“Books to Bricks”

Julie McKinney

Virginia Edwards of Century 21 Realty talks with Allerton residents about the new program designed to help them purchase homes of their own at the “Books to Bricks” picnic last night. Photo by Leslie Cusano | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: Ron Soltys

Last night Allerton Apartments residents learned how Kent State and Century 21 Prestige Realty Group have partnered to make buying a home easy after graduation.

The “Books to Bricks” Kick-off Celebration took place outside of the Allerton Activity Room last night from 6 to 9 p.m.

“Books to Bricks” is a new home-buying program offered for free to all Allerton residents. Students receive credits for their time at Allerton, and can earn up to $1000 toward a home after graduation. Residents get 300 credits when they sign or renew a lease. They also get 20 more credits each month they live at Allerton. Each credit is equal to $1.

Senior Fiscal Manager of Residence Services Rick Schneiderman said, “What we’re trying to do is increase occupancy, and it’s an incentive for students to stay in the area.”

According to a performance report released by the Ohio Board of Regents on Jan. 18, one quarter of Ohio’s 2005 graduates left the state.

Director of Business Development for Century 21 Prestige Realty Group, Jim Evans said, “We’re hoping they don’t want to leave the area, and they use their valuable KSU degree right here in their own backyard.”

Students were pleased with the opportunities that the program offers.

“We had no intention of staying (in the area), but with this program — it certainly sweetens the pie!” said community counseling graduate student Elizabeth Love.

Love said the program gives her the option to stay in the area even though land in the south is cheaper.

Century 21 Prestige Realty Group will offer classes in Mortgage Basics, Title Basics and Home Inspection Basics. Those classes will be held on campus or at one of the Century 21 offices.

The purpose of the classes is to better educate students who will be first-time buyers. “Students will be better astute at buying homes,” Schneiderman said.

Century 21 Prestige Realty Group will provide students with a Preferred Vendor Network — The Prestige Connections Program.

“The Preferred Vendor program is everything you would need to know about purchasing a home,” said Marlin Palich, vice president of the Ohio Region of Century 21 Prestige Realty .

The program is designed to save students time and money by recommending realty professionals and providing services that would make buying and owning a home easy.

Junior broadcast journalism major LaTasha Bryant said, “Our money goes toward rent and tuition. This will encourage people to buy homes (as) opposed to renting.”

Bryant said that Allerton Apartments are convenient for students. “A lot of campuses don’t offer housing for families, especially with this program. It’s very beneficial.”

Contact Residence Services reporter Julie McKinney at [email protected].