transition. Carefully explore properties that will match up with the lifestyle you’ll be managing.

Monitoring Your Loved One

Once you've decided to move closer, you can look for homes or upgrades that let your loved one visit you safely or make their move with you easier. It could be as simple as adding nightlights around their room and walkways to make it easier for them to see. You'll also need to consider grab bars, putting down non-slip mats, and removing potential hazards. Think about the impact any pets might have as well, whether yours or theirs, and make adjustments accordingly. 

You'll want to consider not just their physical well-being but their emotional and mental health too. Having children and grandchildren closer and a bigger part of their lives may help your loved one's emotional well-being. You'll also want to make sure their daily living requirements, such as bathing and feeding, are being met.

Hiring Help or Becoming a Caregiver

When planning your move, you may be thinking about whether your loved one will stay home, move in with you, or move to an assisted living facility. You'll also need to decide whether you will do most of the caregiving or hire someone else so that you can avoid caregiver burnout and offer the most support.  Finding caregivers and services locally may be easier when you're close by.

The Best Options Can Be Easy

If your loved one doesn't want to move to be closer to you and moving them could be more difficult, you may decide to move closer to them. This keeps their schedule and community intact while allowing you to still be part of their life in their later years. And if you need help selling your home in the Winnipeg area or buying a new one to do so, contact The Jennifer Queen Team to help with the process.

Written by: Claire Wentz


2021 - Amy Reflects on the Year for Personal and Professional Growth

As I sit here in my at-home office in St vital and reflect on what was 2021 and look ahead to 2022, I can’t help but feel grateful and a sense of relief.  Yes, 2021 didn’t go exactly how I wanted it to but I am finding ways to see past what wasn’t and celebrate what was.  I am going to share a few highlights from 2021 and what I see for myself in 2022.

2021 was a year like no other for me. Work was the busiest it had ever been and clients kept coming. The market surged and it just kept climbing (it still is). I struggled with a work-life balance (like any mom or dad working full time). Although I did my best, there were times that I felt I should have been elsewhere. When I was working, I should have been home and when I was at home, I felt that I should be working.

The past year definitely gave me a different perspective on myself. I found myself thriving and loving my work like never before. I always enjoyed real estate but 2021 showed me that I could take on more than I ever thought possible. I don’t want to get too deep into anything but for the last couple of years I have felt a little lost in life, like someone without an identity. Let me spiral for a second…… growing up I was athletic. I found a love for hockey and rode that wave all the way to university. So naturally being a highly competitive hockey player was my identity for a loooong time. But after I left university and hockey, I wasn’t sure what was left. I found my way into real estate a couple years later, but it took a couple years to find my groove. I became a Mom in 2018, which I always dreamed of being and then that became my identity, which I was very grateful for and wouldn’t change for anything. Being a stay-at-home mom wasn’t in the cards for me, so I went back to work after 11 months and it really wasn’t until after my son that I found the confidence to believe in myself and believe I could thrive in real estate. I really do think that I have found a career that I will be in for the rest of my life. That’s something pretty special to happen in a year filled with so much negativity!

Best real estate agents in WinnipegIn 2021 my son Gavin turned 3 years old. What’s that saying… Terrible Twos and Treacherous Threes. Need I say more? Yes, I absolutely love my son and often find myself watching him only to put a smile on my face. He is such an incredible, smart, funny, creative, methodical, particular, adorable, sweet, kind human being but damn the threes are hard! Everyday seems like a struggle. I know it is just a stage and he will grow out of it and I can’t wait until he does, but at the same time, I don’t want him to grow anymore. I want him to stay so young and precious forever – even if the attitude stays too – what a whirlwind of emotions.

My husband and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary (we’ve been together 15 years), which is pretty incredible considering we are both working from home AND we decided to take on a major renovation too (finish our basement, which we’ve been working on for 6 months now). Nothing like a challenge on top of a challenge on top of a challenge, am I right?

I surpassed all my work goals for the year and also achieved a RE/MAX award, 100% Club. 

There were so many other amazing things that happened in 2021 but honestly, it’s really about the little things for me. Waking up to the sounds of my son voice saying “Mommy, is it wake up time yet?”, morning coffee with my husband (in silence because I like my mornings quiet), one on one meetings with my clients where I get to know them a little more every day, helping families find homes where they will raise their kids, helping retirees sell their family homes and move onto the next chapter of their lives,  picking my son up from daycare and him wrapping his arms around me, Lego building, book reading, endless play time, supper as a family.

Now I am dreaming of what 2022 will bring. I haven’t officially made my goals yet, this real estate market is keeping me busy, I can only wish it will be the same as last year. Time spent with family, hopefully more time spent with friends, the ability to form new relationships and be able to do what I love to do, which I now know is to be the best Mom and Realtor I can be.

Cheers to a happy and healthy 2022. Stay Safe Everyone. 

Great realtors in Winnipeg Manitoba#AgentAmy

Amy McDermid

Phone: (204) 470-5356


Buying Riverfront or Waterfront property in Winnipeg, Manitoba

I have had the pleasure of helping many people buy and sell homes on water within Winnipeg over the years, and it seems that the same questions often come up, so let’s go through them now!

Understanding the Challenges with Riverfront Living

Firstly, living on the Red River in Winnipeg, is very different from living on a lakefront or man-made lake waterfront home within Winnipeg. A river is constantly moving, oftentimes damaging or slowly eroding the riverbed. Secondly, and for those not from Manitoba, we are not built on bedrock here.  Our landscape is a full mess of what we call “Manitoba Gumbo” which is essentially sand, silt, and clay.  The stuff that rivers can more easily move around than bedrock or granite.  As such, maintenance of the riverbank is critical to not losing your yard over time. I want to preface this blog by saying that I am not an expert in this area – because I am not, at all! However, Logan and I do live on the Red River and we have sold a number of homes along the Assiniboine River, Seine River, La Salle, and Red River as well as the smaller creeks (Bunn’s, Omand’s, etc.) here in Winnipeg.  The degree and effort you are going to be required to put into your Riverbank Stabilization will greatly depend on the current or flow patterns coming past your property and which side of the river you are on. The Red River flows north, and depending on the curvature and current coming toward your property, the impact might be minimal. The river tends to remove soil on outside curves but it deposits it on inside curves. However, if you are on a heavier flowing area, the amount of work required for maintenance can be substantial. 

riverfront property in winnipeg manitoba

Oftentimes, the loss of lot is not something that people can foresee.  A super high-water year led to a group of residents along Dunkirk Drive losing large chunks of their yard in 2020.  Keep in mind too, that this is not something that insurance companies are willing to cover. In this particular instance, the residents all banded together to repair their riverbank at a cost of around $1 million. Another key consideration for those living along the river is that you often need permits from the City of Winnipeg to do any sort of riverbank stabilizing project.  As part of being approved for said permits, you often will need an engineer’s report that addresses the erosion issue.  These studies are quite costly and oftentimes take a significant amount of time to complete.  Not to mention the city permitting process adding to that timeline.  Some patience will be required here.

At the Mercy of Due Process

The next hurdle you are going to have is to actually address what the engineer’s report says.  I have seen circumstances where the recommendation was to add a significant amount of rip-rap (this looks like large stones along the riverbank).  This helps reduce erosion.  However, this can come at a significant cost.  I have seen some of the bills for this type of work and would say that $100,000 per household often seems to be the going or starting rate for the more significant projects.  Imagine spending that on rocks instead of some fun renovation within the home!

Interestingly enough, I have actually had a client that had the exact opposite issue brought to their attention from the engineers.  In their case, the home they were purchasing was putting too much weight on the land, and they were told to move the home back, away from the river, remove additional dirt from the lot and move it further back.  So, they did all of this work – moved their house further back, actually added onto it, removed dump truck after dump truck of dirt, and the erosion stopped.  I still don’t understand the actual logistics of how this theory worked, but it was cool nonetheless.  The property they built was absolutely beautiful.  Their neighbour, who couldn’t afford to “lighten” his yard unfortunately continued to experience the same erosion and has much less yard now.

There are things you can do though to prevent erosion on your own property without having to go all the way to hiring engineers and getting permits.  One of the cheapest and easiest options is to plant some trees.  Choose trees with deep root systems, that will hold soil in place and withstand some erosion.  There are also many shrub varieties that also offer dense and deep root structures that you can plant to as not to obstruct those river views.  Also, I see no harm in doing annual work along your property line to prevent erosion.  Perhaps some smaller forms of the huge rip-rap projects, brought in every few years just to maintain what you currently have, instead of having to try and rebuild lot that you have lost.


Personal Experiences from Living on the Red River

Just some other negatives from having lived on the Red River – Logan and I have almost always had dogs – often times Labradors which are water-lovers. There are many a time our dog has taken herself for a “dip” and coming out of the Red River is not the same as coming out of a clean lake.  There is often an additional bath required after this “dip”.  Also, the river moves fast – and it is terrifying when your children are young.  Our yard is fenced and our children know not to go outside of the fence unless there is a parent present.  We are also very hands on with the education and stress every time we go beyond the borders of the fence just how dangerous the river is. A lot of the time, you can’t tell if you are standing out on a dirt plank because the ground underneath has eroded.  So, if we are out for walks along the riverbank with the children, we stress the importance of staying several meters back from the edge. 

We have also discovered when applying for permits for work on the exterior of our home is that we have to go through two rounds of permitting.  First, we apply for permission from the City of Winnipeg to do our project.  But then we have to apply for a second permit from Waterways to get permission prior to commencing any construction.  These rules apply to anyone that is within 350 feet of the summer water levels of the Assiniboine River, Red River, Seine River, La Salle Rivers, OR within 250 feet of the summer water levels of Bunn’s Creek, Omand’s Creek, Sturgeon Creek or Truro Creek.  This is if you are within City limits.  This process changes if you are outside of the City of Winnipeg limits.


Pros to living on Winnipeg Riverfront

living on waterfront property winnipegPros of living on the Riverfront in Winnipeg are great though, here are just a few:

  • The neighbours – we are on a deep river lot with neighbours on either side, but I find that riverfront lots often tend to be wider and more spread out, so we feel like we have a ton of space and privacy from our neighbours. We particularly enjoyed this during the early stages of COVID where we could walk to the end of our yard and then along the riverbank for hours without seeing neighbours.
  • The views. The river offers lots of beautiful scenery – beautiful glistening sunlight reflections on hot summer days, or huge icebergs to watch float on by in the winter months.  We are east-facing so we also enjoy some of the most beautiful sunrises in our house.
  • The wildlife.  Living on the riverbank means you are likely going to encounter a fair bit of wildlife.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t see a deer, daily.  I think every time we sit down at our table for a meal, at least one deer will walk by.  There are very few predators within city limits, so the deer seem quite comfortable walking on by even when we are outside.  We do on occasion see the odd fox or coyote trying to track down one of the neighbourhood bunnies.  Also, and this could be added as a con, but we do get some nuisance animals. We have seen a number of raccoons (although we haven’t had any negative experiences with them).  However, we – actually our dog – have had a nasty bout with a skunk on more than one occasion.
  • Fishing – truthfully, we have never done it.  But I see people pull up in the green spaces in our area to fish the river and it seems to be the same group that comes back again and again, so I am assuming we could likely catch some fish right from our backyard. I grew up on Lake of the Woods though, so river fishing is a foreign concept to me.  Perhaps one I will explore one day!
  • Recreation activities – our family’s fitness or recreation activities thus far have been mostly walking along the trails of the river.  However, I have witnessed neighbours putting a kayak in and getting what I would assume is a good workout in! But be careful with this.  You need to know the river, the current patterns, and you need to be a strong kayaker.  Also, please always wear a life vest.  That water can move fast and I’ve heard of even the most seasoned kayakers getting into trouble.
  • Travel – We have never done it, as we are scared of hitting dead logs in the river as we travel, but I always thought it would be so cool to hop in a boat and drive down to the Forks.  Maybe one day!  I have had clients just across the river from us that kept a dock in the river all summer, and would hop in their boat frequently and go for a cruise!


Pros of living on a Lakefront or Waterfront Property in Winnipeg

lakefront property in winnipeg manitobaNow these pros and cons work for riverfront property in Winnipeg, but there are further benefits to owning a Waterfront home in Winnipeg on a man-made lake.  Not only would you get all of the above benefits, but when you are on a slower-moving body of water, there are additional perks:

  • In the winter, you can build an ice skating rink right on the water surface.  Something that is often not possible on parts of the river due to the quick flow and thin ice.
  • Putting a kayak into these bodies of water also isn’t nearly as scary.  The water movement is much more controlled so even those less experienced kayakers can paddle in piece.
  • Less overall maintenance.  A Lakefront property in Winnipeg on a manmade lake does not require anywhere near the riverbank stabilization that a home built on the river will need.  With basic, annual maintenance, you should be able to enjoy your shoreline for years to come.
  • Less building restrictions – if you aren’t on one of the aforementioned rivers, you have one less layer of permitting that you will have to go through too!

I hope you have found this foray into Lakefront property for sale in Winnipeg, useful.  There is much to know, and many considerations to be made.  Again, I say all of these horrible and scary things about riverfront living in Winnipeg, yet I live on it.  So either I am crazy, or to me, the beauty and peacefulness is worth the headache. You be the judge!  If ever you are looking for help in finding a lakefront or riverfront property in Winnipeg, please reach out.  We are happy to help and we will speak from our honest experiences!

Realtors specializing in riverfront property winnipeg#AgentJen

Jennifer Queen

Phone: (204) 797-7945


Should you Sell Your House Privately? Tips from a Realtor!

It's a question I get asked often - should I sell my home on my own and save the commissions, or should I list with a Realtor?  I get asked this enough and have also seen enough people lose a significant amount of money selling on their own, that I figured why not write a blog about it!?  I'm sick of seeing sellers step over dollars to save pennies. So here are my tips for how to sell your home privately.

Full disclosure: you ARE on a Realtor’s Blog here, so while my opinion on the subject may be biased on why you should hire a Realtor, I also don’t want anybody out there getting taken advantage of, or worse – getting sued, so I am going to try and put together a must-know guide on how to sell your house on your own.

Another request: If you intend to sell your house on your own, please do not call a Realtor to ask them to come and walk through your property, give you a valuation and tips for preparing the home for sale.  That isn’t fair to them.  You are in effect saying you value their expertise and skill, but not enough to pay for them.  Just. Don’t. Do. It.  If you want a valuation, I highly recommend reaching out to an appraiser.  They will charge you upfront for their assessment - but then you have some comparable sales for your property and aren't leaving yourself exposed to underpricing or worse, overpricing!

So let's start there: Pricing. 

Pricing is one of the most important considerations that you need to make.  It will either attract or repel purchasers.  Overpricing can be an absolute insult to a purchaser and result in more days on market, price reductions, and ultimately selling your property for less than you should have gotten.  Underpricing can result in not achieving the numbers you should, or in giving the perception that there is something wrong with the property.  There is a very narrow window of price tolerance with buyers, and finding that number will be paramount to your success.  Look at what comparable properties in your neighbourhood are listing at.  Look at your upgrades vs. theirs.  What about square footage, basement finishes, garages, etc?  Be sure to properly adjust for those different features.

Preparing Your Home is PARAMOUNT

Selling a home privately and stagingNow first thing is first.  When you are selling your home, you do want to prepare that canvas so that it is picture ready.  We usually send through our stager at this point, to walk-through room-by-room with you and give advice.  BUT I just checked and there are many how-to videos on YouTube advising just what types of projects you should be undertaking, or how to dress up a room for staging.  In general, the most effective staging will:

  • Improve the flow as you walk through the property
  • Present a blank canvas for your purchaser so that they can envision themselves living there
  • Reduce buyer objections
  • Result in a higher net price to your bottom line

Some key points in the staging process are often depersonalizing within the home, removing clutter, improving traffic-flow with optimal placing of furniture, and organizing.  Also, as a rough rule of thumb, no more than 3 items on any flat surface, and anything smaller than a cantaloupe should be eliminated! Sometimes you should bring pieces in – which we often do.  If you have friends or family that could loan you pieces, that is a great place to start.  Or, a lot of the inventory our stagers carry is from Home Sense – as they have beautiful options in there!

Importance of good photographs 

Next up, you need to get great pictures.  A word from me to you: your cell phone will likely not take these pictures.  Cell phone technology has gotten much better over the years, and the pictures are better than a lot of our former cameras – but you need GREAT quality pictures.  Oftentimes with a wide-angle lens so that you can see the corners of the room as well as all the detail within the room.  So that those viewing your home online can make their own assessments as to whether or not their furniture would fit, what type of windows are in the home, what type of flooring is pictured, whether or not your bedroom has an appropriately sized closet, etc. The list goes on – but the number of things that buyers are determining from your pictures prior to choosing to tour it are significant.  So, don’t lose those buyers by having poorly taken pictures.  I learned this early on in my career after attempting to take some of my own pictures for my listing – I am not a skilled photographer – and I should pay someone to highlight our listings in the best possible light.  You will NEVER regret having good pictures to use for your listing.  The majority of buyers (62%) rely predominantly on the pictures from the online listing - they won't even read your ad copy. So don't cheap out here!

Get on the Video Trends!

Pictures are done – but have you considered video yet? You may have noticed that the world is transitioning toward video.  The apps with some of the biggest growth recently are TikTok (short form content), Instagram (both short form via Reels but also longer form content), as well as YouTube (long form content).  This isn’t just a one-off.  This is truly because more and more people are choosing to consume their information via video, and to “stop the scroll” you need something that is eye-catching and animated.  Also, when it comes to advertising on these platforms, the algorithm is much more favourable to video than it is to static images. So, your marketing dollar and reach goes much further when using video.  Now, just another suggestion.  Completely ignore everything I have said if you are incapable of producing a good-quality video or if your video is simply going to be a slideshow of pictures to music.  That will not entice your buyer enough to watch your video and will likely even turn them off.  In this case, it would just be better to scrap the video altogether.  BUT, if you are willing to expend the money on a good videographer to piece together a video that effectively shows the features of the home as well as layout, then I would say the investment is well worth it!

The Ad Copy is ALL about lifestyle and important detail!

After pictures and video, the third most scrutinized thing in a listing is the actual writeup for your listing. Be SURE to have really good ad copy written up. You are going to want to keep this short and sweet.  Making it too long means the buyer will lose interest as they read.  Having it too short though means you have likely missed important details.  Put together a list of the upgrades you have done within the home in the last 10 years.  If you’ve done many, you might want to eliminate some of the more innocuous details (ie. Painted bathroom 3 years ago).  Again, the goal is to not overwhelm the buyer. This is also a good time to highlight what it actually “feels” like to live within the home – you are going to want to touch upon some points that evoke emotion within the buyer.  For example: “curl up in front of this natural gas fireplace on the coldest of winter nights”.  Highlight some of your favourite parts that you have enjoyed about the home here. Home buying is an incredibly emotional process for buyers, so giving a vision of what their life could look like if they lived here, is paramount.

Reach and Exposure - Time to Push that Ad Out!

how to sell a house privately in manitobaYou have your house prepped, you have it professionally photographed, you have a great video and good ad copy.  Now it is time to start rolling out your advertising!  A word to the wise – over 92% of buyers now say they originally found their home online.  The remaining 8% is a mix of print advertising, for sale signs, word-of-mouth or other/miscellaneous.  As a result, you are going to want to split up your advertising budget accordingly.  Now, the BULK of the people saying they found their listing online do say that they used the MLS ( system, but you likely aren’t going to have access to that if you are truly selling your home privately.  If you are using brokerage houses though to list your property while you handle the rest, such as FairSquare Winnipeg (formerly Purple Bricks Winnipeg and prior to that, ComFree Winnipeg), then you will have access to the MLS system.  Just keep in mind that then you aren’t selling your home privately.  These are licensed brokerages and you are signing a listing contract to be entered into the MLS and paying a set fee to do so.  I will touch upon this a bit further later.  Listing in the MLS alone isn’t enough though – you are going to want to use other digital marketing as well as social media marketing to your advantage.  The reach that you can get, just from a $100 ad spend is significant if you know how to use Facebook Business Manager for targeting both your Facebook and Instagram accounts.  I would advise spending more than $100 – it is just the amount of exposure and targeting that you are able to do per $100 far surpasses any other digital marketing option (in my opinion). Also, put that listing everywhere – put it on Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji,, etc.  Take advantage of all the free advertising too.  There are over 100 Websites that you can advertise your house for free on as well as other strategies, but I won’t get too technical here.  Feel free to call me for a list.  I would also still advise getting a professional sign outside your home, as it is a low-cost option that may result in a call – and heck, you never know!  The wider you spread that net, the more likely you are to find your buyer (or hopefully, multiple buyers)!

The Importance of the Showing Experience

Now if you can, clear out.  Get OUT of the house and out of the way for your buyers.  I know this may sound alarming, but the biggest complaint I have had from purchasers when showing them Privately Offered, or ComFree or Purple Bricks or now FairSquare listings in Winnipeg, is that the sellers are home and it makes them uncomfortable to tour the home.  I know, you think you are being helpful by telling them how the new heating system worked, or what your favourite part of the home is, but buyers oftentimes feel this is too “pushy”.  They are used to inspecting and touring at their own pace, and having the owner right there really interrupts that flow.  Truthfully, I have found some of the quickest tours with buyers to be the ones in which the seller is home – because those buyers just can’t get out of there fast enough.  If you are able to make arrangements with buyer’s agents prior to showings, or you are able to install a lockbox on the property (can be purchased at Canadian Tire or Home Depot), that is oftentimes the way to go.  Now, that being said – you also need to be sure you are only letting QUALIFIED buyers into your home.  This is where I guess things could get awkward.  If the purchaser has their own agent that is discussing the tour with you, they will have verified a pre-approval and the identity of their purchaser, so there is some confirmation there.  However, if you are dealing directly with a purchaser it may be awkward to ask for proof of a pre-approval letter prior to showing, but in all honesty, I would still request it.  You are allowing complete strangers into your home, so it is important to vet them properly.

Are Open Houses Worth It? 

Decide if you want to host an open house.  A lot of private sellers do host these, however what we have found, particularly during COVID when we went for long periods of time without open houses, is that they are pretty ineffective at finding qualified buyers.  A lot of the traffic through the open house seems to be neighbours, or people out on a Sunday drive that just happen upon the listing.  The statistic prior to COVID was that 1 in 50 homes might sell from an open house, but I think that statistic is likely far worse.  That being said, it is a good option to get additional exposure for your home should you not be great at presenting an online presence.

Offers start to come in!

You’ve had some showings.  Depending on the market, you may have set yourself up for an offer date even.  But just how long to hold off those offers, or how many showings you should have before reviewing offers is something that is neighbourhood specific, time-sensitive, and seasonal.  Look to the MLS, see what other listings are doing.  Are they holding a showing window period of 5 days?  10 days?  What seems to be working?  You won’t be able to see the prices people are getting from the public MLS, but you might be able to see what kind of traffic your neighbours are getting, just how quickly the sold sign goes up, and you could approach them just to get a feel on activity and how things went.  You also want to be careful to not hold an offer date on the same day as a competing listing.  There is strategy on whether or not you should book your offer date before or after a similar listing and it will depend on how yours shows in relation to the other.  But determining an appropriate offer date to review offers, is paramount to your success.

Options when reviewing offers

You will receive your (hopefully) stack of offers – and now you have options.  You can either: Accept, Counter, or Reject. Just a few words of caution here: be careful how you negotiate if you are countering offers.  Be sure to not extend more than one counteroffer at a time – because in Manitoba, you can essentially sell your home twice (and I don’t think you have two of the exact same homes to sell)!  It is good to be versed in what conditions are normal and the regular timelines for these conditions – so that you know if something seems out of line.  Oftentimes having a good real estate lawyer that can advise on this would be a great start. While it is not common for properties listed with a Realtor, it might be in your best interest to insert a condition that benefits you to allow for lawyer review.  The last thing you want is to sign a contract without being sure what every single line-item means.

Other Important Considerations Affecting the Market

Top Realtors in Winnipeg ManitobaI prefaced this email with my bias toward hiring a Realtor, and I still truly feel that is the best way. But here are some items I just want to touch upon, so that the whole “selling privately” experience isn’t a surprise for you.  In January of 2022, it became mandatory that buyers sign Buyer Service Agreements with their Realtor.  Within these service agreements is usually a pre-stated amount of commission that the buyer agrees their Realtor should be compensated with upon closing.  This is normally covered by the seller as part of the proceeds from the sale.  However, if the Seller is unwilling to cover these fees, this agreement often states that the buyer is to cover the commission themselves – and may make private sales less attractive for the buyer as it represents a larger cash outlay for them.  If I were a private seller, I would personally advertise a commission to cooperating buyer’s agents, and perhaps factor that into my listing price.  My understanding is that the brokerages that list homes on the MLS for a flat fee give similar advice and do recommend offering a cooperating commission.

I also have come to learn over the years that people are most concerned with REMAX Realtor Commission Rates – and that they may be some of the highest as we are one of the larger brokerage houses and are known for heavy marketing, etc.  I would argue that this isn’t the case, and rather that our commission structures are competitive.  I would also say that our marketing reach is likely some of the most extensive given the platforms that REMAX Winnipeg has built.

There are circumstances where people do not wish for their house to be listed so publicly – sometimes death, divorce, etc. In situations like this, we recommend Exclusive Listings.  This keeps your house off the MLS listing service, but still allows your Realtor to provide real estate services to procure the sale.  You can opt to not have a for sale sign, and to handle the whole sale a bit more discreetly under this method. If requiring more discreet, exclusive listing Winnipeg services is what you are looking for, I would STILL recommend hiring a Realtor – as their reach and exposure even just from their network will likely net you more even without being on the MLS.

As a final statistic, and keep in mind this comes from the National Association of Realtors, but on average those homes listed privately do sell for approximately 18% less “FSBO homes sold at a median of $260,000 last year, signi´Čücantly lower than the median of agent-assisted homes at $318,000.”.  Source:  Oftentimes, it is for lack of exposure, improper pricing, or buyers factoring in the cost of paying commissions out of pocket regardless. 

Prior to being a Realtor, I always thought I would sell my home on my own.  However, after being a Realtor and navigating both buyers and sellers through the process thousands of times, I would say that those working with a GREAT Realtor, always seem to come out ahead. Just my two cents.  If you've read this far, thanks for taking the time. If listing with us sounds of interest to you, great!  Please feel free to reach out.  If the for sale by owner route sounds better to you, I truly wish you well on your journey!  There is no one-size-fits-all approach for anything in life, and you have to make the decision that is best for you!

Happy Selling, folks!

Best Realtor in Winnipeg Manitoba#AgentJen

Jennifer Queen

Phone: (204) 797-7945

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