Real Estate columnist Freddy Marks talks about the importance of examining your financial position, and possibly taking a leap to “re-position” yourself in your home ownership. (Unsplash)

Real Estate columnist Freddy Marks talks about the importance of examining your financial position, and possibly taking a leap to “re-position” yourself in your home ownership. (Unsplash)

REAL ESTATE: Repositioning for profit and peace of mind

Real estate columnist Freddy Marks shares his thoughts on how homeowners can change their path

By Freddy Marks

Canadians are in the midst of re-positioning themselves, literally moving for safety and for financial security. The compounding stresses of stay-at-home orders, essential-only travel, limited outdoor activity, the rising cost of food and crime has made people keenly aware of their current position.

So, what is your position?

Do you feel safe and content in your home and community? How much food is in the pantry? How much money is coming in? How much debt are you carrying? Are you confident that you will be able to achieve your long-term estate goals?

Your best position has you living a healthy, active, financially-maintainable lifestyle, in a location where you have personal freedoms, access to amenities and green space.

Sanctuary and future well-being have emerged as the paramount considerations when choosing a place to call home. For many, that is no longer an urban centre. The constant vigilance of masked outings, shopping in large crowded essential stores and trying to enjoy outdoors trails and spaces where you can’t get away from other people has just become too much for many urban residents.

SEE ALSO: The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

So, how quickly can you access the equity in your home and relocate rural into a smaller, more manageable mortgage while retaining a cash-positive position?

It sounds like a lot of rushed planning and work, but this get-safe and debt-free strategy for future security is a large part of the population moving the residential market to new volume and price records. With continually rising home prices and low interest rates, many owners already have the equity in their urban homes to make that life change a reality.

Pandemic job losses forced many to make an immediate move in 2020. Now in 2021, people just want to move or want to own an escape property.

Many wonder what the future will hold if they don’t make some big changes now while prices are high and the interest rates are at all-time lows.

With prices rising some people are seeing their long-term plans dashed, as they are literally priced out of the regions they planned to retire in. This is pushing people to consider even more rural and remote locations for the medium-sized acreages they want to own.

Finding the correct location to live, work and play that ensures you can be in a position to survive whatever the future may bring can be a challenge.

Young families, middle-age couples and retirees are all facing similar challenges in regards to their long-term housing and financial goals. Last year taught us that destabilization of an individual’s position can happen quickly and without warning: a wake-up call to many that they have been living beyond their means.

RELATED: Mortgage defaults after COVID-19 could look different than 2008, says economist

If your current income can’t support your housing and living costs, or you could see it being a problem in the future, a move may be your best option.

Downsizing to a smaller, more affordable home will help you avoid more debt and can reduce financial stress. Canadians have been warned for years that their debt loads are too high, and pandemic hardships, business closures, job losses and curtailments have given some no choice but to use mortgage deferrals and live on their credit and stimulus benefits.

In order to live the lifestyle they want without the risks associated with a heavy debt load, people are making the decision to downsize and ruralize. Where and how we live, work, play, travel, communicate and consume has been forever changed, there is no going back.

It doesn’t matter why you are selling your current home, what does matter is that you know where it is you are going once you have an accepted offer. Suburban and rural homes with acreage have become the hottest ticket in B.C.

RELATED: December home sales in Chilliwack reach 16-year high

According to the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB), 279 sales closed in December 2020, 60 more than at the same point in 2019 and the highest total in 16 years. The value of those sales exceeded $165.6 million.

Only 446 properties were listed at the end of December, compared to 700 at the same time last year.

With low supply and high demand, prices continued to rise and realtors saw bidding wars.

Similar gains in single family houses and townhomes were seen in Agassiz, Harrison and Hope.

Sales of vacant residential lots also jumped. Twenty sold in December 2020 compared to just five in December 2019.

Possession dates are being set for quick turn over, and you need to be ready. That means you should already be working with a licensed qualified realtor to identify your next purchase in this very competitive market.

Many interior sellers are currently accepting contingency offers, subject to the purchaser selling their own home within a set period of time. This can be a good strategy to submit an offer, if you have located your next home before you actually close on your own sale.

Low inventory means that all listings are getting more viewings, more consideration and offers. You will want to be in the best position to secure your future home and the location that will ensure you and your family will be able to live the best lifestyle possible.

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