It goes without saying that spring and summer are excellent times to put your house on the market; the weather is warm and potential home buyers are in the mood to window shop.


That said, there are also some real advantages that come with listing in the fall and winter. People are travelling less. and there’s typically less competition to contend with – among other benefits.


As we embrace the hygge and cooler weather (and brace ourselves for the winter months ahead), let’s consider what the fall and winter markets have to offer. Here are five reasons why you might want to think about selling your home sooner rather than later.


1. The Internet has no seasons



The world wide web has changed the way we shop for homes. During the colder months, people can research and view properties with the click of a button, which means there are potential home buyers actively looking at any time, no matter the season.


2. Curb appeal is a cinch



During spring and summer, buyers are looking for perfectly manicured lawns, flowers and impeccable landscaping, which can cost you a tremendous amount of time and money. By fall, however, most plants are already dormant. All you need to do is rake the leaves or make sure your snow is well shovelled before the open house. Some festive pumpkins or a seasonal, inviting wreath can also work wonders.


3. There's often less competition



Listing your home during a less popular selling season means there will be fewer new properties on the market. Less competition makes the market less crowded, providing you with a great opportunity to really make your home stand out.


4. Buyers are serious



Many buyers will choose to ease into the market in the summer, looking around to see what neighbourhoods, features and amenities will best meet their needs. And, if they haven’t purchased over the summer, by the time fall and winter comes around, the window shoppers often have a clearer idea of what they want.


5. You can enjoy spring and summer in your new home



Nobody wants to spend the warmest months of the year planning for and stressing out over a move. If you put your home on the market in the fall or winter, there’s a better chance you’ll be settled into your new home by the time spring arrives, so you can enjoy a hassle-free summer!


Planning to sell? A REALTOR® can help you get your house market-ready!


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Earlier this year, the City of Winnipeg Comprehensive Housing Assessment Report indicated that approximately 8% of dwellings in Winnipeg are in need of major repair, with the majority concentrated among older housing stock.


So it is a matter of how — not if — the City of Winnipeg is committed to making residential infill a key part of their updated OurWinnipeg and Complete Communities Direction Strategy 2.0 — a citywide secondary plan outlining the City’s 25-year vision for land use and development. In fact, the City is calling for residential infill to make up to 50% of new construction in built-up areas with the other half in new emerging communities or greenfield land.


To this end, a key direction of the new strategy is to accommodate infill development within established neighbourhoods, or what is referred to as “mature communities”. These are communities largely developed prior to the 1950s. They contain over 80,000 single-family detached homes with a median age of 73 years, which require more and more upkeep as they continue to age.  


WinnipegREALTORS® is certainly familiar with older housing stock in need of repair or replacement, having established Housing Opportunity Partnership (HOP) in the late 1990s in response to seeing Winnipeg’s West End easternmost neighbourhoods  (e.g. Spence) suffer a serious decline in the condition of their housing stock and subsequent loss of value of those homes. HOP remains active today building new infill homes on 25-foot lots where older, badly deteriorated homes were demolished.


Thanks to intervention by a number of housing advocate initiatives alongside HOP, these West End neighbourhoods have experienced positive renewal and price appreciation since then, significantly increasing City tax assessment rolls. But more needs to be done. Reinvestment in our City’s housing stock is critical to renewing Winnipeg as it grows to be a City of one million people.


Not only is infill a fiscal sustainability issue — in being more efficient to better utilize and maximize existing infrastructure and support mature neighbourhoods with all of their inherent assets and services (e.g. public transit and local businesses) — it is a matter of necessity given that current new housing starts in emerging communities will not meet the projected 160,000 people and 77,000 new dwellings required over the next 20 years.


It is also worth noting that from 1971 to 2016, mature communities decreased in population by 82,000. A compact urban form is, and will be, necessary to afford to maintain a larger City with all of its infrastructure requirements so it continues to function effectively and sustainably.


You only have to look at what is happening now with many infills being built across the City in established communities to realize there is a strong desire to live in these more centrally located parts of the City. More evidence in this regard comes from the last few months of MLS® sales activity. There has been unprecedented demand for housing on WinnipegREALTORS® MLS® in many Winnipeg established neighbourhoods.


September is not showing any let-up with continued strong demand for resale housing.


As University of Winnipeg geography professor Jino Distasio said recently to the Winnipeg Free Press,  “There’s a clear public interest in adding properties to existing neighbourhoods, since they can use previously built infrastructure and replace aging homes while also help accommodate a growing local population.”


The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce has also weighed in on the importance of supporting infill development as a way to grow our City in a more cost efficient manner. The following paragraph is an excerpt from the Chamber’s submission on OurWinnipeg:


“Increasing density and making more efficient use of existing infrastructure and City services is vital to that mission. Not only will it save money (reducing the need for further tax increases), but it will lead to the creation of more dynamic urban neighbourhoods that provide new business opportunities and help attract the young talent we need to grow our economy.”


It’s time to get on with it and set in place the clarity, certainty and predictability a residential infill strategy with clear guidelines can bring for all concerned, especially the residents who live in established neighbourhoods and want to ensure the preservation of the character and local feel and context of the streets they live on.


In the proposed Complete Communities Direction Strategy 2.0, the City of Winnipeg is recommending a residential infill strategy that “will direct the location and design of residential infill development in Mature Communities through the use of planning and design guidelines”.


The Residential Infill Strategy also lists goals that it wishes to achieve. They are:

•          Provide a diversity of housing options for all residents, at all life stages, in all neighbourhoods;

•          Maintain a balanced mix of housing within each neighbourhood;

•          Distribute additional residential density amongst mature neighbourhoods;

•          Contribute to the physical renewal and revitalization of older neighbourhoods;

•          Support transit and maximize walkability;

•          Make more efficient use of existing municipal infrastructure and community facilities;

•          Increase population levels to support retention of neighbourhood schools, commercial areas and main streets (i.e. urban mixed-use corridors);

•          Respect and enhance the character of existing neighbourhoods through compatible development.


It also goes on to state that it may provide additional and more detailed locational criteria than that identified in its by-law to better respond to area-specific planning considerations.


Considerable public engagement has already occurred regarding the development of this strategy, with sessions held to show how different housing options and targeted approaches to developing infill is possible without compromising appropriate and contextual small-scale infill in a mature community.


Newly released this month are the long-awaited infill development guidelines. The Small Scale and Low-Rise Residential Development Guidelines for Mature Communities are available for review at www.winnipeg.ca


Would you like a chance to offer input? There is an online survey to fill out as the City wants to get your feedback on this considerable undertaking. The deadline to participate is October 15. Also, check out opportunities to meet project team members in person at the Cindy Klassen Recreational Complex on Wednesday, September 30. There are also Zoom webinar sessions that you can register for being held on Sunday, October 4 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. and Wednesday, October 7 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

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There are many great reasons why now is the right time to build a new home in Manitoba.


Mortgages remain very reasonable and carrying a mortgage continues to be easier today than ever before. In fact, it would have cost you more to carry a $200,000 mortgage in 1981 than it does to carry a $500,000 mortgage today! Also, home values in Manitoba continue to increase annually, demonstrating healthy returns on investment in each new built home.


Not only is your new home a sound financial investment, but it is also a lifestyle investment, too. By building a new home in a new neighbourhood, you are choosing new schools and community clubs for your children, new shopping centres and green spaces to explore, and opportunities to meet new people.


With an extremely low inflation rate and Manitoba’s economic diversity and stability, you are better able to financially plan your family’s future. Your investment in a newly built home is secure.


The industry Technical Research Committee consistently rates Manitoba's new homes among the most energy-efficient in Canada. Manitoba’s building practices ensure lower monthly energy bills and less impact on the environment.

Homes built today have 31.3% fewer emissions, requiring less than half the energy of older homes to heat and cool despite larger-sized rooms. Building a new home allows you to install the very best energy-efficient systems during construction. And today’s homes are built to standards that ensure a cleaner, healthier environment for new home buyers and their families. Tougher safety standards and more efficient building products mean better airflow and quality.

One of the key benefits of building a newly built home is that you can choose exactly what you want. With a newly built home, you can have everything just the way you want it. Also, newly built homes do not require the upkeep of older homes. Many are built with low or no-maintenance materials. Less maintenance means more time to enjoy your new home.


New built homes are designed for the way we live today, with open plans and large family rooms, easy flow for entertainment and space to grow.


To find the right builder, you can start by looking at builders registered with the Manitoba Home Builder’s Association (MHBA).


The MHBA is a non-profit trade association whose mandate is to provide its members, the public and all levels of government with ongoing education and information about the housing industry in Manitoba. The MHBA does this by making sure that its members are kept up-to-date on the latest developments in building technology and government regulations, enabling them to provide the public with quality service and construction.


MHBA is comprised of home builders, land developers, renovators, manufacturers, suppliers, designers, architects, engineers, financial institutions, and mortgage companies, lawyers, and public utilities who each contribute to the on-going operation and success of the housing industry in Manitoba.


All builder members of the MHBA must be a member of a third-party home warranty program and are subject to a code of ethics and a code for disciplinary action as established for the industry by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, with which the MHBA is an affiliated member.


The MHBA represents 80 years of professional excellence. Their members adhere to association-set standards, maintaining the highest level of industry knowledge and ensuring a safe job environment for all. Their members take pride in using leading technologies, products and knowledge to ensure your home will be built to meet the highest industry and government standards and legislation and will maintain a higher value over time.


For over 80 years, MHBA members have built a strong reputation as industry professionals who meet the highest standards. Most of its members have been in business 10 years or more, so you can have peace of mind knowing that their proven track records and references mean the promise of reliability. They adhere to the latest safety standards and codes to ensure building and renovating projects are handled properly by reliable industry professionals.


Since MHBA represents only top quality home builders, renovators and industry suppliers, and provides the best in member training, you can take pride knowing the MHBA building professionals working in your home are trustworthy and follow the latest design trends and cutting-edge practices using up-to-date technology. They work with a high degree of skill and professionalism and in accordance to code and within the law so you can rest assured knowing your home was built — or renovated — the right way without cutting any corners.


MHBA seminars, conferences, workshops, and programs, as well as their Master Builder and Master Renovator programs, provide the training and certification to guarantee homeowners a building professional with a fully trained team carrying the highest certifications, licenses, tickets and ultimately the highest standards in all they do.

For more information, visit homebuilders.mb.ca and check out their list of registered home builders and associated members.


— homebuilders.mb.ca

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