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This article was published 24/11/2015 (579 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Newcomers and first-time buyers have a new tool at their disposal as they work through the complex process of buying a home in Manitoba.
Literacy Partners of Manitoba and five other organizations -- the Manitoba Immigrant and Refugee Settlement Sector Association, the Manitoba Real Estate Association, Assiniboine Credit Union, New Journey Housing, and the Government of Canada -- have joined forces to produce a free, illustrated handbook designed to help simplify the home-buying process.
Titled Buying A Home in Manitoba, the 45-page booklet includes plain-language sections on topics such as budgeting, working with real estate agents, finding a home, applying for a mortgage, types of mortgages, making an offer to purchase and finalizing a mortgage.
Imelda Elago, broker/owner of Landmhel Real Estate Services Inc., is one of the local real estate agents asked for input on topics addressed in the handbook. Many of her clients are newcomers and first-time buyers. She said the booklet deals with many of the issues she raised.
"I am so happy. I've been checking it out... and everything was taken care of by the team," she said Monday following the booklet's formal launch at the Millennium Library. "I also like the fact it's presented in a very easy man ner. Everyone can understand it."
Katherine Pavlik, the plain-language associate with Literacy Partners, wrote the booklet. The illustrations and design were by Burgess Mertens of Burgess Design.
Pavlik said she relied heavily on input from the project's development partners and from the members of a focus group brought in during the process.
"It's essential that you take the subject matter... and present it in such a way that it reaches the most people possible," she said. "And it's not just the words, but how the book looks that's very, very important. A graphic representative is worth a thousand words."
Buying A Home in Manitoba is the latest in a series of free booklets published by Literacy Partners. Others are Renting a Home in Manitoba, Starting a Business, Making Your Money Work and Going to the Doctor.
Hope Wishart, administrative and accounting co-ordinator for Literacy Partners of Manitoba, said the other publications have been well received, and she expects it will be the same with this one. Manitoba Real Estate Association president Roberta Weiss agreed.
"Buying a Home in Manitoba is going to make a difference and serves an identified need in our marketplace," Weiss said.
The booklet is available through the participating partners' websites, and through participating real estate agents, banks, libraries and newcomer social-service and housing agencies.