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Homebuying Seminar Set


The Capital City area’s housing market is picking up.  

Just a little while ago, the Tallahassee residential real estate market was nearly as tight as a drum head.  But First Commerce Credit Union Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mary Estes says the situation is almost back to pre-collapse levels.

“Now is the peak buying season.  With the summer break, a lot of people want to get into a new home before school starts back up and so that’s why we kicked off our offer of $500 off closing costs to make this an ideal time to save money in the process.”

But whether or not potential homebuyers are credit union members, Estes says it’s important they go into the process fully informed.

“First Commerce is offering a free, four-hour workshop that’s open to the community, not just the members of First Commerce Credit Union, but open to the entire community, that’s going to de-mystify the entire home buying process.”

Estes says the main reason it’s mysterious is simply because it’s not the kind of thing folks do very often.
“Most individuals only do one, two, three real estate transactions in their lifetime.  And so it’s something they’re not an expert at; it’s not something they were taught in school and so it’s great to be educated on the process and help know what to expect because it’s not gotten easier since the real estate crisis.  It’s gotten more difficult, more complex.”

The details of buying a home seem almost endless.

“What type of mortgages are available out there?  What kind of  financing?  How to keep pre-approved for your mortgage?  What to expect for the application process?  How to find a realtor?  How to find your dream home?  What’s the contract process like?  What are counteroffers like?  What to expect at the closing?”

There are some so-called “home buyer seminars” that are just sales pitches.  Estes says this isn’t one of them.

“It’s put on by First Commerce Credit Union’s mortgage manager who has a wealth of experience, not just in mortgages but he used to be a certified appraiser as well.  So he’s able to bring a lot of information to the table.  It’s not a sales pitch; it’s purely for education and help to raise awareness about what the process entails.”

The free workshop happens this coming Saturday.

“It’ll start at eight-thirty on Saturday morning, June 22nd at our Summit East location.  You can go online to register at:  www.firstcommercecu.org.”

It’s one way to help make the home buying experience less scary and stressful.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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