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About the Game

The Home Ownership Reality Game™ is a board game with four different color spaces around the board and two "paydays" located in opposite corners. There are four color-coded decks of cards which correspond to the colored spaces on the game board. Each deck contains cards related to a different topic that new homeowners will encounter:

  • Emergency Repairs
  • Scheduled Maintenance
  • Financial Issues
  • Life Happens

Each card outlines an issue that the participants must resolve using the options provided on the card. Players must record their decisions on their score card - the Financial Planning Worksheet.

Players work in teams of two with two or three teams at each game board. The Home Ownership Reality Game can be played in a classroom setting with multiple game boards operating simultaneously. Family members playing the game as a team is one approach for learning, although the design encourages splitting up households at particular points to allow exploring new patterns of decision-making.

Each team is given a profile of a family for each round. This profile explains that family's current situation including: how many people are in the household, the monthly household income, assets (money in checking and/or savings) and liabilities (car loans, credit cards, etc.). The profile also includes a list of monthly expenditures which is presented as the household budget. Each team is provided a Financial Planning Worksheet to use throughout the game for each family profile. The game begins with each team entering on their worksheet the beginning balances in the checking and savings account for their family profile.

A roll of the die moves the single game piece around the board. Players then draw a card from the deck corresponding to the colored space they land on and read the card to the other players. The entire table then discusses the issue raised on the card and the options that are presented. Each team at the table makes its own decision about how to address the issue(s) on the drawn card and adjusts their financial worksheet accordingly. Part of the learning process is comparing the results of different decisions when the starting point was the same for everyone. Each round of the game takes 60 - 90 minutes to play. The game is designed to be played in three separate sessions with one or two weeks between sessions for "homework", but the game can also be used in other time formats.

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The Home Ownership Reality Game © 2006 Enterprise. Distributed by Inner Harbor Media. All Rights Reserved.