A road map to home buying


As much as organized real estate is committed to helping buyers make one of the most important investments of their life when they acquire a home, they also work closely with all levels of government to ensure these new owners have the best chance of succeeding in meeting their homeownership obligations including financing their home. 
To this end, the Canadian Real Estate Associaion (CREA) has teamed up with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada to create a new tool to help consumers navigate the housing market. 
“Helping Canadians plan for the future, make sound decisions and ensure the financial security of their loved ones are essential in this increasingly complex world,” said St. Boniface MP Shelly Glover, the parliamentary secretary to federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty
 The new tool, called the Homebuyers' Road Map, is a financial literacy enabler, according to the two people who were behind its introduction.
 "As REALTORS®, we appreciate that young Canadians and first-time homebuyers are craving moe information about the financial details required to purchase a home,” said Gary Simonsen, CREA’s CEO. “The purpose of the Homebuyers’ Road Map is to empower consumers with the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions about one of the largest purchases they will ever make.”
“Buying a home involves a number of steps and many buyers need some help in understanding the various options available,” added Ursula Menke, commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. “In order to make the decision that matches their own circumstances and goals, consumers need some money know-how, which is what financial literacy really is. This guide will help people make the right decision, and adds to the information on mortagages, loans and banking available on our website, itpaystoknow.gc.ca”
Are these headlines familiar? Household Debts on the Rise, or, Debt Hits New High. How about, Canadians' Debt Soars into Danger Zone. 
At a time when Canadians are grappling with historically high household debt levels, upwards of 163 per cent according to Statistics Canada, young adults are feeling insecure about their knowledge of the financial implications of homeownership. In a recent survey commissioned by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), 70 per cent of young Canadians between 18 and 29 indicated a “major need” for more information about the financial implications of buying a home. This figure is particularly meaningful, as many in this age group are on the cusp of buying a home for the first time and need to make informed financial decisions about their future. 
Homes are a major asset and for most Canadians, represent the single largest financial investment of their lives, and most buyers must finance their purchase using some form of credit. While homeownership can be a significant source of equity over the long term, Canadians need to remain vigilant about their finances at this critical decision-making point in their lives.
In fact, many homeowners with locked-in rates may not feel the impact of market fluctuations until their mortgage comes due for renewal. Buying a home is always a big decision. Whether it is your first time or your third or fourth home, it is a big investment that warrants careful financial planning and consideration.
WinnipegREALTORS®, representing 1,600 REALTORS®, recognizes that members of organized real estate have an important role to play. We are homebuyers’ first line of contact, and as such we need to continue using our home buying knowledge and expertise to empower Canadians to make informed financial decisions.  
November is Financial Literacy Month. REALTORS® and their national association CREA have collaborated with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada to develop and provide a resource for Canadians to help them more easily understand and navigate the home-buying process. 
The Homebuyers’ Road Map outlines the financial aspects of the home buying process, as well as the importance of negotiating with lenders and researching government programs. Our industry’s goal is to empower Canadians with knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions about homeownership, one of the most significant financial and lifestyle decisions most will ever make.
The Homebuyers’ Road Map is available free of charge on www.CREA.ca