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Home Buyer Education Seminar in Hickory

Residents of the Hickory area attended a recent Home Buyer Education Seminar hosted by the NC Realtors Housing Foundation (NCRHF). The event, held at the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG) in Hickory, aimed to educate attendees about the benefits of home ownership and how to access local downpayment assistance programs.

Informative Sessions and Speakers

Various speakers covered a range of topics during the event, which was moderated by Tami Fox, a Realtor with The Temple Team at Keller Williams Realty. Beverly Carlton, founder and CEO of Olive Hill Community Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) Inc., discussed the NCHFA Community Loan Purchase Program (CPLP) and Olive Hill’s home-buying counseling services. Rick Oxford, WPCOG Housing Program Manager, talked about the average housing cost in the region and the funding offered by WPCOG’s homebuyer programs.

Elizabeth Moncrief, WPCOG Regional Housing Authority Program Manager, provided information about the Section 8 Homeownership Program, specifically how program recipients can transition their rental voucher towards purchasing a home. Stacy Sharpe, Senior Mortgage Banker at Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, discussed the benefits of working with a direct lender and the mortgage programs Atlantic Bay provides for their clients. Karleta Sharisse-Smith, 2024 president of the Catawba Valley Association of Realtors, discussed the importance of working with a Realtor throughout the home buying process.

Realtors’ Role in the Home Buying Process

Sharisse-Smith emphasized the crucial role Realtors play in ensuring clients are protected and have a full understanding of their home-buying process. She said, “Purchasing a home is one of the most major events of someone’s life, and a Realtor will be dedicated to helping their client the entire way by making sure the client is thoroughly informed of every part of the transaction.”

Trivia Contest and Sponsors

The seminar concluded with a trivia contest in which attendees competed for $25 gift cards donated by three local Food Lions and a newly released Starbucks cup donated by a local Starbucks branch. Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group and Beth Williams Law Firm sponsored the lunch, which was catered by Cherry Culinary Company.

About NC Realtors Housing Foundation

The NC Realtors Housing Foundation is a charitable foundation that provides housing opportunities through education and community-based initiatives, including disaster relief. The foundation promotes awareness of affordable housing issues by educating North Carolinians and their representatives about the barriers to homeownership and the resources needed to increase housing affordability. NC Realtors Housing Foundation is led by a volunteer board of directors composed of Realtors and housing-related industry professionals. For more information on the foundation or to support disaster relief and affordable housing needs, visit

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