The biggest obstacles to buying a home, according to a survey of renters, are: 1) saving the down payment, 2) finding affordable housing, 3) finding the right neighborhood, 4) insufficient home-buying information and 5) credit problems.
Are any of these common home-buying hurdles holding you back from getting a place of your own? Well, help is on the way.
Get creative solutions for these and other problems from experts at the Los Angeles Times Home Buyers and Sellers Fair on Saturday, April 22, at the newly expanded Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St. The fair will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The admission will be $7.50.
The sixth annual consumer education event--the largest of its kind in the United States--will feature of full schedule of workshops for home buyers, sellers, borrowers and refinancers. Among the featured speakers will be Times Real Estate Q&A; columnist Robert J. Bruss; Ilyce Glink, the author of "100 Questions Every Homebuyer Should Ask," and Times Condo Q&A; columnist Jan Hickenbottom.
Besides the workshops, more than 50 exhibitors--including lenders, realtors and home builders, as well as the Veterans Administration (VA), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), CalVet, the Department of Real Estate and the California Housing Finance Agency--will be available to help you at their booths.
There also will be two special programs at this year's fair:
--Fannie Mae, the leader in the secondary mortgage market, will sponsor an hour-and-a-half seminar for prospective home buyers interested in sources of low-down home loans.
--Times Property Values columnist Ron Galperin will moderate a panel discussion titled "Avoiding Foreclosure: Short Sales, Deed in Lieu and Other Strategies for Distressed Homeowners" that will offer possible solutions for sellers whose homes are worth less than their mortgage, a common problem in the Southland.
Fairgoers can also:
--Obtain a free credit check to see how a lender will evaluate their bill-paying history. Cleaning up your credit--removing any "dings"--is important before applying for a home loan.
--Pre-qualify with a lender for a mortgage to see how much house they can afford, a vital first step in house hunting.
--Talk to representatives of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about the tax advantages of homeownership.
Look for more details on the Home Buyers and Sellers Fair, including a coupon for reduced admission price, in coming weeks in the Sunday Real Estate Section. Or call TimesLine at 808-8463 and press star 9420.