Housing Fair to help citizens become homeowners

Tony Parra

The Housing Fair will take place throughout the day on Saturday with Portales city officials on a quest to research how many prospective home buyers there are in Portales.
“We’re bringing in folks from different organizations,” Portales mayor Orlando Ortega said. “These folks have been gathered through our efforts in creating the home ownership program we’ve been discussing.”
“My goal as mayor is to create home ownership in our community. I belive that this is a good start.”
Ortega, during a city council meeting, said he wanted 20 new homes for 20 new homeowners in 20 months after a program for home buyers is in place.
“I’m hoping that we get much more than that,” Ortega said. “This is the first step for our citizens and I encourage them to attend Saturday’s fair.”
Ortega and Lee Tillman of the Eastern Plains Council of Governments said the first step to developing a program is to hold a house fair.
“People hear how simple it is to buy a home, but (also) how difficult it is to go through the process,” Debi Lee, city manager, said. “This will guide them in the process. It will have all of the resources for anybody interested in buying a new home. It will answer any credit issues or questions about down payments they have.”
The housing fair will take place in the Portales Recreation Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The fair will encompass all there is to know about owning a new house, according to city officials. Public and private entities will provide information on programs for: First-time homeowners, senior homeowners, moderate income families and down payment assistance.
New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority, Eastern Plains Council of Government, Habitat for Humanity and local bank members will be attending the fair, according to Lee. The Wells Fargo representatives are scheduled to do a presentation at 11:15 a.m.
NMMFA Public Information Manager Elisabeth Monaghan said the NMMFA was started in 1975 as a state-designated housing agency.
“We administer programs for HUD (Housing and Urban Development),” Monaghan said. “We provide programs for first-time buyers and a tax-credit programs.”
Monaghan said NMMFA officials will use the housing fair as a way to provide awareness of what programs can help prospective home buyers. She said they work with lenders in the helping method.
“We want them (prospective home buyers) to know who we are and of our existence,” Monaghan said. “The more people we can put into houses, the better. The governor wants to have many new home buyers.”
Portales Homes Supercenter Manager Jody Bailey and Sales Consultant Martie Dewbre-Hiner will make the final presentation of the morning session.
“Partially, it (fair), is to provide awareness,” Bailey said. “It is to provide the public with information on the quality product we have for a reasonable price.”
Bailey will be participating in the last presentation of the morning. He said Portales Homes Supercenter, which is located on the corner of Kilgore and Highway 70, east of Portales, is undertaking two major subdivisions: The Valley View Estates, which is 3 miles south of Portales and the Land Subdivision, which is located north of the Portales High School, across the street.
Bailey said they have two demonstration houses on the Valley View Estates and will build a demonstration house in the Land Subdivision in May. He said they have packages with three bedroom, two bath with a garage starting at $60,000.
Lee said the purpose of the open exhibits’ part of the program from 12:30 to 2 p.m. is so prospective home buyers can have one-on-one session with lenders and state officials.