Would-be homebuyers learn first steps

Eight people hunched over the table and began shuffling paper footprints.

Their mission: Arrange the 10 steps in the correct order of home ownership, from "attend a HomeFirst Augusta class" to "move into your new home."

The group was among about 50 people completing the first step Saturday in an Augusta State University classroom. The all-day affair was a free educational workshop on how to repair credit, apply for loans and purchase insurance on a new home.

HomeFirst is a nonprofit that works with Augusta's Housing and Community Development Department.

Amanda Gandy, a substitute teacher at Tobacco Road Elementary School, wants a home for her daughter to visit during college. Her goal Saturday was to learn about the home-buying process before applying for a loan or talking with a Realtor.

"I want to take off some of the pressure," she said.

Steven Brooks, a truck driver, got tips on how to buy a foreclosed home for a reduced rate. Buying a house is "something I've always wanted to do," he said.

Several counselors from HomeFirst were on hand to answer questions, and lenders, insurance brokers and home inspectors made presentations.

Eddie Bussey of State Farm Insurance discussed the types of discounts available to homeowners and stressed the importance of electrical wiring inspections.

Barbara Ndow has looked at several homes for herself and her five children. She's learned how to budget for a new home and some of the important steps in the home-buying process. Her reason for wanting a new home is simple: "It's everyone's dream," she said.

More information

For more information on HomeFirst, visit www.homefirstaugustaga.org.