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Gainesville workshop seeks to aid first-time homebuyers
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Free workshop for new homebuyers

When: 10 a.m. to noon May 20

Where: Fair Street Neighborhood Center, 715 Fair St., Gainesville

Few things are as satisfying to Rodney Garrett as helping first-time homebuyers.

It’s why Garrett, branch manager of HomeServices Lending at Berkshire Hathaway in Gainesville, agreed to participate in a free workshop May 20 for new homebuyers. Gainesville City Council is  organizing the event at the Fair Street Neighborhood Center, located at 715 Fair St.

Garrett would like nothing better than to dispel the myth that since the housing market crash of 2007, it’s more difficult than ever to get a mortgage loan.

“That has been told so many times that it’s more difficult (to secure a home loan), and it’s not,” Garrett told The Times on Wednesday. “So few people understand that you can buy a house sometimes with no money down.”

Councilwoman Barbara Brooks, who’s taking the lead in organizing the workshop, said the event will take the potential homebuyer “from A to Z” on purchasing a home.

“This event is targeting people who have always wanted their own home, but for some reason never got the ball rolling,” Brooks said.

Also lending their expertise at the workshop will be Joe Selbee, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway; Richard Smith, an executive with Calibre Home Inspections; and Ryan Reid, a closing attorney.

Brooks wants to encourage anyone interested in owning a home — whether they are married, single or parents with children — to attend.

“If they have a steady job, they can stop renting and have their own home,” Brooks said.

Garrett said the youngest person he’s helped get a home loan was a 19-year-old.

“When somebody puts their mind to it and they want to do what it takes to buy a home, it may not be now, but it may be soon and definitely later,” Garrett said. “The answer is never ‘no’ forever. The answer is now, soon or later.”

Garrett told Brooks that he’s borrowing a famous motto that he wants to communicate to those who attend the workshop: “ Yes, you can.”

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