Homebuyer training organizers urge interested to get on waiting list

sjones@thesunnews.comJanuary 4, 2013 

All the slots for a homebuyer training workshop in Georgetown County on Jan. 12 have been claimed, but Georgetown County spokeswoman Jackie Broach said those who are interested should register anyway.

Some of those signed up for the county-organized class may drop out, she said, and if you’re still on the waiting list when the class is held, you’ll get a phone call to register for the next class once the date has been decided.

A coalition of Georgetown County government, the Bunnelle Foundation, Lowcountry Housing Trust and Charleston Trident Urban League have partnered to conduct quarterly workshops. The workshop is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 12 at the Georgetown Library on Cleveland Street.

At the workshop, the Urban League is to give attendees information on the steps to take in purchasing a home that will include credit, budgeting, home inspections, moving preparations and closing.

Those who complete the course qualify for homebuyer subsidies that range from $5,000 in down payment and closing-cost assistance to $15,000 in matching funds for the purchase of a foreclosed property being sold by an FHLBank Atlanta member financial institution.

To register, call 843-973-7285 or email debra@lowcountryhousingtrust.org.

National housing stats available

For the first time, information collected in the annual American Housing Survey will be available on the U.S. Census Bureau’s website.

The AHS includes nationwide statistics on things such as the size and composition of the nation’s housing inventory, vacancies, physical condition of housing units, characteristics of occupants, home improvements, mortgages and other housing costs.

The 2011 survey also includes things such as potential health and safety hazards in the home and modifications made to assist occupants living with disabilities.

Highlights of the survey on the nation’s 115 million occupied homes include:

•  1974 was the median year the homes were constructed.

•  Most homes have three or more bedrooms and about half have two or more bathrooms.

•  More than 80 percent of the homes have a washer and dryer and two-thirds have central air-conditioning.

•  Households pay on average $972 a month, or 24 percent of their household income, for housing. Renters pay a higher percentage of their household income for housing than do owners.

•  16 percent of the homes have a pool.

•  The cost of an average kitchen remodel was $5,000. For bathrooms, the average remodel cost $2,432.

The survey is available at www.census.gov/housing/ahs/.

Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.

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