2016 Year End for Winnipeg Residential Housing Market

  •         Winnipeg Residential Market Update for the year of 2016

 2016 has come to a close and with it the Winnipeg Real Estate Board has released these year end statistics for both the Residential and Condominium market, resulting in an average price for single family home city wide comes in at $302, 727. For 2016, the total number of homes sold is up by 4% from the number of homes sold in 2015.

In reviewing various price ranges shown below with the percentage  of total market share of all 2016 home sales, the busiest price bracket for all Single family home sales this past year is $300,000- $349,900.  For Condominiums, the busiest price bracket for all 2016 sales is $150,00- $199,900. The average sale price fro condominiums in 2016 comes in at $235,508 which down slightly from 2015. 

In other categories, townhouses sales were up by an large increase of 34% compared to 2015, (which may be an outcome resulting from the national changes to mortgage qualifying criteria introduced in 2016, especially with a first time home buy). Resort property sales jumped by 24%, vacant land by 17% and mobile home sales increased by 12%. rd-sales-pie-chart-ytd-december-2016

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Below is a graphical comparison for 2016 vs 2015 which shows the average sale price in various MLS areas for residential detached home sales in and around the city of Winnipeg. Although the statistics indicate Winnipeg is experiencing a Balanced market, the graph below indicates that values for residential real estate have seen some annual gains throughout 2016 in the various areas of the city.

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Based upon the year end statistics for 2016, and going into the new year, Winnipeg still remains an affordable marketplace for home ownership when compared to other cities across the country.

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Winnipeg Residential Market Update for the month of January, 2017

This RESIDENTIAL MARKET commentary is based on statistics pulled from MLS areas within the city of Winnipeg (as well as Headingley), to more accurately assess the housing momentum in the city of Winnipeg for this past month of January.

january-2017For the Residential Detached category, January saw 601 newly  listed homes come on the market for sale  compared to 261 for December.  One year ago, in January of, 2016 that number was  637 new listings so similar numbers for the time of year and winter month. In January, the average days to sell was 39 days, the same as December and up slightly from the January 2016 from 37 days to sell, on average.  City-wide, the average sale price for a single family home in was  $291,079 which is down ever so slightly from December’s $ 292,475.  January 2017 saw 289 single family home sales by comparison to December recorded  at 347.  Supply to demand ratio for the month of January, 2017 was 10:3.6, or 3.6 sales for every 10 homes for sale on the market during the month.  The highest priced sale was $2,460,000 in Tuxedo and the lowest was $50,000 in the North End.

january-2017-3For the Residential Attached category, January saw 53 properties in this category come onto the market in January,compared to 31 in December.  A home in this category took on average 40 days to sell, which is exactly the same as December, but slightly longer than January, 2016 at 36 days to sell, on average.  The average sale price of a home in this category during the month of January was $224,112, down 13% from December’s $258,785.  January saw 27 sales in this category, down slightly from December’s 34 and January 2016’s 33.  Supply to demand ratio for this category, for the month of January, 2017 was 10:3.6 or 3.6 sales for every 10 properties for sale during the month.  The highest sale price was $365,000 for an attached style new build in Bridgwater Centre and the lowest was $ 135,000 for a townhouse duplex in the North End.

january-2017-2And finally in the category of Condominium, January saw 279 condos added to the market for sale, compared to December’s 126 listings, which is a 120% increase.  On average, a condominium the days to sell in January was on average 45 which is up from December’s 53 days to sell, and 3 days faster than January 2016.  City-wide, the average sale price of a condominium during January was $253,540, pretty much the same as the month prior at $ 252,047.  January saw 81 sales in this category, up 1 from December’s 80 and up 33% from January 2016’s  which was 61.  However, Supply/Demand ratio was 10:1.5 or 1.5 sales for every 10 condos on the market for sale  causing a rather saturated market for January in this category.  The highest sale price in this category was $358,888 for a townhouse style condominium in Bridgwater Centre.  The lowest price was $ 112,000 for an apartment style condominium in River Heights.

HOME PRICES UP 0.5% IN JANUARY ACROSS THE COUNTRY, CHECK IN WITH WINNIPEG STAT BELOW.

In January, the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price Index™ was up 0.5% from the previous month, matching the largest January increases in the 18-year history of the Index, in 2003 and 2010. Prices were up in seven of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed. The increase exceeded the countrywide average in Hamilton (1.1%), Toronto (0.8%) and Montreal (0.8%). It lagged the average in Vancouver (0.3%), Victoria (0.2%), Calgary (0.1%) and Quebec City (0.1%). Halifax prices were flat. Prices were down from the month before in Winnipeg (−0.7%), Ottawa-Gatineau (−0.7%) and Edmonton (−0.1%). The Vancouver gain ended a run of three monthly declines. The index for Toronto, like the composite index, has risen in each of the last 12 months. For Hamilton it was the 11th straight monthly rise, for Victoria the 10th, for Calgary the fifth, for Quebec City the fourth. For Winnipeg it was the third straight monthly decline, for a cumulative retreat of 2.1% that took its individual index back below 200. The composite index, meanwhile, rose above 200 in January, signalling that home prices in the 11 markets as a whole have doubled since June 2005.

Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index™

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For the full report including historical data, please visit: http://www.housepriceindex.ca
If you are considering selling or buying a home in the Winnipeg market, Terie would be pleased to arrange for a planning consultation.  Contact her through her website at www.HomesinWinnipeg.com or  204-987-9808.

Winnipeg Residential Market Update for the month of December, 2016

Happy New Year to all.

This RESIDENTIAL MARKET commentary is compiled solely from boundaries within the City of Winnipeg only, to more accurately assess the Winnipeg residential housing momentum over the course oscreen-shot-2017-01-11-at-9-28-52-amf December 2016.   By comparison, stats published by the Winnipeg Real Estate Board is a snapshot of a much larger focus, encompassing the city of Winnipeg, and also all the rural areas in the southern half of the Province, (omitting the City of Brandon and the City of Portage la Prairie).

 

December 2016 was, as expected (and yet annually typical), slower than previous months in market activity.  In the category  of Residential  single family homes in Winnipeg, there were 347 home sales during December, down 25% from 461 the previous month. Compared to December 2015, there was a drop of 35% of total sales. The average sales price was $291,475.00, which is down market-stats-graphic-dec-residential-detachedslightly from November/16. Homes in this category took on average 39 days to sell, one day faster than November/16, but 5 days longer than the month of December, 2015.  The highest sale price was $1,350,000 in Crescentwood and the lowest sale price was $38,000 in the North End which represents the wide range of home values across the city in various MLS areas.   The most active price range for residential-detached sales in December was the $250,000-$299,999 price range at 20% of total sales. And 60% of all total sales fell under $300,000.In the month of December there were 4.8 sales for every 10 homes actively for sale  in this category, or 48% supply/demand ratio.

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The category of Residential semi- attached/duplex also cooled off during the typically slower month of December.  There were 34 sales in the category, down 25% from November /16 at 45.  For the sale time frame in December 2016, there was a drop of 44% in total sales. The average sale price for this category in the month of December was $258,785.00, which interestingly in an INCREASE of 11.5% from November/16.  It took 40 days on average for a house in this category to sell in December/16, which is on par with November/16.  The highest sale price in this category was $ 385,000 in Bridgewater Forest and the lowest sale price of $89,000 for a duplex in the North End.  During the month of December in this category, there were 5.3 sales for every 10 listings or 53% supply/demand ratio.

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Finally, we look at the Condominium category in the city of Winnipeg.  There were 80 condo sales in the month of December, which is a 16% decrease from November/16 at  95 sales. For the same time period last year, there was a 9% drop in sales.  The average sale price was $252,047 which is a 2.6% increase over November/16.  It took 53 days to sell, which is on par with November/16.  The highest priced condo sold in the month was $665,650 in Wildwood and the lowest price was $46,000 in the North End, again reflective of the wide variety of choice in the condominium product choice in the City of Winnipeg.   The most active price range for condominium sales in December was the $150,000-$199,999 at 33% of total condo sales. The second most active was the next higher price range of $200,000- $249,999 at 18% and not far behind was the $250,000-$299,999 range at 15%.
During the month of December there were 2 sales for every 10 listings or 20% supply/demand ratio.  


Suggested Winter Home Maintenance Tips

written by Canadian Residential Inspections Service Ltd

Furnace Filtersunnamed

Canadian winters mean that our heating systems are running full time.  You should check your furnace air filters each month during the winter and either clean or replace them. Filters for your ventilation system, such as a heat recovery ventilator, should be checked every 2 months.  It will mean better air quality for your family!

Regular Testing of GFCI Outlets

unnamed-1The GFCI outlets in your home should be checked monthly. The purpose of a GFCI is to protect you from electrical shock. They are usually in areas of the home where electrical current might come in contact with water, such as bathrooms, kitchens and outdoors. A GFCI monitors the amount of electrical current flowing from hot to neutral. If there is any imbalance, it trips the circuit, essentially cutting off the electricity for your safety.  To test your GFCI, push the reset button on the GFCI outlet to prepare for testing.  Plug a night light into the receptacle. The light should come on.  Push the test button. The light should turn off. Push the reset button again. The light should come back on.  If the light didn’t turn off when the test button was pushed then it is not providing you with adequate protection from an electrical shock and you should consult a licensed electrician.  You should always check the instructions for your particular GFCI to make sure that you are testing the unit properly.

Cleaning Your Heat Recovery Ventilator unnamed-2

To keep your HRV working at peak performance, it should be cleaned twice a year in spring and fall. Turn off the HRV and unplug it. Open and clean inside the machine. Remove and clean or replace, the filters. Check to see if your HRV has a condensate drain — a pipe or plastic tube coming out of the bottom. If so, slowly pour about two litres of warm, clean water in each drain pan inside the HRV to make sure it is flowing freely.

Next, go to the exterior of the house where the intake and exhaust vents are located. These vents have screens which must be cleaned, especially the intake vent which is most commonly clogged with insects and debris. Remove and inspect the vents and vacuum out the ducts. Making sure these vents are clear will ensure the air in your home is healthy for your family and allow your air exchanger to work more efficiently. It is also a good idea in winter to check that the vents are clear of snow or ice buildup.

Upgrading Insulation

unnamed-3Older homes not built to today’s standards of energy efficiency can often benefit from the addition of more insulation. Upgrading insulation can reduce the amount of energy used for space heating and cooling. It will also help protect you against future increases in energy costs and makes your house more comfortable to live in. Click the arrow below to watch CHMC’s short video on upgrading your insulation.

Clear Snow from Vents 

Make sure that all snow, ice and other obstructions are removed from your venting systems during the winter months.unnamed

Keep an eye on outdoor vents, gas meters and chimneys for ice or snow buildup. Abnormal snow and ice build-up may block gas appliance exhaust and combustion air vents (especially those side wall vents exiting close to ground level) causing appliance failure as well as possible buildup of Carbon Monoxide.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors 

unnamed-1Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors are now required by law in all residential homes in Ontario. The new rules, state that all sleeping areas in homes and in service rooms must have a detector. They must also be installed in adjacent sleeping areas in multi-residential units. Detectors can be hardwired, battery operated or simply plugged into the wall.  Carbon Monoxide poisoning can occur through a blocked chimney, faulty furnace or other problematic gas-burning appliances. More than 50 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning in Canada. Carbon Monoxide alarms are already mandatory in some municipalities, in new residential buildings containing fuel-burning appliances or a garage. We expect other provinces will follow suit in the near future. In the meantime, to ensure the  safety of your family, all homes with fuel-burning appliances and/or attached motor vehicle garages, should have CO detectors installed in all sleeping areas.

Snow on the Roof…Take Care unnamed-2

Canadian winter, a certain amount of snow accumulation on your roof is normal. However, if there is an excessive accumulation on the roof of your home,  there is a possibility of damage to the structure of the property.  Flat or low sloped roofs usually have a greater risk of dam and increase the potential for ice damming at the roof and eaves level. Removing the snow from your roof can be a dangerous task.   If you are not sure how to safely remove the snow from your roof then do not hesitate to hire a professional to remove the snow for you.

Hot Water Tanks 

unnamed-4Performing routine checks and maintenance on your hot water tank, whether it is gas, oil or electric, is vital to extending the life and efficiency of the tank and ensuring your safety. The normal life expectancy of a tank is 8 – 12 years. Older tanks have the manufacture date as part of the serial number; however newer tanks have stickers with the date of manufacture clearly stated.

Completely check the tank for any signs of leaks, corrosion, damage and deterioration. Check water lines on top of the unit for leaks and corrosion; also check that the bottom drain valve is not leaking. You should routinely drain the tank and flush out any silt and debris on the bottom of the tank. This will greatly increase the life and efficiency of your tank, especially if you are on a well system.

The area around the tank should be kept clear of debris and combustibles. Air flow is required to help with combustion and the performance of your tank. Visually check the tank’s main components. Check the burner and pilot-light burn pattern and look for signs of corrosion and deterioration and ensure that the flame shields are in place. Air flow to the burner area should not be obstructed.

Next, take a look at the temperature pressure relief valve (TPRV) located on the side of the tank. The TPRV is designed to release any build-up of pressure or temperature. There should be no signs of leakage or corrosion. The TPRV should also be equipped with a down-tube to safely direct any release of hot water and/or steam from hitting you. The TPRV should never be capped. Without the ability to release pressure, your tank will essentially become a ticking bomb.

The vent connector/exhaust pipe on top of the tank should be securely attached with no holes or corrosion. If the vent is not in good condition it could lead to the off gassing of Carbon Monoxide, which can make you ill or at high levels, lead to fatality. Consult a professional plumber if any of the above issues exist or if you have any questions or concerns.

Molds and Mildew Prevention Tips unnamed-5

It is a good idea to remove the inside screens from your windows over the winter months. This allows more air to circulate around the inside of the window trim and sill area, thus reducing the incidence of molds and mildews. Molds tend to grow in high moisture areas. In the winter months extra moisture may condense on the colder surfaces of the glass. Adequate ventilation helps expel that moisture. Although some home owners block off heating vents to certain rooms over the winter months to decrease heating costs, it is never a good idea to completely block off your vents for the same reason – ventilation helps to expel moisture that may contribute to mold and mildew in a home.  When you remove the screens do a quick check of each window and clean the sill and trim if you notice anything that may be mold or mildew. Dry the area quickly after cleaning.  Check for tears and repair any damaged screens. Clean the screens before storing them in a dry area so they will be ready for installation in the spring.

 Shovel snow away from your home’s foundation.

The key to avoiding foundation deterioration and expensive repairs is to prevent water from pooling around the base of your house. With high snowbanks this year, consider focusing your efforts on areas more prone to water damage come spring melt, such as build up around basement windows and concrete steps and keeping these areas clear of snow build-up.

 

Considering making a purchase this year ?  In preparing for this decision, here is a breakdown to review:

Monthly Carrying Costs When Buying a Home: As a general summary, this table shows various categories of estimated monthly carrying costs for a $350,000 home with a $300,000 mortgage at 3.24% amortized over 25 years.  

Thanks so much for checking out this month’s newsletter. If you have any questions or concerns or if you would like more specific information about market conditions in your MLS area please don’t hesitate to contact me at 204-987-9808 or email terie@homesinwinnipeg.com.

Winnipeg Residential Market Update – November, 2016

Winnipeg Residential Market Update – November, 2016

These stats are solely compiled from boundaries within the City of Winnipeg area only,     to more accurately assess the residential housing momentum over the course of the year.
market-stats-graphic-nov-residential-detachedThe city of Winnipeg’s Residential detached homes Stats for November, 2016;  There were 457 homes sold during the month of November in this category, which is down from last month.  The average sales price in November was $ 295,683.00 also down from October.  It took 32 days to sell on average in November, up from October’s 28 days.  The supply/demand ratio, (or in general terms) 7.4 sales occurred for every 10 active homes for sale  during the month of November. The most active dollar sales category for residential detached sales was the       $ 250,000.00 – $ 299,999.00 price range.

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For Winnipeg’s Residential attached homes category, there were 45 homes sold during the monthmarket-stats-graphic-nov-residential-atttached of November.  This category includes duplex homes and townhouse style homes.  The average sales price for the month of November was                   $ 231,394.00. This category of home took an average of 41 days to sell, longer than in Oct.  7.7 sales occurred for every 10 active homes for sale  in this category during the month of November.  The most active dollar category for residential attached homes was the $150,000.00 –     $ 199,999.00 price range.residential-attached-sales-by-category-pie-chart-novemberCondominiummarket-stats-graphic-nov-condo sales for the month of November, 2016 resulted in 95 sales with the average sales price at $ 248,112.00.  It took an average of 52 days to sell during November, which is up from October’s 44 days.  The condo market in Winnipeg only performed with 4.7 sales for every 10 actively for sale condo units.  The most active category for condominium sales during November was the           $ 150,000 – $ 199,999.00 price range.

condo-sales-by-category-pie-chart-november-2016Last-Minute Ideas for Stylish Winter Outdoor Garden Designs

From fragrant conifer branches and glossy evergreens to jewel-like winter berries and
decorative baubles, winter container arrangements can be lovely additions to bare winter landscapes. With the holidays around the corner, you may have only enough time to hang a few baubles on a potted plant in your entry or tuck some pine cones around the base. To get you started, here are nine inspiring winter container designs ranging from easy, no-soil-required arrangements to more intricate potted compositions.

1. Berries and baublesAdd a bScreen Shot 2016-12-12 at 4.09.02 PM.pngit of shine with Christmas ornaments tucked in among fat clusters of red winterberries (Ilex verticillata, USDA zones 3 to 9; find your zone) and fragrant conifer clippings. To get a diversity of conifers — fir, pine and spruce — as shown here, ask for clippings at the Christmas tree lot when you’re picking up your tree. Often they’ll let you take home a bundle for free or for a couple of dollars.

2. Wavy branchesBare willow branches in aged terra-cotta pots add interesting texture toScreen Shot 2016-12-12 at 4.11.13 PM.png the crisp white walls of this traditional home. To get the look, pick up about three bundles of curly willow (available from florists) per container and set them into sand, gravel or floral foam placed at the bottom of the pot. Top with pine cones to hide the base, then string the branches with white lights for an inviting evening glow.

3. Festive toScreen Shot 2016-12-12 at 4.11.22 PM.pngp-dressingJust a few seasonal accents around the base of an already potted
dwarf white spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’, zones 2 to 8) transform the container from plain to festive. Pine cones will last for ages, while bright red pomegranates and clipped conifer branches will stay looking fresh for a few weeks.

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4. Artful simplicityGlossy magnolia leaves paired with a few pale birch branches create a sophisticated composition. Using bronze, green and white, instead of the typical Christmas colors, makes the container composition carry on past New Year’s.

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5. Christmas vignetteGussy up existing outdoor containers without repotting by adding holiday-themed accents, such as ornaments, glittering orbs or a plump faux cardinal. Reserve any fragile accent pieces for decorating indoors, or bring pot
ted containers under the eaves, away from rain and snowfall.

Screen Shot 2016-12-12 at 4.11.45 PM.png6. Elegant evergreensAll-green compositions look refined and can be much less effort to maintain year-round than containers with seasonal berries or blooms. Focus on a subtle contrast of textures and shades of green by selecting evergreens with different foliage types, such as cypress, spruce, boxwood and weeping juniper.

Screen Shot 2016-12-12 at 4.11.53 PM.png7. Birch “candles.” Evoke the welcoming feeling of candles in the window — without the fire risk — by placing trios of birch branches cut 5 to 12 inches long along your window box against a dark backdrop of magnolia leaves. Thin twigs of golden bamboo placed to radiate outward from the “candles” continue the effect.

Screen Shot 2016-12-12 at 4.12.00 PM.png8. Icy accentsHighlights of white brighten winter container compositions like a dusting of fresh snow. Choose plants with pale-streaked foliage, such as ‘Silverdust’ English ivy (Hedera helix ‘Silverdust’, zones 5 to 11) or variegated winter daphne (Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’, zones 7 to 9). Or tuck in decorative branches painted white or silver.

9. Classic boxwoodsBoxwoodsare about the easiest container plant around, providing four seasons of medium green foliage. Clipped into cones, boxwoods could be decorated with lights and ornaments as miniature Christmas trees or just left naturally for a welcome hit of green on each side of the front door.

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source:  

 

If you are considering selling or buying a home in the Winnipeg market in the coming months, Terie would be pleased to provide a free real estate market consultation for planning and preparation discussions, timing considerations and market recommendations to best optimize your goals, (long before you actually actively step into the market).

 

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Winnipeg Residential Market Update – October, 2016

The city of Winnipeg’s Residential Stats for October 2016 :

These statistics  are solely compiled from boundaires  within the city of Winnipeg area only, to more accurately assess the residential housing momentum over the course of the year.market-stats-graphic-oct-residential-detached

The number of Residential detached home sales city-wide totalled 620 sales for this past month of October .  For the same period last year there were 590 sales.   The average sales price for a residential detached home in the city of Winnipeg for October of 2016 was $302,171.00 moving up from the same period last year was $ 290,874.00  This year, homes took an average of 28 days to sell , twice as long as Sept/16 and slightly less than Oct 2015 of 30 days to sell.

The most active price range for residential-detached homes in October 2016 was from $250,000 to $299,999 at 23% of total sales. The lower price range of $200,000 to $249,999 was second busiest at 16%. The highest- price home sale was $1,375,000 and the lowest sale price was $39,000.

 

 

Residential semi-attached/side by side market-stats-graphic-oct-residential-attachedsales came in at 27 sales for October, 2016 when compared to  25 for October, 2015. The average sales price for a residential attached home in the city of Winnipeg in the month of October, 2016 was $227,239.00. By comparison to the same period in 2015, the average sale price was $ 245,631.00   Homes in this category took longer with an average of 33 days to sell by comparison to 23 days in Sept/16 and 29 days for the same time last year, Oct 2015.

 

 

 

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Condominium sales in the city totalled 110 sales in October and for the same period of 2015  was also 110.    The average sales price for a condo in the city of Winnipeg during the month of October, 2016 was $238,914.00.00. In October, 2015 it was $ 233,661.00. Selling time for the m month of Oct was an average of 47 days to sell in this category in 2016, down from 51 days in Sept/16 and also down from the  55 days in Oct 2015.

30% of condominium sales in October occurred in the $150,000 to $199,999 price range with another 17% happening in the $200,000 to $249,999 range. The highest-price condo sale was $975,000 and the lowest sale price was $88,000.


screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-7-29-23-pmbrownleafCheck Eave and gutter and drain extensions now that most of the leaves are down   from the trees. Keeping your gutters clean is very important because if the rain water cannot flow from your gutters naturally it will fall over the edges close to the house foundation. Running water along the walls of your home can cause multiple problems like water build up on walls, seepage and potentially the development of mold.

leaf2-gifCheck the roof of the home/garage/shed to ensure its in good shape and no missing shingles.

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-7-26-43-pmred-leafCheck on the drainage or grading around the perimeter of your house foundation ensuring that rain/snow melt moves away from the foundation rather than towards the structure.
brownleafClean off debris from the air conditioner and put on winter covers.
leaf2-gifEmpty garden pots and planters to prevent freezing/cracking damage.
red-leafConsider protective covering of shrubs/trees and perennial plants.
brownleafCut back tree limbs growing on or over the roof, as well as shrubbery growing against the house, to prevent damage to the home’s exterior.
leaf2-gifEmpty water from fountains and birdbaths.
red-leafCheck on condition of winter gear and supplies like snow shovels and ice scrapers; replace as needed. If you have a snow blower, check on servicing requirements and stock up on fuel.
brownleafPick up a bag of pet- and plant-safe ice melt. Check on the condtion of outdoor paths, stairs and integrity of outdoor railings.
leaf2-gifTurn off outside water taps to prevent lines freezing/bursting in the cold weather, and drain garden hoses.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-7-23-12-pm
red-leafCheck exterior of house where pipes and electrical enter, sealing any gaps with outdoor caulking.
brownleafCheck on doors and windows for weatherstrip insulation updates and exterior caulking repair. Repair or replace window screens.

leaf2-gifIf you use a fireplace or wood stove, order firewood. Check on the condition of the chimney, the flu and the seal around the door. Consider a chimney cleaning.
red-leafRestock emergency kits and supplies for the home and vehicle.
brownleafClean and store garden equiptment, lawn mowers and outdoor furnishings.

leaf2-gifCover/store outdoor BBQ.
red-leafChange furnace filter for better inside air quality and consider having the furnace and HVAC inspected. Clean and deodorize the dehumidifier. With dry winter inside air, service or add a humidifier.
brownleafCheck and update batteries for thermostat, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
leaf2-gifCheck on the age and condition of the fire extinguishers, with recommedation for replacement if more than several years old.

For a free consult regarding your residential home needs, please feel free to contact Terie at 204-987-9808 or  visit Terie’s website at www.HomesInWinnipeg.com and send her an email.

Winnipeg Residential Market Update – September 2016

Fall in Winnipeg, and here are the stats on finalized sales for the city of Winnipeg and the month of September in the categories of residential detached homes, residential attached homes and condominiums.  September 2016 shows numbers not much different than the month of September 2015.  All categories were slightly up from 2015, but as expected, the market is cooling off as the weather outside cools as well.Most active price range for residential-detached homes in September 2016 was from $250,000 to $299,999 at 21% of total sales. The 2nd most active was the lower price range of $200,000 to $249,999 at 17%. The highest sales price was $1,598,327 while the lowest sale price was $21,000. The average days on market to sell a home was 30 days, 5 days faster than September 2015.

The most active price range for condominiums in September 2016 was $150,000 to $199,999 at 31% of total sales. The 2nd  most active price range was from $250,000 to $299,999 at 18%. The highest sale priced condo was $918,750 while the lowest sale price was $94,800. The average days on market to sell a condominium was 51 days, 5 days quicker than September 2015.


Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

By Terrance GloverThrough urban planning, I find that most people know very little about Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED). While this is not shocking news, since CPTED is an abstract approach to property safety and security, here is a simplified version for every homeowner’s proverbial toolbox.

Since the introduction of the “Eyes on the Street” philosophy by Jane Jacobs nearly half a century ago, the notion of a safer community through environmental design has significantly grown in popularity. This notion has matured into a set of review tools known as CPTED.

By using a few simple CPTED principles, you can significantly decrease the likelihood of crime occurring to and around your home.

CPTED is a multi-disciplinary, scientifically proven approach to deterring criminal behaviour.  It relies on the physical environment to influence an offender’s choices prior to them committing the criminal act.

This approach can be used on any size building or property; from a small home to a large commercial or office building. Given the current terrorist climate around the world, most governments now require a CPTED audit of all new and existing government buildings.

There are four main principles:

1. Natural surveillance

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-4-01-27-pmMaximizing visibility and the opportunity for observation through the placement and design of physical and social features. This refers to the placement of gathering spaces/points of interest, building orientation, lighting, windows, entrances/exits, parking lots, walkways, security stations, fencing, landscaping, vegetation, signage and any other physical obstructions. This principle helps create the perception of risk to an offender, making them feel as though they are noticeable and even being watched.

2. Natural access controlscreen-shot-2016-10-05-at-4-01-38-pm

A logical and organized design to restrict, encourage and safely channel movement of people and vehicles into, out of, and within a site in a controlled manner. This principle helps create the perception of control over the offender and easily identifies those who venture into areas not intended for their use, such as physically creating a landscaped pathway or sidewalk to a main doorway. If people venture off this natural path, they will stand out and become noticeable to others.

3. Territorial reinforcement

Defined property lines and clear distinctions between public, semi-private and private spaces. These distinctions can be achieved through physical or visual designs such as a change of pavement material, subtle landscaping or as obvious as privacy fencing. This principle helps create a perceived sense of permission for the rightful user and helps more easily identify those who venture into areas not intended for their use.

4. Maintenance

Maintaining a property’s image and cleanliness. Well-maintained buildings and grounds inform potential offenders that “someone is home”. This principle helps create a perceived sense of occupancy to the offender; making them think twice before committing a crime.

By using these principles at the design stage, an increase in safety and security will result.  Furthermore, by conducting a CPTED audit of an existing building or property, key improvements will be identified that will significantly decrease the likelihood of crime occurring and may even lower your property’s insurance rates.

Another positive result of CPTED is the reduction a person’s “fear of crime”.  This is the emotional anxiety that a crime is going to occur to or around a person.  It is the primary reason why we no longer hitch-hike or allow children to walk to school on their own.  If you are in a well-designed, well lit, physically maintained and highly visible space, your fear of crime significantly diminishes; hence the space is much more pleasant and inviting.

Given these positive aspects of CPTED and the simplicity of their application, I am continuously surprised that more of my clients aren’t already aware of the concept.

It is in everyone’s interest to have a basic understanding of CPTED so that they can apply these principles in and around their own home or workplace to create a safer, happier and more secure environment for everyone to enjoy.


 New Mortgage Rules Announced this Month – What do the changes mean to you?screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-2-22-34-pm

The rules announced by federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau are aimed at making sure homebuyers aren’t taking on mortgages they can’t afford if interest rates rise.

Morneau said that all insured mortgages will have to undergo a stress test starting Oct. 17 to determine whether a borrower could still make mortgage payments if faced with higher interest rates or less income. Previously, such stress tests weren’t required for fixed-rate mortgages longer than five years.

Buyers with a downpayment of between five and 20 per cent – who hold what are known as high-ratio mortgages – must be backed by mortgage insurance to protect the lender in the event the homeowner defaults on the loan.

Because they are considered higher risk, those buyers must pass what’s called a mortgage rate stress test to qualify for insurance backed by the federal government through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

“Overall, I believe the housing market is sound but as Minister of Finance I want to make sure we are proactive in assessing and addressing the factors that could lead to excess risk,” Morneau said.

The stress test also sets a ceiling of no more than 39 per cent of household income being necessary to cover home-carrying costs such as mortgage payments, heat and taxes.

The federal government says it’s responding to concerns that sharp increases in housing prices in Toronto, Vancouver and elsewhere could increase defaults in the future, should historically low interest rates finally start to climb.

Ottawa also announced Monday it is closing a tax loophole that allowed homeowners to avoid paying capital gains tax on the sale of a home as long as they were living in it.

Morneau said the exemption will now be available only to Canadian residents.

The new policy is aimed at slowing foreign money that has contributed to red-hot real estate markets like Toronto and Vancouver.

The move follows B.C. adding a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers in an attempt to cool the overheated markets.


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Winnipeg Market Update – August 2016

Unlike our summer temperatures as of late, the residential real estate market in Winnipeg appears to be cooling off early by  comparison to 2015 at this time and the earlier spring market of this year.

In the Residential detached category, the number of sales are down when compared with  July, 2016. There were 680 sales in the month of August, down from 770 in July.  The days on market is holding at 26 days to sell, with the average sales price in this category down from a median price of $312,000.00 to $290,000.00.

Where Residential attached home sales are concerned, the numbers are almost identical to the month of July.  August 2016 saw 33 sales in the residential attached category, with an average sales price of $ 222,000.00.  Days to sell was 22, down ever so slightly from July’s 25.

Condominium sales in August in Winnipeg were up slightly from July numbers.  There were 138 sales in August, up from July’s 124.  Days to sell was basically the same at 48, (July was 47).

Where this year’s summer market seems to show cooling off is when compared to the month of August 2015. The number of residential detached sales were down over 25% in 2016 when compared to August number for 2015.  August 2016 sales in this category were 680 and in the year prior they were 920.  The condo market was down 15% from 160 sales in 2015 and 138 in 2016.

As always, please feel free to give Terie a call to discuss our Winnipeg market, and how to optimize your experience  of buying or selling in Winnipeg.  204-987-9808 or 1-877-778-3388

Winnipeg Market Update – July, 2016

For a more accurate picture of the real estate market in Winnipeg, my stats will reflect the full month from the 1st to the 31st.

While the year to date sales activity is ahead of previous years, the month of July wasn’t nearly as robust as years past.  Both new listings coming on the market in July and the inventory at the end of the month were down 8% from 2015.  The most active price range for residential-detached sales in July 2016 was from $250,000 to $299,999 at 22% of total sales. 15% of the  sales activity was from $200,000 to $249,999 and close behind at 14% was the $300,000 to $349,999 price range.

The highest sales price was $2,000,000 while the lowest was only $40,000. The average number of days to sell a home was 27.

The most active price range for condominiums in July 2016 was from $150,000 to $199,999 at 34%. The second busiest price range was from $200,000 to $249,999 at 19%. Only 7% of condo sales in July went for over $350,000. The highest one sold for $899,000. The average days on market for condominium sales in July was 47.

Residential Attached sales saw 34 units sold in July.  The average sales price was $ 234,142. The highest sale price was $312.690 and the lowest was $ 182,500.  Average days to sell in this category was 25.

 

 

Winnipeg Market Update – June, 2016

MarketMarket Stats graphic june residential detached.jpg Commentary:

My monthly market update report focuses on the stats as of June 29th.  For residential detached homes, sales there were 807 units sold during the month of June, down from 838 for the month of May.  The average sale price for the category is $290,000.00 which is holding steady with last month.  Average days to sell in the category of residential detached this month was 11 days, exactly the same as May.Market Stats graphic june residential attached.jpg


For Residential attached homes, sales there were 29 units sold this month of June, down slightly from May at 39.  The average sales price for this category was $225,000.00 which is exactly the same as the month prior.  Average days to sell in the residential detached category were 29 days, up from May’s 22 days to sell.

Market Stats graphic june condo.jpg 

In the condominium category there were 116 units sold as of June 29th, down from 131 for May.  Average sales price for June was $ 225,000.00  which is exactly the same as the month prior.   Average days to sell as of June 29th was 12, which is way down from May’s 29 days to sell.

 

 

What is Organic?

You hear the word often, but do you really know what it means?  In the simplest terms, it means cultivation without synthetic chemicals.

Organic-Garden.pngWe often see organically grown produce in our local grocery shops, and it’s easy enough to gather, but it can be a real challenge for those of us who want to grow our own organic produce.  The best place to start is understanding what it means to grow organically.  t’s a holistic method that starts with and revolves around the soil. Conventional farming regards soil as a substrate that’s there just to hold the plant in place while the farmer gives the plant what it needs from above. Organic gardening strengthens and builds up the soil to nourish the plant from below in a way that ultimately leaves the land – and the animals and people dependent on it – in better condition than before. The idea is that all life forms, from the bacteria on up, work together with as little interference from man as possible, so manufactured fertilizers, pesticides, growth accelerants and regulators such as hormones and antibiotics, genetic engineering, sewage sludge and irradiation are taboo.

So, where to start?  Here are some tips if you’d like to try your hand at organic gardening;

  1.  Prepare your soil.  Start by having your soil tested.  Home testing kits are available, or for a small fee you can have your soil professionally tested at your local agricultural extension office.  It’s best to test in the fall and add any organic supplements then.
  2. Compost.  All gardens LOVE a good compost and best of all, if you do it yourself, it’s free!  Terie has a great article on how to start a compost Terie Langen – Composting.
  3. Choose the right plants. Select plants that will thrive in your hardiness zone.  Check here for Canadian zones.  If you’re buying seedlings, look for plants raised without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. A great place to look is at your local farmers’ market which may also have native plants and varieties well suited to your area. It’s better to buy stocky seedlings with few, if any blooms yet, and with roots that don’t look overcrowded.
  4. Ensure proper hydration.  The best time to water your plants is in the morning.  To avoid shocking your tender seedlings, try to use water near or at air temperature.  A great way to achieve this is with a rain water collection system.  With population growth and climate change putting increasing pressure on our precious freshwater supplies, it is becoming more important than ever to save water.
  5. Weeding.  That dreaded task.  Consider weeding an opportunity to get out in the fresh air and get dirty.  It can be very therapeutic and relaxing.  You can reduce the number of weeds you get by applying organic mulch.  Be wary of using lawn clippings as mulch as they can be high in nitrogen.  Lawn clippings should only be used on plants that need the nutrient, like as squash and lettuce.  If you find it difficult to bend tend to your gardens try a raised bed system.  Not only are the aesthetically pleasing, but they can be a pleasure to work in if you don’t have to stoop and bend.
  6. Protect your plants WITHOUT toxic chemicals and pesticides.  Fostering natural predators in your garden is a great way to start.  Frogs, toads, lizards, birds, and even bats are organic garden friendly. Beneficial insects can be your best friends, especially lady bugs (many nurseries even sell cans of them, though it’s true there’s a high probability they won’t stick around). Leave a small source of water out to attract friendly predators.  You can also use horticultural oils, insecticidal soaps and garlic and/or hot pepper sprays along with physical barriers for the larger pests.
  7. Harvesting!  Don’t forget to harvest and enjoy the fruits of your hard work.  Give away what you can’t use and you might even foster another organic garden.  If you find yourself in the enviable position of having too much, you can freeze, store and can your harvest.
  8. Clean-up.  Unfortunately there are times that you have to dispose of a sick plant.  Be sure to pull up the entire organism to prevent spreading disease.  Most healthy expired plants can be left to over winter in your garden.  They can provide food and habitat for birds and other wildlife.  When dealing with annuals, it’s best to chop them off rather than pull them up, leaving the soil intact.55004d1935f27-preparing-organic-soil-lg.jpg

A poignant quote from Thomas Jefferson: ‘I am an old man but a young gardener.”   This year’s garden will not be the same garden you had last year.  That’s what is so amazing about and humbling about organic gardening.  The limitless variation of the earth.

Terie enjoys gardening when she’s not busy working with clients fulfilling their real estate needs.  Drop her a line at 204-987-9808 or check out her website for more information.

 

Winnipeg Market Update – May, 2016

Market Commentary:

My monthly market update report focuses on the stats as of May 30th.

For residential detached homes, sales there were 838 units sold during the month of May, up from 757 for the month of April.  The average sale price for the category is $290,000.00 which is holding steady with last month.  Average days to sell in the category of residential detached this month was 10 days, whereas the month of April was 12 days.

For Residential attached homes, sales there were 39 units sold this month of May, down slightly from April at 42.  The average sales price for this category was $225,000.00 down slightly from $228,200 for the month prior.  Average days to sell in the residential detached category were 22 days, up from April’s 10 days to sell.

In the condominium category there were 131 units sold as of May 30th, up from 129 for April.  Average sales price for May was $ 225,000.00  which is up slightly from April’s            $ 223,000.  Average days to sell as of May 30th was 29, which is up from 28 for April.

The Winnipeg real estate market appears to be balanced at this point.  With  a healthy inventory and low interest rates now is a good time to sell or buy.  

Call me at 204-987-9808 or 1-877-778-3388 to discuss.


Using Rock to Enhance Your Landscaping:rock

Natural elements exists everywhere we look, but one of the most common elements is rock from the ground. Using different types of rock products to enhance your landscaping can bring a natural element, as well as a beauty to your landscaping that contrasts with your lawn and flowers. This contrast can create separation of spaces or help manage terraced yards. Rocks can be used in a variety of ways to enhance your yard. Here are a few ways to add rock to create a new look to your yard.

Walkways

If you want to add walkways that do not exist to your landscaping or maybe your walkways need a refresh so laying some new material may help give a boost to the area. Gravel is one solution to use on walkways. It is affordable and with small pebble like stones, you can comfortably walk on it. Gravel also comes in a variety of colors like traditional gray or a golden color. If you like a multi color effect try pea gravel, it is slightly smaller than traditional gravel.

Another solution similar to gravel but finer is decomposed granite. Decomposed granite is also easy to walk on and has great drainage and will not become muddy. This look gives a Mediterranean look to any back yard. Slate chips are another option and these are exactly what the name sounds like, broken slate that is used to create pathways.

Walls

If you have a terraced yard, you may want walls to protect your home or the rest of your yard. You can use concrete or block to make a wall but additionally you can use stone to bring an elegance or ruggedness to the area. Using fieldstone rocks which are traditional odd shaped rocks of significant size that can be used to build a wall is an affordable option when it comes to rock walls. Limestone and Goshen Stone are also rocks that make a great wall because generally they are flat and are stacked to create a uniform looking wall. All of these rocks come in a variety of colors, so ask what color choices are available when considering a rock wall.

PatiosTurfcare-Landscaping-Sandpoint-Natural-Rock-Path-Patio-7-150x150

Patios can use a lot of different stone elements to create a floor for furniture, potters and other areas outside. Pavers are cut to create a tile look for a floor or sandstone slabs are used to create a floor with a lot of dimension but still flat like tiles. Like walkways, pea gravel and decomposed granite can also be used to create a floor area for your patio.

Maybe you would prefer cobblestone or granite pavers to create a brick like look to your patio. Color is endless with all of these options. One suggestion is to think how you are going to use the patio and who will be walking on it and in what shoe capacity. If you are one to entertain a lot, having a patio that is easy to walk on will be important to you.

Accents

Rocks are a fantastic way to dress up a yard. You can use rocks to add borders to flower beds, to identify drainage areas, or to highlight a specific tree or bed or flowers. Even bringing in boulders to enhance an area in your landscape will draw attention to this area with the massive size rock sitting in your yard. You may need to use rocks for drainage beds. When creating a drainage bed, you can use river rock, beach pebbles or standard granite rocks to keep the flow of the water moving away from anything that can experience damage. Stay away from the smaller rocks as they could clog drainage areas or may not be big enough that the water will settle and flood other areas of your yard.

Winnipeg Housing Market Update – April, 2016

Number of Sales Banner - April 2016

Number of Sales showed a steady increase over the same month last year.  Residential Attached showed the largest gain in number of sales overall.

 

Average Sales Price Banner April 2016

Average Sales price continues to show a healthy increase over the same period last year.

 

If you are thinking about listing your home for sale, now is the time to call me and discuss the best approach for you.  204-987-9808 or email at  terie@homesinwinnipeg.com

 

 

 

Spring Clean Your Garden & Yard

Take the time now in spring to clean and spruce up your yard and garden and it will pay off down the road.  Now that the snow has melted and buds are popping, you’ll also notice the ground is soggy and brown.  To help it become a glorious green plush grass later in the season, you’ll need to invest a little time now to ensure a beautiful lawn, garden and curb appeal later in the season.  Here’s some tips to help:

Tidy up

Homes with high curb appeal command higher prices and take less time to sell.  Before you go to the expense of replacing siding, wash the winter dirt, mildew and grime off your home’s exterior.  I seems simple enough and this task will go a long way in increasing your home’s curb appeal.  Remove storm windows if you use them during winter, give screens a good scrub down.  Inspect your gutters and remove any debris.  Give your deck a good wash down and clean any outdoor furniture, pots and hanging hardware. watering-can  Now it’s time to put on the garden gloves and take a walk around your yard and garden.  Last year’s perennials such as phlox, sedum, black-eyed Susan and purple coneflower are probably looking a bit rough.  Using clean, sharp garden shears, cut them to the ground to allow for new growth.  Spring is the best time to tidy up shrubs and vines that will blossom from this year’s growth.  Some plants will benefit from an spring pruning; Campsis Radicans, Clematis such as Sweet Autumn Clematis, Clematis Terniflora, the Jackmainii types and the Viticella varieties are just some.  Reserve a lighter spring pruning for shrubs such as Buddleia Davidii, Smoke Bush Continus, Spirea Douglasii, Hydrangea and Rose of Sharon Hibiscus.  Remove any winter mulch that you’ve protected your beds with by carefully raking them off to allow the soil to warm up more quickly.  Toss the leaves or mulch into the compost heap where they’ll turn into rich compost that you can use in the fall.

A spring tonic

Feeding your plants a spring tonic means more blossoms and healthier plants come summer. The best tonic for plants is compost. Its nutrients are released slowly, giving your plants a steady supply of food all season long. If you don’t make your own, many communities offer compost to residents for a small fee.  Topdress your flower beds with a thin layer of compost, working it around, but never over the cromulchwns of your perennials and shrubs, using a three-pronged cultivator or garden trowel.  This is also a good time to fertilize roses and rhododendrons. Use a fertilizer specially formulated for these flowering shrubs, preferably a slow-release type that gradually adds nutrients to the root zone of the shrubs.  Roses also benefit from a topdressing of well-composted manure which is readily available from nurseries each spring.

The finishing edge

Once you’ve freshened up your home, garden and yard with cleaning, pruning, clipping and topdressing it’s time for the finishing touch.  A sharp, clean edge between your flower borders and the lawn looks tidy and fresh.  Using a lawn edger, dig a shallow trough along the length of the garden.  The trough will act as a physical barrier to keep water in and grass out.

Most important of all, enjoy the outdoors and fresh air.

 

Preparing Your Garden & Yard for Winter

Prepare Your Garden Tools                              garden tools                     
Preparing your garden tools for the winter helps to promote their longevity and makes using them next season much easier. Mark these must-do to-dos off your winterizing checklist. Wash off dirt that has dried and hardened onto garden tools, such as shovels and hoes. Apply linseed oil to wooden handles to prevent desiccation and cracking. Sharpen blades of tools, such as pruners, hedge trimmers and shovels.
Prepping Power Equipment
Empty gasoline out of power equipment. To empty your lawn mower’s gas tank, use it to mulch fall leaves on the lawn. Give four-cycle engines, such as lawn mowers and tillers, an oil change. Inspect spark plugs and replace worn-out ones. Check air filters and replace old, dirty ones. Scrape or hose off grass and other grime that has collected on power equipment, especially lawn mowers. Remove blades and sharpen before putting them back on.
Drain Your Hoses
Drain garden hoses and take them inside for the winter. Otherwise, water left sitting inside hoses can freeze and expand, causing the hose lining to rupture and create leaks. Repair leaky hoses and replace old and damaged washers and fittings. Thoroughly rinse sprayers and fertilizer/grass seed spreaders. Allow to dry before storing. Also turn off the indoor tap that connects to outside water source to prevent frozen pipes.
Resist Cutting Back Ornamental Grasses
If you grow ornamental grasses, resist the temptation to cut the foliage back until late winter or early spring because all that top growth helps insulate the root ball. That’s especially true if the grass is only marginally hardy in your area.
Avoid Pruningpruning
Avoid heavy pruning of trees and shrubs going into the winter months, but do prune away broken branches. Touch up mulch at the base of plants and shrubs once temperatures are consistently cold. Consider root watering evergreens and providing exterior protection with
Bring Tender Plants Indoors
Depending on where you live, some plants may behave as either annuals or perennials that simply can’t handle even a light frost. Many people don’t bother trying to extend the life of plants generally not meant to last more than a year and let them die back after a freeze hits. However, if you grow tender annuals and perennials in pots and want to save them, move the pots into the house when frost threatens and take them back out when the weather warms a bit, at least for a week or two. This process allows the plant acclimate better to a drastic change in growing conditions.
Winterize Water Features
Water features are of particular concern during the winter. Make sure you drain them and store the pot and pump in the garage or garden shed. Consult a pond installation expert on how to properly winterize your water feature. Turn off water to irrigation systems and set automatic timers to the “off” mode. You may not want to turn the controller box off completely so you don’t lose the watering schedule and have to reprogram it next season. It may be necessary to drain or blow the water out of the pipes. Consult your local irrigation specialist on recommendations. If any pipes, valves or the backflow preventer are above ground and exposed to the elements, wrap them with protective insulation, like insulator tape, to keep them from freezing. But don’t insulate or block air vents or the pump motor.
Clean Out and Store Pots in a Protected Area
Keep in mind that freezes doglowing-flower-pots-lgn’t just affect plants. They can wreak havoc on other features in your garden as well. Even the best pots can crack if the soil is left in them over the winter, so remember to remove the soil. If you have time and are so inclined, scrub the pots clean with a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water.
Store Watering Cans in a Protected Area
Watering cans, especially galvanized cans, may expand and crack if water left in them freezes. Empty watering cans and place them where they can’t collect rainwater.
Plant Spring-Flowering Bulbs
Dig and store tender summer- and fall-flowering bulbs, such as dahlias. Plant spring-flowering bulbs like daffodils, crocus, hyacinth and tulips. Plant bulbs with their roots down. If the bulb has a sprout at the top, it can still be planted. Bone meal is a good additive for strengthening spring bulb growth.
Mulchmulch
In the perennial border, touch up mulch around plants for added winter protection. A layer of mulch about two to four inches deep is ideal. Unless you prefer otherwise, it is fine to leave foliage that has died back as it will help provide additional protection at the crown of plants. Leave ornamental grasses intact without cutting them back to discourage new growth during warm spells and encourage birds to visit.
Add Spent Plants to Compost
Remove spent plants from the vegetable garden and add them to the compost pile. Discard diseased plants in the trash. Turn over the soil with a garden fork (or till) to expose underground pests to cold temperatures. Caution: don’t work soil when it’s wet! Planting a cover crop can help reduce soil erosion, capture nutrients, reduce weeds and enrich the soil for spring. Winterize the compost bin by covering it with a tarp; this will help to keep the composting process going through the cold season. Occasionally soak the pile with water to keep it moist. Add an insulation of leaves or straw on the top and the sides of the pile.
Winterizing Roses
In colder climates, ignore the planting advice that probably came with the Rose and dig a deep hole so that the bud union can be at least 3 – 4 cm below the soil surface. The, usually, long piece of rootstock does not have to be vertical. Having planted the Rose in the cold weather fashion, Rose winterizing becomes a much easier job. A couple of shovelfuls of soil dumped onto the base of the plant will help more of the bottom of the canes survive. Keeping that soil tight to the canes, that it is supposed to protect, is the most important task in Rose winterizing.
Remove Fallen Leaves
Fall is an ideal time for fertilizing your lawn. Remove fallen leaves by raking and composting them or mulch them with a mulching lawn mower. However, use the fallen leaves to mulch over perennial beds to catch the snow as ground cover over the winter months.
For the Birds
Create a winter haven for your feathered friends. Provide them with the essentials: food, shelter and water. Keep bird feeders refilled throughout the winter season. Drain and clean ceramic birdbaths before bringing them indoors. Provide shelter from the cold by way of birdhouses. Or, place nest-making materials, such as yarn, hair and dried grass, around the yard for birds to collect.
Feral Cats
Their thickened winter coats help feral and stray cats weather winter’s chill, but they still need warm, dry, well-insulated and appropriate-sized shelters. Building a shelter can mean the difference between life and death for these cats. A shelter does not have to be expensive. It can be as simple as a small bin from the hardware store (not too big otherwise it won’t capture the cat’s body heat). Bedding such as straw or a loosely filled pillow case with packing peanuts or shredded newspaper) will do. Be sure to periodically check the shelter and replenish any moist or wet bedding. For a really harsh winter you could “wallpaper” the shelter’s inner walls and floor with Mylar. It reflects back body heat, and it’s okay for cats to lie on it. Place food and water near the shelter so the cats won’t have to travel far. Craig Street Cats is a wonderful local resource to help. 204-421-1919 or http://www.craigstcats.ca.5-SMALL

Autumn Home Maintenance Checklist

fall
Autumn is the perfect time to take care of big home repair projects before the shorter days and the colder weather make outdoor work difficult.     Fall is also a great time to boost energy efficiency throughout your home, and prevent damage from winter storms with proper tree care.
Check these 15 items off your list this season, and you can rest easy knowing that your home and yard are buttoned up and ready for winter.
1. Make exterior repairs. Take a walk around your property, looking for signs of damage to the roof, siding and foundation. If you spot anything that needs repair, schedule it before winter weather hits.
2. Seal gaps where critters could enter. Mice need only a tiny gap to be able to sneak into your house and raid your pantry — and with colder weather coming, all of the little critters out there will be looking for warm places to make a home. Fill small holes and cover any larger gaps securely with heavy-duty hardware cloth to keep the wildlife outdoors.
3. Check walkways, railings, stairs and the driveway for winter safety. When the landscape is covered in ice and snow, just walking from the driveway to the front door can be quite a challenge.
4. Care for trees and shrubs. If you have trees on your property, consider hiring an arborist to care for them — these pros can spot signs of poor health early on to prevent tree loss, and know how to prune properly to avoid falling limbs in winter storms.
It’s also a good idea to observe your trees throughout the fall, keeping an eye out for signs that signal a need for intervention. Early change in leaf color, pines looking thin and/or needles turning brown, and dead branches are all signs of diseases.
5. Rake leaves. Leaves look beautiful blanketing the ground, but leaving too many leaves on a lawn over winter in a snowy area can inhibit spring growth. To make the job easier, choose a lightweight rake, wear gloves to protect your hands and use handheld “leaf scoops” to bag leaves quickly.
6. Clean gutters and downspouts. Once most of the leaves have fallen, clean out gutters and downspouts (hire a helper if you are not comfortable on a ladder). Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding.  Make navigating around your home safer by checking that all stairs are in good shape and have sturdy railings, and that the driveway is in good repair to make for easier shoveling.
7. Stock up on winter supplies.  Winnipeg is a region with cold, snowy winters, fall is the best time to prepare.
Check the condition of snow shovels and ice scrapers; replace as needed
Pick up a bag of pet- and plant-safe ice melt, if needed
Restock emergency kits for car and home
If you use a snow blower, have it serviced and purchase fuel
8. Shut off exterior faucets and store hoses. Protect your pipes from freezing temperatures by shutting off water to exterior faucets before the weather dips below freezing. Drain hoses and store them indoors.
9. Add weatherstripping. Weatherstripping applied around the frames of windows and doors helps boost winter warmth and cut energy costs. Add door sweeps to the base of drafty doors to keep heat in and cold air out. If you’re feeling crafty, you can even make your own cozy draft stopper from an old flannel shirt, wool sweater or fleece blanket:
1. Cut a length of material about 3 inches longer than the width of your door (to allow for seams) and 6 to 8 inches wide.
2. Fold the material lengthwise, with right sides together.
3. Stitch a seam (by hand or on a sewing machine) down the long side, creating a tube of fabric. Stitch one end closed.
4. Turn the draft stopper right side out so the seams are hidden on the inside (use a yardstick or wooden spoon to get it completely turned right side out).
5. Fill with dry rice or beans.
6. Fold the open ends under and sew shut.
 
10. Check safety devices. 
Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors; replace batteries as needed.
Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and replace if needed.
If you haven’t checked your home for radon, fall is a good time to do so — as the weather gets cooler and windows stay shut more often, radon is more likely to become trapped in your home.
Radon at high enough levels is extremely harmful.  For more information, please visit:  http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/radiation/radon_canadians-canadiens/index-eng.php
 
11. Remove window A/C units. If you use window air conditioning units in the summer, remove them before the weather turns cold. If you must leave window A/C units in, cover the entire exterior of the unit with an insulating wrap to keep cold air out.
12. Clean dryer vents. Lint buildup in dryer vents can make your dryer work less efficiently and even cause a fire — cool, dry fall weather increases static electricity, which can ignite lint that has built up, so now is a key time to get that lint out. You can hire a duct cleaning specialist to clean the vents for you, or clean the vent yourself. If you decide to do it yourself:
1. Unplug your dryer.
2. Shut off the gas if you have a gas dryer.
3. Pull the dryer slightly away from the wall.
4. Loosen the clamp holding the hose.
5. Use a vacuum attachment or lint brush made for dryer hoses to clean out the hose and behind the dryer.
6. Replace the hose, gently move the dryer to the wall (without crushing the hose) and plug it in.
13. Deep-clean the kitchen. Take a day to tackle some of the more labor-intensive cleaning tasks, and keep your kitchen working efficiently and looking great:
Degrease the range hood and filter
Clean the oven
Vacuum the refrigerator coils
Scrub tile grout
Clean light fixtures
Wash the walls and backsplash
Wash the garbage can and recycling bins
Clean small appliances
14. Conduct an energy audit. A trained auditor can assess your home’s current energy efficiency and give you a list of recommended improvements you can make, which may include upgrading to Energy Star appliances, adding insulation to the attic or beefing up weatherstripping.  For more information, visit:  http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/efficiency/housing
15. Schedule a chimney cleaning and heating system maintenance. Making sure your chimney and furnace or boiler are cleaned, maintained and in working order before you need to turn on the heat is an important safety measure. And be sure to add a chimney cap if you don’t already have one — it will stop critters from crawling down your chimney!

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