The Repay Robertson Thuen Team

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5 Reasons to buy a condo - There’s pros and cons to every purchase, but this focuses specifically on the benefits of owning a condo. Between the four of us, we own three condos so we know the trials and tribulations of these kinds of purchases.

  1. Amenities -  Condo’s come with amenities! Not every condo has them, but many have exercise rooms, outdoor or indoor pools, rooftop patios, racketball or tennis courts, and common rooms for hosting parties or for resident get togethers. There’s even newer buildings that are including car washes and workshop spaces. They’re great places to get to know your neighbours. 
  2. Price - The average cost of a condo was $238,000 for 2018, and the average cost of a detached home was $322,000. These averages take into account the higher end of the spectrum as well, so you could plan to spend even less than the average and still come away with a great place. With a difference of almost $100,000, you could afford to get into your new place much quicker if you go with a condo over a house. 
  3. Community - When you’re living in the same building, you become closer with your neighbours. You’ll see the same people at the mailboxes, at the front door, in the exercise room, and at the condo complex meetings. It’s not for everyone, but it really makes a place feel more homey when you’re friendlier with the community around you. 
  4. Maintenance - Exterior maintenance is taken care of for you! Hate shovelling in the winter? Not a big fan of cutting grass? You’re only responsible for the upkeep of your individual unit. Most condo’s have monthly fees that take care of all this. They are based on the amount of money needed to upkeep the complex every year, plus a bit of overflow for the eventual replacement of long term items like shingles, parking lots, or other shared common elements. This means that you aren’t going to need to shell out $5,000 for a new roof, or get as many unexpected bills. (Assuming the condo corporation is well-managed, which is easy to assess before purchasing due to recent buyer protection legislation in Manitoba)
  5. Flexibility - Condos are so much better than houses if you have a get up and go attitude. If you want to spend most of your time travelling, then you can. You don’t have to worry about asking a friend or neighbour to come and cut your lawn or shovel your driveway, it will be taken care of. Great for snowbirds, or for people looking to downsize from a larger home. 
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  1. Start With Small Repair Work - You've got to start somewhere, and this will help you prioritize what needs to get done. Take a look around your home for those small jobs that you've been putting off for months, and make a list. Make sure your closet doors are on their tracks, and aren't going to fall off if someone takes a look inside. Loose cabinets or handles can easily be tightened. Get out the spackle and touch up small dents/holes in the drywall. Leaky faucets, running toilets, cracked light fixtures. Make a plan to get it all done to meet your timeline.
  2. Declutter - You're selling your house, not your stuff! A nicely decorated house can do wonders, but we'll touch more on that later. Get rid of things you don't use. Unwanted furniture and clothing can be donated. Go through your closets, and aim to have some space left over in there when you're done. Same with the pantry, kitchen cabinets and countertops. If you've got 7 different appliances on your kitchen counter, consider putting some of it away. Buyers want to be able to look in these spaces and think their stuff will fit. If you NEED to store it in boxes and put it in the basement, then go ahead but remember you need to do the same thing in the storage room too. Get rid of extra nick-nacks, old magazines, and anything lying around that isn't contributing to the style of the room (ignore this last part if your style is "messy bachelor").
  3. Depersonalize - Buyers want to imagine themselves in a home, which is tough to do if there's too many of your personal items around. A few family pictures here and there are fine, but try to reduce the amount if you can. You'll also want to look at storing anything polarizing, such as political or religious items. If more buyers love your home, you'll get more interest and have more leverage when it comes to price negotiations.
  4. Start Gathering Receipts and Invoices from Improvements - If you're really savy, you've got all this filed away in one place. One thing that really helps make a sale happen is a detailed list of all the improvements done to a home. Big ticket items are the most important. If you've replaced the roof or windows, try to find any information you have about the update. Hot water tanks, furnaces, if you've had a clog in drainage system that was repaired, foundation repairs, and pretty much anything that relates to the home that costs more than a couple hundred dollars. When we're showing homes to buyers, we try to do a mental tally of costs for anything that needs to be updated. It makes it way easier if sellers leave what they've done in a binder on the kitchen table. Instead of adding in $500 for a hot water tank that doesn't have an installation date on it, we'll know you replaced it last year.
  5. Deep Clean - A clean house indicates a well-kept house. If a buyer sees everything is spotless and sparkling, they're automatically going to think all maintenance items are taken care of as well. If cleaning isn't your specialty, consider hiring an expert to get it done right. We're talking toilets, floors, dusty surfaces, stainless steel appliances, stove tops, ovens, mirrors, windows, light fixtures, vent covers and more. It's a dirty job, but its got to be done in order to get top dollar for your home. The worst part - once it's done, it has to stay that way until the home is sold. Beds made every morning, dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and everything in it's place just in case a buyer decides they want to come through before you get home from work.
  6. Buy Lightbulbs - First impressions are really important. From the moment a buyer walks in the front door, they are making one of the biggest financial decisions of their life. One way to help push them in the right direction is a well-lit home. Before you leave your home to allow for a potential buyer to see it, turn on all the lights and lamps in the home and open all the curtains. Sometimes a home just isn't bright enough with all this done, so consider adding another lamp or replacing the bulb in a light fixture to provide more light. Another added benefit to more light is the listing pictures are going to turn out better, and you may just get more showings.
  7. Paint - Painting isn't always required, but you need to look at your home objectively to figure out if it is. The good news is that painting isn't that expensive, especially if you can do it yourself. Freshly painted rooms look clean, and will get rid of every little mark or scratch that has appeared over the years. Remember that your style isn't everyone's style, and your child may love their bright bold orange walls but some buyers won't see it the same. Neutral colours like white, beige, and grey are all good choices. These will make the home appear bigger, brighter and more welcoming.
  8. Curb Appeal - We've focused so much on the inside, but the outside is important too. If it's winter, make sure the driveway and walkways are shovelled before showings. Any entrance to the backyard should be clear. A serious buyer will want to take a walk around the outside to look for serious foundation issues. We all know how early it gets dark in Winnipeg in the winter months, so make sure your outside light is working so people don't feel like they are walking into a haunted house. In the summer make sure the lawn is mowed when needed, the bushes have been trimmed, and nothing looks overgrown. 
  9. Consider Staging - If you've looked into staging, you know how strongly it's recommended. Claims of 5-10% more in sale price, and 5-10 days less selling time are pretty common. We've found that an empty house does take longer to sell, but calling in a professional staging company to do the job for thousands of dollars isn't always worth it. Our best advice is to ask your Real Estate Professional what they think, as they should have the experience to point you in the right direction.
    We've staged quite a few houses at this point. Sometimes we bring in a whole truckload of furniture, and sometimes we bring in one or two pieces and rearrange what's available. We strongly feel we make the right decisions when we're given the opportunity, and we keep the costs down no matter what.
  10. Ask for Outside Opinions - The best thing you can do is to ask someone who doesn't live in the home. Sometimes when you walk past something every day, you don't even realize it's there. Getting fresh eyes (or a fresh nose) can open your perspective on what needs to be done, and what doesn't get noticed. Bring in a friend or a neighbour who you trust to give you their opinion.
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