An interesting book that I recently read titled "Smart is the New Rich" by Christine Romans, describes the recession as having a pivotal effect on the American family. In 2007, real estate was at all-time highs in Canada and the US. As Romans points out "this country went from flat-screens for Christmas in 2007 to foreclosures for Christmas just 12 months later". Romans compares money to nutrition. She recommends asking yourself if you will feel great (like a sugar rush or glass of wine) once you buy a product, but since you don't need it, it may hurt you (and your financial health) in the long run as it was an unnecessary purchase. I found the book extremely fascinating as it stated that Americans on average have 13 credit obligations on record with their credit bureau! What is the breakdown? 9 are for credit cards, department stores, gas, and 4 are car loans and mortgages! Take a quick look in your wallet. You can earn less, but save and invest more if you are smart when it comes to your finances. It is estimated that there are 75 million Americans who have not even saved $1 towards their retirement. If you have any type of savings plan, you are doing better than MILLIONS of others, regardless of your income. If you earn a high income but make poor choices when it comes to budgeting, you might find yourself being described as "dumb rich". Many ex-oil workers have seen their huge paycheques from working up north in Fort McMurray disappear since last year and many saved NOTHING to plan for a rainy day (or unemployment). Just as the recession caught many people by surprise, these individuals believed that their income stream would never end. As you browse the Craigslist ads, you will often spot a newer RV, truck with specialized parts that has oversized tires and rims, boats, quads and other "toys" that are now for sale. It may seem that I am making light of this situation, but that is absolutely not the case. Many of these people become depressed, see their health deteriorate, and face struggles in their relationships as a result of the economic situation they find themselves in. This is why I am a huge advocate of teaching kids in school about money and budgeting as only 6% of schoolchildren will receive even a basic overview of credit and finance, and so it is not surprising that these kids become adults without the insight into saving and managing credit.
Incredibly, Nanaimo's cheapest house currently for sale on MLS is listed for only $130,900 and is located on 519 Prideaux Street. It offers 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom and needs some renovations to bring it back to its original glory. Back in 2003, this home sold on MLS for $78,000. After looking at the listing, I was curious to know a little more about the history of this home and the neighborhood surrounding Prideaux. I was actually really amazed about what I learned about this home as well as the history of this area. According to the Nanaimo Family History Society, the owner of 519 Prideaux was Frank English whose stated occupation was "miner" and was confirmed to be entitled to vote in the provincial election as of 1920!
Warren Buffet once coined the phrase "be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful". It applies very aptly to the real estate market in Nanaimo. There are some excellent deals out there right now with sellers putting their homes and properties onto the market during the early weeks of 2016. We have not seen a slowdown in market activity during the last part of 2015, so now is a great time to list your home as inventory is much lower than compared to Spring. This makes your home more appealing to buyers when there are fewer homes to select from. Our team negotiated a deal for a client who was able to purchase a beautiful executive home with a legal suite that has POSITIVE CASH FLOW month after all expenses are paid. With the assistance of a qualified mortgage lender, our client was able to obtain an excellent rate of his mortgage and have the peace of mind that his rate is secured for many years so that he can enjoy the benefit of earning money on his investment.