Are you looking to buy a house? Now’s the time!


With spring here, tulips and daffodils aren’t the only thing popping up — have you seen all the “for sale” signs on houses?

This could be a great time to buy a house — prices are very low, there’s a variety to choose from and in a variety of conditions to challenge your home inspector and your handyman skills.

Loan underwriters, however, must now be less flexible in their criteria to make a home loan. Qualifying can be a challenge to folks with credit history issues and open collections.

To be able to get in on this homebuyer’s market, you may need our help and a plan.

Taking first things first includes helping you develop a plan to get your credit issues squared away. Our free HUD-certified housing counselors walk you through credit counseling and help you develop a budget that, if you implement it, is designed to eliminate your outstanding obligations in a timely manner. This results in a positive change to your credit score, too, but it all takes time so you might want to get started, pronto!

The next thing you can do is to become properly homebuyer educated. So while you implement your credit-improvement plan, you can prepare yourself for successful homeownership. You need to be mentally and financially ready to engage your favorite realtor who will help you find the right house without wasting anyone’s time.

To do this we are now offering homebuyer education over the Internet through eHome America.com. You can take the course from wherever you have an Internet connection, at any time of the day or night and take as long as you need to. You will be learning at your own pace without the hassle and timing issues of a classroom situation, expensive gas and babysitters or a lost Saturday. The overwhelming convenience easily outweighs the small cost and the solid education is leading the industry standard nationwide.

When you have accomplished both goals you may want to use one of the many down payment assistance programs that are available. Most require a homebuyer education to participate.

Armed with these three important achievements, you will be ready to talk seriously with any lender and your realtor about becoming a homeowner.

Providing support and encouraging homeownership is one of our main missions at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor. Statistics show that when home ownership rates go up in a community, it makes things like the crime rate go down and the quality of life, go up.

WE KNOW SOME GOOD HOUSES

In the last couple of years, NeighborWorks® partnered with the cities of Aberdeen and Hoquiam by writing a plan and converting $1.2 million dollars of Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds into 16 viable housing units out of the foreclosure market in the two cities.

To achieve this goal, we set out to find just the right houses to rehab and resell. They all have new roofs, weatherization, ductless heat pumps and new paint. Some even have new plumbing and electrical systems, siding, kitchen cabinets and floor coverings. Others are waiting for the buyer to make their own floor coverings choices.

Some have been sold or are ready to sell at what we have in them or less. The remaining houses range from $60,000 to $89,950, plus our closing costs.

You can even take a drive-by look if you’re interested.

In Aberdeen, we have a two-bedroom house with garage at 1917 W. Sixth; and a three-bedroom houses with garages at 706 N. Wooding and 512 N. Williams.

In Hoquiam we have a three-bedroom house at 3014 Aberdeen Ave. and a three-bedroom house at 1223 Chenault Ave.

Nearly all of these houses are available for purchase for homeowner occupancy to individuals and families that earn no more than 120 percent of the area’s median income.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE?

To be eligible to buy these particular houses, your income must fall between these parameters:

• A 1-person household can make between $20,100 and $48,240; a 2-person household can make between $23,000 and $55,200; a 3-person household can make between $25,850 and $62,040; a 4-person household can make between $28,700 and $68,880; a 5-person household can make between $31,000 and $74,400; a 6-person household can make between $32,850 and $78,840; a 7-person household can make between $35,600 and $85,440 and an 8-person household can make between $37,900 and $90,960.

BRAND NEW ‘COLLEGE’ HOUSES AVAILABLE TOO

In addition to the Neighborhood Stabilization houses, we have three wonderful houses that were built in partnership with the Grays Harbor College’s carpentry class.

Anyone of any income level can buy these brand new houses. They represent the team-work of training new builders and craftsman and add excellent new housing stock to our area. The houses are:

• 701 2nd Ave. in Aberdeen, a nearly finished three- bedroom, two- bath, open concept, view house for $267,500.

• 1729 Taft St. in Aberdeen – a three-bedroom house that on the inside is ready for electrical, insulation, drywall and trim. It’s for sale for $86,000 and you finish, or we can work with a new owner to complete the project.

We can also finance them to the right buyers.

Give us a call at 533-7828 if you have any questions about buying a home.

Dave Murnen and Pat Beaty are construction specialists at NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor County, where Murnen is the executive director. This is a non-profit organization committed to creating safe and affordable housing opportunities for all residents of Grays Harbor County.

Do you have questions about home repair, remodeling or becoming a homeowner? Call us at 533-7828, or 1-866-533-7828, or visit us at 710 E. Market St. in Aberdeen.