Stepping Into The New Year

The New Year

I am not much of a New Years’ resolution person…mostly because I have forgotten or given up usually by the second or third week of January. Therefore, I like to think about it more like a theme for the year. A few years ago my theme was to “be present”.  This meant when I was watching my kids hockey or ringette game I was actually watching…not doing email on my phone. This theme had a big impact on both my kids and I…and although I am not as intentional as I once was, I have become much better and not multi-tasking and focusing on what I am doing. Covid has also been good for this as the slower pace allows for more focus.

Choosing Kindness

This year I came across a meme that said “if you have the choice to be right or be kind…choose kind.”. This hit me like a brick in the chest! Is it my age that is catching up with me? I was experiencing difficulty with someone in my family and someone, I respect once said to me:

“You get to choose Krista. Choose if it feels better to be right or is it more important to maintain the relationship?”

When I thought about it…it was a no brainer…choose the relationship with a family member! I chose KIND. I am going to continue to choose kind – this is often hard for me and a very deliberate decision. Let’s hope with more practice it gets easier?

What To Expect For 2021?

I have been reading a lot about what to expect for 2021 and the more I read, the more confused I become. I watch the stock market and I read one article that says this year will be a repeat of the roaring 1920’s and then the next article I read says the stock market is being held up on artificial stimulus and it’s poised to crash. How do I know what to do?

I do understand mortgage markets better than stock markets. Every forecast is similar and we are at the bottom or very close to the bottom of interest rates. This means if you have a variable rate mortgage you may want to consider locking it in this year. But remember if you convert it to a fixed rate, that gives the lender the opportunity to charge an IRD penalty instead of three months interest. Make sure you ask what rate the lender would offer you to convert to fixed and review it with me before you sign. I will advise if that’s the best you can do, or if you could do better elsewhere.

I feel for the better part of 2021 we will maintain these low fixed rates. However, as Canadians and American’s (the Canadian economy is very dependant on the US economy) vaccinate and consumer confidence grows we will start to see more strength.  As consumer confidence grows you will start to see upward pressure on the bond market and in turn potentially slight increases in fixed rates over time. This is nothing to be concerned about…we are talking nominal amounts. With Biden taking over as US President and having the majority of the senate that also leads me to believe that slight increases will come our way in Canada sooner than I would prefer.

Home Prices in Alberta

I am not sure what to expect with home prices in Alberta. We still have a fair amount of mortgages in Alberta that did not successfully come out of deferral and are considered to be in default. The question is…how will the lenders react? Lenders are not in the business of homeownership, but they do have investors to answer to. I would not anticipate them to foreclose on these homes quickly. They are very interested in having Albertans keep their homes but how long are they willing to hold out? The effective unemployment rate in Alberta is at an all-time high with people being unemployed and under-employed. Will the federal government step in again and assist these families that are in trouble? When I was reading the 2020 real estate numbers the single-family dwelling category actually saw a slight increase in price. From my experience for the appraisals that I see come in the condo market, rural properties, and high-end homes (500K+) have not had the same good fortune. I am going to cross and be optimistic as we get through these unpredictable times. Stay Safe!

My husband and I have been riding our snowmobiles a lot together this year. It seems like one of the only safe “allowed” things we can do.

I love feeling like I am on top of the world in the mountains. I love this photo of us.