I found myself there yesterday, needing some essentials, of course. But you know how that goes - all of a sudden your cart has a bunch of things you didn't need and certainly didn't expect to buy, and, boom, that bill is inching up towards 500 bucks! Dang!

Budget blown.

Most of us go to Costco with a list - written down or in our heads. But as much as we try to stick to it, the allure of the displays, the idea of a great deal, the thrill of a new gadget can get to us.

Slap it on the Mastercard, and we'll deal with it later!

Now, when it comes to house shopping, the budget piece becomes incredibly more important. Knowing what your price point is, having that pre-approval in place, is very helpful in narrowing down our shopping list of needs/wants.

The tricky part in this (and most things in life), is sticking to that budget.

It's very easy to look at all the listings or go to open houses and see all the fancy stuff that we'd love to have. The reality for most of us is that the cost of the list of wants, usually exceeds that darn budget.

Maybe you need some help figuring that all out?

If you're looking for someone to review your house shopping list, and find a home that checks off the boxes, but still fits into the budget (even with some wants thrown in there!), I'd love to be that guy for you.

Heck, while we're at it, I might even throw in a few free food samples!



To be clear, I have never been able to actually juggle anything physically. I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I used to help my cousin with magic shows way back when, but I guess we never made it to that part of the training.

Now, doing mental juggling, deadline juggling, schedule juggling – I have my fair share of experience in that domain. Over the summer, there seems to be an endless amount of activities happening, requests from the kids to go places, and fitting in that other stuff… like, you know, work.

Juggle, juggle.

Ground control for all of these “things” is, of course, your home. It’s where we wake up, where we dream and plan, and where we hope is the central hub of all the stuff life throws at us.

At times, we realize that life has shifted and we’re spending more time in a different community or a new neighbourhood where more of our life happens. That central hub may feel a bit disoriented and inefficient.

A few years ago, I found myself in that place, when I made the decision to move five minutes down the road to a different town simply so my kids would have their circle of friends & their activities closer to them. And me. Smart move, papa.

How’s your juggling act going?

Is it like a Vegas performer who moves with grace and awe? Or is more like you’re on a unicycle, and trying to keep 15 balls in the air with only one arm? If it’s more like the last one, call me, maybe considering a different location for that central hub will make the circus just that much easier for all of you.

After all, a day without juggling is like…um…just kidding – I have no idea.


School’s out for the summer!!

Firstly, apologies. I know that song is now in your head, and if it wasn’t yet, it certainly is now! It’s not even really a good one, but it’s one we ALL know! Ha!

Secondly, hats off to all those students who just finished up another year of school! And a big shout out to those having just celebrated their grad! You all worked hard, made it through the stress of exams and year-end tests, and deserve the time off of studying and homework!

Thirdly, let’s be serious…

Now is the time every year where we really evaluate our homes – the kids are all at home, their friends are popping in and out, the pantry is always empty, and then you gotta figure out where you’re going to put all the stuff you need to pack into the camper without it getting in the way!

I want a bigger house!!!

It may also be the time when the last of the kids is leaving the nest, and all of a sudden that 5 bedroom home with the huge yard just seems like a bit much. And who wants to clean more bathrooms then we really need to, right?!

I want a smaller house!!!

The good news – for those looking to make a switch before the next school year – there’s still time! There are homes hitting the market every day, that may fit your needs. If you’re looking to upsize, downsize… heck, even glamourize… let me know, I’d love to help you find that next place to call home.

Happy Canada Day everyone! Enjoy your summer!



Is it perhaps the most versatile and favourite food out there?? I mean, if you’re craving something good and quick, I have to believe the most popular answer is pizza!!

The great thing about ‘za, is that you can make it your very own. Crust, sauce, cheese, toppings… we all have our preferences. The interesting thing, as we get older, those things we love on a pizza change, don’t they?? Believe me, I would have never put spinach, pesto or goat cheese on a pie years ago, but today, I find it pretty darn good.

So, think of your home like a pizza. Wait – what?!

There’s lots of home out there that are your typical pep & mush, right? Then there’s some of those fancy homes that could be associated with some gourmet pizza name like the Saucy Southeast Special.

The beauty part is, just like pizza, you can make your home your very own – add the finishes and unique touches that makes your home stand out among those on the street – and be more like the Special than the Pep & Mush. Just be prepared that as you get older, those preferences will change and the features you desire may surprise you.

The good part when it comes to your home – the fancy (gourmet pizza) homes fetch you a higher price than the regular (pep & mush) homes do. So, I encourage you to go the extra mile, use desirable finishings of quality, and when it’s time for someone to buy that gem, it will get the most attention, and the best return for you!

If you find yourself peeking at the homes version of the pizza menu, and thinking now might be a good time to sell the Pep & Mush and order up the Special, give me a call, and I’ll help you navigate that menu to find you exactly what you’re looking for.

In case you’re wondering, my go-to is chicken, bacon & onion on a… wait for it… cauliflower crust (not by choice LOL!)

Oh, I’m on Team Pineapple too.



Don’t we all love a good BBQ? Sometimes, we enjoy taking charge of the process ourselves – prepping the food, setting up the grilling station, taking our time perfecting our craft, perhaps even sipping on a cool bevvie.

Other times… well, I’ll get to that.

How’s your grilling station at home? Is it a BBQ on some classic concrete blocks that have sit on a slight angle as we forget to take the time to fix it? Is it a magazine worthy set-up with the propane bbq, a couple smokers, the mini fridge – the works? Or is it somewhere in between?

Regardless, I think most of us enjoy the process of grilling, some more than others. And by some, I mean those among us that have it so figured out that most of their meals end up on Instagram – you know who you are!

If you don’t love your home bbq set-up, I’m more than happy to help you look for a better one – there’s home on the market currently with amazing backyard spots!

The great thing about grilling is that it brings people together. Having friends or family over & serving up some burgers and ripple chips just feels good. It feels even better when we are proud of our outdoor space and everyone can just relax.

As for those other times that I mentioned earlier, specifically to those of you that prefer that someone else does the cooking… I have great news!

Swing by our Coldwell Banker office in Steinbach TODAY between 4-7pm while our agents and staff serve up hot dogs, chips and drinks to say thank you for being a part of our “family”. It’s a great way to give back to our clients and the communities that have been the reason for our successes.

If that doesn’t work for you – check out Main Street in town this weekend, and find some great street food (& rides for the kids) at Steinbach Summer in the City!



The learner’s permit.

My daughter recently took the first step to teenage driving freedom – the learner’s permit. Sure, she’s all smiles and confidence, but papa has had that moment of worry when the gas pedal gets pushed instead of the brake.

We’ve all been there – that’s why it’s called the learners permit.

Things have changed since I got mine 30 years ago (gosh, could it be that long ago?!?)… the process takes a little longer and there now seems to be endless amounts of information and videos online for them to watch and learn.

All of which is a good thing, the more we are aware as drivers, the better.

One thing that hasn’t changed though– having a drivers ed instructor take them on the road to teach them all the rules. I mean, I have a pretty good handle on things, but I bet there’s a few items I may forget from time to time.

The same can be said for buying or selling a house! The process has changed over the past 30 years, it can take a little longer, and sure, there’s plenty of information out there to try and figure it out for yourself.

But it can be complex and like the rules of the road, you may forget a detail or two. The good news – I’m more than happy to be your “driver’s ed instructor” and take the wheel when it comes to figuring out the small details of your next real estate move, buying or selling.

Let me be your guide, and keep you out of the ditch while you get to your destination – home.



So many puddles. They are great as a kid – jump around in them, make mud pies, have all the fun! For some reason, it seems they aren’t as great when we get older.

The pooling water on our yards and our roads can only mean one thing. It won’t stop raining! Certainly, it appears that’s the cycle we are in now, with sun one day meaning that almost guaranteed rain is happening the next.

It’s interesting how something that can bring so much joy as a child, can also bring on some stress as an adult. Especially if you’re a homeowner. Even more so if you happen to not be home when the storm rolls in.

The worries start popping in our heads – how much did it actually rain? Are my downspouts actually down, or did I forget them after cutting the grass last time? When did I last check my sump pump? Are the dogs going to run away if it starts to thunder?

These are all valid – and some of those questions have turned out not so great for me. Downspouts have been forgotten, pumps have failed, dogs have run away…

Let’s make sure these don’t happen to you. If you haven’t already, check the sump pump in your home, ensure those downspouts are down (and clear of debris), and if need be, make sure the pets are taken care of!

Looks like we may see some sunshine again soon but we may be fighting with puddles until this time next week – so today is a great day to check that list.

Let’s keep these basements as dry as possible as we likely stay indoors and if you’re like me, enjoy the Stanley Cup Playoffs!



With the economy lately, and prices of nearly everything headed up, I’m quite certain every one of us appreciates a good deal, a great deal, or even better, hitting the jackpot… and getting something for FREE!

It seems those free deals don’t come around nearly as often as we’d like, and so often, when they do, we’re worried there’s going to be some sort of catch. Am I right?

I’ve got great news for you!

As a buyer working with me as a Realtor, you get my professional, prompt, and friendly service absolutely free!! The only catch is that you get a great home for you and your family to enjoy. Sounds like a pretty great deal, if you ask me!

No matter which agent has the home listed, as long as it’s marketed on, I can show you the home as your buyer agent. And by working with me early in the process, I can refine your search and provide you up-to-the-minute alerts on properties that hit the market and meet your defined criteria.

When you find potential matches you’d like to see, I will set up showings, personally tour you through them, find out additional information if needed, and then take care of the paperwork when you find the one that you feel is perfect for you.

So give me a call, let’s get that started for you.

All for freakin’ free!!


The First Impression.

You only have one chance to make one. Some say it takes only seconds for that impression to stick. Sounds pretty important, if you ask me.

In our day to day, we focus on taking care of that for ourselves. We curate our clothing, we do our best to look good, and try to present the best version of ourselves to the world – especially to those we are meeting for the first time.

For your home, one of the things I focus on as your realtor is to help make those first thoughts of the next potential owner be as positive as can be.

I am working with a couple of clients with listings coming to market in the near future. I was in both of those homes this week – one could use a kitchen facelift, the other needs some tidying up and addressing those lingering little things that always seem to find their way to the bottom of the list.

Admit it – you have that list too!

My advice – let’s take a bit of extra time to present the best version of your home, so we can get the interest your home deserves, and ultimately, get the best price possible. After all, money talks, right?

If you’re considering selling – I’d love to help you. And it helps to get me involved early in the process, so we can talk about those things that will provide the best return for your unique situation.

When those potential buyers first walk in your home, let’s have them saying WOW!
In the best way possible.


The spring season seems to bring out the most vibrant green colours that we get all year long. The leaves are starting to bud, the grass has woken from its slumber, and the sun just seems to make it pop that much more.

The warmer, longer days bring a renewed energy to all of us – and it’s a great time to take on those projects we’ve dreamt about all winter long. Doing some landscaping around the yard, finally putting that addition on the house that you’ve been waiting so long to do, or maybe you want to do some exterior updates or shingles this year.

(Pssst, if you have some green trim on your house and you live in town, it might be time to consider changing that up!)

The other thing that’s heating up lately is the real estate market! We’ve still got a back load of buyers looking for their new home, who are looking to move in summer (I mean, sounds more fun than hauling boxes and couches in the snow right?). While we have more listings coming on the market, there are still many communities with very low inventory (Morris, St Jean – I’m talkin to you!)

So if you’re considering a move in the next while, let’s chat about what that could look like for you. I’m happy to do an in-person evaluation of your home and provide my professional opinion of how much equity you really do have right now. (It might surprise you!) I mean, we could all use a little more green in our life, right?

And for those of you content to take on that project, tackle that next big thing, or just need to have a little encouragement to get started or keep going, don’t worry…

You got this!

Tick, Tick, Tick… BOOM!

It seems like that’s the timeline. Things have been humming along for years, building momentum, and then seemingly, in the past few months, it seems like the whole thing just blows up and has taken the world by storm.

Female sport.

Yep, real estate can hope that it feels the surge that female sport has. We’ve seen it at highest levels with professional leagues taking hold, many of us locked into NCAA basketball playoffs and watched Caitlyn Clark elevate her game (again) and bring millions along for the ride on TV, and we see it happening at the grass roots level with female athletes growing in our home towns.

It’s amazing to watch, and so fun to be a part of!

I get to experience it first-hand. My older daughter plays soccer & volleyball… my younger daughter just finished her first year of hockey on an all-female team and practices setting a volleyball against the wall pretty much every day, and my stepdaughter plays high level female hockey & softball (and manages to slide volleyball & badminton into the mix too!). The energy and the team interaction are just different with the girls.

Good different. They constantly encourage and support each other and truly cheer for the success of every one of their teammates.

I was able to take in my first PWHL (Professional Women’s Hockey League) game this past weekend with my 2 girls and a few of their hockey teammates. The atmosphere was fun & energetic, and honestly, a notch or two above the NHL game experience. It was so great to see so many young female athletes there while they dream of what could be in their own futures in a few short years.

So as a proud girl-dad, I’m blessed to watch the growth of sport through the unique lens of these girls. They work hard, they make great friendships, they learn so many awesome life skills and even if the scoreboard sometimes tells us otherwise, I’d say they are winning.

Big time.


What the heck could that mean? My old school lender friends may have it figured out. I first saw this acronym during my banking days while looking at a credit application from the 1980s.

“Good guy. Will Pay.”

That’s it. That was the credit write up. No credit checks, proof of employment, appraisals, etc… just neighbourly lending at its finest. Shake hands, and that’s the only security we need.

Man, have things changed in 40+ years. Not just in banking, but in everything we do. The same is true in real estate. Selling and buying property isn’t the same it was in previous generations, it can be a complex transaction with many moving parts. It's important to get the details right.

There’s certainly times when we all miss the deal written up on the napkin at the coffee shop.

However, for good reason, documentation of promises and intentions are here to stay. It makes it clear, for everyone involved, what is expected and when the steps need to happen. When buying & selling properties with me, I do my best to make that process as seamless as possible, even though it may seem like the forms to sign may never end!

Don’t worry, just because times have changed and yes, we do need to submit more documentation to buy the house or get the loan, some things have stayed the same.

Believe it or not, GGWP still exists.
Professional realtors and lenders can sense those 4 letters in the first few seconds of meeting you.

Be the good guy.
It pays off in the end.
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