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Change, SWOT, and Other Things to Think About

Written by on Monday, 16 April 2012 7:00 pm

The difference between reacting to change and creating sustainable improvement lies with you, regardless of how long a list of "yeah buts" you use to build barriers to success.

Whether your main goal is preserving status quo in a changing world, or breaking outside the norm of a life structured by "should do" commitments, you - principally your attitude, powers of observation, and strength of persistence - will drive success, regardless of real and imagined speed bumps and detours ahead. Skill and consistency in anticipating change, and adapting to shifting economics and needs are essential to counteracting resistance to change in yourself and others. This is true on all levels and particularly with respect to real estate. To bring out the best in your real estate planning, concentrate on creating and preserving a clear perspective on what you want to achieve, that is, clarifying your definition of "success":

  • Ownership alternatives

    Home is headquarters for increasing numbers of property owners and wanna-bes. Wireless, mobile, and cloud computing make working from home a practical reality in many fields...Some, including boomers, will embrace 20th-Century "retirement" and drop out of mainstream life, while many others will stay current while adding elements of diversity and adventure. Lifelong learning will be paired with lifelong earning...International real estate buying is on the rise, but most Canadians will keep at least a pied à terre to maintain a foothold in a preferred real estate market. Fractional ownership, which allows owners to share ownership of recreational property and, therefore, expenses, is a commonplace choice around the world. This financial alternative to full cottage ownership will continue to offer choices of different types of property, in different locations. Where does real estate fit into your plans?

  • Finances

    Statistics like the 151-per-cent household debt figure can be distracting. The relevance of statistics like this to families is unclear since Statistics Canada and financial organizations do not track debt loads against income. The record 151 per cent of after-tax income means for every loonie of after-tax cash, the average family owes C$1.51, including mortgages and credit cards. This statistic represents average household debt in Canada, but it does not mean everyone faces crushing debt or that large debt loads are beyond individual means...On the other hand, rumblings of rising interest rates can encourage consumers to act now to take advantage of historic lows. This may not be the best reason to extend yourself financially, or it may be the most important reason to act now, but clear thinking is vital to deciding on the best course of action. Everything depends on priorities and resources. Where do you stand financially?

  • Interior dimensions

    Everything will have to be repaired or replaced eventually. That's the real estate maintenance reality, but it is often an overlooked budgeting drain. Gradually modernize and up-grade your home each year, and the cost is more manageable. Stay ahead of trends. Avoid jumping onto the end of a style or fashion just because fixtures etc. are less expensive, and you'll get the most out of renovation projects. When you decide to change the kitchen or a bathroom, explore European designs, websites, and publications to see where we're headed in a few years. For instance, kitchens that do not scream "kitchen" and bathrooms with floating vanities and toilets are leading edge design here, but standard styles elsewhere in the world. The Netherlands-based magazine Objekt©International is an inspiring print and online resource for just this sort of interior visioning. With articles and high-quality photography featuring homes around the world, readers can see what will eventually end up here and how it would fit into their unique space: "According to the designers, the kitchen is the crucible of new social developments. Once it was the staked-out area where the requisite meals were prepared, today it has become the most social place in the house….In view of real estate prices in many of the world's big cities, there is a growing demand for smaller kitchens these days: kitchens with the same practical features and aesthetics as their 'big brothers'." How do you keep your thinking outside the box?

  • SWOT analysis

    Take the SWOT test to be sure which aspects of decision making you're great at and which should be bolstered by professional support or advice. This business technique will also clarify objectives and may reveal new possibilities. The name of the SWOT analysis technique stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Evaluate your specific situation and objectives using these 4 strategic planning categories to reveal what will help and what could hurt goal achievement. Most changes have positive and negative elements, like changes to a neighbourhood, which can be good and bad for residents depending on their individual needs. The process of identifying these specific factors will also help refine objects and broaden possibilities. Once the SWOTs are assembled, objectives, including buying or selling real estate, can be evaluated as practical or not. How is SWOT going to work for you?

    Tax time and spring time both represent excellent times for evaluation and blue skying. Take your thinking a few steps further now, and you'll find that next tax time and next spring will be even more fruitful for you.

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      About the author, PJ Wade

    Individual news stories are based upon the opinions of the writer and does not reflect the opinion of Realty Times.