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'Your Road Home'

by GABRIEL DAVIS
Staff Writer | July 21, 2023 1:00 AM

MOSES LAKE — Home loan specialist Terrilynn Martin, certified public accountant Kim Eldred and real estate broker Connie Suehiro have teamed up since April to hold a free monthly seminar for prospective homeowners that provides concrete advice and guidance on the home buying process.

“Terrilynn and Connie and I have decided to come together as a group – we’re all Ramsay trusted providers – and we want to educate the community on how they can best map their way to homeownership,” said Eldred.

The seminar is called Your Road Home, and is held in downtown Moses Lake’s Smith Martin building, according to the Your Road Home website. Suehiro said that all three of the seminar’s leads work together to present the process of buying a home, focusing on both the financial and real estate aspects of that process.

“You need to speak with a professional first, and get a baseline, and then if you have some work to do you can go and access resources outside of that, but you don’t know what you don’t know,” said Martin.

Martin and Eldred both said that getting pre-approved for a loan was the first step in the entire process.

“Most people will go to a Realtor and say ‘I want to buy a house,’ but the Realtor really needs to know that you’re preapproved for a loan so that you are looking at houses in your price range and not something that you can’t afford,” said Eldred.

Martin said that prospective buyers should make sure to think about their goals and intentions for the home they want to buy and where they want to be in five years, because there are financial decisions that need to be made now in order to best reach whatever those goals may be. Martin also outlined some broad principles that are important in securing a home loan.

“Keep your debt low, your credit good, and savings; you have to have savings,” said Martin. “In a scenario where people come in with no money, yes, there are down payment assistance programs, but what happens if you lose your job? The lending company wants to know that you can at least make your mortgage payment for two months, so you do need to have at least a couple (of) months' worth of savings.”

Eldred said that if the home buyer needs assistance with any financial issues such as improving credit or removing debt, that’s where she comes into the equation as a financial coach, as well as helping prospective buyers plan ahead with their finances.

“If they’re ready to move forward, they need to make sure they have a solid budget in place so that they know they can pay the utility bill, they can put food on the table,” said Eldred.

Eldred said that she recommends home buyers learn about the process from a professional and find out how to figure out what they really want from their new home, what their dream is, and how to feasibly reach it.

Regarding the real estate aspect of buying a home, Suehiro said that the seminar helps to provide potential homeowners with a big-picture overview of the entire process, which is what she recommends they learn before they search for a specific property.

“This is one of the things that I was taught early on as a broker, is to manage the expectations. There will be surprises, but you want to minimize the surprises by going through an orientation before you even start looking at homes,” said Suehiro.

The piece of advice that all three seminar leads conveyed was that due to the misleading nature of online sources and the complexity of the home buying process, prospective buyers should get the perspective of a professional on their specific scenario before moving into the rest of the process.

“It's always a good idea to go to a professional because the professional has the most accurate and up-to-date information,” said Suehiro.

According to the Your Way Home website, the next seminar is scheduled for Aug. 28 in the downstairs conference room of the Smith Martin building. Anybody who’s interested can register for free at yourroadhomeml.com.

Gabriel Davis may be reached at gdavis@columbiabasinherald.com.

Editor's note: The print edition of this story included an error in a quote from Terrilynn Martin. It has been corrected above.

photo

Gabriel Davis/Columbia Basin Herald

The Your Road Home seminar is hosted in the Smith Martin building in downtown Moses Lake, which also houses the offices of Home Loan Specialist Terrilynn Martin, one of the experts hosting the seminar.