Every so often, we like to pause and just reintroduce who we are and what we do.
In 1981 Aberdeen Neighborhood Housing Service became officially affiliated with Neighborhood Reinvestment, a 1978 congressionally chartered organization with a mission to address “Red lining” (lenders not loaning on houses in certain areas) and to help develop the “neighborhood housing service model” in towns and cities nationwide.
The mission was and is to provide the training and support necessary to address the needs of communities suffering from the effects of deteriorating housing blight, and support the development of sustainable homeownership and community development. In 2005, Neighborhood Reinvestment was renamed NeighborWorks America and has chartered 240 organizations.
As our services were requested outside the original target area, our service area over time encompassed the whole county so we changed our name to NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor County.
Our mission remains the same: “To develop partnerships in the community between business, government, and residents to create safe and affordable housing opportunities for all residents of Grays Harbor County.”
We intend to support sustainable housing opportunities for homeowners, homebuyers and renters through counseling, homebuyer education, income-sensitive affordable loans for purchase, rehabilitation, including construction management, and by supporting community education, through this weekly column.
From spring clean-up and house-painting tips to information about sustainable home purchase, household budgeting, renting or refinancing your mortgage – this column has offered a cornucopia of information and a call to action as a community for 21 of our 40-year history!
If you want to buy a home, we will help guide you to down payment assistance and first mortgage opportunities through the HUD Housing Counseling protocols. It’s one of the many services we offer to help encourage sustainable home ownership.
We may also be able to help financially. But before getting financial help from us — or anyone else — for a down payment, and better mortgage terms — you’ll do better by becoming homebuyer educated.
We offer an online course using eHome–that culminates in our no-cost housing counseling service and a certificate of education that can open doors to better financial products. The course is very comprehensive, convenient and inexpensive. It’s also required to be eligible for many of the best and most affordable lending programs, including ours, and many of our partners’ loan products.
This eHome HomeBuyer Education is available nationwide on the internet. We here in Aberdeen are the host counselor for most of Western Washington and issue the certificate. We will do our best to help you all the way to homeownership. Find the link on our website or Google eHomeAmerica.org.
More on eHome Online
Created by Community Venture Corp. and NeighborWorks America, this online course is recognized throughout the country as being one of the best home buyer educations out there. It takes about six to eight hours to complete.
For just $50 you can complete the course at your own pace, at the time that’s convenient for you, in the privacy and convenience of your own home, or anywhere there’s an internet connection, even on a Smartphone!
It includes animated videos, easy-to-read content, and module quizzes throughout to ensure your complete understanding of the home buying processes. It also includes a one-on-one advisory session with our HUD- approved housing counselor here in Aberdeen – typically, by phone. The course is also available in Spanish!
The course certificate is accepted by USDA, Washington State Housing Finance Commission, Habitat for Humanity and other lenders that require it for some of their first-time home buyer loan products.
At the successful completion of this simple but comprehensive course, you will receive a certificate of completion that will make you eligible to apply for down payment assistance and first mortgage funding, although this does not guarantee they are available when you need them or that you will secure them. As you will learn, there is plenty to know and prepare when becoming a sustainable homeowner.
Home Buying Counseling
When you have completed the course you can ask questions about anything regarding the home-buying process. We not only discuss the home-purchase process, but also offer no-cost support and assistance from application to closing.
On the other end of the spectrum, mortgage default counseling is intended to be a foreclosure-prevention program. Our counselor helps you organize the information your lender requires in order to discuss your options and, where possible, to negotiate your situation with your mortgage company (or other creditors as necessary), making every effort to avoid foreclosure and stabilize your housing situation.
More next week
We simply can’t include all of our programs and services in one column. So, stay tuned for more next week!
Dave Murnen and Pat Beaty are construction specialists at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor County, where Murnen is executive director. This is a nonprofit organization committed to creating safe and affordable housing opportunities for all residents of Grays Harbor County. For questions about the ductless heat pump program or home repair, housing counseling for renters and landlords, homebuyer education and buying, call 360-533-7828, listen to the extension picks that will best help you and leave a callback name and number. Due to Covid-19, our office is not currently open for a visit, but we will call you back.