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Over the last year I have helped several families move into this amazing Province and it really got me thinking about why I love this city. Initially, I moved to Winnipeg from North Western Ontario (NOW) to attend the University of Manitoba and play hockey. I was never keen on the idea of living in Winnipeg mostly because it was too close to home and at the age of 18 you feel like you need your own space to grow. However, the city grew on me very quickly and honestly, I can’t imagine living anywhere else, even when it is -40! There are so many things to love about Winnipeg but here are a couple of my favourites!


Best Restaurants in WinnipegThe Food Cultural: I love food. I love cooking. So, the fact that Winnipeg is known for its food culture makes me very happy! Everywhere you go in this city there is a restaurant waiting for you. There is such a variety from Asian, tapas, traditional Indigenous, French, Italian, American, Indian, honestly you name it, you can find it in Winnipeg. I wish I had more time to explore more restaurants. Often times we get stuck in what is easy and comfortable, but I try and make a goal of trying a new restaurant every month in hopes of keeping it interesting! My most recent favourite is Harth Mozza and Wine Bar.


 If you’re wanting to be more hands-on and experiment in your own kitchen, try taking some cooking classes. There are a number of different organizations that offer speciality classes. Something I have always wanted to do but never done. Maybe I’ll make it part of my 2022 goals! If you have any suggestions, please send them my way.


Real Estate: Yes, I realize I might be a little biased on this one, and I’m sure you have heard it before, Winnipeg is one of the most affordable cities in all of Canada. Yes, we aren’t a major hub like Vancouver, Calgary or Toronto, but if you are looking to put down some roots, start a family, start investing or expand your investing portfolio - Winnipeg is an exciting and affordable city to do that in. The average price for a single family detached home in Winnipeg is coming in just under $400,000. While other cities like Calgary or Halifax have much higher average prices for homes of closer to $500,000, and don’t even get me started on Vancouver and Toronto where you would need a much large commitment of $1M plus just to break into the market. Winnipeg has always seemed like a smart and safe investment to me!


The Nature Trails and Parks : As you know by now I grew up in NWO. I spent a lot of time outdoors, camping, fishing, sports, etc. Nature and getting outdoors is something that is very important to me and my family. Winnipeg (and surrounding area) has spectacular parks and trails. Parks like Assiniboine, St Vital Park, La Barriere are popular destinations for my family as well as many fellow Winnipegers! They always have so much going on. You can choose to get caught up in the excitement of the crowds or relax and enjoy the serenity. I also have a couple parks closer to home that I take my dog, Provie, and my son, Gavin, to on a weekly basis. There are so many parks with lovely walking trails, I feel guilty for not exploring them more but honestly there are so many it is sometimes hard to choose!


Fort Whyte Alive is something I haven’t explored enough but it needs to be highlighted. It is 660 acres of green space in the middle of the city. They provide programming, natural settings, and facilities for environmental education, outdoor recreation, and social enterprise. In so doing, FortWhyte promotes awareness and understanding of the natural world and actions leading to sustainable living. They have endless things to do: tours, biking, water sports, snowshoeing, ski trails, skating, fit pits. Honesty, there is no way I could fully explain what Fort Whyte Alive is, you need to explore it for yourself.

 

Culturally Diverse: Winnipeg is one of the most diverse cities in all of Canada. We have a lot of larger industries that attract people with all kinds of backgrounds; manufacturing, aerospace, agribusiness, creative industries, energy and environment, financial industries, information, communications and technology, life sciences, tourism, transportation, distribution and the list goes on. Did you know that there are at least 100 different languages spoken here?  Incredible! Folklorama is a terrific two-week annual festival that explores the multicultural diversity of Manitoba. It allows all of the cultures within our province to showcase their uniqueness during the festival in August. I usually get to 1 or 2 of the pavilions each year and I have never been disappointed!



Realtor working in South WinnipegManitoba Museum: The Manitoba Museum is the province’s largest, not-for-profit centre for heritage and science learning. They pride themselves on the interpretation of Manitoba’s rich and diverse history and do a wonderful job at it. There are also Planetarium shows, and Science Gallery exhibits, which I haven’t visited yet but need to in the near future. The Museum’s collections are based off the heritage of Manitoba and other regions of the world. There are nine interpretive galleries to explore each with their unique qualities and attractions. The Museum is known for its three-dimensional walk-through galleries. One of which is a full-size 17th-century sailing vessel, and the Urban Gallery, which takes you back in time to Winnipeg during the 1920s. Full disclosure, I hadn’t been to the Manitoba Museum in about 10-15 years but I went a couple weeks ago with my 3-year-old son and it was amazing! I thought my son would only be interested in the “big ship” but he was interested in everything. They have done an amazing job renovating and upgrading the facility. We could have spent the entire day in there – the ship alone is pretty spectacular!


The Forks: This one is a classic and I think most people have heard of this meeting place but I need to mention it. The Forks is such a special place. It is located at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. The area as been transformed over the last 30 years, from Indigenous trading grounds to abandoned railyard and now The Forks. Their goal:


“The Forks shall be developed as a meeting place a special and distinct, all-season gathering and recreational place at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, through a mixed-use approach including recreational, historical and cultural, institutional and supportive commercial uses.”


Everyone should experience The Fork at one time or another in the life, and may I add in every season! The grounds have so much to offer in the spring, summer, fall and my favourite - the winter!


So please join me, in exploring Winnipeg and if you have any other recommendations, please be sure to share in the comments section below!


Top Realtor in Winnipeg Manitoba#AgentAmy


Amy McDermid

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

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Your Home is Sold… Now What!?

Congratulations!  You’ve made it from listing to SOLD!  But now what?  I’m going to cover some points that I often go through with my clients once their home sale firms up. 


In my opinion, the hardest part is over.  You have triumphed through showing-after-showing, multiple open houses, some harsh feedback, along with all of the other stresses that come with the sale. Or perhaps you consider the physical packing and moving of your items to be the most stressful.  Either way, things are moving forward and it is best to be mentally prepared!


All of the paperwork that you need to sign with me is now complete.  That's right, you no longer have to see my face.  Unless of course you want to.  Then the feeling is mutual!  But I will not be needing any more signatures on anything at this point, unless you and the buyers agree to amend something in the contract, for instance a possession date.

What you will still need to sign are the land transfer and mortgage discharge documents, etc. usually done with your lawyer a few days prior to possession.  I will have already forwarded all of the paperwork on to your lawyer, so they should have everything they need for your file, apart from your signing hands (and survey certificates if you have them and keys)!  The lawyers will usually get in touch with you about a week prior to possession. So do not be alarmed if you don’t hear from them immediately after the sale.  You only need to give your lawyer one set of keys.  The remainder of the keys can be in the home for the new owners.  The purchasers just need to be able access the home on the date of possession.


Moving Checklist WinnipegThe lawyer will also ask for final meter readings, particularly the water meter reading.  This should be done the day prior to possession.  The lawyer will usually give you instruction on this.  If you do not provide the water meter reading, sometimes the lawyers will do a holdback of funds (usually around $1000), until they receive confirmation from the City that your usage has been confirmed and paid. So it is important to get this reading done prior to possession.  You should also read the hydro and gas meters as well.  For any meter reading, I encourage you to take pictures of the meters, especially with something that shows a date. The purchasers are instructed to take their own meter readings upon possession as well, and then Hydro tends to take the average of your reading and their reading to arrive at a number they feel is fair for final billing.  So far, I have only encountered honest buyers and sellers, but I'm sure there are some that lack scruples and may report inaccurately (hence the picture recommendation).


Other items to keep in mind: It is time now to cancel your insurance.  BUT I would cancel it effective a few days AFTER possession.  Just to be safe.  I've heard horror stories of people showing up for possession and the house having burned down and there being some dispute over when the fire started.  So better safe than sorry.  The extra cost for a few extra days is worth the peace of mind, in my opinion.  


Make sure to change your address on everything (Credit Cards, Schools, Bank Institutions, etc). You may want to look into mail forwarding with Canada Post.  They have options for mail forwarding for several months up until a year.  I have found that there is always some mail that may slip through the cracks (Costco rebate cheques that only Celebrating your home sale in Winnipegcome once a year!).  So if you are feeling paranoid that there is something you may miss, I recommend setting yourself up for mail forwarding.  The Canada Post Website can be found here: https://www.canadapost.ca/cpc/en/personal/receiving/manage-mail/mail-forwarding.page


And my last instructions are to go celebrate.  This one was tough on you guys, but you championed through and you deserve some time to celebrate! CONGRATS!





Jennifer Queen Team - Top Winnipeg Realtors

#AgentJen


Jennifer Queen

Phone: (204) 797-7945
Email: Jennifer@JenniferQueen.com

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Pictured: My first sale - a condominium for a lovely couple along St. Anne's Road shortly after getting my license. They had tried to sell privately and gave up.



June 2019 marks my eighth year in real estate.  I ALWAYS wanted to be surrounded by real estate.  I remember going to a multitude of open houses just so I could take it all in.  What actually propelled me to finally taking action was a television show on HGTV about a female realtor in Canada that built a successful real estate business, then team, and ultimately brokerage for herself.  I thought, if she can do it, why can’t I? 



ASIDE: Don’t worry Stan, I have no intention of starting a brokerage after observing what you do day-in and day-out for the last eight years. No thank you! Let me sell things!



I am still learning something new every day, even after 550 deals and counting (if my calculations are correct).  I was recently reading Ben Franklin’s Autobiography and found his 13 Virtues still very relevant for today. He was really onto something.  To that end, I have picked eight virtues that I feel are still relevant to what I have learned in my eight years in Real Estate:



  1. Silence.  Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation. We must listen openly and honestly to our clients. We all have our own biases and backgrounds, however we are not truly serving our clients best interests if we try to insert our own beliefs and opinions into their decision making process.  Yes, we are there to provide guidance and an education on the home buying and selling process, but not to influence it with our own opinions or biases.
  2. Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.  Sometimes it is okay if you respond to your emails at the end of the day.  Focus on the client you are with, they are the priority.  Learn how to prioritize your business to save your sanity (I am still learning this one). I could go on.
  3. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.  Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign resounded with so many because it was simple, and was a message that we all needed.  Do what you should do.  Set your goals, go out and take the steps you need to achieve them.  Whether that be in a new marketing campaign, new listing, or hitting new sales goals. We are often our biggest obstacles, and getting over ourselves and getting to brass tacks is the only way to achieve true success.
  4. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e., Waste nothing. There are always new shiny objects: flashy marketing ploys, tools for realtors, etc. Some are useful, but the majority do not stand the test of time.  Look at your core competency, constantly work to streamline and improve it, and grow from there. 
  5. Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions. Keep it simple.  Similar to point 4 above, work on those core competencies and just get really good at them. Hone in on them.  Revamp, streamline, improve. Learn to be the BEST at what you do. If you aren’t getting better, you are getting worse.
  6. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and if you speak, speak accordingly. Judge Judy is my guilty pleasure, and one of my favourite lines from her show is “If you tell the truth, you don’t need to have a good memory”.  She is right.  Honesty is always the best policy, especially when it comes to what will be most people’s largest purchase in their lifetime. Sincerity equals longevity in this business.
  7. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.  Stealing a line from my lessons blog of last year: there are two ways to build the tallest building in town. I know, this sounds weird, but there are two ways to look at business: 1. You can tear down all of the businesses around you to become the tallest building, or; 2: You can just build the tallest building.  This can be a tough industry as my colleagues or friends within the business are often my competition, and an industry set up such as this can lead to dissension amongst peers and sometimes downright dirty tactics to obtain clients.  But karma exists. Always choose to build the taller building.
  8. Humility.  Which to me means keep your pride in check.  Be humble.  I think to say it most succinctly, “stay hungry, stay humble”. 


So what do the next eight years look like?  I have no clue.  As I write this we sit as a team of four agents and one full-time administrator. We are currently sitting just shy of 80 deals halfway through 2019.  I like the size of this team.  We are small enough that we are all close and know what is going on in one another’s business, but big enough that we can take time off and know that our clients are well taken care of.  We are also the perfect number for two golf foursomes. But growth never came from comfort zones! Stay tuned!


Jennifer Queen Top Winnipeg Realtor#AgentJen


Jennifer Queen

Phone: (204) 797-7945
Email: Jennifer@JenniferQueen.com

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