Homeownership builds credit

Many students and graduates in Tallahassee face the dilemma of whether to buy or rent a home.

Factors to consider are whether they are going to stay in this area for an extended time, if Tallahassee is a good place for them to be in and what would happen if they suddenly had to move.

There are many things that one can do when looking for property: ask other people who have done it before; call a realtor and find out what possible options he or she may have.

Finally, you can consult journals and periodicals on the subject.

Kendell McKnight is a graduate of Florida State University and currently employed by the school.

“After I graduated I really did not know what I wanted to do with my life,” McKnight said.

“I did not know if I would leave or stay in Tallahassee.”

McKnight decided to stay for the time being and to rent an apartment.

He made this decision because Tallahassee is not the place he wants to settle.

According to Betsy Henderson, owner of Innovation Realty, if they can, incoming college students may want to invest in a home right away.

Rather than pay rent for at least four years, student-owners could build themselves equity for when they graduate and they could rent out the other rooms in the home to offset expenses.

This is an option that may cost a lot up front.

However, the end savings or return can be substantial.

“Home buying is a big step in life, one that shouldn’t be taken hastily,” Henderson said.

She offered advice to students, graduates and professional on ways to buy a house.

For example she mentioned the “Kiddie-Condo” program that some states offer.

According to Henderson this program allows students to have a home in their names, with the parents as cosigners.

The government will set low rates on the home.

Second, first time homebuyers may take advantage of special mortgage programs offered in many cities by the government.

Third, potential homeowners may want to consider foreclosed homes or those that need a little “elbow grease.” These homes are usually cheaper than the going rate.

“I was one of the lucky students to find a house to rent after my freshman year in the dorms,” said Sybil Fisher, a senior psychology student from Palm Beach.

“The house was a walk from campus. However, I have heard horror stories,” she said.

Many of Fisher’s friends were not as lucky to find a place where they could stay throughout their college careers. The problems included incompatible roommates or unacceptable lodging.

“I am tired of moving,” said Frantz Durand, 22, a political science student at FSU.

“It seems like I have to move every year. If it is not my roommate it’s the fact that we had to rush to find a place the last minute and we got the bottom of the barrel apartment.”

Many times when students find a place to live, they tend to have problems with their roommates.

This problem many times forces the person to move or to find a new place to live.

Many times this problem can get repetitive and costly.

The other problem that students have when deciding to rent or buy a house is where to live.

With so many places to rent and so many prices to choose, renting or buying can get tedious.

However, if students go to places like Apartment Seekers, a place where people can go to get help with finding a place to live, some problems may be avoided.

Apartment Seekers is a free service that takes a prospective renter’s ideal characteristics for an apartment and places the renter in an apartment that fits the persons’ needs.