Net Worth Update: January 2021

Last updated on February 2nd, 2021 at 12:47 am

Hello everyone! Thanks for checking out my net worth update for January 2021! These numbers represent my wife and I’s net worth as of January 1st. I do my best to round to the nearest $100 to keep everything easy on the eyes. Let’s get started!

Assessment Up! So What?

On January 1st, British Columbia released its property assessments for 2021. These assessments are essentially guesses for what your home is worth, and are used to calculate the property tax you’ll have to pay next period. If your home rises in value relative to the average home in your municipality, your taxes will go up more than others.

Now, having owned this home since late 2019, this is my second property assessment. Last year my assessment fell by a small amount. That was because we purchased during somewhat of a buyers’ market and were able to buy our home for $40k under assessment. So, when the new assessment came out, it adjusted downwards to partially reflect the lower than expected purchase price.

Canada’s real estate market was completely different in 2020. So much so that I wrote a few articles on the real estate market this summer and tried to explain why things were getting so red hot in Canada. Prices across B.C. have been rising, especially for detached homes. As a result of these changes, my assessment is $45k higher than last year. This captures all of the price gains as of July 2020, which is the end of the reporting period for the assessment.

Why I’m Ignoring My Assessment… for Now

So, what does this mean for my net worth? Well, other than the warm and fuzzy feeling of my net worth supposedly increasing, not much. I haven’t planned on accounting for these on-paper increases to my net worth. And that’s for a few reasons:

  1. Assessments are just a guess. Homes often sell over or under assessment.
  2. Transaction costs take a huge chunk out of any price appreciation when selling a home.

Perhaps after a few more years, if my assessment continues to rise, I’ll incorporate it into my net worth calculation. One method would be to reduce the assessed value by the expected transaction costs and some margin of safety. But for now, I’ll wait until I sell to add these gains (or losses!) to my net worth calculation.

A More Modest Net Worth Increase

Ignoring my property assessment, our family’s net worth rose by $7,300 compared to the previous month. That’s an increase of 2.1%. Most of this increase can be attributed to us saving $4,000 of our income. Investments added about $1,200 to our net worth, which is much less than last month, where they boosted our net worth by $5,900.

Sources of Net Worth January 2020
Where our net worth increase came from this period.

Looking at all of our assets, I’m happy to see that our investment accounts are so close to hitting $100k; that’s when stock appreciation can start having a sizable impact on your finances. Looking back on our first net worth update last year, I can see that we’ve paid down our mortgage by $8,600 and grown our investment accounts by $51,300 amazing!

Overall Net Worth January 2020
Our home equity is still larger than all of our other assets.

Investment Update

We’ve made some great progress towards our 2021 goal to add $30k to our investment accounts. I was able to contribute $3,500 to my TFSA while my wife contributed $3,400 to hers. With these funds, I added to my VCN, VIU, and VEE positions. My wife added to her XAW, XDIV, and XDG positions. Overall, we’re off to a great start for 2021, and I’m hopeful that we can hit our goal of investing $30k.

Goal January 2020
We’re now 23% of the way towards our investment goal for 2021!

Passive income was a little less interesting. Our big quarterly dividend payers payout in January, so I’m hopeful that our February 1st net worth update will show a sizable increase to our dividend income. As for this period, we earned $67 in dividends on top of $24 in income from our high-interest savings account. We’ll continue to add more money into our TFSA and hopefully see a nice increase to our dividend income in the months to come. Stay tuned!

Passive Income January 2020
Investments are growing… income is not.

Thanks for Reading!

Thank you for checking out my net worth update for January 2021! I recently wrote a few articles that may help you in the new year. This includes my article on the home office expenses for employees and my article on whether you should contribute to a TFSA vs an RRSP. Consider giving those a read if you think they may help you on your financial journey!

As always, please consider following me on social media or signing up for my monthly newsletter if you’d like to get notified when I post new content. 

What are your thoughts on property assessments? Are they reliable? Do you use them when calculating your net worth? 

8 comments

  1. Great breakdown for your readers. We cringe every time we see a property assessment in our mailbox because it usually means our property taxes will once again be higher than the year before. It will be interesting to see the next one that comes in given this pandemic has resulted in a home buying frenzy with properties selling for hundreds of thousands over list price.

    1. Hi Melissa! Thank you for stopping by. And yea, I hear that! We’re lucky that our municipality shares whether our home goes up more or less than other homes. It gives you a good idea of whether you’ll see a property tax increase on that basis alone. This year, our home went up only slightly more than the average home in our city.

      I agree that the next assessment should be interesting. I know there has been some run-up in prices since our last assessment was calculated back in July. Before we bought our home, it would cause us some stress to see prices running away as they have in the past. We now feel a little insulated from that, which has been a relief.

  2. As a non homeowner, I’m always interested in when people factor in changes to their net worth. Every year seems reasonable, but as you’ve mentioned those amounts can result in drastic changes. Similar to a car–which obviously is a depreciating asset, I am in favor of including your home in your net worth but not necessarily considering it an “investment”.

    1. Hi there! Thank you for your comment!

      Yea, it’s a bit tricky. In my household, we definitely don’t think about our home as an investment. We bought a house because it provided the lifestyle we wanted. Price appreciation is nice, but if it just kept pace with inflation (1-2% per year), I’d be happy with that.

      However, I can see how people start thinking about homes as investments when they start performing like the stock market. In that situation, real estate’s primary purpose becomes building wealth. The fact you can live in it becomes secondary.

  3. Congratulations on your earning. You detailed guide will surely help me plan my investments better. You and your wife have thoroughly planned the investments which has earned you these fruitful returns.

  4. >$50K+! I’ll take it. Congrats to you both on another successful month.

    Thanks for keeping us all apprised, showing it’s the month-to-month slow routine that really builds wealth.

    Our assessments seem to similarly, inaccurately, reflect the local selling prices of homes around us. We use a Zillow estimate, though I think because we have so many comparable properties near us that it’s quite accurate. For other folks, these sorts of estimates can be wildly inaccurate.

    And cheers to those big dividends you expect in the next report! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Chris! You’re right about assessments; they can be all over the place and wholely inaccurate. Checking comparables in your area is a smart way to go about it. We do something similar when we see a nearby house listed and sold.

Comments are closed.