As I sit in a quiet office on Friday Jan 3rd, it’s hard not to notice that though the New Year has begun, seems like everyone is still off work. Richmond Rd, which I normally cross at 8 am to get my morning coffee, was eerily quiet today, reminding me that maybe I should be off too, enjoying what’s left of the holiday season. But this is the best time, while the phones are quiet and no one is around, to get the last of my end of year administration stuff done, in preparation for the new year ahead. It’s the paper work that you avoid that always takes the most time, and the less people around to distract you, the sooner it’s done.
In our industry, 2013 brought a number of changes that affected the average borrower and therefore how we do business. The maximum amortization which in 2012 was 30 years, was dropped to 25 years. If you took a mortgage term shorter than 5 years, you are forced now to qualify on a government set bench mark rate that is much higher than the actual rate you were getting. Both changes in the governments eyes, meant to tighten up the lending guidelines, and force the public into being more conservative in their borrowing practises. Even the qualifying ratios that CMHC uses to qualify purchasers were reduced. Again this year, restrictions imposed to keep us from over borrowing, and the hope that the housing market will not stumble, or at least only slow at a reasonable rate. We don’t want to relive the American housing bubble, here at home!
In my personal life, it’s also a time of year to do the annual New Year resolutions. I an article I read earlier they suggested we see the resolutions as “commitments”, and I think I will also change my though process to that. Not something I will try to achieve, but rather something I will commit to doing or achieving.
So for whatever it is you choose to “commit” to for 2014, I hope that some will bring more happiness in to your lives, and some will be to bring you more prosperity. I have placed a link to a Globe and Mail video, that I thought, though quite general, would be a good start for all of us with our financial plans.
So in closing, I would like to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous 2014. We’re only here once, so take life by the horns, and make it what you want it to be.
“We cannot control how our life begins or ends. We can only control how we live it.”