We’ve said it many times in the last few years: Now’s a great time to buy a house. And, it’s still true!
There are plenty of folks wanting to sell, so choices abound, and prices tend to be lower, as well. Plus, we’re still experiencing the lowest interest rates in years, which means your overall outlay of money is greatly decreased.
If you’re thinking that you might buy a home soon, it’s important to do your homework and become educated before you talk with your favorite lender and real estate agent. It’s helpful for everyone involved if the potential buyer is educated in the home-buying process. It makes the process shorter and the homeownership more successful.
We here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor can counsel you how to get ready to buy, but frankly one of the very first things we’ll suggest is taking the eHomeAmerica.org online course to begin your home-buyer education.
This program, created by our parent organization, NeighborWorks of America, is a six- to eight-hour online course that is completed at your own pace for as long as it takes and from any Internet connection. eHome America is based on the NeighborWorks America’s Realizing the American Dream curriculum and meets the National Industry Standards for homebuyer.
It includes animated videos, easy-to-read content, module quizzes throughout to ensure understanding and one-on-one counseling with our HUD counselor, usually by phone.
The course, which is also available in Spanish, costs $45, but will likely easily pay for itself in money saved when you do buy a new house. Also, many lenders require this course be complete in order to receive some of their financial products, including our Down Payment Assistance program and USDA loans.
The course is great for first-time homebuyers, borrowers who need homebuyer education certificates to qualify for a loan, individuals looking to become more educated about homeownership, and homebuyers working with local housing counselors like us.
With crazy job schedules and so many other conflicts to work around, the go-at-your-own-pace format of this online instruction should suit everyone’s individual needs.
The comprehensive curriculum lays out what steps to take when preparing to buy a home, tells you what questions to ask and what pitfalls to avoid.
Another benefit of this program is that it offers an unbiased approach. Produced by a non-profit organization, the only “bias” it has is to make sure students become well educated potential home buyers. It has no other product to sell.
Before, during and after the course, you can call or email our HUD-certified housing counselors, Julie and Kelly, to answer any questions. When you’ve completed the course, you will have the required one-on-one counseling, and then the counselor will release your Certificate of Completion to a lender of your choice when you are ready to make a home purchase up to two years after you complete the course.
Also, if you’re interested in buying a home outside city limits through the USDA program, this course qualifies as one of the mandated home buyer education courses.
Two of our loan products — down payment assistance and our first mortgage programs — require recipients to have first taken the course. And, if you’re interested in purchasing one of the several attractive homes that NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor bought and refurbished with Neighborhood Stabilization funds, you’d also need to take the course.
PAINT THE CORRIDOR KUDOS
Two weeks ago, we gave shout outs to many of the volunteers who contributed their time and energy to making this year’s Paint the Corridor a success.
However, we made a mistake with one of them.
We want to correct that by thanking members of the American Legion team for painting their Post No. 24 building on West First Street in Aberdeen. It wasn’t originally part of the plan for this year’s Paint the Corridor, but came as a welcome beginning to a possible painting event for next summer.
Thanks! The building looks great for all. Let’s figure out how to do more on the same street.
Dave Murnen and Pat Beaty are construction specialists at NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor County, where Murnen is the executive director. Call them at 533-7828, or 1-866-533-7828, or visit us at 710 E. Market St. in Aberdeen.