Housing fair welcomes current, future homeowners

Published 12:02 am Thursday, June 21, 2012

VIDALIA — The Vidalia Conference and Convention Center will become a one-stop shop Saturday for current and future homeowners.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the City of Vidalia will host the third annual Miss-Lou housing fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The free event is aimed to give residents in rural communities the opportunity to learn about programs available to help provide affordable homeownership opportunities through the USDA Rural Development.

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Banks, mortgage companies and community organizations will also be in attendance to answer financial or other questions, Housing Program Director Georganna Berry said.

“We want to try and not only educate them about the benefits of homeownership, but also make sure they understand the processes of getting in line to own their own home,” Berry said. “This isn’t just for low-income families, it’s for everybody that has a home or is interested in becoming a homeowner.”

Berry said a common misconception about homeownership is that it can be more costly than renting.

“Oftentimes, what you’re paying in rent, you could be putting toward a home,” Berry said. “We’ll have people there to talk about that and how important it is to keep up with your credit rating.”

Several local businesses will also participate in the housing fair to offer a variety of products from pool equipment to furniture.

“In order to keep a home in top shape, you need to manicure and massage it,” Berry said. “So just like you would go shopping for yourself, you need to maintain your home.

“We want to make this a one-stop shop for all the things for people’s homes.”

Free games and activities for children will be available.