House & Home: Builders offer guidance for buyers, remodelersWritten by Brandi Barhite | Community Ombudsman | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Home Builders Association of Greater Toledo (HBA) will present its annual house and home show Feb. 20 through Feb. 22 at the SeaGate Convention Centre.
The show tickets have been reduced to $5 this year to encourage people to attend and can be purchased at the door.
“We are trying to make it as inexpensive as possible,” said Tony Plath, HBA executive vice president.
For the second year, HBA will stamp the hands of ticketholders if they want to come back on another day, which was popular last year, Plath said.
The HBA Fifth Third Bank House & Home Show will feature more than 140 exhibitors, highlighting everything needed to remodel or build a new home.
The show’s theme last year involved energy efficiency. Plath said there isn’t a theme this year, but with Fifth Third as the naming sponsor, the bank is offering seminars on getting a home ready for sale. Homeowners are struggling to sell their homes in this economy, he said.
“People are wanting to build, but they need equity from their existing homes, and with all the negative news, people are afraid,” Plath said.
As an organization, HBA is focused on promoting jobs and not relying on the automobile industry for work, Plath said. HBA supports jobs involving alternative energy, just like it promoted going green during its show last year.
Plath said people are realizing that it is not the ideal market to sell their homes, so they are sprucing up their bathrooms for themselves and to be ready when the market turns. Nearly 10,000 attended the HBA show last year, a record year, according to Plath.
Elizabeth Kollar, Fifth Third senior vice president of consumer lending, said Fifth Third will have a booth at the show where people can view properties that are available for purchase and talk to bank representatives about their credit, loans, restructuring debt and equity.
Fifth Third Bank also will be presenting a seminar “Stage, Show and Sell — Easy tips to sell your house” for those looking to prepare their existing homes for sale. Seminar times are noon, 2 p.m. 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Feb. 21; and 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Feb. 22. Those with a ticket to the home show can attend the seminar.
“Honestly, we have always been very affiliated with the HBA,” Kollar said. “We feel this one of their best community outreaches … even though these are hard times, we aren’t going to walk away from them.”
Kollar said a lot of property is sitting empty and needs upkeep. People who come to the HBA show can learn about proper maintenance, and even renovation, if they are interested in purchasing one of these homes.
Show hours are 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 20; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 21; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 22. Visitors to the show can register to win an epoxy floor system from Toledo Garage Floor Coatings. Parking is free in a lot at the corner of Monroe and Washington streets.
Buckeye CableSystem VIP customers can visit www.buckeyecablesystem.com/hba to print a coupon for two complimentary tickets. All other Buckeye CableSystem customers can print a two-for-one coupon. Additional two-for-once coupons can be picked up at area Fifth Third Bank locations or printed at www.toledohba.com. Children 12 and under are free.