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Planning Your Finances

More than half of all Canadian homeowners have a mortgage. A mortgage is simply a loan to buy a home, secured by the home you are buying.

There are many kinds of mortgages, and choosing the right one for your circumstances can save you thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars over the length of the loan. It is very important that you choose carefully. For this reason, we are going to refer you to a variety of sources of detailed information on mortgages, rather than address them in substance in this booklet.

You should consult a mortgage specialist as soon as you decide you are serious about buying a home. Without expert guidance, you may wrongly assume that you don’t qualify for a mortgage when you do, or that you do when you may not.

But we will help you get your bearings by discussing many of the issues surrounding mortgages, so that you will be able to ask knowledgeable questions when you seek a mortgage from your bank, trust company, credit union, pension fund, insurance company or private lender.

The Canadian Bankers’ Association offers a free publication called “Mortgage Wise” that includes a lot of useful information, including how to calculate an affordable mortgage. You can visit their Web site to download the report  or call 1-800-263-0231 to have the publication sent to you.

CMHC, the federal government’s national housing agency, offers an eight-step guide to home buying that includes an informative section on mortgages.

Next: Mortgage Primer