7/23/2013

Our Homes Updated Value

I have been waiting to write this post for a long time.  This is the post where I get to tell you that our homes value has dramatically increased since we bought it in December, 2011.

Up until this point, I have been using our City Tax Assessed value of our home ($328,600), which as you may know is fairly arbitrary (not every house is actually assessed by the city - they typically take an average based on the neighborhood and your reported key features such as fireplace and garage).  A homes actual value, is the price that someone will pay for it.

That leads me to telling you how much we paid for our home.

Before any upgrades, our base home and lot was priced at $327,650.  After incentives, upgrades, GST, GST Rebate, down payment, and CMHC insurance - we financed $348,819.10.  

You can see from the spreadsheet to the left that the purchase price before GST was $345,613.24.

Back in April, I told you that we found out our homes real value - the value that someone would be reasonably expected to pay has gone up from when we bought it.

Now that we have completed The Big Backyard Project, our home is valued at $377,000.

Because I have been using the Tax Value of $328,600 in our networth updates, we are going to see a jump of $48,400 to our total networth!

So excited for August 1st!



7/22/2013

7/19/2013

Update: LOC, Big Backyard Project, Shares & Escape Pay Off Plan


In November of last year, I was offered a Line of Credit with BMO.  We accepted it, thinking that it couldn't hurt to have the funds available - especially with planning our Big Backyard Project.  A few months back, we actually increased it from $10,000 to $40,000 thinking that it would be a way to also pay of the Escape at a lower interest rate.

When we polled our readers, everyone suggested that we increase our payments as well as pay off the Escape with the LOC.

We haven't done it yet (waiting until the dust settles with the Big Backyard Project), but we're getting close.



We currently owe a total of $15,337.77 on the LOC - this includes payments for the backyard to date (Fence, Deck, materials for garage) as well as about $3,530 in spending from our MasterCard that was unplanned (some costs with the Escape - windshield, new tire ect., spending more money on birthdays then planned, as well as extra costs from camping more than we had planned).  We're expecting the following upcoming bills that are planned to be covered by the LOC as we pay it off as aggressively as possible:
  • $5,775
    • Labour for garage
  • $356.30
    • Last 8 Feet of Fence
  • $6,782.10
    • Investment purchase of Shares through work
That will bring the total LOC balance to approximately $28,251.17.    We’re planning on being able to pay off $12,500 to the LOC for the remainder of this year (less then originally planned - details on that later when I finally catch up on our month-to-month spending updates) which will leave us carrying $15,669 forward into 2014.

The original plan was to carry forward $0 into 2014.  This changed to being comfortable with carrying less than $5,000 into 2014.  With the addition of the share purchases, and spending more this summer than planned - we're now looking at a significantly bigger number.  I'm sure we'll make a plan for that too - just haven't looked at the 2014 budget yet.

Let's loop back to the Escape - we currently owe about $18,500 there.  If my approximations are right for the last big of the garage and the share purchase - we should be able to transfer the balance from the Escape Loan (also with BMO) over to the LOC sometime in late Fall.  The balance owing on the Escape will be about $16,600 which would bring our total debt load (not including the mortgage) to be - $32,269   

We will then increase the automatic payments and treat the LOC line any other loan and get it paid off as quickly as possible.  

So, there it is - all of the details of our current projects and debt load.  I've probably missed a few details so please feel free to ask questions if you have them.

7/12/2013

7/11/2013

Are we saving enough for retirement?

This is certainly not the first time I've asked this question, nor will it be the last.  I got to thinking about it after writing the post the other day which included an update that Jordan is contributing an additional $25/week to his RRSP Streetwise Fund with ING.

I'm lucky that I have a great company sponsored pension plan at work.  It's a defined contribution plan, which means what I get out of it really depends on the market but there is a set amount that both I and my employer contribute (5% of my gross salary each).  My rate of return based on my chosen investment mix was 4.9% two years ago and 9.9% last year.  Year to date, it's 4.2%.  Jordan, is not so lucky.

Here's a breakdown of our current annual retirement savings:

The RISA is the basic RRSP with ING, Streetwise is our investment RRSP account with ING.  Shares I purchase through my employer but are not a registered retirement plan - I consider this to be ours, not mine or Jordan's.  Finally Jordan gets a small annual profit share that is automatically contributed to a work RRSP account.

We are looking at a lump sum share purchase that would increase this years retirement savings by about $6,750 - but I really want to focus on the annual contributions, not the random lump sum stuff that we do.

So...what do you think?  Is it enough?

I would like to see us increase Jordan's savings by at least $15/week - but that's really only to meet the arbitrary 10%.  

7/10/2013

7/09/2013

Recent Decision Making

The last little while, my posts have been a bit all over the place as we've had some conflicting priorities.  I've talked about buying an investment property, or investing in RRSPs or even investing with shares at work.  I've talked about paying off the escape and looked at increasing our mortgage payment.

There are just so many options.

Yesterday I wrote about our decision on a vehicle - basically, we've committed to continuing to do research and not rushing it.

We have also decided to buy more shares at my work which is an investment in both my career and our retirement.  We have also moved our RRSPs with ING from a RISA that was getting 1.35% to a Streetwise Mutual Fund Portfolio.  Specifically, the Equity Growth.  It's high risk/high return - but it's a relative low sum of money (under $6K combined), and we have 35 years of investment time.  The portfolio is trending very strong at 8.73% YTD.  While we will continue to contribute $50/week (each) to our RISAs, Jordan is now also contributing an additional $25/week to his Streetwise! So pumped!

We haven't written off the idea of an investment property, but we have put it on hold for at least a year or two.  We want to focus on our family and a few other things before we go down that path.

7/08/2013

Update on our Vehicle Decision

okay...so a few weeks a go I wrote a post about fuel economy and Jordan and I trying to decide if the Escape was the right vehicle for us.

We haven't decided, but we have spent a lot of time doing research.  One of the things that we are going to do the next time we wish we had a truck - is rent one!  That way, we'll get to test it out, see how it feels...is it really that much easier then the Escape.

Another thing that we're doing is continuing to track our mileage - if we do this over the course of the summer we should have a better idea about what potential savings there would be for trading in the Escape for a commuter car.

The last thing on the list is to get our windshield replaced (done), the car cleaned (done), and the speaker/air conditioner repaired (not done) - once we have all of those check-marks, we can find out the trade in value of the Escape and go from their.

7/05/2013

7/04/2013

Networth: July 1, 2013


I feel like I have a bit of catching up to do.  I'm going to start with our networth.  We've gone down from $23K to $18K over the last month.  This is because we have paid some of the bills related to our big backyard project - the project isn't done yet, so I'm not ready to increase the value of our home....that should happen next month if everything goes according to plan.  There were a few delays because of the flooding in Alberta.

Here's is a detailed breakdown:

Our home tax assessment and vehicle value hasn't changed.

RRSPs & Pension have gone up as per usual.

Shares have also stayed steady.

Regular savings has increased - but a big chunk of this is going to go towards the LOC as soon as I get my banks talking to each other properly.

The mortgage and car are going down steadily.

The credit card has some expenses on it including a new windshield, and gifts (July is a big birthday month for us) as well as gas and groceries from camping.  This will all be paid off in a few days.

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