Organizations host homeownership seminars

Last Saturday the Winston-Salem Urban League turned into a one-stop-shop for homeownership. The event featured presentations on every aspect of the home buying process.

Organizations host homeownership seminars
January 19
09:00 2017

Photo by Tevin Stinson 



Last Saturday, the Winston-Salem Urban League (WSUL) headquarters was transformed into a one-stop for homeownership.

As part of a National Homeowner Initiative, the Urban League has joined forces with the Center for Homeownership and the Winston-Salem Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. to host a series of home buyer seminars that cover everything from how to get prequalified, to getting your home inspected.

To begin the first of three seminars, city planning and development senior project supervisor Mellin Parker discussed programs that the city has in place to help qualified residents find affordable homes.

Parker, who has nearly 35 years of housing and community development experience, discussed the method the city uses when awarding financial and technical assistance. She said the city can award up to $11,000 but buyers will only get what they need to get into a home.

“We only give you what you need. Although we can award up to $11,000 you may only get $5,000 or $2,000 based on the formula we use.” Parker said.

Bianca Green, loan officer and housing counselor with the Forsyth County Housing and Development Department who is a licensed real estate broker and housing counselor, discussed the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the duties of the county’s housing and development department. She also discussed how she became a homeowner herself.

Green, who is a single mother of two, said although it wasn’t easy, if you’re willing to put in the work anyone can be a homeowner.

“Buying a home is one of the greatest investments you can make for yourself and your family. Asset building is about acquiring those assets but you are an important asset as well,” continued Green. “That means minding your money, minding your spending. It takes self-discipline.”

Phyllis Caldwell-George, director of the Center of Home Ownership, program director at Experiment in Self Reliance Inc.; Barbara Johnson; and DaRhonda Morgan, who specializes in residential real estate, made presentations during the opening seminar as well.

To wrap up the seminar, Allen Tate Realtor broker Stanley Jones discussed the buying process and the current state of the housing market. Jones mentioned that although it is a seller’s market right now, if you go through the right steps to get prequalified, he will do everything in his power to get you in a home. While most people believe you should be ready to buy before you contact a realtor, Jones mentioned that isn’t the case. He said his job is to take all the information you have a put it together.

“I’ve had three or four people come to me a say I’m going to come talk to you when I get myself together but you don’t have to do that,” said Jones. “I don’t mind giving you my time. I love what I do in terms of getting people into homes. I will give you my time.”

Jones also provided those in attendance with a step-by-step list of what you need to get into a home. He said the first thing you need to do is find someone you trust.

Jones said, “This is a person that you’re going to be calling every week if not every day.

“This is a major purchase so it’s important that you work with someone you trust,” he continued. “When you are making the decision on a Realtor, you want someone who is loyal and knows people in the business.”

Part two of the seminar is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 18. For more information, contact the Winston-Salem Urban League. Event coordinator Patricia Sadler said it was fitting the seminar kicked off on what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 88th birthday.

“What better time to hold the first seminar than on the birthday of a great leader like Dr. King,” said Sadler. “One of the things he fought for was fair and equal housing for all, so it just felt right.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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