77 / 54
      73 / 50
      74 / 55

      Veteran chasing the American Dream again

      Nemehiah Cushion once owned a home, only to lose it to foreclosure. Tuesday, he attended a affordable housing seminar in Myrtle Beach in the hopes of taking on the housing market again.

      "I think I'm going to achieve this now," said Cushion. "Because now I'm more educated in what I'm doing, and I'm learning from talking to people who know more than I do."

      Cushion is a 60-year-old U.S. Army veteran from Las Vegas, Nevada who currently rents a home in Myrtle Beach.

      More than ten years ago when he lost his job, the bank foreclosed on his home in Las Vegas.

      "I've been through hell," joked Cushion. "But I'm doing alright. The VA takes good care of me, and I'm happy for that."

      To make sure history does not repeat itself, he attended a seminar sponsored by the Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors'.

      CEO Laura Crowther said the seminar gives potential buyers the chance to seek help without the pressure of making a decision.

      "It is a very daunting process, and it's even more daunting when you don't know what you don't know, and have to ask and seek advice from someone," said Crowther. "So in a low stress situation like this when we are not trying to sell anything. We are just trying to give someone free information and good information. That's what we really hoped the consumer would take advantage of this event."

      At the seminar, realtors, banks and government agencies talked about financial options available when purchasing a home.

      "You can't expect the consumers to know all the products available," said Crowther. "That's why symposiums like this help people understand there are multiple choices that might fit them better than might fit their neighbor or family member."

      "There's no bad market," said housing expert Tom Maeser. "There's either a buyer's market or a seller's market, and right now we're in a wonderful buyer's market."

      Maeser said as the market continues to struggle with the economy, buyers need to take advantage of the programs offered.

      "The interest rates are tremendously low. So chances are you can buy a home now for about the same if not less than what your rental payments are, and of course, you get some tax advantages and some types of things with that."

      With his new found knowledge, Cushion hopes home ownership is once again in his future.

      "There should have been more of us out here learning about what we could do about getting the American dream," said Cushion. "The American dream is there. It's what you make of it."