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House Fair helps first time homeowners

Buying a new home can be a challenge. But a local non-profit is stepping in to make things easier for home buyers as well as breathing new life into old homes.

Thanks to some help from the Near Northwest Neighborhood Group, buying a new home can be a reality for future local homeowners.

"I was walking down the street the other day and I was just looking for new houses and stuff for the future" said Mary Elliot.

First-time home-buyers and current homeowners were invited to the groups annual housing fair. From budgeting, to buying requirements, today's fair was all about educating future homeowners about taking the right steps before picking up the keys.

"We bring in all kinds of wonderful resources from within our community and offer them to people who are interested in home ownership" said Executive Director Karen Ainsley.

It is also about revitalizing South Bend neighborhoods. The homes on display were recently remodeled before going on the market. Near Northwest says it takes homes with great architecture and works to bring them back to life.

"We rehabbed the house from top to bottom so there's a new furnace, a new hot water heater, new windows, that sort of thing" said Ainsley.

The goal? To inspire the neighborhood to take pride in its appearance by stepping in to fix up old homes. The organization hopes others will follow suit. And even better, the group says it's a buyers market.

"It's an excellent time to buy, last I checked interest rates were under four percent, so most people can buy their own home for what they're paying for rent" said Ainsley.

ABC 57 was told that the revitalized homes go for somewhere between $64,000 to $65,000. Realtors say many home-buyers would rather check out events like this than sit across from a banker to talk finances.


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