Got a spare room big enough to park a Jet?


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WONDERING what to do with that spare bedroom in the basement?

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/07/2011 (4256 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

WONDERING what to do with that spare bedroom in the basement?

If it’s got an ensuite bathroom, enough space for a big-screen television and an exercise bicycle, you just might find a taker once Winnipeg Jets players start arriving in town in the weeks prior to training camp.

A number of real estate agents around town have already contacted the former Atlanta Thrashers about their housing needs for the upcoming season, and though it doesn’t appear any of them have bought a home yet, it probably won’t be long now.

Glen Williams, an agent with Century 21 Bachman & Associates, said he expects veteran players with families and those with longer-term contracts to be looking to buy, while younger players and those with just a year or two left on their deals will look for rental properties.

He said the latter group may be in for a surprise because the upscale rental market in Winnipeg is miniscule.

“If they’re coming here thinking about renting a high-end house, that just doesn’t exist here,” Williams said. “In Atlanta, it’s very commonplace for people to own second exclusive homes (which they rent out). If they want to live in an upscale home in an upscale neighbourhood, my expectation is they’re going to have to make the choice to buy.”

Tony Martone, an agent at RE/Max Professionals, said he’s confident more rental properties will materialize soon.

“I’m talking to some of my investors who would love to purchase properties for these guys and rent them out. You’d have a guaranteed renter,” he said, adding he expects about 30 players and other team officials to be moving to town.

Word on the street is a couple of players have already rented condominiums and one rumour making the rounds around town is newly signed captain Andrew Ladd, who is currently on his honeymoon, has bought a plot of land and may even build a house.

Recent reports say Winnipeg has the lowest rental-vacancy rate in the country at less than one per cent, but Peter Squire, MLS market analyst for WinnipegRealtors, said the one area where there is some availability is at the high end of the market. He said that would include units encompassing 1,200 square feet and up in Tuxedo, downtown, along Wellington Crescent and on Henderson Highway.

Williams, who said he has been in contact with several players, said he has listings ranging in price from $300,000 to $5.9 million. The expected boost to the real estate market will be just one small element of an unforgettable time in the city, he said.

“This could be the most exciting year in the history of Winnipeg,” he said. “We’ve got the Jets coming back, the Bombers selling a record number of season tickets and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the new airport nearing completion. This could be the most significant year yet for the city.”

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