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Interested in buying a fixer-upper?

Houses in Grays Harbor are selling as quickly and at the highest prices they ever have.

In our last blog, we talked with three different real estate professionals about this red hot market. Houses are on the market an average of just six days and are often being sold for over the asking price!

And even though prices are high, because of super low interest rates, buyers can still get good deals for the same monthly payment. It’s a win – win!

This week, as promised, we want to talk a little bit about buying and rehabilitating a fixer-upper to live in and homeowner’s homes that need updating.

Special loans needed for fixer-uppers

While investors with cash can buy fixer-uppers, for homebuyers who plan to use a FHA, VA or USDA loan, it’s critical that the home has no major safety or deferred maintenance issues.

When it comes to getting a loan, a house needing new paint, and fresh flooring is one thing, but a house needing foundation work, roof repair or new plumbing may not pass inspection for those loan underwriters.

But even fixer-uppers are selling well now in Grays Harbor.

Kevin Spivey, owner of Spivey Realty Group on the Harbor, says that fixer-uppers are selling at twice what they’ve ever sold before.

Are you, or someone you know, interested in buying a home, but either can’t afford move-in ready or simply prefer a house that needs a little work?If you are having trouble getting a home to qualify for a loan, we here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor may be able to help with that!

As a non-profit organization, our goal is to promote sustainable home-ownership and safe, energy efficient, affordable housing.

Need a loan for repair?

At NeighborWorks, our revolving loan funds have specific purposes that are attached to specific income levels. The fund is comprised of restricted capital lending funds that we applied for and were awarded over the last 40 years. The funds originated from several sources in partnerships with our cities, the county and also from our parent corporation, NeighborWorks America.

We loan the money out at “time and interest rates” that are intended to be affordable for the individual homeowner. As the loans are paid back, the money goes back into the Revolving Loan Fund and becomes available for another rehab project – sort of the ultimate recycling project.

A first-position rehabilitation loan is intended to make existing owner-occupied homes safer, more livable, more energy efficient, better looking, and more maintenance friendly.

It can be used to fund a first mortgage for first–time home buyers, who intend to live in the home, but also needs funds to fix it up.

In addition to financing the project, we provide construction management oversight to assure a successful outcome.

Yes, we become your expert and advocate in every phase of the project for no more than 10 percent of the rehab cost.

Who is eligible?

Everything here begins in a confidential meeting with our HUD-certified housing counselor who will establish your income and qualifications for loans or grants available, including ours.

If your income qualifies and you choose our loan, a site visit and visual inspection of the home is next. This is done by our construction manager to see what your needs and wants are, and to generally estimate the cost to make repairs.

The counselor and the construction manager bring your information to NeighborWorks’ loan committee for a final decision.

If the loan is made, the work to be done is put into a written scope of work and put out to bid. You—the homeowner— selects the winning bid and contractor; then everyone signs a written contract and the work begins.

Our job is to oversee the work, help determine solutions and costs to any unforeseen problems requiring a change order, check permits, make sure the work is completed to specifications, have lien waivers signed and have inspections completed before you sign off on each contractor’s payout request.

As your expert, we are available to make sure every part of your project is complete.

Contractors like working with us

On the flip side, the local contractors like to work with us because they know the written work scope is clear, that we allow change orders for hidden damages and that they will be paid as promised.


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