I have to admit, there are certain times of the year that being a Realtor in Thunder Bay is a heck of a lot more alluring than other times. For instance, you just can’t beat being a Realtor in the very beginning months of Summer, when it’s not too hot, the snow has melted, the rain has washed the muck away, and the sun is shining brightly and is accompanied by a nice light breeze. The windows are rolled down, and you are cruising to your next showing with the tunes cranked. It just feels awesome. Ditto for Fall- country showings are simply amazing, as the trees and their changing leaves create spectacular backdrops, the real estate market is crazy busy as people try to find houses before the snow flies, and the storms can be very dramatic. Cozy fires are crackling in fireplaces, just to take the light chill and dampness out of the air.
Fast forward to Winter. Oh how it can be challenging for a Thunder Bay, Northern Ontario Realtor. It can, quite honestly, be downright dreadful. Particularly during those weeks in the dead middle of winter- the weeks I refer to as the ‘Deep Freeze Zone’, the weeks where we experience the ‘Polar Vortex’ at its best. Those bone chilling, finger and toe freezing, face numbing days generally falling anywhere from mid January to mid February.
My Realtor tool kit during those days generally includes a shovel, so that I can shovel my way up to vacant listings, some eco- traction to prevent slippery walkways and stairs, an extra set of very heavy mitts and a toque, an extra scarf, an extra lockbox battery or two and an allen key to get into the lockbox should a battery be frozen and need swapping. Because we are often showing properties where cell reception is next to nil, I always travel with an extra blanket or two as well. You never know when you might need the extra warmth.
I have shown properties in my snowsuit- and I’m still not sure why someone would choose to have their country home listed throughout winter, but refuse to clear the snow from the driveway.
The absolute, most significant challenge right now is that of the frozen lockbox. Just yesterday, I had a lockbox freeze twice. Generally when this happens, a bit of moisture has gotten into the inside of the lockbox, and the key compartment won’t open. The lockbox must be removed, thawed, dried out and then put back on. Sometimes, the battery itself is frozen, and must be replaced. Batteries sure aren’t meant to operate optimally in deep freeze conditions.
Well water recovery tests can prove difficult this time of year, but are still done on a regular basis. Septic pump outs and inspections are challenging, and sometimes impossible- after all, it’s not the best time of year to have an empty septic tank/ exposed lids. Thankfully we have clauses that can be inserted into an offer to make certain that the septic is functioning properly on closing. Home inspectors face challenges when trying to examine the exterior of a home- snowbanks etc. can create numerous obstacles.
But, with all that said, Spring will make its way to Thunder Bay soon enough, and Realtors everywhere will be happy again:)