Reasons why I need to say "goodbye" to my apartment and "hello" to a house:

  1. I'm tired of listening to my neighbors get frisky through the bedroom wall we share.
  2. I don't like it when people park in my parking spot.
  3. To get away from the dummy who insists on smoking pork in his electric smoker in an enclosed garage that happens to be attached to my garage and makes my car smell like a meat locker.
  4. To start feeling like a grown-up.
  5. So I can have a garden and lots of flowers.

Those are just a FEW of the reasons. I have been looking at houses for many, many years. I've always wanted to buy, but I believe I'm just too scared to take the plunge. Last year, I got serious. I secured a realtor, went to the bank and got approved, and even toured several houses. I could not find anything I liked in my price range, so I gave up and signed another year lease on my apartment. That lease is up in May and it's time to put the pedal to the metal. Time to start looking again.

There is one thing you need to do before you decide to buy your first home and that is attend a Homebuyer Express class presented by Lutheran Social Services Center for Financial Resources.

If you'll be using a First Time Homebuyer loan program, the class is required. According to SueEllen Keller, a mortgage banker at Bank Midwest in Sioux Falls, the program gives the buyer an added layer of knowledge. Keller said it teaches the perspective home buyer about down payments, personal money management, credit history and the responsibilities of home ownership.

The Homebuyer Express class this month will be held at the Siouxland Libraries Downtown Library at 200 North Dakota Avenue. There is a two-part series that takes place over the course of two Thursdays, or you could take the six hour class on a Saturday.

Part 1 is Thursday, March 8 from 5:30-8:30 PM and Part 2 is Thursday, March 15 from 5:30-8:30 PM. Or, you could choose the seminar on Saturday, March 24 from 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM.

The program is free and open to the public.

Several years ago when I thought I was going to buy a house I took the class and learned quite a bit about how much house I could afford and how much payment I was comfortable paying. There are many responsibilities that come with owning a house and the class taught me several things I didn't know.

For more information about the Homebuyer Express class, call the Downtown Library at 367-8700 or visit

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