Artur Silva and his wife Jeanette Bogren were ready to move out of the rat race lifestyle of New York City and head West to California. After the events of Sept. 11, Silva and Bogren got more than a hint to hightail it out of the city, but decided to go where Jeanette had ties growing up — Indianapolis.
Artur Silva and Jeanette Bogren found the road to home ownership less bumpy with the help of the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership Home Fair.
They began looking into homes, but not necessarily with intentions to buy. A friend at Southeast Neighborhood Development, a community development corporation in Indianapolis, suggested they look at a house for sale south of the downtown. It was love at first sight, and the couple decided to take the next step: finding a lending company that could offer the young couple the best mortgage. That next step took the two to the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership’s Home Fair. “It was very helpful,” Silva says. “At the time we went, we already knew what house we wanted to buy, but they were helpful with problem solving and what to look for in a house. It guides you through the process of buying a house. It can get confusing. We are a young couple with experience, but when you have a commitment such as this, it is serious.” This year’s Home Fair, hosted by the INHP running March 20-21, is a free, two-day event held at the Glendale Mall for homebuyers or current homeowners, as well as those interested in home improvement and financing options. There are different services available for a broad group of customers that include education workshops, credit counseling, home improvement and repairs. According to surveys conducted by the Census Bureau and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act for Marion County, minority, low- to moderate-income and single households are the most denied groups for mortgage services. “These customers tend to have credit history issues, bad employment history or do not think they have the chance, but want the opportunity to make corrections in their lives and better themselves,” said Todd Sears, executive vice president of the INHP. The INHP currently serves households of various race and ethnicity, but mostly minority households. Eighty percent of INHP’s customers earned between $17,000 and $37,000 through fall of 2003. Female households or situations where a female is the primary applicant make roughly two-thirds of the customer base. Low- and moderate-income households appear to have information about the mortgage market, but they may not be prepared or have the needed connections. Sears notes several reasons why people are denied the chance to own a home. One, that customers simply don’t understand the mortgage process. Two, their credit history is not sufficient to get a loan. Three, customers lack the money to use for a down payment. And four, the older homes that are up for sale do need repairs, and the customers do not have funds to replace a furnace or fix the plumbing. But this is where the INHP’s Home Fair steps in to help solve these problems for potential customers. The Home Fair has education workshops where customers can learn about the whole mortgage process. The Home Fair also offers one-on-one credit counseling to help find alternative ways for customers to get the financing they need even though they have had past credit history problems. Sears says the INHP is willing to take a chance with a borrower who shows an initiative. The INHP works with the city of Indianapolis to provide the down payments on homes, because many times the borrowers do not have the money on hand. And finally, the INHP offers financing programs to help with repairs a home might need after it is purchased.
WHAT: Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership's Home Fair WHEN: March 20-21; Saturday, 10 a.m.- p.m. and Sunday noon - 6 p.m. WHERE: Glendale Mall COST: Free FOR MORE INFO: 925-1400 or www.inhp.org