Homebuyer Education Hits The Road -- Again

Homeport Housing Advisor Kerrick Jackson holds up book he will provide at classes

Homeport Housing Advisor Kerrick Jackson holds up book he will provide at classes

Classes Coming To South Side

Homeport will be offering homebuyer education classes in April at the newly renovated Reeb Avenue Center – just in time for what is traditionally the busy season for home sales in Central Ohio. 

The Reeb Center, a public elementary school site from 1904 to 2009, re-opened in fall 2015 as a community social service hub for non-profits. It provides a strong venue for Homeport to bring home buying knowledge closer to South Side residents. 

“We are excited to be participating at this nexus of non-profit organizations already committed to adult education, job training, healthy living and children’s programming,” said Maude Hill, Homeport Senior Vice President for Community & Government Relations.

Homeport’s partner for the Reeb Center homebuyer classes is the South Side-based Community Development For All People. The organization’s executive director, The Rev. John Edgar, said Homeport’s mission fits within the goals set by his own organization, that there be “safe, decent, affordable housing.” 

As the South Side becomes revitalized, it is important that residents not become displaced, Edgar said. Having the tools and knowledge about what it takes to buy a home is critical in that regard, said Edgar. 

Homeport’s Homebuyer Education classes at the Reeb Center, 280 Reeb Avenue, begin Wednesday April 6, at 5:45 p.m. in the Godman Guild Classroom. The class is an eight-hour commitment broken out in two-hour segments on four consecutive Wednesdays. 

The classes are free and registration is available now.

Those who attend all four classes, could – depending on their income – apply for Down Payment Assistance programs.

Homeport in April will also be offering offsite homebuyer education at The Vineyard church in Westerville. By attending two, four-hour classes on April 9 and April 16 at the church, 6000 Cooper Road, attendees can also qualify for the down payment programs.

Unlike the Reeb Center, The Vineyard location represents a long-standing community outreach initiative.

More Homeport Homebuyer Education classes at faith-based locations are expected this summer under a sponsorship from Fifth Third Bank. This is the second year Fifth Third has supported the initiative.

The outreach of homebuyer education supplements year-round homebuyer education classes Homeport holds at its office at 3443 Agler Road. 

All the classes are particularly important this time of year as spring and summer are a higher home sale period, said Marque Bressler, Director of Communications for Columbus Realtors.

“Properties look better this time of year. Homes and neighborhoods are more appealing when they're not covered in snow or its remains," Bressler said.

Parents are also out examining properties closer to schools they may wish to see their children attend in the fall, she said.

A record 869 individuals graduated in 2015 from the eight-hour Homeport Homebuyer Education program. 

Homeport’s homebuyer course covers Budgeting and Credit, Loan Products, Home Inspection and the Closing Process. Participants also learn about downpayment assistance programs. Lenders, Realtors, home inspectors and title company representatives are some of the specialists likely to speak about purchasing a home. The class also covers home maintenance and how to avoid falling behind on mortgage payments. 

All Homeport homebuyer classes in the community or on Agler Road are free. To learn more or to register for the classes, go on line to www.homeportohio.org/classes. You can also call 614 221-8889 ext. 134.