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To have and to hold a mortgage of their own

By TERESA BURNEY

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 30, 1999


Planning to tie the knot and worried your wedding loot will include a few too many candy dishes? More practical betrothed couples may want to consider a house bridal registry.

The Federal Housing Authority sponsors a program where couples can set up a special account with a lender to accept donations to their house fund.

Any lender can participate in the program, which helps the couple document the source of their house down payment.

A home page for home inspectors

There's a new place to look for a home inspector. The American Society of Home Inspectors, a trade group that certifies inspectors, has a Web site at http://www.ashi.com. In addition to providing a list of ASHI-certified inspectors, the site also offers access to a variety of home information. There is even a link to the Septic Information Web site for those with a burning desire to know how to best maintain their septic tanks. Those without a connection to the Internet can get information about certified home inspectors the old-fashioned way: Write to the American Society of Home Inspectors, 932 Lee St., Suite 101, Des Plaines, IL 60016; or call (800) 743-2744.

HOME BUYER U

n Pasco County residents can learn the ins and outs of buying a house at a free seminar sponsored by the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Florida Suncoast. The seminar is from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Land O' Lakes Senior Center, 6801 Wisteria Loop, Land O'Lakes.

n Working families can get free advice mortgages and budgeting for a home at classes sponsored by the Community Service Foundation. The budgeting classes are 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Feb. 16 at the Sunshine Center, 330 Fifth St. N, St. Petersburg, and from 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 10 and 24 at the YWCA, 222 S Lincoln Ave., Clearwater. The mortgage classes are from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday and Feb. 11 at the Greater Clearwater Association of Realtors building, 1525 S Belcher Road, Clearwater. Attendance at both mortgage classes is required for certification for some government-sponsored mortgage programs. There are a series of five budgeting classes. Call (727) 461-0618 to register.

n Gary Lambert of Diversified Mortgage is offering a free home buying class at 7 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Republic Bank building, 28050 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater. A real estate agent, appraiser, title company representative and home inspector will be available to answer questions. To register, call (727) 669-0338, ext. 286. Lambert also is offering a free seminar Feb. 16 to those interested in selling their home without a real estate agent. To register, call (727) 542-1412.

n Seminars for home buyers are offered from 7 to 9 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 9306 U.S. 19, Port Richey, across from Gulf View Square Mall. The classes, sponsored by Kur-Lin Mortgage Services, will include information on the home buyer assistance programs offered in Pasco County. For information, call (727) 847-5710.

n A workshop covering prequalifying for a mortgage, choosing a real estate agent, evaluating credit and understanding the basics of financing is offered by Allstate Mortgage & Loan from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 to 11 a.m. Saturdays at 25400 U.S. 19 N, Suite 263, Clearwater. For information, call (800) 701-1186.

n Owners Equity Mortgage Corp. offers free workshops and seminars for applicants with down payment and credit problems from 7:15 to 9:15 p.m. weekdays at 101 E Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs. The classes, which are geared toward first-time home buyers with low to moderate incomes, will cover all phases of home buying. For information, call (727) 942-6406 or (727) 938-6583.

n American Home Mortgage and First American Title offer "How to Buy Your First Home," which includes information on credit reports, qualifying for a mortgage and down payment assistance. Sessions are from 7 to 8 p.m. the second and last Tuesdays of each month. Call (727) 446-2911 for reservations and locations in St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

n Free workshops, presented by Buccaneer Mortgage and Brophy Real Estate in St. Petersburg and Seminole, are offered from 6:30 to 8 p.m. the first and last Tuesdays of each month. For information or reservations, call (727) 898-2827 or (727) 522-6666.


-- Send items to Real Estate, c/o Teresa Burney, the Times, 1000 N Ashley Drive, Suite 700, Tampa, FL 33602. Deadline is 10 days before publication.

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