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TORONTO, Jan. 20 /CNW/ - Although financial security continues to top the list of home ownership benefits, the comforts of home are increasingly important to Canadian women. According to the third annual TD Canada Trust Women and Home Ownership Poll, which surveyed women who have purchased a home independently, key features of home ownership, including being able to renovate to suit individual tastes and having a garden, are now more essential to Canadian women than they were in 2008.

When asked to describe the best things about home ownership, Canadian women said it is about making a house a home. Having a place of their own (34%), being able to decorate or renovate the way they want (34%) and having a backyard or garden (32%) were some of the responses that increased dramatically from the first survey conducted in 2008. Women had cited having a place of their own at 22%, being able to decorate or renovate the way they want at 14%, and having a backyard or garden at only 5% back in 2008.

"Even though the comforts of home have become increasingly important to women, the financial reasons for home ownership have also increased in importance," says Chris Wisniewski, Group Product Manager, Real Estate Secured Lending, TD Canada Trust. This year 44% of women ranked financial security as the best thing about home ownership compared to 23% of a similar sample of women in 2008. Second on the list of best things about owning a home was not having to pay rent or pay other people (38% versus 13% in 2008).

"It's not surprising that the financial reasons for ownership have increased in importance for people. People are looking for ways to feel financially stable again and see home ownership as a way to build equity and invest in their future."

The financial commitment of owning a home can be a double-edged sword; for many women home ownership offers a sense of financial security yet the financial responsibility can be a headache for others. Twenty-nine per cent of women say that the additional expenses and financial responsibility related to owning a home are their least favourite things about home ownership.

"With interests rates still fairly low, there are affordable financing options available for women considering purchasing a home," says Wisniewski. "However, as interest rates are expected to rise in the near future, it's important that home buyers consider their financial options carefully. We know home buyers have questions, especially those purchasing for the first time so we hope they will come to a branch for some great advice about the options available. For even greater convenience TD has mobile mortgage specialists who can work around their schedule to meet them anytime, anywhere."

In fact, getting more advice when talking to experts and asking even more questions is something most women surveyed wished they had considered when buying their first home. When asked which topics they wish they knew more about when they purchased their home, 40% of women wished they had more knowledge about the fees and costs associated with purchasing a home, 32% wanted more information about the expected annual expense of owning a property and 30% wanted more information about mortgage options.

To discuss financial options for buying, selling or renovating a home, including things like expected costs, Canadians can visit any TD Canada Trust branch or arrange to meet with its mobile mortgage specialists at a time and place that's convenient for them. For more information about mortgages and home equity lines of credit or TD Canada Trust Mobile Mortgage Specialists, visit or call 1.800.722.3098.

About the TD Canada Trust Women and Home Ownership Poll

The TD Canada Trust Women and Home Ownership Poll surveyed women 18 years of age and older from across the country, to explore home ownership behaviour among women. The survey was conducted by Angus Reid Strategies with English and French speaking Canadians using the Angus Reid Forum. The sample size includes 1,000 women who have purchased a home independently. The answers from 361 women aged 20 to 45 were used to compare to the 2008 poll which surveyed this age group exclusively.

About TD Bank Financial Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 18 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Insurance; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 6 million online customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$557 billion in assets on October 31, 2009. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

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