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Sunday, April 5, 2020

Looking for ways to improve housing affordability in central Ohio

Columbus REALTORS® 2020 Affordable Housing Committee co-chairs are Connie Sadowski, a REALTOR® with RE/MAX Premier Choice, and Brian Scarpino, a loan officer with Huntington Mortgage Group.

The goal of the Affordable Housing Committee is to connect REALTORS® to opportunities in the affordable housing market (property priced up to $180,000) through education, community outreach and information sharing.

“We work to make homeownership more accessible and to bring meaningful conversations to our peers about housing affordability solutions,” says Brian.

“Education is an important component,” Connie continues. "Insuring buyers and sellers make informed decisions leads me to continually seek out and share information on affordable housing options.”

The committee also recognizes the need for diversity on the committee and continually seeks member inclusion. REALTOR® Buzz Thomas, an agent with Coldwell Banker King Thompson and a long-standing committee member, recruited Connie to serve on this committee in 2017. As a result, she encourages all to take Buzz’s lead in inviting members to join our committee and in championing housing affordability solutions in central Ohio.

“Home ownership should not be put off, and REALTORS® can help buyers plan for and realize their dream of homeownership,” Connie reiterates. “We are serving first time home buyers that deserve compassion, coaching and preparation over an extended period.”

Connie grew up a “military brat” on the move and she and her own family, her husband and now four adult kids, have moved cross-country many times. She recognizes other’s economic struggles and housing affordability issues.

She says, “Columbus is unique and is one of the top housing markets in the US; ranking high in likeability indexes even with the low inventory of homes for sale in central Ohio.”

Brian’s involvement in mortgage lending was spurred by this lack of affordable housing. He says, “Homeownership is truly empowering and helps build stronger communities. We are seeking solutions to the lack of affordable housing. Our committee meetings challenge agents to work hard to seek options for buyers.”

Connie asks all REALTORS® who work in the affordable housing market to apply for the Columbus REALTORS® Certified Affordable Housing REALTOR® (CAHR) certification. This certification was created and is tracked by our committee to give recognition to REALTORS® who have obtained experience in working the affordable housing market.

To qualify for the certification, Deirdra Corbett, an agent with RE/MAX Top Producers, and chair of the CAHR Subcommittee, shares, “Criteria must be met in the areas of affordable housing transactions, meeting and association activities, education and community involvement." To apply, please complete the interactive application available at ColumbusRealtors.com

Each month, we bring in speakers to highlight their projects in the community. Many of our members also participate in community events outside of the committee. We co-host housing fairs and classes on lending and down payment assistance opportunities, as well as a “Getting to Know” series that highlights various areas of Columbus.

Our meetings are open to all REALTORS® and affiliates. We meet the second Friday of each month, except for July, promptly 10a at Columbus REALTORS® to learn from our members and speakers.

For more information and to suggest a topic or speaker please contact connie@conniesadowski.com.

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