It's Never Too Soon to Learn About Real Estate

At the Fairview Branch Library on Saturday, "How to Buy a Home," a workshop on the basics of home buying and explanations on mortgage procedures and definitions took place.

Many people ranging from their early 30s to the elderly attended this seminar wanting to know about the current home mortgage crisis, questions on mortgage loans, and interest rates.

This seminar was presented by experienced real estate broker Louis Plachowski who works at the Remax real estate agency in Santa Monica. Plachowski was also there on behalf of Shamrock Sterling, a real estate education and marketing company.

Plachowski immediately began the seminar with the fears, myths, and lies of buying a home. "Some people think that the burden will be too great, you'll wind up poor, you'll never get a loan, that you'll be too old to pay, and that you'll end up moving back with your mom," Plachowski said.

Plachowski then went on to explain the benefits of buying a home such as the many tax deductions and the difference between renting and owning. Plachowski explained what a mortgage broker was.

"A mortgage broker works with over 100 lenders through their wholesale department. They also find the best loan for you to find out where you are moneywise."

The results of a credit report before buying a home was something Plachowski stressed stating that if there is a bad mark on a buyer's credit report that should not be there or has not been fixed, it could possibly delay the ability of getting that dream home.

A highlight of the seminar was Plachowski's explanation on what banks look at when someone wants to apply for a home loan.

"They look at six things: your income, your down payment, your credit history, your employment, your debts, and your cash reserves," Plachowski said.

He also talked about the way interest and home rates are going in these stressful economic times.

"It's a crazy time, things are changing by the hour in these times and interest rates are jumping around all over the place, they have been jumping from 6 to 6.5 percent. I used to work with 15 percent interest rates," Plachowski said.

Plachowski went on to explain that many people buy homes close to their work and where their friends live and that the top things he asks of people who buy homes are that if they can afford it and if they are going to enjoy coming home to that house every day.

"These are stupid things you may think that I ask but there are some people who buy homes because they are on sale and hate the house or some people buy homes they just cannot afford," Plachowski said to the audience. "When buying something, you have to enjoy it because you are paying for it."

Though boring sometimes with confusing terms, Plachowski made the seminar animated and more understandable as he gave the audience stories of the experiences he has had in the broker business and used funny metaphors with the help of audience members.

By going through the basics, the audience became more knowledgeable about home buying and its risks and benefits.

"I definitely learned a lot about home buying that wasn't explained to me when I bought my home and now I'm paying for it," said Consuelo Flores. "Should younger people know about this before they get a home? Of course! It's better to know about it before than after."