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Jan. 31, 2021

Sherie Turek on real estate in the Interlake, and affordable cottage life

Sherie Turek on real estate in the Interlake, and affordable cottage life

Sherie Turek is a REALTOR® and the Broker/Owner of Gateway Real Estate. She and her REALTOR® husband Jeff Dueck operate from their home-base in St Laurent on Lake Manitoba. In this episode we talk about rural living in the Interlake, and affordable cotta...


Sherie Turek is a REALTOR® and the Broker/Owner of Gateway Real Estate. She and her REALTOR® husband Jeff Dueck operate from their home-base in St Laurent on Lake Manitoba. In this episode we talk about rural living in the Interlake, and affordable cottage life just 45-minutes outside Winnipeg.

Transcript

Adrian:

I'm joined today by Sherie Turek with Gateway Real Estate in the Interlake part of Manitoba. Hello, Sherie.

Sherie:

Hi, good morning.

Adrian:

You're crystal clear, yet you are in a rural area of Manitoba. How is it that your internet is so good?

Sherie:

Well, this fall, we joined in on the beta test for the Starlink, which is the satellite internet project that Elon Musk is involved in, and it's been working pretty much flawlessly, way better than our internet we had before. There was a couple of companies out here which were High Speed Crow, NetSet, and Xplornet, And with those ones, we experienced a lot of buffering and latency, so the Zoom meetings were a little difficult, especially as more people jumped on the bandwidth.

Adrian:

Wow, that's amazing. And here I am in Winnipeg, over a very old fashioned cable coax internet connection.

Sherie:

Wow.

Adrian:

So you've got one up on me.

Sherie:

Very good.

Adrian:

So Sherie, tell us a little bit about yourself, and your area of expertise as it pertains to real estate.

Sherie:

For sure. So I've been in real estate for 20 years now, and my husband and I, we are both broker owners of the company Gateway Real Estate. Over the majority of my career, our careers, we served Winnipeg predominantly. I mean, more houses to sell, more people, with a small percentage of it being rural and cottage country. However, in the last few years, we've seen that market grow tremendously, and it's now, as of last year, which was unprecedented, it's now the bulk of our business.

Sherie:

We made the move about four years ago to live in cottage country, and we don't regret it. We're only 45 minutes from Winnipeg, so we can service Winnipeg quite easily. However, we've become pretty much the local experts in the West Interlake. When I speak of West Interlake, I'm predominantly talking about the areas along Lake Manitoba of Highway 6 or even 7. You'll see communities like Stonewall, Stony Mountain, Warren, Woodlands, and our hometown of Saint Laurent. We even have traveled further north up Highway 6 to Lundar and Eriksdale, but a big focus as we've seen a large demand for, is our area of Saint Laurent and its beautiful area beaches. There's become quite a demand for property there.

Adrian:

Why do you think that rural and/or cottage life year-round market is growing in your area?

Sherie:

Well, for a long time, this area has been a hidden secret. We've seen time and time again people come here and go, "I didn't know this existed," and yet, it's really in Winnipeg's backyard. We're 45 minutes from the city. Now of course, these recent times, we've seen people wanting just that extra elbow room space and with travel restrictions now, and maybe people just wanting something to do, kids [inaudible 00:03:34] in sports, activities, they want somewhere to go. They want their piece of heaven, somewhere they don't need a vacation from because they live or they own here. Because of the proximity and also the affordability compared to areas like Lake of the Woods, Falcon Lake, even some of Gimli area, which the prices have been out of reach. It can be very affordable here to get property lakefront, however, with the demand we are seeing, values increase, of course.

Adrian:

Yeah, and in Winnipeg over the last 20 years, we've seen single family home values increase by an average of 6.5% per year. A lot of people don't realize that, but you're probably starting to experience some very significant increases in your own market.

Sherie:

Yes, we are. I don't know the actual percentages off the top of my head, but what we experienced last summer in vacant lot sales was jaw-dropping. It was to the point, and we were like this in the city too. It's like, "I don't know anymore. Let's just see what the demand will give us in some cases, because it's unprecedented." But that being said, like with cottage country and rural, it does see some fluctuations, and we've lived through this once before where there was a demand, mainly because some lending rules had changed back in 2007, 2008, there was a demand, but when lending rules changed, it kind of petered out. And by that, I mean, there was a time where you could buy a secondary property with 5% down.

Sherie:

You can't do that anymore, so that kind of cut a lot of people out of the market, but now what we're seeing is true demand in that people are coming because they want to, they want to even move here and make this a primary residence, or they just want that escape, and they're buying up little chunks of land to even just move their trailer on for the summer.

Adrian:

Now, you mentioned that you're a bit of a hidden secret, perhaps not after this call, but can you describe some of the differences, perhaps? Because we're familiar with Lake of the Woods, Whiteshell, we're familiar with Lake Winnipeg. How is Lake Manitoba different from those?

Sherie:

Well, I think it's just, those areas that you talk about have been really developed. You get more of a city center feel, the towns are maybe made up in a grid system, there might be a lot of services there, whether it's a full-blown hospital, or stores, or what have you, whereas here, it's still very rural. The town of Saint Laurent doesn't technically have a grid system, so you get your larger spacious slots. So less people, it just seems to be an after thought, everybody kind of moved to the Lake Winnipeg area, so you get a more rural feel here. Yeah, and the-

Adrian:

And the lake itself?

Sherie:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). The lake, well, that's become, as you know, you hear of some of the things at Lake Winnipeg, algae blooms and zebra mussels, knock on wood, we don't quite have that problem here. The water quality is very good. We have nice shallow, sandy waters, sandbars where in the summer, it heats up, very warm, the kids love it, playing on the sandbars and such. So the one thing though, is people that do come from Lake of the Woods, or even Lake Winnipeg, the difference is here, you're not going to have your cabin cruiser boat and a dock here. This lake just doesn't support that. There are no real docks or marinas, like the big Harbor at Gimli or such. This is more ideal for your kayak, canoe, fishing boat. Although Lake Manitoba's rather large, it's very shallow.

Adrian:

It sounds like it would be the place for my family, and we have small kids and I know they love to play on the beach, and we want them to be able to go in the river. And I'm simple, I just need a comfy beach chair and an ice cold beer, so no equipment needed for me. What are the primary differences? I think you mentioned that you actually spend time in the city. W what are the primary differences on a high, or in the weeds level of city versus rural living? You've made the change, you experienced it.

Sherie:

Yeah, yeah, no, there's a few things to think about. Everyone thinks, "Oh, well, it's affordable, lower taxes." At the same time, you are responsible for your water, so you'll need a well and need to maintain that, whether through shocking, or you have a softener or an iron remover for your water quality. Your septic system is also something to think about in cottage country. You can't have a septic field for obvious reasons, so you'll have a holding tank which you will incur a monthly for a family of four or five, probably a monthly charge. Also, you might want to think about your heat source. Most rural areas just rely on electric heat or wood, so that's something to think. About your power, you can experience, especially on the lake, some power outages. So do you have a backup for that, whether it be a generator or a wood sourced stove?

Sherie:

Also, if you are going to live in cottage country, you might want to think about year-round access. On average, a winter, we can get blown in five or six days out of the winter, which means for about 12 hours, and at most 24 hours, we can't get down our road. That being said, I lived in a area in Winnipeg where I couldn't get out of my back lane for a week. So in that respect, I think our snow clearing is top-notch. Also, there's always a friendly someone that will give a hand with a snowblower or a skid-steer to get us out because a lot of times, it may not snow, you may not see it snowing, but those north winds kick up, and it blows everything off the lake and into your yard.

Sherie:

So you need to be mindful of that, make sure your septic tank is cleared away, and your lines don't freeze. So there's some planning there as well. Planning ahead for your groceries, you need freezers, you need to meal prep because running to Costco, although we're only 45 minutes from the city, but it's not like running to the corner store and getting that special item. That being said, our rural community does have grocery stores and such, but you may not find that unique item that you would find in maybe an ethnic aisle or a specialty store, right?

Sherie:

So you need to plan ahead for those occasions, but I think one of my favorite things about living rural is I really feel a good sense of community. I think I was losing that in Winnipeg, although Winnipeg is very friendly, but just as simple driving to the mail and you get three waves as you pass people, whether you know them or not, or you walk into the post office and someone always says hi, and has a smile. Just knowing that you belong to a community, I really enjoy.

Sherie:

I also find in the city, my husband and I, we would go to a bar, a restaurant, maybe we'd see people we know, but most likely not. The city's really gotten big, but here, it's more about visiting, and seeing people lending a hand, borrowing tools. You just get a bigger connection with your neighbors, or if you're not that way, I mean, my husband Jeff and I, we're social people, it comes with our career, but if you're not that way, you can find your little piece of seclusion and don't be seen or heard for days, if that's what you fancy. So you can have the best of both worlds.

Adrian:

And that sense of community, do you think you would feel that just as a summer cottager, just as well as if you're living in the area year-round?

Sherie:

Again, I think you can. I mean, I'm biased. I'm fourth generation from this area, so my family's been known, so I haven't experienced being new to the area, but from the people we have introduced to the area, I find that they really jump into the community. I've moved several families here that they're like, "Oh yeah, okay. We may not have the arcade, or the movie theater, or whatever, but the people here are great." And what you usually see is because the community is so spread out, you get these little groups of people and they kind of do their thing, whether it's a New Year's celebration where they have bonfires and fireworks with 20 neighbors, and then down the beach, there'll be other people with their own little thing, right? So you just get these little cliques, if you will, everyone enjoying their neighbors and accepting people in.

Adrian:

Yeah. Can you tell us a little bit about the community amenities one may be able to expect from a small town?

Sherie:

Right. Well, speaking specifically of Saint Laurent, you might drive through and go, "There's nothing here. Where's this?" But if you look, you will find it. Amenities, like we have the EMS, the ambulance, we have a fire department, a volunteer fire department. The community of Saint Laurent actually has two schools, one with the Franklin, Manitoba Division, and just the Prairie Rose School Division. We have a small clinic that has a nurse practitioner, as well as a doctor that comes down once or twice a week from Eriksdale, but we are only 45 minutes to an hour from the city, as well as the hospital of Stonewall is very nice. Believe me, I've been there a couple of times. And as for groceries, I know in town there's at least three places you can buy groceries. You look, and you will find it here. We have a Home hardware. So, everything you need, and now with the way things are, online shopping is great.

Adrian:

Does Amazon Prime work in the Interlake?

Sherie:

50/50. A lot of stuff from Amazon does come through the post office. We do have some trouble getting deliveries to the door, so that can be an issue because a lot of things like Purolator and that, they don't want to leave the highway.

Adrian:

But you can have it sent to the main post office, if I recall correctly.

Sherie:

You can. My husband's more an expert on [inaudible 00:14:22].

Adrian:

The online shopper, the husband is the online shopper. I love it.

Sherie:

Yes, very much so. So there's that, but we find that we can work around it. We're fortunate to have family in the city, so if it's going to be a problem, we'll just ship it to their place. So there's workarounds. I mean, I guess there's an opportunity here to have some sort of parcel pickup service, but it really hasn't been a need. We can figure it out.

Adrian:

Yeah. What's been the best change in your own life, having moved back into rural?

Sherie:

Yeah. Again, like I mentioned, I've been out here my whole life as a cottager, and I think the best change is I feel more relaxed. I feel like I'm where I should be. Before when we owned a home in the city, plus our cottage, I just always felt that tug like, "Oh, I should be in the city, cutting the grass or doing something to maintain my home or whatever." There was this pull, and then when I was in the city, I felt this pull as to, "Oh, I should really be up at the cottage, and I'm missing out." So now I just, I feel relaxed. I feel like I'm where I should be. I feel planted and rooted. I think for me, that's the biggest benefit or change.

Adrian:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Sherie, how do people get in touch with you?

Sherie:

Certainly. You can reach me directly at (204) 479-7472. We have a website where we upload any of our properties, which is www.itslisted.ca. That would probably be the best.

Adrian:

I was joined today by Sherie Turek with Gateway Real Estate operating out in the Interlake, I think home-based in Saint Laurent, Manitoba, on Lake Winnipeg.

Sherie:

Lake Manitoba.

Adrian:

Lake Manitoba, I'm sorry. I stand corrected, which has a nice sand bottom, if I recall.

Sherie:

Yes.

Adrian:

Yeah. Thanks so much, Sherie, for joining me today.

Sherie:

You bet. Have a great day.

Sherie Turek

Hi There! I have been in the real estate industry for almost 20 years. Starting out as an office administrator to now owning my own real estate brokerage. I work along side of my husband, Jeff Dueck, to better meet all your real estate needs. We service Winnipeg and all surrounding areas. We have sold properties from Lowe Farm to Whytewold and Gladstone to Richer! One area of specialty for us is recreational properties. We love living and working at Twin Lakes Beach. Big or small we sell'em ALL!