Traverse City Record-Eagle

Our Town

September 13, 2010

Opportunity knocks with home-buying classes

TRAVERSE CITY — Opportunity is the underlying theme of home-purchasing classes.

Offered monthly in Traverse City and periodically in Petoskey and Cadillac by the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency, attendees come looking for the silver lining in the recessionary cloud.

The range of topics covered will help anyone looking to buy a home. Some participants sign up to meet requirements of a home-buying assistance program, such as the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

Over two evenings, attendees delve into managing money and setting a budget; understanding credit and what lenders are looking for; repairing credit; getting a mortgage; shopping for a house; and how to maintain and insure a house.

"People come in at different levels — some are starting from scratch, and others know different things but want to know more," said Barb Striker, a budget and housing counselor with the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency, which covers 10 northwest Michigan counties.

Regardless of their incoming knowledge, Striker said that nearly all are there because the dream of home ownership still thrives.

"I think they're excited that there's homes available," she said. "Because the value of homes is going down, there's opportunities for them that there weren't two or three years ago."

For more information on home-purchasing classes or the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency, call 947-3780 or see www.nmcaa.net. September's session that runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14, and Wednesday, Sept. 15, is nearly full, but additional classes are scheduled regularly.

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