Local homebuyer class can offer much-needed assistance

With real estate prices steadily rising on the Harbor, prospective home buyers can use every tool at their disposal.

A class being offered through the state Housing Finance Commission can provide needed assistance and know-how.

The Home Advantage program offers a five-hour class that can arm potential buyers with not only vital information about the home-buying process, but also qualify those who complete the free session with help financing both the down payment and closing costs.

“It’s perfect for Grays Harbor County, because a lot of people don’t have the down payment or closing costs,” said Harley Greninger, a broker at Premier Realty Grays Harbor, who is one of the class leaders.

“The Housing Finance Commission sponsors the class and the instructors have to be certified through them,” he said. He is joined by Desiree Goodwin, a Home Advantage-trained loan officer at Bank of the Pacific.

“It’s free and there’s no obligation for anything,” added Greninger. “There won’t be any solicitation or something like that unless the student comes to us. It’s very low-key.”

Households earning up to $145,000 per year are qualified for the class. Completing the class also helps prospective buyers qualify for a mortgage loan with a minimum 620 FICA score and the aforementioned help with down payment and closing costs.

“It’s not limited to first-time home buyers. It’s a really good program,” said Greninger. “We’ve done five of these in the past and we’ve always had very good turnout. It covers a lot of ground.”

There is also always a special speaker, often a home inspector.

“He covers the importance of getting a home inspection and what it entails,” said Greninger. The class is so full of really good information.”

The next class is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22, but Greninger says that one is at capacity, though there is a waiting list should anybody drop out. A light breakfast and lunch are also provided free of charge.

“Seating is at capacity, so we’re actually scheduling another class for Saturday, May 2,” said Greninger.

To find out more about the class or reserve a seat for an upcoming class, e-mail judyq@prgraysharbor.com or call 360-533-1900.