With all this warm weather we’re having the last thing we want to be doing is cleaning! So I’ve done the research and found some “life hacks” for cleaning that go a long way and keep your home fresher, longer, allowing you to enjoy the much needed sunshine!

Toss out paper towels: Use microfiber cloths instead. When wet, they sanitize and clean floors, counters, glass and tile, and eliminate the need for other cleaning products. They're reusable (machine-wash, hang to dry) and cost about $5 for a two-pack. Save the environment and your pennies!

Use vinegar on everything: Diluted with water, vinegar is a household M.V.P. Use it for everything from laminate floors to chandeliers. 

Clean while you cook: Linda Cobb suggests filling your sink with hot soapy water as you start dinner. "Place used dishes and pans in the filled sink so they'll be soaking while you eat," she says. Also, wipe up any spills immediately—don't give sauces, oils or spices a chance to sit around. Make relaxing time longer!

Cook your sponges: We all know that sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria. Disinfect yours every night by squeezing it out and microwaving it on high for a minute. When it's shredded and smelly, replace it.

Shower doors made easy: Rubbing a teaspoon of lemon oil on glass shower doors twice a month causes water to bead up and roll off. Or, try Rain-X Original Glass Treatment, a car-care product made to keep rainwater off your windshield. Use it twice a year.

Tame that drain: Keep drains free of hair and clogs by using a product like Drano or Liquid-Plumr to make sure potential clogs are gone, then pour boiling water down drains once a week to keep problem-free.

Squeegee kids: Dirty window panes are no problem when you use rubber-edged squeegees, which are quicker and more effective than cloth or newspaper. 

Keep drawers to a minimal: Most people have drawers full of clothes they don't wear, and their dresser tops then become repositories for things they can't store. Get rid of things you haven't worn in a year and vow to put away your clean laundry each week.

Dynamic ways to lose static: Since fabric softener and dryer sheets can strip towels of their absorbency, add ¼ cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle or throw two (new, clean) tennis balls in your dryer to get rid of static electricity, soften fabrics and eliminate the need for dryer sheets.

Velcro labeler: Label the bottom of each electronic game controller (Xbox, for example), and then Velcro it to the console, suggests Linda Cobb. You'll never have to pick them up again (because you have angel children who will put them back after playing).

Lost, but never really lost: Every house needs one. Use a cute vintage lunch box or lidded storage container to stash lost game pieces, stray screws and buttons, and similar small items. When you’re missing an item, you'll know where to look first.

5-minute clean-ups: Do a 5-minute sweep through each room, taking a laundry basket with you. Place in it anything that doesn't belong in that room, then put away the stuff that does belong there. OR, do the logical thing and hand your child the basket and say “go!”

Stop clutter from the start: Mount a plastic or cloth shoe rack inside your front entry closet door, and use it to stash all kinds of living room and family room miscellany—toys, hats, gloves, magazines. Label these for each family member. You can even designate one of the pockets for mail you're not sure whether to save or toss.



Closing day is an exciting time. After all, you’re moving into your new home!

However, it can be stressful as well. The last thing you need is to be confronted with something you don’t understand. So here is a quick list of common “closing day” terms.

• Disbursements. This is the allocation of funds to the appropriate parties, such as the seller. Your lawyer will take care of this for you.

• Possession. This is the moment on closing day when you are legally able to take possession of your new home. It’s usually when your REALTOR® or lawyer hands you the keys.

• Title. This is a legal document that identifies the property and its owner.

• Closing costs. These are expenses, excluding the selling cost of the property, that are due on closing day, such as legal fees, reimbursement for pre-paid utilities, utility deposits, insurance, and taxes.

• Closing adjustments. These are expenses pre-paid by the seller that need to be reimbursed on closing.

There may be other terms you come across on closing day as well. Don’t worry, a good REALTOR® can help make the day go smoothly for you and your family.

Looking for a good REALTOR®? Call today.


Year-to-Date Statistics Positive Across the Board


WINNIPEG - The real estate market is either very, very good … or really, really suspect … depending on which headlines you choose to read.

It’s difficult to decide what’s really happening from the sound bites, but the numbers on the resale market for the first 4 months of the year paint a fairly rosy picture. Statistics for the first third of the year are up from comparable numbers last year, and last year recorded the 4th best resale numbers in the past 20 years and the best dollar volume ever through the Multiple Listing Service®.

“Our numbers continue to support our Forecast Breakfast predictions.” said WinnipegREALTORS® President David MacKenzie. “In January we predicted that sales would be up 0-2% year-over-year and home prices would increase by the same amount. And the January through April activity bears that out and then some.”

The April MLS® listing inventory, the number of properties available for sale in Winnipeg, rose almost 36%. So buyers had more properties to choose from than last April (5,232), which indicates more balance in the marketplace.

Listings entered into the MLS® system were also up 23% over last April, with the addition of 2,837 properties this year.

Sales followed suit. The number of sales processed in the month was up close to 4% from last April, with 1,273 sales recorded. And dollar volume was up 8.8% at $362.3 million. 

The April numbers helped maintain positive year-to-date market stats. 8,336 listings have been entered on the MLS® system since January 1st - up 25% from last year - and 3,538 sales have been recorded - up 4% from the same period in 2014.

The January through April dollar volume is up 6.5% at $962.4 million.

President David MacKenzie was positive about the market activity in the first 4 months: “We often say that real estate is local with national averages and trends meaning very little. Our market is OUR market. And even within our own market … activity is local. What’s trending in Island Lakes will not necessarily be mirrored in the North End. I know of some MLS® areas where offers are few and far between while in other pockets of the City, multiple offers are still happening.”

He went on to say that in April, 22% of residential detached homes sold for more that list price, 8.5% sold at list, while 69% sold below list.

For condominiums, almost 11% sold above list … 18% sold at list … and 71% sold below list.

The most active price range in April for residential detached homes was $250,000 - $299,999 (22% of sales), followed by the $200,000 - $249,999 range (16%).

Average days on the market was 27, compared to 26 last April. The highest priced residential detached sale fetched $1,590,000 and the least expensive sale was $8,000.

The most active price range for condos was $150,000 - $199,999 (25% of sales) followed closely by the $200,000 - $249,999 range (22%). Days on market for condos was 49, compared to 38 last year with the highest priced condo going for $630,000 and the lowest priced sale at $244,579


Written by WInnipegREALTORS® 


Established in 1903, WinnipegREALTORS® is a professional association representing over 1,850 real estate brokers, salespeople, appraisers, and financial members active in the Greater Winnipeg Area real estate market.  Its REALTOR® members adhere to a strict code of ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) designed exclusively for REALTORS®. WinnipegREALTORS® serves its members by promoting the benefits of an organized real estate profession.  REALTOR®, MLS® and Multiple Listing Service® are trademarks owned and controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association and are used under licence. 


Do you have a renovation project in mind and wonder how much value it will add to your home?
Remodeling Magazine recently did a study of renovation projects, comparing costs to added value. Here are some of the results:
Replacing a main entry door has a return on investment of over 95%. After all, the entrance to a home is one of the first things a prospective buyer notices.
Adding a new deck also adds a lot of value. Depending on the materials used, you can expect to get back three quarters of the money invested.
Another high payback project is the garage door. This once again demonstrates the importance of a home’s “curb appeal.”
If you’re tackling a big project, such as a basement renovation, you’ll be glad to know that, according to the study, a project like this adds a lot of value.
Finally, minor improvements to bathrooms and kitchens such as adding new countertops or cupboards, can also be good investments that mostly pay back when you sell your home.
Of course, these figures are averages and can vary widely depending on location, type of property, and other factors.
Need help determining how a particular home improvement might impact the selling price? Call me today!
The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are member’s of CREA. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by CREA and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.