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Green & Real - Real Estate Blog


#ZEROWASTE
Initiative


Need help moving towards #zerowaste? The trendy hashtag is making a movement and it’s hard to know where to begin

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Ladies, The Diva Cup. Tampon waste and plastic packaging a thing of the past. I was hesitant to make the transition years ago .. how messy is this thing?? How well does it actually work?? I can tell you, BEST DECISION EVER. Zero waste, little hassle, and a $35 investment that goes A LONG WAY in saving you $$ and hugging mama earth. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer!

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A great tip from my bestie Rachelle Taylor (and photo shown) are shampoo, conditioner, lotion and sunscreen from @portia_ella located at the Outlet Mall WITH ZERO PACKAGING!! You have an adorable little bag that everything is stored in, and purchasing means EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU ARE REDUCING YOUR PLASTIC CONSUMPTION. The Rose is from Safeway, plastic wrap skipped. Do you have any tips you’d like to share?? I’d love to hear them!

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Compost Winnipeg home pick up program … SERIOUSLY THE EASIEST!! WEEKLY COMPOST PICK UP AT YOUR DOOR! Reducing your food waste enormously. Anyone doing this already and loving it??? We are! Green Action Centre is where to go to get your program started!

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BULK BARN ALLOWS YOU TO BRING IN CLEAN JARS (THINK CANNING JARS, CLEANED OUT PB JARS, PASTA JARS .. WHATEVER!), THEY WILL WEIGH THEM .. THEN YOU FILL THEM AND THEY WEIGH THEM AGAIN!! It’s really SO simple and saves SO much plastic and packaging.

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@generationgreen offers a refill station for soaps, dish soaps, laundry soaps, etc. With potentially less plastic being recycled because of China changing their recycle intake & rules, it’s important TO REDUCE NOT JUST RECYCLE!! 🍃


April 9 2019 

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I am absolutely in LOVE with my creations from @littlelovehome including this MASSIVE custom basket for a large planter. We have several hanging baskets as well that are such a sweet addition to any plant lovers home. Her orders come with an adorable hand written card, AND my last order came with this plate as a gift for being late ... which is wasn’t and besides, Sarah has twins and had JUST had another baby. Thank you for your beautiful, fun products and the extra care you put into it all @littlelovehome


April 4 2019 

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Did you know that the new 2019 federal budget has $435M in it for zero emissions vehicle rebates and such??! A $5000 rebate for any car under $45K. If you’re self employed or a business the tax benefits are almost dbl that of a gas car (A $55K write off, compared to $30K for gas). PLUS, you can write off the tax rebate all in one year, opposed to having to defer like gas cars (bonus if you have a REALLY good sales year . AND by 2040 Canada has a goal of having ALL ELECTRIC VEHICLES (maybe a bit too late still, BUT there is planning happening!) Positive moves forward as climate change is on everyone’s minds ….


March 13 2019 

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This WEDNESDAY @ccfmanitobain ... fundraiser and 80’s dress up party! Mary Pidlaski is also DJing 🎧 Gimme Shelter helps so many organizations that work on all levels of “shelter”. Maybe it’s new mattresses and bed bug control for actual shelters, maybe it’s furniture for safe homes for abused women, or equipment for kitchens that feed in need persons, funds to keep the doors open to those who need it, keep the lights on, keep much needed staff in place. It reaches children, youth, adults, seniors, immigrant families, men & women. I’m happy to be a Friend sponsor again this year with funds helping through the MREA Shelter Foundation. 🏡🏠🏘🏢❤️🌳🚪🛁🛏🧼 Check out @gimme_shelter_wpg for more info!



February 14 2019

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This is where my heart resides. It certainly loves where it lives ;) Happy Love Day to you all. XOXO


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Thinking of renovating?? It’s a common question that arises when thinking of long term investment for comfort and lifestyle, OR if you’re thinking of selling and wondering where the best bang for your buck is. Here are some areas to pay attention to taken from the article titled 10 Home Renovations with the Best Return on Investment written by Maryalene Laponsie with my own commentary “written in”:


5 Common Renovation Errors:


  1. Measuring Errors: “Measure 10 times, Cut Once”.

  • Make sure you measure over and over again because once something is cut there is no going back! This can be a large waste of money if you have to throw out perfectly good pieces because you were careless in your measurements. “There’s always a backyard bonfire to hide those loose ends ;)” - Amber

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  1. Choosing a Cheap Contractor

  • There are certain things within a renovation that you can cheap out on, a contractor is not one of them. The contractor plays a key role in the result of your renovation and that is not something you want to take a risk on. “I have seen thousands of homes, and I PROMISE you, buyers can tell good from bad.” - A

  1. Lowballing Budget—Need to budget enough for mistakes so you have wiggle room.

    • Mistakes will happen. No renovation project goes perfectly as planned. Make sure your budget has room for mistakes so you don’t end up short in the end. “Opening up walls to hidden old wiring, leakage issues, no insulation .. all problems to plan for the worst, and hope for the best.” - A

  2. Skimping on Quality/Splurging where you should save

    • Once again, there are areas to skimp on, and areas where it is important you get high quality. An area that’s going to get a lot of use (mudroom, kitchen cabinets, flooring) are areas to plan for long term wear and tear. “Buyers are looking at how ‘lived in’ a home feels, and if it’s in rougher shape then your value decreases.” - A

  3. Jumping on the Trend Train – Trends have short lifespan.

    • Try to stick to finishes that are timeless so you don’t find yourself desiring another renovation project in a couple of years. Trendy areas can also be hard to sell to people with different opinions than you! “My advice for clients when renovating to sell - white!! White kitchens, bathrooms, walls, etc. It’s much cleaner, simpler, and buyers can envision their own twist on things.”-A

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12 Renovations with the Best Return


  1. Added Insulation – 108%

  2. Garage Door – 85%

  3. Front Door – 91%

  4. Landscaping – 105%

  5. Kitchen Remodel – 80%

  6. Bathroom Remodel/adding a Bathroom - 81%

  7. New Windows – 74%

  8. Finish Basement – 69%

  9. High Efficiency Appliances – Reduce living costs

  10. Interior Paint – Bring light in - 90-110% depending on the study

  11. Deck

  12. Siding Replacement

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ROI AND RENOVATING 

If you’re thinking about putting a “for sale” sign in front of your house, you may also have home renovations in mind. It seems logical that replacing outdated features, dingy appliances and worn carpeting should increase the value of your home, but don’t be too sure. Some renovations have a poor return on investment, while others will do little to impress buyers with their own vision for the property. It’s important to not to pour a lot of money into projects that are too personalized.

However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't make any updates. If you think you’ll be in the home for a while, go ahead and renovate so you can better enjoy the property. Otherwise, if you’re renovating for resale value, focus on these projects that offer the best return on investment.

  1. Added insulation. Each year, Remodeling Magazine conducts a cost-versus-value analysis to determine which of 29 home projects offers the best return on investment. In 2017, it isn’t a new kitchen or bathroom that tops the list. It’s attic insulation.

It’s an inexpensive project that can be done for less than $1,500 and has an estimated return of 108 percent. Plus, it’s a good investment regardless of whether you plan to sell. “As buyers become more environmentally aware, anything that lowers the costs of running a home, as well as good to Mama Earth, are valuable.” - Amber

  1. New garage door. When it comes to what it considers upscale renovations, Remodeling Magazine says replacing the garage door offers the best return on investment. Sellers can expect to recoup 85 percent of the cost of this project.

“First impressions are everything .. make sure your home shines from the curb and in those real estate photos and video!” - A

  1. Better front door. Don’t stop with the garage door. A new front door can also be a good investment. According to Remodeling Magazine, you’ll recoup almost 91 percent of the cost on a steel entry door and nearly 78 percent on the price of a fiberglass one. Winnipeggers will be looking for insulated steel as well.

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  2. Improved landscaping. The National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Landscape Professionals conducted a survey in 2016 to determine which outside projects offer homeowners the best value. An overall landscape upgrade topped the list with an estimated 105 percent return on investment.

  3. Kitchen remodel. Said to be the heart of the home, the kitchen deserves some extra attention if you’re hoping to sell.

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That doesn’t necessarily mean making a complete overhaul, but could include refacing cabinets or updating finishes. A minor kitchen remodel will recoup 80 percent of its cost, according to Remodeling Magazine, while a major midrange kitchen remodel only has a 65 percent return on investment.

“I like to advise my clients to try and keep costs down - butcher block, subway tile, white cabinets, splashes of colour .. it goes a long way! Buyers LOVE soft close cabinets, pot drawers .. and pull out pantry shelves .. definitely items to add!” - Amber

  1. Bathroom improvements. The bathroom is another prime place for renovations. Replace the vanity, lighting and toilet, an inexpensive way to dramatically improve the look and feel of the room.

Adding a bathroom is a major investment, and it doesn’t have the best return. Reports from both the National Association of Realtors and Remodeling Magazine say homeowners will recoup slightly more than half their investment. However, it may be essential to making a sale, especially if there is only one bathroom in the house.

“I have a LOT of buyers who want a bathroom on each floor, so even a two piece addition is valuable to attracting more buyers” - Amber

  1. New windows. Replacing old windows can brighten a room and resale prospects. There’s no need to splurge though. “You’re not going to get your money back with a top of the line window,” Foguth says. Remodeling Magazine reports vinyl replacement windows have a 74 percent return on investment, giving them a 1 percent edge over wood windows.

  2. More square footage. Refinishing a basement or other space can dramatically boost the value of a house in some areas.

A 2015 National Association of Realtors report considered the value of converting a basement to living space. It estimated homeowners could expect to recoup 69 percent of the project price. The return on investment for converting an attic to living space was estimated at 61 percent.

  1. High efficiency appliances. Like insulation, upgrading to high efficiency appliances, water heaters and furnaces has a dual benefit. These may make the home more attractive, but just as importantly, they reduce living costs for the homeowner. “Manitoba Hydro has some GREAT programs for helping with upgrades like this.”

  2. Interior paint. It’s hard to calculate the return on investment for a coat of paint, but buyers like clean lines and airy spaces. “Painting is one of the most common areas that my sellers pay attention to. A fresh coat of paint lightens spaces, make them feel larger, cleaner, newer … and we all know that a Winnipeg home likely has some drywall cracks to seal up! For the amount that needs investing in paint, it’s a no brainer to me.” - A

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While these 10 renovations make the most sense from a dollar and cents perspective, every market is different. “Nothing replaces talking to a REALTOR® and understanding the expectations of buyers in Winnipeg before making those major (or minor) home renovation decisions. I’m always happy to help with advice where needed, so feel free to reach out anytime!” - Amber


2018 Achievement Award 

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2018 .. you were hard core, rock and roll! A full year of what life can truly be ... adventures, love, friends, family .. and fulfilling work! What an honour it is to receive a Silver Medallion AND to be the #1 producing agent at RE/MAX executives on Academy Rd to top if all off! To my past and new clients who supported my business through 70 properties sold in '18, trusted my opinions, and had me represent your best interests in 2018 ... THANK YOU!!! To the countless referrals that were sent my way, THANK YOU for trusting me to represent your loved ones and putting us in touch. I look forward to a 2019 full of fine tuning skills, continued education, representing my clients to the highest standard, and loving life along the way <3 xoxoxo Thank you doesn't convey as much as is in my heart. Love you all.


MREA Shelter Foundation Platinum Donor 2018

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I'm so happy to have the opportunity to both represent the MREA Shelter Foundation as a Governor on the board of directors, as well as a Platinum Donor for 2018. The MREA Shelter foundation is a wonderful organization that supports Manitoba charities that are devoted to shelter-related causes such as: 

  • A & O: Support Services for Older Adults
  • L'Arche Winnipeg      
  • YWCA Brandon 
  • Esther House 
  • Knowles Centre 
  • New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults and Families
  • Bravestone Centre 
  • Main Street Project
  • Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council
  • Red Road Lodge 
  • Salvation Army - Booth Centre
  • Two Ten Recovery


9 Home Buying Mistakes First Timers Make

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9. Shopping before getting pre-approved for a mortgage.

Many first-time homebuyers decide they’re ready to take the leap, and start touring open houses “just to see what’s out there.” While getting a feel for the market is certainly a good idea, you risk falling in love with a home that is not in your budget. Before you start seriously shopping the market, visit your bank, mortgage broker or lender, and get a mortgage pre-approval. You’ll know the exact amount you’ll qualify for, so when you’re ready to make an offer, you can do so with confidence. I'm always happy to meet with new buyers and assist you to finding the right mortgage fit as well, so don't feel you need to wait to contact your REALTOR® before then.

8. Skipping the mortgage pre-approval altogether.

I'm mentioning this one again, because it’s super important. Getting pre-approved not only informs you of how much you can spend on a home, but it also guarantees the current interest rate for about 90-120 days, giving you the freedom to shop knowing you’re safe from rate hikes in the near future. With interest rates on the rise, this step is more important than ever.

7. Making major life changes when applying for a mortgage.

Once you’ve filed your application, avoid changing jobs, making big-ticket purchases on credit, or taking out new loans. These can all alter your financial picture, and can impact your ability to qualify for the mortgage or the amount you had originally anticipated. If there are any large purchases or job changes in your future, plan for them to happen AFTER your possession date, as even a mortgage approval doesn't guarantee you can afford the property on closing date IF your situation changes. The new truck will have to wait .. just a few more weeks :)

6. Not saving enough for a down payment.

It’s true that the minimum requirement in Canada is five per cent, but try to put down at least 20 per cent of the purchase price. Having 20 per cent or more means you won’t have to take out a high-ratio mortgage – and avoid the mortgage or CMHC default insurance premiums that go with it. Getting to 10% or 15% as a total down payment also lowers the CMHC insurance cost, so the more the merrier if you can get to any one of these milestones.

5. Not accounting for the “extra” costs.

You can estimate to spend (approximately) between 1.5 to 3 per cent of the purchase price of the home. This includes costs such as the land transfer tax, property insurance, title insurance, lawyer fees, home inspection fee, moving costs and more. Be sure to budget these into your purchasing plan.

4. Not seeing enough homes.

Before you settle down, make sure you sow your oats, so to speak. Since you’ve never owned a home, and particularly if you’re moving from your parents’ place, you’ll want to tour lots of different home styles and neighbourhoods. Keep an open mind – you just might surprise yourself! When narrowing down your home’s location, weigh factors such as proximity to work, family and friends; public transit and access to major roads and highways; and things such as shopping, services, green space, and your lifestyle. which will affect the liveability of the home, its current value, and the resale price of your home. People always ask what an "average" is and I'd say for new home buyers 3 months of searching is typical .. which equates to about 30-50 viewed properties between showings and open houses.

3. Seeing too many homes.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s definitely a good idea to see what’s on the market, if only for the sake of comparison. You’ll gain a better understanding of what comparable homes are valued at, their condition, and your negotiating power. This is valuable intel, whether you’re buying your first home or your tenth. But buyer beware: particularly in a hot market, sitting on the fence can mean losing a good property, being overwhelmed with options, spreading yourself too thin, and ultimately getting frustrated with the process. If you get to 100 homes .. you've probably gone too far ;) Either way, I'm with you for however long the ride takes as I understand it can take more time for some (myself included .. took us over a year to find our house. So take this lesson from me, bite the bullet and go with your gut early on. You don't want to be shopping for a year!)

2. Not getting everything in writing.

Under the right market conditions, negotiating may be part of your purchasing plan. Any conditions of the purchase and sale must be on paper. If it’s not in the contract, it doesn’t count. Your contract is your only way of holding the buyer and seller accountable. That's why having your own REALTOR® is SO important. I will walk you through everything and make sure we get the air con, the W/Dryer, the extra mirror, the shelving in the garage ... and if there's anything that needs fixing, we get that in writing too with a value attached. 

1. Biting off more than you can chew.

You’ve likely heard the term “house poor.” Buying a home is a huge financial commitment, so ensure you can afford it. As a first foray into home ownership, condos are a popular choice, thanks to their lower price point, smaller footprint (read: less maintenance and lower operating costs) and their central locations. But condos are a lifestyle choice as well as a financial one. It's my job to make sure your life remains happy, healthy, and fun on all levels .. which doesn't mean stressing over bills! xo


UNOFFICIAL HONEYMOON

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Careyes did not disappoint!! A stunning kick off to the #vandenhudson unofficial honeymoon... we feel so honoured, privileged, and down right grateful to spend time here... yoga in the AM and adventures in the evening! We are grounded, tanned, and ready to learn more Spanish! ;) #paradise 


New Years Resolution For a Sustainable Future 

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Here's how you can put the planet first in 2019: 

1. Reduce or remove meat from your diet! The environmental impact of factory farming, the cost of feeding animals, and the low yield that meat produces, have got people all over the world rethinking how much meat they eat. Even if you can't give up meat entirely, make a New Years resolution to start by not eating mean one day a week. 

Did you know it takes between 3-10 times the amount of energy to produce 1kg of meat, than it does to produce plant based foods? That's a lot of energy that could be better used feeding those who need it!! 

2. Carrying your own coffee in an insulated travel mug helps you to reduce waste from cardboard cups and carrying sleeves-- which are thrown away at a staggering rate of 58 billion each year! For greener at-home brewing, choose a Fair Trade blend that supports; and try a French Press (instead of a traditional brewer) to save electricity. 

3. Try to eliminate all single use plastic from your lifestyle! It takes the average plastic bottle 450 years to break down! Don't let the garbage you eave behind be your legacy for future generations. Start small with reusable shopping bags, abstain from purchasing beverages in plastic bottles, and start using reusable metal straws. Be cognizant of the waste you contribute to the world and let that inform your decisions! 

4. Get thrifting! The fashion industry is one of the largest polluting industries in the world. Contributing up to 10% of the worlds carbon footprint, the fashion industry is also the second greatest polluter of fresh water. Instead of subscribing to the latest trends, invest in a capsule wardrobe that incorporates interchangeable pieces that suit all your dress and casual wear needs.


Creating Holiday Traditions, One Room at a Time

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Creating Holiday Traditions, One Room at a Time

I have always felt we're very lucky to live in a climate where we get a FULL 4 seasons. There truly is a magical feel to a world covered in freshly fallen snow, especially around the holdiays. There’s certainly no place like a cozy home to appreciate these times as well. 

Whether you are a new home/condo owner, or are celebrating another holiday season in your well-loved home, your living spaces can be integral in making memories with family and friends. Time to put some holiday music on, gather up the kids and start creating these holiday traditions now, one room at a time.

Kitchen
With so much delicious food to make and bake during the holiday season, your kitchen is an easy place to begin creating holiday traditions. Baking Cookies, frying latkes or building gingerbread houses (complete with a RE/MAX sign!) are activities in which the whole family can participate. You can go one step further and take your cooking skills to a local soup kitchen to support your community during this season of giving. I am always guilty for buying a gingerbread house and never accomplishing building it... this year, mark my words, we will build it with egg nog and jingle bells on in the background.

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As Anika gets older she LOVES to participate in the kitchen, it makes her feel important and useful I believe. So she gets to sit on the counter and helps mom whisk the eggs, and mix whatever it is that needs mixing. We'll have to see how much candy makes it to that gingerbread house this season ;)

Living Room
Often the center of the home, your living room-is where the hustle and bustle of the holidays melts away. Kick back with a holiday movie (our family always watched A Christmas Story growing up) start a fire and decorate the Christmas tree as a family in matching holiday sweaters, no less! Light the menorah or host a New Year's Eve party. The holidays can be stressful-use your home as a sanctuary to focus and reflect on what this time of year means to you.

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My Mom and Dad have had a tradition of hosting an open house just around Christmas, complete with 6 Christmas trees and a month of baking leading up to it. Although you don't have to throw a party for 70 of your closest friends, I will tell you that I STILL look forward to it every year still heading into my 37th annual open house with Mom. You can ask all my friends too ... it's the talk of the holidays (and her chicken recipe goes along with that too).

Outdoors

When you think of holiday traditions outside, colorful lights and an inflatable Santa come to mind. But don’t dismiss other low-stress outdoor activities like sparklers in the snow, sky lanterns or caroling. Winnipeg has some great outdoor holiday festivities including the river trail at the Forks (or just skating at the rink there), Winter Wonderland (where you can enjoy all the holiday lights from your car), or why not put on your snow gear and head to a tree farm to pick and cut down your own tree??? We have done this as a family and it's SUCH a wonderful outing. Don't forget the hot cocoa! For some MB Tree sites check here: http://www.pickyourownchristmastree.org/CNxmasmb.php

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Merry Christmas! 

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Merry Christmas from these blush princesses in their brand new outfits from Grandma Sherri xoxo! 


How to do Christmas... 

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My parents REALLY know how to do Christmas right... Welcome to the Griswolds of Winnipeg! It's truly a magical world... complete with 6 Christmas trees! 

Possession Day is the Best Day! 

Always an exciting day for clients .... Possession day! Just a little bit of love to help the day go smoother. Wine, chocolate, snacks, goodies from @briesbotanicals, all natural cleansing supplies .. and a few surprises. 

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NO PLASTIC BAGS! 

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Plastic grocery bags are horrible for the environment, and end up in the oceans and other places they shouldn't be. Stop using disposable bags, and buy some reusable bags to bring with you when you shop. Not only are they much better for the environment, they will also hold your items better! THIS INCLUDES XMAS SHOPPING!!! Take them to Polo please ... it’s not JUST groceries 🙏🏼🙌🏼💫😊


Anika 

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We don’t have a super strict bedtime routine but after 2 books we either “meditate” (count to ten with eyes closed), or give thanks for the day, sometimes we sing, or she loves to hear about Princess Anika who is a little girl who smiles at everyone ... says hello to all the animals and trees ... and is kind to every single creature and human she comes across. The Future is Female and it’s going to be a caring, kind and loving future. Can’t wait ❤️🔥💫😍 📸@monique_pantel #anikawildchild


Seal it Up! 

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Infiltration of cold air from air leaks around doors and windows is a significant contributor to your heating bill, just as is poor insulation in the walls and ceiling. An easy way to reduce your heating bill is to reduce these drafts with simple weatherstripping. Test your windows and doors to see if they have any air leaks, and repair them as soon as possible to avoid extra cost on your heating bill. Take an incense stick and hold near your windows and doors and follow the flow! 💨


A Cleaner Way To Clean! 

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If your washing machine has a setting for the amount of clothing you're washing, choose a low setting—you'll use less water and your clothes will get just as clean. Using cold water can save up to 80% of the energy required to wash clothes, as much as 500 pounds of carbon dioxide per year! Although, once in a while to kill bacteria it's okay to use hot on your sheets and such! OH! And PS ... white vinegar as fabric softener! Always! Visit @generationgreen for some great dryer ball options. Tis the Season for #greengifts
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The Best Friends 

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All of my favourite things right here... beautiful golden flowers from my bestie Rachelle and her #sweetsky.... a kal barteski, and hexagon planter from another friend! Thanks ladies for a stunning centre piece to enjoy! xox 

Vegan November

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How’s #vegannovember going you ask?? Well, it’s not so bad actually! I’ve been sent tons of great recipes from supporters, and am fairly impressed with my peanut stew that I’ve been eating for a week 😂 According to the #vegancalculator I’ve saved 225 sq feet of forest, 8250 gallons of water, 300 lbs of grain, 150 lbs of CO2, and 8 animals lives ... just in 7 days. @rachelleltaylor even made back to back #vegan dinners this week 👋🏼😘🙌🏼💃


Is Winnipeg a City To Invest In?

Believe it or not, it seems that Winnipeg is actually a hot spot for buying investment properties! I have had several people from BC contact me looking for places to buy and rent out. 

Winnipeg is a growing city with lots of potential and opportunity. Whether you're looking for prime houses to flip, or to rent out, there are many great neighbourhoods and options.  

Management not for you? Winnipeg has management companies that will actually manage your property from afar, or theres always AirBnB to make life simpler as well! 


5 TIPS FOR SELLING YOUR HOME IN THE SUMMER

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Photo by Sophie Coonen

 Summer is a very competitive season for selling your home! The longer, sunnier days make people want to go house shopping, so it is important that your home really stands out against all the competition. Here are 5 tips to make your house catch the eye of potential buyers!

1.     The exterior of your home will be the potential buyer’s first impression. So many people focus on the inside of the home and neglect the outside. Make sure that your grass is healthy and green, and that all shrubs, flowers, and any other kind of greenery are maintained! You don’t want anything to look dead.

 

2.     Speaking of greenery, there is nothing wrong with having it inside and out! Nothing is more welcoming than a home decorated with an array of plants and flowers. Take advantage of the full bloom flowers, and fill your home with colour!

 

3.     Clutter is a deterrent. When cleaning up your home, make sure that all personal items are put into storage bins or cabinets. Some notable items that are easily forgotten are kitchen appliances (blenders, coffee makers, etc), refrigerator magnets, and toothbrushes! A clean look is desirable.

 

4.     The sun is one of the highlights of summer! When selling your home, use the sun to highlight your house. Clean the windows, and make sure all blinds/curtains are open to allow for as much natural light as possible!

 

5.     The last tip I have for you today is control your home’s temperature! The summer is HOT!! You do not want people walking through your home and sweating. Make sure windows are open or A/C is on for the hot days. 

GREEN TIPS FOR ECO FRIENDLY BARBEQUING THIS SUMMER 

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Photo by Declan Rex 

Looking forward to the summer BBQing? I know I am! As fun (and delicious!) as a good BBQ with friends and family is, it is crucial that we pay attention to the impact we have on our planet by grilling our favorite foods. I have put together some tips on how to stay as eco-friendly as possible this summer, while still being able to enjoy a good BBQ.

1.     To start, consider what kind of grill you are using. A charcoal grill produces volatile organic compounds (VOC), carbon monoxide, and soot. These are all very harmful to the environment and will cause heart and lung problems for people! Gas grills are much better in terms of carbon emissions and the health of everyone. Electric grills are also a good choice, however make sure the energy comes from green sources (wind, solar, hydro), otherwise they have the potential to be just as bad or even worse than charcoal grills!!! That being said, if you love your charcoal grill, that’s ok. Try and use green lump coal instead of normal briquettes as this will decrease the carbon footprint.

2.     Another suggestion is to know your guest list, and make sure people RSVP! Nothing is worse than not knowing how many people are coming, and buying too much food just in case. This leads to waste, which is terrible for the environment. If there are leftovers, distribute them among your guests so that a minimal amount can be wasted.

3.     Everyone loves to barbeque MEAT. Juicy burgers, hot dogs, steaks, you name it! Well, meat creates a very large carbon and water footprint because of the methane produced by cattle, and the amount of water that it takes to make every patty. Be mindful of this when BBQing, and try to look for organic grass-fed meat instead. Prepare for the fact that organic grass-fed meat doesn’t maintain its moisture as well when grilling, by marinating it beforehand, and basting it as it cooks. Even better, try BBQing some vegetarian dishes!

4.     I know that using reusable dishes when hosting a large group is a real pain! No one wants to do that many dishes, and throwing them away seems SO much easier. However, your environment will thank you if you use reusable dishes. At the very least, use biodegradable dishes/cutlery instead of the plastic kind to reduce the carbon footprint.

5.     Cans are the worst! So many people provide cans of soft drinks instead of having jugs and cups. Having cans leads to people only drinking half, and then wasting the rest. Or, people will have several and then be forced to dispose of multiple cans. Buy the 2L jugs of pop, encourage your guests to write their names on a cup, and then use that same cup for the day. That way each person only has one thing to dispose of, and will only take what they actually want to drink.

6.     RECYCLE. Put a recycling bin right beside the garbage so that people put their disposable items in the right place that will save the environment. 

7.     Use natural products to clean up. Half an onion, or baking soda and water are great natural cleaners! 

Happy barbequing everyone!!

 

  

TIPS FOR WINNING IN BIDDING WARS (OTHER THAN OVER PAYING!)

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Photo by Niels Steeman 

The summer market is competitive! So chances are that if you fall in love with a home, someone else probably has too. Here are some tips for how to win bidding wars without having to pay an outrageous price!

1.     Write a Personal Letter- Include a letter written by you to the sellers. Tell them your story, about your family, why you love the house, and anything else you can think of that will pull on their heartstrings! Connecting with the owners on a personal level will make it tough for them to say no!

2.     Pre-Offer Home Inspection- Houses are HUGE investments, and it’s important to make sure that the house you’re buying has been inspected. However, an offer that has home inspection as a condition will never win a bidding war. Because of this, do the inspection before you put in your offer. This way the offer will be much more appealing.

3.     Possession- Figure out the seller’s perfect possession date. Even if this means an extra month of rent in your apartment, pleasing the seller will be worth it if it means getting your dream home!

4.     Pre-Approval Mortgage Letter- Another thing to keep the sellers mind at ease! If your mortgage hasn’t been approved, or they don’t know if it has been, they may be weary to choose you as the winner.

5.     High Deposit- A deposit is part of the down payment that you make on a home, and will ensure the owners that you aren’t going to back out down the road. Because it’s coming from the down payment, giving them a high deposit doesn’t actually mean that you pay any more money than you would with a low deposit, it just shows your commitment!

 


THANK YOU TO THE MREA

A heartfelt thank you to the Manitoba Real Estate Association for honouring me with this BEAUTIFUL gift for my work the the MREA Shelter Foundation. Starting on the Gimme Shelter committee early on in my career was such wonderful way to be connected to our community. Being chair of the event a few years ago is a highlight of my life for me, and I had such an amazing time bring my two favourite things together ... Party Planning and Philanthropy!! I look forward to continuing to support this wonderful organization with their Close A Sale, Open a Door campaign, volunteering at this years golf tournament, and currently sitting on the board as a Governor of the Shelter Foundation. Thank you for having me as part of the MREA Shelter Foundation family!! 

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RECYCLE, RECYCLE, RECYCLE

I’d like to share a super cool recycling system I’ve been using lately, that is SO great for the environment! Instead of throwing everyday items in the garbage, you can put them in this bag, they’ll get picked up for you, and then they get made into things like planters, benches, etc! The items Include plastic gift cards, chip bags, wrappers, fruit and veggie bags, toilet paper plastic bags, Styrofoam, foam, one use plastic stuff, plastic cutlery, the list goes on! These bags are $9 each and you can get them at Pollocks HardwareRecycle Winnipeg will come and pick up your full bag once it’s packed with up to 10 pounds of plastic waste!!
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ANNOUNCEMENT!

Real Estate unfortunately leaves a heavy duty paper trail and I am very excited to announce an new initiative with the Manitoba Forestry Association.  Semi-annually I will be planting trees to offset the paper usage and it will vary depending on the home sold. Clients will also have an chance to participate with the planting, a fantastic opportunity to do our part in helping with the environment. Keep your eyes peeled for when this program will be launching!





GOLDEN THANKS! 

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They say it takes a village to raise a child (which it does!) .. and I can tell you, it also takes a village to raise a REALTOR® to a Gold Medallion Award from the Winnipeg Real Estate Board! Thank you to everyone who made this possible this year!! When I embarked on my own 4 years ago, I took a leap of faith with my mentor cheering me on. I worked hard and earned a Bronze in '14, then a Silver in '15/'16, and I'm SO excited about this years success!!

THANK YOU to my village of help that consists of amazing support staff who keep the wheel greased ..Savannah Joy who keeps things organized at the office, and tries to decipher my sometimes cryptic to-do lists, Adam Wayne Brown who makes all the social media/logos/accounts/graphic design look truly professional, Sean Philips who takes a mean video/photos, my colleagues who help give me time off with my family; Mary, Candice, Serge, Garrett and Graeme, and my partner John who takes on extra Dad duties when Mom is working well past bed/dinner time, and then off again in the morning. THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU XOXOX To all the babysitters who helped when we needed it, thank you! To the office support staff and brokers, Michelle Boehm, Alan, Akash, and team .. thanks for keeping the t's crossed and i's dotted!

This year so many families, couples, singles or businesses trusted me to represent them with life changing decisions, and for that I am forever grateful. THANK YOU TO ALL MY CLIENTS WHO SUPPORTED MY BUSINESS ! True fact ... 18 of these sales were $165K and under .. goes to show, it all adds up!!! Being among this group of phenomenal Gold realtors is not something that is lost on me. I look up to all of them, and all the medallion winners for all their professional and hard work. Congrats to all the award winners out there. Here's hoping 2018 will be just as successful, with equal time to focus on giving my clients 110% attention and service, and to spend time thriving with my family & planning a wedding. Love you all!!!!

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HELLO NEW YEAR

What a year 2017 was! Personally, it was an outstanding year for my business, and I really do have the best clients who continue to give out my name for referrals (thank you all!), but it was so much more...we moved into our family home on Kingston Row (so in love), Anika became the wild toddler she was meant to be and we started our plans for our 2018 wedding (eek, gotta get on it!). Wishing you the very best year, and that we can continue to grow and support each other as a community. 

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THAT DARN TREE

All the fun and all the glitter can lead to a big clean up and the age old question is, what to do with that tree that has been the highlight of your living room "Let's Chip In" is the Christmas tree recycling program in Winnipeg and provides free wood chips for mulch it's depot locations.  AND for a small fee SSCOPE, a non profit organization will transport it for you. 

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SELLER HOLIDAY PRO TIPS

MAKE IT COZY- Emotion plays a huge roll in which home a buyer purchases. Make your home cozy with and cheery without overdoing it. Staging with decorations that complement your palate and accentuate the positives will allow the family to envision their own holiday in the home next year. And a plate of cookies never hurts ;)

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SELLER HOLIDAY PRO TIPS

LESS COMPETITION- The Holiday season means that some homeowners have taken their home off of the market, which is great news for you as you don't have to complete with as many homes to get the buyers attention.  Make sure to make it cozy and holiday themed by putting up your tree, hanging your stockings, and making your house feel like a home!

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Shop Local this Christmas!

So many amazing artisans in this city to pass up the opportunity to shop for some unique and handmade gifts this holiday season! Anika and I hit up Third and Bird, there's also The MARKET MALL happening Dec.10, and tonight you might want to hit up downtown's FIRST FRIDAYS or THE FORKS also has craft sales this weekend.

Happy (hunting) SHOPPING!


xo
AMBER

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Sellers Pro Tips

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Less Competition-The holiday season means that some homeowners have taken their home off of the market, which is great news for you as you don't have to compete with as many homes to get the buyers attention. Make sure to make it cozy and holiday themed by putting up your tree, hanging your stockings, and making your house feel like a home!






Holiday Green Tips


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About 35% of North Americans have an unused present collecting dust in their closet. Donating allows you to support a community or charitable organization, AND feel good about the fact that your gift will benefit someone else.  Some of these organization sill even pick up the items from your home. Here are some local options!

Big Brothers Big Sisters
Salvation Army
Canadian Diabetes
The Main Street Project
Siloam Mission

HALL OF FAME

Very excited to reach this milestone in my career, RE/MAX Hall of Fame-r over here.  Thank you to my family and support staff who make this all possible! And a huge thank you to all my clients for your trust & referrals!



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ICY COOL SIDEWALKS!

If you're a home owner selling their home in the winter, there are great alternatives for you to use instead of salt for keeping your walk ways risk free. Please check out this website for some greener options!
https://www.greenmoxie.com/natural-green-salt-alternatives-for-melting-ice-and-snow/​


BUSY NIGHT....LEARNING & GIVING BACK

On Nov.1 Amber attended the ATHENA CHANGE MAKERS event at the Fairmont Winnipeg which was a learning and networking experience. Inspiring speeches and fireside talks set the tone for change for our city. Congratulations for all those involved for putting on an educational and uplifting event for our community.

AND then AMBER headed to the Habitat for Humanity House Party held at the RBC Convention Centre....also huge success!

Over 400 guests enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by outstanding chefs, a vibrant live auction thanks to Curtis Newton and his team from Adesa Auction and of course, last but not least....live music by the JD Edwards Band! They brought the 'House' down again and had the room moving to great music! Amber was proud to Sponser a table (and had a great seat for the fabulous band)

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KINGSTON GARAGE SALE


From our house to yours, thank you for making Saturday's sale a true success!

We're so grateful for the donations, the friends who popped by, the people who bought at full price or higher, the supporters who just sent money, the family who spent the day helping at the sale ... thank you!!!! This total may grow a bit still, everyone should be very proud. THANK YOU! And because she's so cute, here's another one of #anikawildchild Thanks to Charlotte Dance for her courage and inspiration xoxo 😘 #ovariancancer #fuckcancer #awareness #remission

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SELLER PRO TIPS
Stand out from the crowd and give your home some curb appeal! Invest in a new front door, OR paint your current door a bright, cheery colour to attract buyers and ensure they remember your home!

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DAILY DOSE: GREEN TIP

Once a month, check the pressure of each of the tires against the guidelines listed in your can's manual and add air if needed. Can improve your mielage by 3%!

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SELLER PRO TIPS:

Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets then neatly organize what's left in there.  Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.

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SELLER PRO TIPS FOR FALL:

On a chilly day like today, you'll want to highlight rooms and features that serve as a great place to hang out while you're stuck inside for the colder months.  A lit fireplace during a open house on a colder day helps to create a cozy atmosphere, and a finished basement showcases room for kids to play.


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PRAIRIE LOVE 2017, SEPT 8-10
Amber Realty, Sponsor

It was an absolutely beautiful weekend to have the largest prairie yoga festival hit Bird's Hill Park.  Amber is lucky to have a thriving business with fantastic clients that she is able to give back to the community and sponsor events that create positive change & connection.  Congratulations to Rachelle Taylor, my friend and client, for bringing your amazing vision to life!

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ANIKA UPDATE:
"For my next birthday mom?"
T-minus 14 years until she can drive...that doesn't' even seem that far away!
Stay little forever please, xo

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DAILY DOSE: SUMMER TIPS


Check your grocery bag for Crops! Fresh Basil, celery and onions can all be started from cuttings you'd normally throw away.  Set them in some water and they'll start to grow all over again! (or remember to compost)

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DAILY DOSE: SUMMER TIPS

One of the worst parts of a summer is getting a sunburn.  When that happens (actually before that happens) throw some aloe vera gel into ice cube trays and freeze it.  The cold will be really soothing on that nasty burn and the aloe vera gel is perfect for helping sunburns to heal and to prevent peeling. You can freeze them ahead of time and stick them in a Ziploc bag so they'll keep well in the cooler or just use them whenever you get back home.  Use store bought aloe vera or you can squeeze the leaves of an aloe plant to get enough gel to freeze.


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Supporting our strong community

If you are a friend, opponent or member of the league winning Fort Garry Fury you may recognize a familiar
logo on the jerseys.

Amber Realty
is proud to give back from the success of her business
(#1 Realtor for the month of May at RE/Max executives, thank you, AGAIN!)

GO FURY GO!

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Daily Dose: Green Tip

Here's a quick and simple green tip to get the most out of  your garden this summer-use coffee grounds or eggshells as fertilizer. Boom!

#greentip #lovewhereyoulivemb #amberrealty

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Daily Dose: Summer Tip

If you love popsicle's but you hate the mess on your hands when they melt (this is particularly good for little ones), you can use a cupcake wrapper to keep the mess away.  Just cut a slit in the bottom of the cupcake holder and stick your popsicle stick through the slit.  It makes a wonderful holder and will keep that drippy, sticky mess off your fingers, or your little ones fingers.  Now if you could just figure out how to put an ice cream cone through those handy little cupcake wrappers, you'd be all set, right?

#summerlifehacks #amberrealty #lovewhereyoulive



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HELLO SUMMER 2017!

After a super busy spring season (thank you for making AMBER REALTY the TOP PRODUCER for May at RE/MAX executives!), and our family making the move to to the wonderful neighborhood of KINGSTON ROW (so excited to meet the community!), we took the afternoon off to celebrate the welcoming of SUMMER!

AMBER REALTY was proud to sponsor the first of year of SOLFEST , a beautiful family friendly festival at the banks of ST.MALO.

"Love the life you live,
live the life you love."
Bob Marley





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ITS A MUG LOVE AFFAIR!

Doesn't our mug go perfectly in this magazine styled photo shoot?

Need one in you life? Contact Amber....
She may have a few extra around...



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DAILY DOSE: GREEN TIPS


Now that the weather is warmer instead of tossing your damp clothes into the dryer, hang them outside.  Line-drying uses zero energy (except your own) and we think sun dried clothes actually smell better.  If the weather doesn't permit (or for more delicate items), invest in an inexpensive drying rack that you can set up inside.

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We at the office are in LOVE with the new green camp mugs from AMBER REALTY.   

Just another reason to love where you live...
 


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DAILY DOSE: GREEN TIP, GREEN SUNSCREEN 

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Choose a powerful, GREEN sunscreen. Many sunscreens contain chemicals that pose risks to our health and the environment.  Avoid nano particles and choose mineral based products instead.  Apply it liberally and frequently, paying particular attention to your ears, face, back and neck.  Our favorite is made locally by Sweet Spirit Apothecary




LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE 

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These words....Love Kal Barteski's work and messages!  Home Grown talent!

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GREEN TIP #30

Cleaning your furnace filter every two months can increase its efficiency by 50 percent. 

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GREEN TIP #29

Fill Up!  Ensure the dishwasher is full before you turn it on. Dishwashers are more energy and water efficient when full. Researchers have also found the machines consistently do a better job-with less water-then hand washing.

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GREEN TIP #28

Be sure to lower the temperature in your home when you leave in the winter and bundle up for bed.  It'll save you money, and conserve energy!

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GREEN TIP #27

Take your fridge's temperature. Stick an appliance thermometer ina glass of water in the center of your refrigerator, or between frozen goods in the freezer overnight.  Your fridge temp should be between 37 and 40 degrees F 9 no more, to keep bacteria at bay); your freezer between 0 and 5 degrees.If either compartment is too cold, adjust the setting, since keeping them just 10 degrees colder than necessary can boost your energy consumption by up to 25 percent. 


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GREEN TIP #26
Use a Toaster Oven for Small Jobs.  It will use a third to half as much energy as a full-size oven.

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GREEN TIP #25
Use your microwave.  Cooking and reheating with a microwave is faster and more efficent than using a stovetop or over, thus reducing up to 70 percent of energy use!

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Love Where you live...
Thank you Manitoba for the most amazing Summer of Festivals, BBQ's and Beautiful Weddings...
The list goes on and on... our hearts are truly full.
From our Family to Yours, xoxo Amber vdB

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GREEN TIP #24
Clean refrigerator gaskets and vacuum the condenser coils twice a year. Your refrigerator will operate more efficiently and use less electricity. 

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GREEN TIP #23
I'm sure you're done painting by now! Before discarding empty latex paint cans, leave the top off and allow the remaining paint to dry completely.  Latex paint is not hazardous once it is solidified.  

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GREEN TIP #22
We live in a COLD climate.  Heating our homes requires a lot of energy.  You can save money and reduce your environmental impact by painting your home a dark colour!  Dark colours reflect as little as 3 percent of sunlight, thus absorbing more heat! 

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Febuary.20/2016
A fun, elegant evening celebrating with fellow Realtors and Medallion winners. Thanks again to all my clients, who are the reason I am lucky enough to bring home this beautiful, silver award

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Green tip #21 

Consider buying a laptop.  Laptops use 50% of the energy used by a typical desktop PC when plugged in and and just 1 percent of the energy when running on batteries.  

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GREEN TIP #20 :

Moving can be a huge undertaking and often not so environmentally friendly. Why add more to the landfill?  Frogbox brings GREEN boxes to you and picks them up after you move!  No more cardboard boxes!  

Use the Code WPGAMBER20 for 20% off                       ww.frogbox.com/winnipeg
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Global News featuring Amber van den Broek on how to modernize your home for potential buyers:


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GREEN TIP #19

Unplug unused chargers and appliances.  They are drawing power when the device is not!

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GREEN TIP #18

Why create more waste? Use cloth napkins daily instead of paper.

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Jan.19/2016

A HUGE thank you to all who came out to the 4th Annual Snowball:Alpine Chill. Together we raised over $10 000 for the Green Action Centre and we helped to purchase an electric bike that will be apart of a new compost pick up service available in Winnipeg this summer. 

Bonus Green Tip! 

Host a waste free event!  Ask guests to reuse compostable cups and provide compost bins.  Easy clean up and helps out the environment too!

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GREEN TIP #17

Why pay?  Collect rainwater, and use it to water your houseplants and garden.

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GREEN TIP #16

Make your own household cleaners.  I've gotten quite a few recipes from this book, Organized Simplicity.

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GREEN TIP #15

Fix leaky faucets!  Green for the planet and for your wallet!

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GREEN TIP #14

Support local restuarants that use food derived less than 100 miles away, and learn more about the benefit of eating locally http://slowfood.com

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GREEN TIP #13

Reuse scrap paper.  Print on two sides, or let your kids color on the back side of used paper.  

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GREEN TIP #12

Pay your bills online.  Not only is it greener, it's a sanity saver!

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GREEN TIP #11

Every little bit counts!  Turn your computer completely off at night. You don't leave your tv on when your not watching it, why should your computer be any different?

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GREEN TIP #10

Support your local economy and shop at your farmers market!  The shorter this distance your food has to travel before it lands in your fridge, the better!  Every kilometer your fresh veggies travel before they reach your supermaket contributes to its carbon footprint!  Shop local!

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GREEN TIP #9

Be sure to drive the speed limit, and combine all your errands for the week in one trip.

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GREEN TIP #8

Turn off lights when you leave the room & leave your lights off for as longs as you can-open your curtains and enjoy natural light!  Unless its hot like today...then keep your lights off & blinds closed so you can keep your AC off !

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GREEN TIP #7
Nice and Simple- Wash your laundry in cold water rather than hot water 

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GREEN TIP #6

Buy an inexpensive reuable water bottle, and stop buying plastic disposable bottles (my favorite is @kleenkanteen with the sport cap)  Then watch the story of Bottled Water, a short movie about the bottled water phenomena.

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Green Tip #5

Stop using disposable bags.  Order some reusable bags-my favorites are Flip & Tumble. Or, make your own, they're insanely easy.

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GREEN TIP #4

Switch one appliance to the energy efficient model (look for the "energy star" label)

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GREEN TIP #3
Create a homemade compost Bin for $15.  Check out my facebook page for details.  

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December.6/2015

GREEN TIP #2
Switch all your lightbulbs to LED's (or at least switch a few)!

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GREEN TIP #1

Plant an herb garden.  It's good to have a reminder around of where our food originates, one this one is super easy.

Check my Facebook Page for more details!
facebook.com/AmbervandenBroekRealtor


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Feb 10, 2015 
The easiest way to "stage" a home?? PAINT! I just used Benjamin Moore low VOC paint in my office and the colours are wonderful! Here is a great blog that highlights some other Benjamin Moore colours to consider when getting your home market ready. http://www.kylieminteriors.ca/the-best-benjamin-moore-paint-colours-for-home-staging-selling/

Feb 8 2015
Thinking of maybe, starting to consider selling? Trying to put off that to-do list?? Don't make that mistake. Months of prep time will get you top dollar! Here's a few things to think about before taking the first photo for MLS http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/the-great-big-list-of-things-to-do-when-getting-ready-to-sell-your-house/

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Amber van den Broek
Amber van den Broek
Associate