Being thankful this Christmas

Fifty -two weeks out of the year this column has focused on providing helpful information about all things related to real estate and finance. We have reported on market trends, home statistics, mortgage rates, programs and guidelines. We have kept readers up to date and current with all the lingo commonly thrown around when purchasing or refinancing a property such as CMHC, PITI, OSFI, VIRM’s, DOF, GDSR, and HELOC’s; to name just a few. So it is with this in mind that this 51st week, the week before what many would refer to as the most wonderful time of the year that we take a time-out. A moment to reflect on our homes value; not based on the comparables or the city’s assessment. Not measured only in dollars or cents. Our homes true value can be found in what it means to each of us.

Our homes provide us first and foremost with shelter from the elements; and for this time of year that means snow, wind and freezing rain. For that reason alone I find great value in my home. A recent study by the Canadian Homelessness Research Network (CHRN) and the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness reports that at least 200,000 Canadians experience homelessness in a year, and as many as 1.3 million Canadians have experienced homelessness or extremely insecure housing at some point during the past five years. After learning more about how many people are affected by homelessness, I am no longer concerned whether or not my pad is big, small, modern or classic. What matters is there is a place of refuge from our ever changing weather conditions. Our home also helps us experience moments that last a lifetime. We watch our child take their first steps; we have homecoming family reunions, and many, many more moments. Some are sad or even tragic, some are happy and joyful but all of them are the memories that are created within the confines of the four walls we call home.

While this season holds various traditions for each person given our different heritage and culture, there is a common thread that this time of year is supposed to be about giving, caring, and sharing. For this brief moment we can take a break from crunching the numbers or worrying about the economy. Perhaps there is someone who has recently been divorced, lost a family member or simply cannot afford to travel to their hometown. We can show compassion by inviting someone in who may be alone this holiday. We can allow our homes to serve as a beacon in our community. We can remind our family that it’s not only about the gifts we receive but the gift we already have – a place to call home. With this mindset, together we can make this year’s Christmas one that restores a person’s faith in mankind.

Source: Brandon Scott is a Sherwood Park / Edmonton Mortgage Broker and the author of a weekly column entitled Real Estate Solutions in the Sherwood Park News. This article was originally published on December 20, 2013

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