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Having a backyard oasis is one of my life goals! My family and I have  been spending  A LOT of time outside! My husband and I are currently trying to transform our backyard into something beautiful so I thought other might be able to benefit from our experiences. Now that the worms are gone we can finally start tackling some of our projects. This year we are planning some big exterior projects; shingles, soffit, fascia, eavestrough, grading, and a garage. In past years we have painted our exterior stucco trim and all, grading, added flower and vegetable gardens! I know our summer is a short season but undertaking the projects little by little you will be able to achieve that beautiful backyard oasis! 


Here are a couple exterior projects to help you add value and enjoy your outdoor space!


PaintJust like the interior of your house, paint can be a great way to spruce up curb appeal without breaking the bank. Keep it neutral and add that splash of colour with flowers, planters or a freshly painted front door! A great tip if you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on exterior paint, visit some paint store and ask about their mis tints. They sell them at a reduced rate and you might just get lucky! My husband and I did this a couple years ago and ended up getting a white mis tint! We were able to tint it any colour we wanted for a ¼ of the price!


Landscaping This is a big one. Landscaping and grading are very important. While a level yard and pretty gardens make your yard aesthetically pleasing, they also serve a very important role in the overall maintenance of your house and foundation – water management. You always want to make sure you have positive grading, which helps direct water away from the foundation. Installing gardens around your foundation helps absorbs excess water and adds extra curb appeal!


Add or Fix Driveway Adding or Fixing a driveway isn’t always the cheapest renovation but it will go a long way. If your home already has a driveway, make sure it is clean and eye appealing. There are companies in Winnipeg that help fix uneven driveways so just because your driveway has a couple cracks and dips in it make sure you researching and look at all your options before you hire a company to tear up the old driveway and add a new one!


Decks and patios Adding a deck or patio area to your backyard is an important step to creating that oasis! Having a deck or patio area is a valuable addition to your home and can act like a second living space during those summer months. It is a great space for entertaining, eating,  playing, relaxing, etc. This is something my husband and I don’t have and I dream about it all the time! Hopefully we can find some room in the budget this fall or next spring.


Top Real Estate Agent in Winnipeg

#AgentAmy


Amy McDermid

Phone: (204) 470-5356
Email: Amy@JenniferQueen.com

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Typically, I love to write blogs about new real estate trends, or how you can maximize your real estate knowledge, but today I wanted to share with you something I discovered this last year that I owe a lot of my success to, in real estate as well as in life.


Last year, on December 4th 2018, I wrote a letter to myself, as my future self. It began, “Dear Ashton Augert…. What a year it has been”. I have to admit, I felt a little silly and not to mention skeptical as I wrote the first few lines. I thought to myself “There is no way ANY of these things are going to happen”. But before I go on, I should first let you know where I was a year ago…


I had just made the big decision to move from my previous brokerage to my current brokerage, and had just began my career with the Jennifer Queen Team.  I had always wanted to be on a team, and when the phone rang with the opportunity of the lifetime, I didn’t hesitate to jump on board. Although I was still fairly new to the business, I was starting to gain confidence in the Realtor I was becoming, and was so excited to be able to join a very successful team, but still had a lot to learn. I had also just recently purchased my first home and was newly engaged. Life was starting to go in the direction I wanted it to, but there were still so many unknowns and goals I wanted to fulfill in the upcoming year.


That was when a little birdie (cough,cough Jen), challenged me to write a letter to myself, as my future self, writing about all of the great successes I had achieved that year. So now here I was, sitting there, writing a letter to myself and thinking, what do I want to achieve this year? And this is what I wanted to share with you. Some of the goals I wrote were so small, that they almost seemed silly to write down on paper, others were so far-fetched at that moment in my life that they seemed more like dreams for another lifetime or at least not feasible in the next year! But the important thing was, that by writing these goals down, and visualizing them as my own future, I was now committed to, at the very minimum, attempting to try to fulfill them (even though I still felt a little silly for doing so).


When I was done writing, I read the letter one last time, signed it Ashton Humphreys (my future last name) and folded it away in a drawer to forget about until the next year.


As I’m sure a lot of you could agree, 2019 came and went in a blink of an eye. Life has a way of making you forget how in only a short period of time, so much can change. Sitting back and reading the letter I had written myself; I couldn’t help but feel proud. The person who wrote that letter a year ago would be amazed to see that I had actually done most of the things I had said I would do, not to mention blew some of them out of the park! We had done the renovations on the house we were planning on doing, our wedding went (mostly) as planned, I sold more houses then I had written down (which seemed unattainable to me at the time) and we did have our new little fur baby. The best part about all of it was it now gave me the motivation to dream bigger.


Motivational Quotes for Real EstateSo, here is my advice to you:

Celebrate the small successes: No goal is too small, seeing the small achievements throughout the year gives you the fuel to reach for those bigger ones. If you don’t quite reach that big goal you set at least you can see that there are so many other things you have achieved, giving you the motivation to keep going.  


Set achievable, yet difficult goals:  Push yourself, if you think you can put aside $5000.00 this year for a down payment, why not shoot for $6000.00? When I say achievable, I mean something that you realistically could achieve. If you are a real estate agent setting a goal of selling 50 houses this year, that is achievable. If you are a real estate agent and your goal for the year is to perform open heart surgery, not so achievable (you get the point). 


Make yourself accountable: By writing down your goals, you will now have to face yourself when the time comes. Just imagine how great you will feel opening that letter a year later and seeing it there in your own writing, all the great things you have accomplished. You may also want to give a copy of your letter to a trusted friend or family member if you need a little more accountability, whatever works for you to keep yourself on track.


Have a good support system: By surrounding yourself with people who also want you to achieve your goals and believe in you will make it that much easier. You don’t have to achieve these on your own.


Reward yourself: It is ok to be proud of yourself. You did it! Give yourself a pat on the back... or maybe treat yourself to that spa day you have been dreaming about. Whatever it is, you deserve it.


Keep going: If you didn’t quite reach the goals you set for yourself this year, keep going. Don’t set the bar lower now because you are afraid of failure. Use it as fuel to motivate you further.


We all have goals; some are smaller such as learning to touch your toes and others are so big that you may not achieve them for years to come. At the Jennifer Queen Team, we truly believe setting goals is the perfect recipe for success. Every Monday we go around the table setting achievable goals for our work and personal lives for that week. The accountability aspect, as well as writing them down motivates us to do the things we may otherwise have brushed off. Setting goals, whether it be weekly, monthly or yearly helps you stay on track.


So, if you are wanting to buy a house in the next year, write it down. If you are wanting to save $300 more dollars a month, write it down. If you are wanting to go see the Eifel tower, you guessed it, write it down. You never know what your subconscious will grab hold of. When you open that letter a year later, you may just be surprised with things you have achieved.


Without that letter to myself, I would not have realized all the small successes I have made throughout the year. It has really given me the fuel to give 2020 all I’ve got. Try it, what’s the worst that could happen?


“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands—your own.” —Mark Victor Hansen



Top Real Estate Agent in Winnipeg Manitoba

 

 

#AgentAshton


Ashton Augert

Phone: (204) 781-1767
Email: Ashton@JenniferQueen.com


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If you’ve been following Winnipeg’s real estate market at all these past few months, you’ve noticed a high percentage of homes are selling over the asking price. You may be wondering, how are there so many buyers that are willing to pay more than what the owners have asked for!? The simple answer: The law of supply and demand.

What is the law of supply and demand? It is a simple economic theory where when demand exceeds supply, prices will rise, and vice versa. How this applies to the real estate market is when there is a surplus of buyers who are looking in a specific neighborhood and there is shortage of homes for sale in that specific neighborhood, the prices of homes will rise due to demand. Resulting in, yes, you’ve guessed right, every buyer’s worst nightmare: the bidding war.



If you are thinking of buying a home in the near future there are some things you can do to prepare yourself in the event that you may encounter a multiple offer scenario.



 

Mortgaeg pre-approvalFirst Off, Get Pre-Approved. 

Being confident in how much you can afford when competing gives you a huge advantage. This will allow you to feel comfortable with the number you put down on that offer… even if it may be $40,000.00 over asking! Secondly, the time necessary for the lender to approve your mortgage will be cut down drastically, allowing you to put a much shorter time to fulfill your financing condition, making your offer a lot stronger. It is not uncommon to see offers written with 24 hour financing conditions or even no financing condition at all! If you want to compete with those offers, having a dialogue with your lender as well as the pre-approval will give you the tools necessary to do so.


(It is very important that if you decided to write an unconditional offer you ask your mortgage specialist/broker and your realtor all the risks involved in doing so).  A pre-approval means the lender has already done approximately 70% of the work, but still has a few key pieces that they require to get the final approval.


Know Your Market.

This is where you need to listen to your realtor. Find someone who is familiar with the areas you are looking in. See how many homes in that area have gone over list and by how much. This will give you somewhat of an idea to what you may experience when it comes time to put in an offer. Although every situation is different, being educated in what trends are happening in your neighborhood will help you prepare and will hopefully reduce some of the stress involved with these multiple offer scenarios. An educated buyer is the best kind of buyer!


Know the Market Value of the Home.

Comparative Market Analysis Winnipeg

Market value is defined as “the price an educated buyer is willing to pay for a specific property”. In a “hot market” properties may be listed lower than market value to attract more buyers.  Your agent should be doing a ‘Comparative Market Analysis’ on the property to determine market value so you can make an educated offer. This is not to say properties don’t go above market value, there are many factors that go into what something is worth to someone. It may be that it is next door to their best friend or maybe they just NEED it. It is hard to know what a specific property will sell for, you need to determine not only market value, but what the home is worth to YOU.


Have a Plan.

Bidding wars are stressful, no doubt about it. Talk with your agent about all likely scenarios and what you would be willing to negotiate on. Knowing your numbers before they present offers helps to keep emotions out of it. Keep in mind, in Manitoba your agent does not know what the other offers are and what situations may be associated with them. For all we know, the offer you are competing against could be the owner’s sister. Plans change, but having the discussions beforehand will help ease your emotions at that time.


Write a Letter to the Seller.

Some may say this is a little tacky, but from experience, these have been known to sway sellers in different directions. Read more about the power of a personal letter in #AgentLogan’s previous blog. Let them know what you love about their home, who you are and what you value. Connecting with the home owner may just help get you in the front running to negotiations, its worth a try!


Home Inspections in WinnipegDo a Pre-Inspection of the Property.

The less conditions on an offer, the stronger it is when competing. Putting a condition subject to a home inspection can result in your offer going to the bottom of the pile. This is not to say we shouldn’t do one! Usually, there is enough time before the offers date that you can schedule a pre-inspection of the property, allowing you to write an offer without the home inspection condition but still being confident in the purchase you are making. The only downside to this is if you still don’t get the property you’ve paid for the home inspection!


Be Patient.

The last piece of advice I will give you is be patient. It is not uncommon to write 4-6 offers before finally getting the house you’ve always wanted. This a marathon, not a sprint. I have experienced MANY multiple offer scenarios in my career as a real estate agent, they are all different and they are all unpredictable. Having the tools necessary in advance and the right guidance is key to navigating these crazy things called bidding wars.


Good luck!


Ashton's Advice on Bidding Wars#AgentAshton


Ashton Augert

Phone: (204) 781-1767
Email: Ashton@JenniferQueen.com

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