During times of economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever to support local business owners and independent artisans. This year our local Regina shops & restaurants have been hit hard by the COVID-19 restrictions & this holiday season, we have an opportunity to shift our consumer power towards our locally owned & operated businesses. 


Every time we buy from a local small business, we make our community more prosperous & we have so many great options in YQR!  We hope our holiday gift guide will help inspire you as you finish your gift shopping this year! 




For the Fashion Enthusiast

If that is the man in your life, our go to for the perfect gift for our guys is Colin O’Brian Man’s Shoppefor selection with the coolest brands like Hugo Boss & John Varvatos and service by their stellar staff, we know we can always get the perfect sweater, scarf and the coolest socks to fill that stocking! 



Ladies, when you want the perfect jeans, tee or something comfy to lounge in, you can count on great shops like Havik ClothiersTHR3E Clothing Connection in Lumsden and our friends at Nico Lady + Baby (yes even for the littlest fashionista!) for inspiration …. 


They all have great ideas for your gift giving this year like cute logoed sweatshirts(think Brunette the Label & Good hYOUman), lounge sets(like Z Supply), cozy scarves, jewellery & accessories, and of course super cute masks…. for one stop shopping.



Stocking Stuffer Alert! These new mask lanyards from Nico Lady & Baby are perfect stocking stuffers!! 





For the Kids

Without question if you are shopping for fun,or learning, toys, games, puzzles, colouring books or sticker books, Zippity Zoom Toys is one stop shopping for all ages of kids…and it’s just a fun place for us big kids too! 





For the Foodie & Home Accessory Fan! 

If you’re looking for great gift ideas for for someone who loves to cook….and let’s face it we’ve all kind been finding our inner Ina Garten/Jamie Oliver in the past 8 months…check out Crocus & Ivy for the most lovely selection of cookware & glassware, and great stocking stuffer ideas like Christmas Tree Ornaments, the cutest tea towels, aprons & gourmet food items...not to mention women's & kids fashions! We promise you will want to just hang out and look at every single thing in this lovely store!


Bonus Tip: Plan to stop in at Magpies for coffee or tea & a home made treat while you're there! 




If you’re looking for the coolest gadgets(think BBQ tools, meat thermometers), gourmet knives, Wellness Mats, or great gift ideas from Maison Berger or this cool & elegant Sizzle candle lighter, then Kitchen Gear is your go-to!  



Stocking Stuffer Alert! We love this Car Air Diffuser from Maison Berger ...there's even one for the dog lover in your life! 




Bonus Tip! While you are at Kitchen Gear & its new sister store The Flower Shop On Hill Avenue stop and pick up some delicious treats from Something Sweet from Fadiah while you’re there!  #winwin





Did you know that our own local treasure CJ Katz has released two new "Covid19" cookbooks, One Bowl at a Time and One Loaf at a Time with recipes shared from Canadian cooks from all across our country! What a great great 2020 keepsake & gift idea!




For Anyone …and Yourself of Course! 

And for those people who have everything and you don’t know what to get, when all else fails treat them with a lovely scented candle…we love these locally made hand-poured candles from Ruby Reid ...the new Holiday Candle is a blend of cedarwood, fraser fir & pine and may just become your new seasonal favourite scent!  While you’re there check out Sara Lindsay’s Pretty City Studio for exclusive lines of make-up, skincare and gift cards for makeup application, brows, lashed & more! 




If you live in or are you're heading out to White City/Emerald Park check out Wish Home & Gift where you will find something for anyone....living gifts & potted plants, home accessories, Holiday seasonal gifts, home & body care products, gourmet candy & chocolates, and even gifts for the little ones! They seriously have the coolest things &

their gift packaging is just so pretty & elegant, it's such a pleasure to give & receive!





Date Night ...at Home!

Supporting our local hospitality industry is so important right now and we can help by ordering takeout for ourselves and sharing gift cards with our friends & family so they can take a night off and do dinner(and maybe wine?) and a movie(aka Netflix) at home! 




We have so many great places in Regina providing at restaurant at home options with pick-up & delivery, like some of our favourites from our friends at Luna Kitchen & Bar, Bar Willow Eatery, Skye Cafe & Bistro and Chop Steakhouse & Bar (a locally owned & operated franchise)



Did you know Skye Cafe & Bistro has a special gourmet take-out dinner menu every weekend....and they have a Christmas turkey dinner menu so yo ucan relax & enjoy the holidays with one less stress! We were lucky enough to enjoy their Thanksgiving turkey dinner so we know this one will be amazing too! 



Stocking Stuffer Alert! Did you know that Bar Willow has 25% off all OffSale Wines with Free Deliver over $100? Now there's something to celebrate! 





And of course, check out one of the Support Local” Facebook pages to get information & more inspiration for products & services including loads of inspiration from some of our super talented local Regina artisans!




Happy Holidays & Happy Shopping from our homes to yours! 


~ Karin & Jen 



Info@W2RealtyTeam.com


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JUNE 2020 YQR Real Estate Market Update:


As the province continues to re-open, the real estate sector is experiencing a strong recovery!


Year-over-year sales across the province were up close to 50% from June of last year and down only slightly year-to-date, signalling that we’ve nearly recovered all of the sales lost during the COVID lockdown.


New listings were up almost 8% over June last year and the median home price was up almost 2%. 

Total inventory is down indicating that people are eager to buy now and make up for lost time due to the pandemic, which are seeing personally in our business for sure!


Average Days on Market in June was 58, down from 66 days in May.


From our SRA Media Release regarding June 2020 Market Activity:

“This recovery was expected as physical distancing restrictions were loosened and as people’s confidence began to return. With the economy getting back to “normal”, people are getting excited to buy homes.

 “We’ve seen properties in some markets sell within days of being listed,” said SRA CEO Jason Yochim. “And we’ve even seen bidding wars start to break out”, suggesting that people are quite motivated to buy and may be willing to pay more than full listing price. “


This could help to further fuel Saskatchewan’s recovery as people feel encouraged to list their properties as activity increases and home prices rise.


Check out the full July 2020 SRA Media Release here!


If you have questions about buying or selling real estate in Regina, or the market in general,feel free to reach out to us. We're here to help!


Email: Info@W2RealtyTeam.com



Happy House Hunting! 


~  Karin & Jen


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“SASKATCHEWAN REAL ESTATE MARKETS REBOUNDING AS PROVINCE RE-OPENS: Strong Recovery Expected”


The May 2020 market stats are out and signs remain positive! We have seen a lot of activity in the market since the beginning of May when our provincial re-open plan began and the hopefulness & positivity we see in our province is reflected in both buyers & sellers appetite to make a move in real estate!


Here’s a snapshot of what happened in our market in May:

* Sales in Regina held in May at 293 vs 289 in April, but still down from 339 sales YTD.

* The number of new listings in May 2020 rose dramatically to 644 from 286 new listings in April this year, but more on par with new listing numbers from a year ago.

* Homes in Regina stayed on the market an average of 66.3 days in May—up just slightly from 62.7 days in April (and from 61 days a year ago).

* Average home prices in Regina went from $287,925 in April to $294,390 in May (an increase of 2.2%).

* The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI)—a more accurate measure of house price trends—is up 3.7% from $267,200 to $271,300. Year-to-date, the median home price in Regina was $286,735 which is essentially unchanged from the $286,690 price, from the same time last year.


So what does all of that mean to you?
In a nutshell, we have thankfully not seen any measurable effect of a COVID-19 world in regards to our local real estate market….so far so good!


The National picture may be different because every province is in a different situation right now and of course, we have all heard about the controversial decision CMHC has made in regards to new mortgage rules…here is an excerpt from our SRA Market media update in reference to that topic:


“Saskatchewan’s market strength calls into question CMHC’s recent projections about the province’s real estate market, and CMHC’s Housing Market Outlook ignores the local nature of real estate. For instance, Saskatoon and Regina account for over 50% of the sales in the province, and these two markets alone can have a significant impact on the province’s overall performance. In addition, even at the height of the province’s state of emergency, year-to-date (YTD) sales in North Battleford, Estevan, and Yorkton were up more than 10% from last year, and YTD prices in several markets were also up.

“I hear more frequently that our members are receiving multiple offers”. So while the real estate sector in the province has been hit by COVID and continues to feel its effects, the outlook isn’t nearly as grim as some are making it out to be, and we’re already starting to see signs of recovery going into summer. “As the province continues to open up and our members take action to protect public safety,” says Yochim, “I expect markets to make a strong recovery.”


To view the full report from our Saskatchewan Realtors® Association click on the link below:
https://mlssask.ca/june-2020-media-release/



If you have questions about anything real estate, just ask…
We’re here to help!


~ Karin & Jen

Info@W2Realtyteam.com

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There's a lot to do to get ready to list your home so we're helping you out with a guide to get you started!

Check out our prvious blog with part 1 of 2 for the whole list of to-do's....if you have a month or more to prepare, you can take one item per day to prepare your home for sale! 



1: Repair What You’ve Been Avoiding 

We all have that list of “I really need to do that” repairs and fixes. Now’s the time to get to it, including fixing the leaky faucet, the picture holes in the wall, etc. and get it done once and for all. If you aren’t handy yourself, bring in a handyman to take care of it (we know some good ones, we can help).


2: Have Your Windows Cleaned

We know, you probably don’t even think about cleaning your windows, but rain, snow and blowing dust & dirt(this the prairies after all) can really make your windows dirty. We like Men in Kilts for affordable window cleaning.


3: Focus on the Front Yard 

Curb appeal matters and will significantly impact people’s first impression of your house. Stand on your street and take in your front yard: what do you see? At a minimum, clean the scuff marks off the front door and touch-up the chipped paint or give it a fresh coat. And if your front door has seen better days, consider investing in a new one. If you have a front porch, make it look inviting (and not just a receptacle for more of your stuff). Invest in some seasonal plants. Clean up the garden. A lot of Buyers will see your home at night, so make sure that your outdoor lighting is showing off your home.


4: Don’t Ignore Your Backyard 

What you can accomplish in the back yard will, of course, depend on what time of year you sell. If you’re selling in the near future(Spring/Summer) clean up the gardens, trim the trees, cut the grass, stain the deck and clean the patio furniture and BBQ. If it’s winter: do your best to make it look presentable. If you have a garage: tidy it up and fix any peeling paint and the sagging roof.


5: Have your Carpets Cleaned 

Unless your carpets are brand new, you’ll want to have them steam cleaned (or do it yourself). You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes.


6: Don’t Forget About the Floors

If your floors are scratched, there are some great products out there to make them look almost-brand-new. And just make sure you do a good deep clean of the surface & don’t forget those corners!


7: Tackle the Walls and Doors

If your walls and doors are scuffed, buy some Magic Erasers and go to town. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. If your art needs an update, now’s the time to do it too.


8: The Final Clean

By now you’re probably exhausted..sorry about that. While you can do this final step yourself, if your budget allows bring in professional cleaners who will make sure to clean all the spots you don’t get to: the baseboards, inside the lights, the fridge, etc. A clean home matters to potential buyers….it just does!


9: Make Plans for the Kids and Pets

We love them all but we want buyers to see themselves living in the space so now is the time to stow the toys and finger painting artwork and have a plan to tuck it all away easily before showings.


10: Make Your Home Smell Good 

If you’re a dog owner, freshen up the couches, beds and surfaces where the dog sleeps. You may not smell Fido anymore, but trust us Buyers will. If you a cat, make sure the litter box is inconspicuous and cleaned regularly so it’s all fresh!

If you have diffusers they are great to make everything smell great but avoid strong air fresheners…it makes it seem like you’re trying to hide something! 


11: The Final Once-Over

You’ve worked hard, to get ready to list, now take one last look and see if there is anything that would distract a buyer? Take one final walk through all the rooms and adjust as necessary.  Now you’re set & ready to go!


If you need a hand to figure out what projects you need to take on to get the best result in your home sale, we are here to help.  Just ask!


~ Karin & Jen 

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Questions about the YQR market? Here’s what you need to know now!


Mounting job losses and concern about how a COVID-19 world is going to affect the economy has many wondering if property values will drop – along with their net worth. 


It is reasonable to assume that demand for homes may be reduced in the short term as buyers are concerned about their employment status and financial stability, although there is also a segment of buyers whose jobs are secure and salaries are protected so their plans to move forward with a purchase are relatively unchanged.  


We are still seeing activity in the Regina from both buyers & sellers although fo rthe most part those sales & purchases are necessary rather than discretionary. 


So what will the effects of all of this really be? That is still yet to be determined and we will be watching and updating you with market activity and stats. 


One thing we can count on is that the housing sector likely won’t see the typical spring bounce we would normally expect.


So what does this all mean to you?  As a homeowner... or as a buyer, what should you be doing now?


  • First of all, Don't Panic. Like any asset, the only time you should be concerned about the current valuation of your home is if you want to sell it. 


  • If you are considering buying a property in the near future & are employed you can start the process of mortgage pre-approval and get a budget set out for your house hunting process. Once that is done you are set to hit ground running! 


  • If you are looking to purchase new or to refinance your current property, ask your employer for verification of your job status. Lenders are more likely to support your situation in both a future purchase and also in discussing refinancing options, if they know that a steady stream of income is expected. 

Lenders are busy working as homeowners explore financial options to offer themselves some breathing room during this period of uncertainty.  


These are stressful times, and managing your financial situation comes down to what is right for you. There’s no one solution for all, so explore your options. 


If you have questions about the market and how it will you affect you specifically, we are here to help!   Feel free to reach out at  info@w2realtyteam.com




Stay safe & healthy!


~ Karin & Jen 

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We know you’re out walking Fido more often than ever right now and that means dodging puddles and coming home with wet or muddy feet...both of you perhaps! Wink

And then there’s just the normal doggy self-care required occasionally to get that pup looking & smelling great! 


So if you’re thinking about adding a pet wash station to your home renovation or new home design, check out these 5 great design tips! 


PS  Double Duty - you can use a pet wash station for cleaning dirty golf clubs, gardening tools and even the kids after a busy day of playing in puddles too!  Win win! 



  • Incorporate the washing station into the mudroom. Mudrooms are a very popular spot for dog wash stations. You normally enter the house from the back or side door, so their muddy paws never have to make it into the rest of the house.


  • Include a handheld shower or sprayer. Not only will it help you get your dog's entire body nice and clean, but it will also let you to do a quick paws-only wash.


  • Be prepared for the big shake. Anyone who has ever washed dogs knows that afterward they shake off the water with enthusiasm and get the entire area wet (including the person doing the washing). Having a tile surround and floor that can stand up to water will keep the big shake from damaging drywall and floors. If your dog is the type that runs around the house in crazy circles after a bath, we recommend having a door that you can close on your laundry or mudroom until Sparky finishes the big shake! Having towel storage handy is also a great idea! 


  • Go bigger with the drain. A 3-inch drain is recommended in a pet washing station. It will handle dog hair better than the standard 1½- to 2-inch shower drain. Having a hair filter over the drain is also a great idea! 


  • Consider an elevated dog bath for smaller pets. It will be easier on your back and knees in the long run, as long as your dog is willing and able to jump into it, or you don't have a problem lifting your pet into place.

We have great working reltionships with local renovation teams & custom home builders in Regina, so don't hesitate to reach out if you are looking for a referral for your next project or build! 




As always stay safe & well!  


~ Karin & Jen 

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We know you’re out walking Fido more often than ever right now and that means dodging puddles and coming home with wet or muddy feet...both of you perhaps! Wink

And then there’s just the normal doggy self-care required occasionally to get that pup looking & smelling great! 


So if you’re thinking about adding a pet wash station to your home renovation or new home design, check out these 5 great design tips! 


PS  Double Duty - you can use a pet wash station for cleaning dirty golf clubs, gardening tools and even the kids after a busy day of playing in puddles too!  Win win! 



  • Incorporate the washing station into the mudroom. Mudrooms are a very popular spot for dog wash stations. You normally enter the house from the back or side door, so their muddy paws never have to make it into the rest of the house.


  • Include a handheld shower or sprayer. Not only will it help you get your dog's entire body nice and clean, but it will also let you to do a quick paws-only wash.


  • Be prepared for the big shake. Anyone who has ever washed dogs knows that afterward they shake off the water with enthusiasm and get the entire area wet (including the person doing the washing). Having a tile surround and floor that can stand up to water will keep the big shake from damaging drywall and floors. If your dog is the type that runs around the house in crazy circles after a bath, we recommend having a door that you can close on your laundry or mudroom until Sparky finishes the big shake! Having towel storage handy is also a great idea! 


  • Go bigger with the drain. A 3-inch drain is recommended in a pet washing station. It will handle dog hair better than the standard 1½- to 2-inch shower drain. Having a hair filter over the drain is also a great idea! 


  • Consider an elevated dog bath for smaller pets. It will be easier on your back and knees in the long run, as long as your dog is willing and able to jump into it, or you don't have a problem lifting your pet into place.

We have great working reltionships with local renovation teams & custom home builders in Regina, so don't hesitate to reach out if you are looking for a referral for your next project or build! 




As always stay safe & well!  


~ Karin & Jen 

Read full post


Canada’s mortgage rates are creeping up -- even though the country’s central bank has slashed borrowing costs to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“That’s due to the enormous pressure Canadian banks face amid disruptions caused by the outbreak, said Sherry Cooper, chief economist at Dominion Lending Centres.
The costs of funds for banks is skyrocketing and bank earnings are plunging, Cooper told Bloomberg Monday.“

“Every single business they have ever loaned to is subject to a massive decline in revenues, and therefore their own revenues are going down because nobody is taking out new business with banks except to extend debt.”

If you want to understand more about mortgage rates, how they work & the current volatility of those rates check out this video from Dustan Woodhouse - AMP Accredited Mortgage Professional:

Now for the GOOD NEWS & We’ll take any bit of positive news we can get right now!

There is some optimism as far as future job security is concerned as although there has been an increase in jobless claims, Canadian consumers are largely confident in their job security.

Just 13% of respondents to the Canadian Confidence Index said they were worried about losing their job, slightly up on the previous week, but below record highs.

So what does this mean to you? If you are thinking about buying a home in the near future you should be taking the time now to get your mortgage pre-approval and get your rate locked in now for 120 days!

Then when the time is right you are ready to go!

If you have questions or need a a referral to a lender or mortgage broker, feel free to contact us!

Email: info@w2realtyteam.com


~ Karin & Jen
 
"Your Proven Regina Real Estate Team" 
 
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While we know the most important thing we are dealing with right now is an unprecedented health crisis, we also know that it is a super stressful time for many people from a financial standpoint. 

We are happy to hear that both our Provincial & Federal governments have announced many measures to help everyone through this time, and those financial aid programs continue to be expanded as the need grows. 

So what can we do right now to be proactive? 


Check out all of the programs being offered to homeowners(including mortgage payment deferral), families & businesses to see what you can benefit from: 

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan:
https://bit.ly/3dcA92v


Sakatchewan's COVID-19 Suppport Plans


There are a number programs available through your lender to defer mortgage payments & we recommend you contact your lender or your mortage broker to discuss your options. 


Check out this informative Blog on the subject from our colleague, Candice Carr, mortage expert form TMG, including contact info for all of the major lenders.

Thinking of Deferring Your Mortgage Payment?


Also, here are some great tips on how we can take control from BNN Bloomberg’s Pattie Lovett-Reid: 

"On a personal level:
- Be razor-sharp on what your expenses are over a two, or maybe three-month period.
- Pull back on discretionary spending.
- Get clarity around your company's salary policy if you become ill and have to stay home.
- Interest rates have been lowered by the Bank of Canada, so get to know your numbers in terms of reduced mortgage payments, loan payments etc. Expect the banks to provide clarity on this in the coming days. You might consider asking for mortgage payment relief for a month to free up cash flow.
- If you are having trouble making ends meet, reach out to all your creditors and request temporary relief. You are not in this alone.
- Look to negotiate all contracts and possibly suspend contracts and memberships where you can"

Check out the entire article here:
"Amid a crisis, take control where you Can"
https://bit.ly/33rnp3C


We work with great mortgage brokers and we recommend you talk to a specialist to find out what options will work best for you right now, for both existing mortgages and also if you are considering a buying a home at this time.


Of course if you have questions about what's happpening with the Real Estate market in Regina, feel free to reach out to us....we're happy to help!



We will all get thought this together with a plan! 

~ Karin & Jen


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