Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Changes are a foot!

There's a lot going on in 2011. Already the whoppers include mortgages rules changing effective March 2011, stronger and stronger indications of rising interest rates and a new Premier for Alberta - sometime.

So what? There always is a lot going on. The best action is not reaction but positive pro-action (I just made that up- look out Sarah Palin!) In our case we started locking in all our variable rate mortgages, where it made sense. I'm not going negative cashflow for the sake of a little peace of mind. I can ride the variable until maturity and probably pay less negative cash flow in the long run.

We're also re-evaluating our political choices. It's a second look at the political landscape to figure out which way to go.

If it's not one thing it's another you've just got to roll.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stelmach is stepping down

Premier Ed Stelmach will not lead his party in the next election. It comes as a shock and will certainly bring about a leadership race in the future. A quick look at the comments on any newsite shows that people are very polarized about his decision to quit. Examples here and here

Saturday, January 15, 2011

2011 - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I found a great breakdown on what seems to be the consensus for 2011 - Cautious Optimism.

Optimism - includes consumer confidence and a strong rental market. I've seen these myself more calls for rentals especially from people moving here for work - even in the dead of winter. I'm hearing it too. Talking to the man on the street (and the woman) everyone "feels" things are going to pick up this year.

Cautious - foreboding consumer debt, foreclosures and a slew of listings coming on the market. I've always known that many start their year with a big debt load after the Christmas/holiday shopping frenzy. I'm seeing it in rents paid later due to salaries coming in later due to the employers not having the cash to pay up.

Increases in listings will affect the sale price of your house. Every one has the same idea when can I unload this negative equity property I bought in 2007. Spring will bring a lot of listings of "investors" tired of dealing with rentals and just wanting to get out at any price.

Anyway in my mind this quote says it all:

"Rod's Opinion -
Bottom line is that economically Alberta is the best place in the world to be and everyone knows it and I feel consumer confidence will have the biggest impact on Edmonton's market this year. The message is getting through that there are a lot of great deals out there and with the threat of rates going up I expect buyers to get off the fence in the first two quarters."

I'm certainly buying and not selling this year!

New Year, New Target

Happy New Year!

Are you back in the swing of things after the holiday break? I know I am. For me the first part of the year is dedicated to 'clean up' and that means getting the big and ugly jobs underway and cleaned up to make way for new plans, systems and fine tuning.

In December, Edmonton had a typically slow month for home sales with prices dipping slightly lower than November by about $10K. Meaning that it is a relatively poor time to sell, but a great time to buy. 4-Units and up in size will remain the sweet spot this year and there are several good ones coming up, for smaller investors suited half duplexes will also offer great returns.

I see 2011 as a slow and steady year that will lay a solid foundation for increased growth from 2012 onward - in other-words, a great time to start picking up more property. Lower prices, low rates and an increase in jobs that will bring more renters, bodes well.

What do you see for 2011?

I appreciate all your calls and emails. I'm looking forward to helping you with your next step towards building real wealth.

Your success continues TODAY, let me help you build upon it.

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -Walt Emerson

Warm Regards,

Todd and Danielle Millar

Friday, January 07, 2011

How to Deal with Mortgage Payment Difficulties

For many the big splurge over the winter holidays makes a financial dent in their accounts. Often to the point where regular bills can't be maintained. Here is a great article on How to Deal with Mortgage Payment Difficulties from CMHC:

"When unforeseen financial circumstances impact your ability to make regular mortgage payments, it’s important for you to take quick action. With early intervention, cooperation, and a well executed plan, you can work together with your mortgage professional to find a solution to your financial difficulties."

Some solutions include
1. Talk to your mortgage professional
2. Clarify the financial picture
3. Stay informed

There is also a link to a great Government of Canada site Take Charge of Your Debts

Hopefully none of you need this but can pass it on to someone you know!

Read More Here

Best in 2011,
Danielle Millar