Email mini-course aims to educate first-time homebuyers

By: The Wichita Journalism Collaborative

March tends to mark an uptick in home buying activity in the Wichita area, with sales typically peaking in May, June, July and August.

With housing in shorter supply, buying a home in the Wichita area looks different these days than it did even just five years ago. Listings are down and there are fewer sales.

The average sale price has jumped from $154,000 in 2018 to $228,000 last year, according to home sales statistics collected by the Center for Real Estate at Wichita State University.

Homes used to sit on the market for an average of 42 days. Last year, they sold, on the average, in half that time.

Such trends might make purchasing a home even more intimidating for a first-time homebuyer. In hopes of helping novices prepare for a competitive market, the Wichita Journalism Collaborative is publishing an email mini-course this month that explains the basics of buying a home.

Written by Sarah Beauchamp, the WJC’s intern last fall, the course is broken down into four parts – preparing to buy a house, house shopping, closing and what to expect in homeownership. The series leans heavily on advice from Kati Harper, a real estate agent for 16 years, and Chris Wolgamott, a financial counselor with Meritrust Credit Union. Sarah Bosworth with Farha Home Trends provides advice on remodeling.

The course also features photography by Selena Favela of first-time homebuyers Marco and Lauren Luna, who closed on their first home at the end of February in Mulvane.

Sign up for the course at

Subscribers will receive one email a week over the next four weeks as they learn about the basics of purchasing a home and maintaining it as an investment.