AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - FOR MANY, RENTING PROVIDES A SENSE OF SECURITY AND FAMILIARITY. BUT WITH INCREASING RENT IN MANY AREAS, SOME AUGUSTA RESIDENTS ARE RESULTING TO OTHER OPTIONS. rUSHAUN cARTER, aCCOUNT eXECUTIVE FOR lANDIS SAYS, "SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WE’VE FOUND IS SOME PEOPLE JUST FEEL VERY COMFORTABLE WITH RENTING BECAUSE THEY’VE BEEN DOING IT FOR SO LONG." "WHEN THEY LOOK AT THE HOUSE BUYING PROCESS IT’S LIKE, I HAVE TO PUT HOW MUCH MONEY DOWN?"

WITH RISING INTEREST RATES, HOMEOWNERS COULD SEE THEIR MORTGAGES GO UP. RENTERS MAY ALSO CONTINUE TO FEEL THE PINCH WITH AN INCREASE AS WELL. WITH RENT SKYROCKETING NATIONWIDE, DUE TO THE HIGH DEMAND FOR RENTAL HOMES, COUPLED WITH LIMITED AVAILABILITY, MANY RENTERS FIND THEMSELVES LOOKING TO MAKE A MOVE, BUT DO NOT KNOW HOW.

CARTER says THAT THROUGH THEIR HOME OWNERSHIP PROGRAM, THEY HELP PEOPLE WITH A VARIETY OF FINANCIAL SITUATIONS. “WE SPECIALIZE IN HELPING PEOPLE THAT HAVE CREDIT CHALLENGES OR JUST STARTED A NEW BUSINESS OR RECENTLY MOVED TO THE AREA. ”

LONG-TERM RENTER, SHAKINA HAMPTON SAW A NEARLY $200 SPIKE IN HER RENT IN A MATTER OF MONTHS. SHE WASN’T IN A POSITION TO PURCHASE A HOME BUT SHE KNEW THAT SHE HAD TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. HAMPTON AND HER FIANCé REACHED OUT TO A REALTOR AND ENROLLED IN A RENT TO OWN PROGRAM, WHICH HELPED TO EASE HER NERVES ABOUT THE HOME BUYING PROCESS. “IT KEEPS THE STRESS OFF BECAUSE YOU KNOW THAT EVEN THOUGH I MAY NOT HAVE IT NOW, I HAVE PEOPLE IN MY CORNER WHO ARE GOING TO HELP ME GET TO A FINANCIAL PLACE, WHERE I CAN BUY THIS HOME AND OWN IT COMPLETELY."

CARTER SAYS THAT WITH FREE CREDIT SUPPORT AND FINANCIAL COACHING, THEY HELP THOUSANDS EACH YEAR. THEN, THEY BUY THE PROPERTY UPFRONT, AND WITHIN 12-24 MONTHS, HELP YOU SAVE SO THAT THE HOME CAN BE YOURS.

WHILE, THIS PROGRAM MIGHT NOT FIX THE SURGE IN RENT WE’VE SEEN IN RECENT MONTHS, CARTER HOPES IT CAN EASE THE FINANCIAL BURDEN ASSOCIATED WITH HOME BUYING.

THERE ARE MANY OTHER PROGRAMS TO ASSIST WITH RENT COST, SOME OF WHICH CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT.

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