Home fair a one-stop shop for housing answers

Free LHOP event April 7 a resource for buyers, renters and owners

Five years ago, Joyce Weaver was contemplating buying a home, but there was something standing in her way.
“Ignorance!” she recalls. “Fear of not knowing anything. Fear of involvement in a scam.”
She also wasn’t sure if she should buy or rent.
So Weaver sought answers at Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership’s annual homeownership fair, where she attended workshops on the homebuying process, learned about scams and met Realtor Carole Kirchner, who eventually helped her purchase a home in April 2014.
“Feeling comfortable with a professional you can trust is essential to a successful home-search experience,” Weaver says.
This year, Kirchner is chair of LHOP’s All Things Home Fair, which takes place 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 7, at Bright Side Opportunities Center, 515 Hershey Ave. Her co-chair is A.J. Eckman of BB&T.
Now in its eighth year, the free event is a one-stop resource for renters, homebuyers and current owners and addresses topics from money management to home maintenance, and everything in between.
Seminars in English and Spanish will cover credit myths and tips; homebuying secrets, including budgeting, timing and property inspection; and tips for becoming a real estate investor. Translators also will be available.
Additonally, 30-35 vendors will be on hand, including banks; mortgage, title and insurance companies; home inspectors and nonprofits like Tabor Community Services and Habitat for Humanity.
The main goal is education, says Kirchner, of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty.
“We want people to come and learn,” she says. “Maybe their credit is not quite there. What do you need to do to get your credit score up? Maybe you don’t have enough money saved. That’s where Tabor can help you.”
Although simply getting the home may seem like the ultimate goal, it’s really only the beginning, Kirchner says.
“We also want you to realize you need to have a budget. Aside from your mortgage payment you have utilities, you have things that come along with homeownership,” she says.
Four years after buying her home, Weaver says she still has literature she picked up at the event.
“Attending the fair reduced my level of fear and ignorance, (and) gave me a foundation of confidence to move ahead and explore the homebuying process,” she says.
Registration for the home fair is not required. Lunch will be available, along with activities for children. Door prizes will be awarded throughout the day.
For more information, visit lhop.org/allthingshomefair or call 717-291-9945, ext. 108.