Owning your home prevents landlord woes - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Owning your home prevents landlord woes

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We told you about community members mobilizing to help evicted residents of a trailer park near Sulphur.

One way to avoid such problems is to own your own home on your own land.

Elaine Powers realized that dream on December 31.  "It feels wonderful," she says.

Powers is thrilled to have her new home, after wondering if it would ever happen for about nine years.  She says a local class to help her get qualified was key.

"It gave me all kinds of information on how to obtain a house-- the insurance factor, the payment factor, everything that I needed to obtain a house," said Powers.

Mark Judson, with the Southwest Louisiana Law Center, says it's almost always better to own rather than rent.

"If you don't own it you don't have full control over the property.  And so, ownership, besides the economic value of all the payments going into equity and increasing in value, in addition to that, you have control of the property. You don't have to worry about some landlord showing up on your door one day saying, 'Hey, sorry, we're selling the place.  We don't want you living here anymore,'"said Judson.

Judson says they're ramping up the class to include more topics of interest to those trying to achieve home ownership and others.

This week's speaker is Michelle McInnis with United Way who will talk about the earned income credit-- and how it could help a family save money for a new house or other needs.

"We want to encourage these families to take this money that they may receive from their refund and actually invest it into an asset, a home, or a savings account, savings bond, something that will improve their assets and something they can hold onto for a while rather than just going out and spending it because they have it," said McInnis.

Those who attend the housing class get a certificate that may then help them receive down payment assistance.  

The homeowner class is at 6:30 PM this Thursday night in the Lake Charles City Council Chambers.

For more information look for our web extras on earned income credit and on the homeowner class.

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