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Things always happen at the worst time, am I right? You’re one month out from listing your home and your furnace breaks down, GREAT! What do you do? Calling around to some local companies you learn that you don’t need to fork up the $4500.00 all at once to replace the furnace, you can RENT the furnace and pay a monthly fee. Well isn’t that ideal, you are planning on selling anyway, so you should only have a few months of this fee to pay and the rest is the new owners’ problem. Even better, the buyers will be ecstatic to learn that they have a brand-new furnace that they don’t need to worry about for the next few years! Win, win. Or so many sellers think.


Lately, I feel like I have been running into this situation more and more often. I am not sure if the equipment rental companies are just getting better at persuading unassuming clients to be part of their scheme or if we just need to do a better job of educating people about what this means for them when selling their home.  Unfortunately, usually by the time we come into picture, the damage has already been done. So, what do we do now?


How much money should you spend on a homeLet’s start off with what these rental companies aren’t telling you.  Simply, you (or the next owner) will end up paying more than DOUBLE what the furnace would have originally cost once the rental contract is over. Ok yes, once again if you are selling who cares, so let me keep going. The average life span of a new high-efficient furnace is roughly 25 years… and these contracts only last usually 8-10 years. Now remember, this is a rental, so when the contract is up you no longer have a furnace. Therefore, you just paid double to use the same furnace for less than half of its lifespan. So to put it into perspective, if you buy the furnace it will cost you $4500.00 up front and you will have it for at least 20 years; if you rent it you will end up paying close to $10,000.00 all in and only have it for 8-10 years. The math is simple, and the buyers will see that too.


So here it is, for some buyers the extra cost for a rental is a huge expense on top of all the other costs of owning a house, especially for something that most homes already include. Add on to that, the fact that they are technically purchasing a house without a furnace (as it is an extra cost to have one). When comparing to other homes that don’t have this added cost, your home will start to appear less ideal. Unfortunately, what this means for you is that we will either need to adjust the price you are asking for the home to take into account these costs, OR you will have to buy out the contract, and trust me that doesn’t come cheap. Most buyers’ agents’, will advise their clients to not take on the rental and to ask for the contract to be bought out prior to possession. So that initial $4500 you tried to save by renting, BAM it just doubled.


Now of course I am over generalizing, all rental contracts are a little different and the price to buyout may change slightly, but they are all much more than the original cost to buy. Now here is the real problem, some people unfortunately think this is their only option.  A lot of households don’t have the savings set aside for an emergency for these types of situations. BUT there are other programs that can help. Manitoba Hydro has many programs that can help homeowners with these upfront costs and upgrades while charging you very little interest. For more information on theses programs please visit:  

https://www.hydro.mb.ca/your_home/residential_loan/


I have focused mainly on furnaces in today’s blog since they carry the largest price tags, but in real estate we see all kinds of rental contracts. Some other common rentals we see are hot water tanks and air condition units. I have even experienced all three at one listing! That’s one big extra expense for a potential buyer!


The point I am trying to drill into you today is that whichever type of rental you are considering, please take a second to think and do the math.  It may just save you a lot of money in the end, and always remember we are here to help!


Top real estate agent in Winnipeg#AgentAshton


Ashton Augert

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

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Spring is here in Manitoba! The weather is nice and warm and we are looking forward to getting out in our yards and neighborhoods for as many activities as possible after our winter hibernation.  Some things to consider when the weather turns from winter to spring, especially in Manitoba, are maintenance items around your home.


I know, I know we finally get some nice weather and here I am telling you that you should get the work gloves out and start laborious jobs on your home. But the truth is now is the perfect time to figure out what sort of maintenance jobs your home may need moving into spring and summer rains.


Right now the ground is still mostly frozen and even though it looks nice and soft at the top deeper down there is still plenty of frost.  This can make for a problematic scenario for some people.  Luckily this past winter came with minimal snow and a pretty gradual snow melt.  However if we have a large rain many people could see issues with water affecting their homes.


The place to start the ground! Take a walk around your home, seems easy enough but how close do you really look at every side of your home?  There will be plenty of things that look different around your home now that the snow has come and gone.


Foundation Checks in Winnipeg ManitobaOn the ground level walk around the foundation and check for areas of damaged siding or low spots in the ground around the foundation.  Every home should have a positive grade.  Meaning the ground should be highest right up against the home, then it should slope away to provide water with a runoff solution that moves away from your home.  Also you should assess the type of material that is surrounding your home.  Rock and stone is one of the worst options for positive grading.  The stones and rock have tons of pores and spaces between them that allow water to easily filter through and go into the ground and foundation. The best materials to use are ones that have limited space between the particles or those that hold water, topsoils and clays are the best and are readily available in Manitoba. It may require some elbow grease to get the grading correct but it is essential to keeping your home dry, even a new foundation with enough water stress could allow seeping.


Check window wells, if your home has them.  Clean them out and make sure that they are not filled with leaves and other debris that can stop water from trickling through the stone and into your weeping tile as they should. 


Check your downspouts.  Has there been any damage from ice/snow over the winter? How far do they extend past your foundation? Ideally you want your downspouts to discharge a minimum of 6-8 feet from your foundation walls, if you can do further then great!


Check for any damage to doors and windows including weather strip seals and the corners to ensure that your house is not allowing a draft through.  This is especially important in older homes that may go through some natural shifting as the seasons change.


If you have a ladder and are comfortable going on the roof then check the shingles to see if there is any damage from wind, snow or ice since the fall.  Make sure the eavestroughs are not pulling away from the house anywhere from snow/ice weight.  Check the areas around chimneys and flashings to make sure that they are still watertight, as these areas typically are failure points for letting water into your home.


Inside the home, one of the best things to do it to check and see if your sump pump is working.  You may need to check the exterior pipe and make sure that it is not frozen, as we are still getting below zero temperatures in the night.  If the pipe freezes and your sump pump still tries to pump water through it you can burn out your pump motor and you could also have an issue with pressure breaks in the pipe.  Ensure that you put your sump pump hose out on the exterior and extend it as far from your foundation wall as possible. Also make sure the pump is plugged in and that the breaker is on in the electrical panel.


If you do have an older home and you do get water in the basement this is also a great time of year to assess the situation and determine the best plan of action to manage or fix the problem.


9 times out of 10 the solution starts with keeping water away from your foundation. And remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!


Best real estate agent in Winnipeg, Logan Queen#AgentLogan


Logan Queen

Tel: (204) 226-1261
Email: Logan@JenniferQueen.com

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The year 2020… should I say anything more? Thinking back to last spring, I really didn’t know what this would mean for the Real Estate market here in Winnipeg. The news seemed all but damming. With more people working from home, wages and jobs being lost, and restrictions on how we could conduct our everyday business, I really thought we were in for the worst. Turns out, I was very, VERY wrong. More buyers than ever were being qualified to buy as the interests rates plummeted, people’s priorities were changing in what they were looking for and house prices were going through the roof (no pun intended). 2020 was one of the strongest markets in recent history.


How did that happen you wonder? You would think job cuts and restrictions would mean less people buying and more people staying put, but that isn’t exactly what happened. People who had job security were saving more money as they weren’t going on trips and spending on entertainment, and buyers looking to get into the market saw their chance as interest rates hit an all time low. The demand was high, and the supply…. well the supply was slim to none. While Buyers saw an opportunity, a lot of sellers (especially at first) were hesitant. The fear of a market crash was looming and a world wide pandemic was here. Letting strangers into your home wasn’t on the top of everyone’s list, and who could blame them! The high demand and lack of supply tipped the scale in favour of a seller’s market and the rest is history. Bidding wars, high sales prices and emotions flying, COVID-19 impacted the real estate market more than we could have ever imagined.


The market itself wasn’t the only thing that changed, what buyers were looking for also changed. The COVID-19 restrictions turned our everyday lives’ upside down. All of a sudden, gyms were closed, restaurants were closed and we were spending 99% of our time at home. So naturally, people’s wants/needs in homes changed along with them. These are the areas where we saw the biggest change:



Home Offices: No surprise here. With a lot of the population now working from home, home offices have been on the top of the wish list. What this means is buyers are now looking for homes with either a finished basement or an extra bedroom to set up their home office in.


Houses with pools in WinnipegBigger Yards & Pools: Buyer’s are gravitating to larger outdoor spaces. Less travel, means people are spending more time in their own backyards. Why not make them your own private getaway? Here in Manitoba, pools weren’t always a priority as it is winter 7 months of the year. Not to mention there is a large population of Manitobans who own a secondary vacation property (cottage etc). Due to the travel restrictions we saw a big uptake in the demand for properties with pools.


More space in general: Spending more time at home with our family (although we love them) can make your house feel tight! One of the biggest requests we had in 2020 when talking to buyers is that they “just need more space!”


Home gyms: Between binging Netflix, snacking and zoom calls it’s nice to have a place to let out some of that pent-up energy. With gyms closed and as the temperature drops and we aren’t able to spend as much time outdoors, we have seen a large increase in demand for homes with space for a small home gym.


Detached Homes: We’ve seen a shift from properties with shared living spaces due to COVID-19. Properties with shared amenities saw a dip as health concerns grew.


As we gear up for a what we expect to be a similar 2021, we are taking into consideration a lot of these changes. Not only in what buyer’s are looking for but how to navigate the market in general. We are expecting another year full of bidding wars and high sales prices as there is no evidence of interest rates rising anytime soon. If you have been thinking about selling there is no better time, if you are planning on taking advantage of these low interest rates and buying, we are here to guide you through it.


So, buckle up, we are in for another busy year!




Best Real estate agent in Winnipeg, Ashton Augert

#AgentAshton


Ashton Augert

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

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