Q & A on housing issues

It’s been a while since we had a grab bag of questions and answers dealing with various housing-related topics.


So, in this blog and the next we will be answering some frequently asked questions!


Do you have a housing maintenance or housing finance-related questions you’d like answered? Contact our Facebook page, send us a message or give us a call at (360) 533-7828 and we here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor will do our best to help you out! Maybe it will even appear in our next Q and A!


Q. Recently, you wrote that the moratorium for foreclosures was ending at the end of July. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, what’s going on?


A. Yes, we wrote our last column about how the moratorium for foreclosures was lifting July 31. However, President Joe Biden made an announcement July 29 – after our deadline – that federal agencies will use their authority to extend their eviction moratoria through the end of September.


This announcement means continued protection for households living in federally insured, single-family properties, according to a news release from the federal Housing and Urban Development administration.


According to the news release, “FHA’s eviction moratorium extension will avoid displacement of foreclosed borrowers and other occupants who need more time to access suitable housing options after foreclosure.”


Whenever the moratorium does lift, we just want Grays Harborites to know we are available free of charge to help homeowners figure out how to save their homes, manage their money, and access various programs. Give us a call if you have questions.


Q. What should I do if I am behind

on my mortgage payment?


A. If you haven’t done so, immediately contact your mortgage servicer – the lending institution you pay your mortgage to.


By contacting your servicer, you can obtain a mortgage payment forbearance (that is a “pause” in having to pay) or a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage extension.


The HUD news release also encourages borrowers to “seek more information on the options available to them” including contacting a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. That’s us!


Q. We can’t afford to paint our house this summer, but would love for it to be freshened up. Does an exterior wash really make a difference?


A. In a word, Yes. A good wash, light scrub with a boat brush and 30 Second Cleaner and then a rinse will give your house a surprisingly fresh appearance. It will also save you money in the long run.


Around here the harsh elements and the salt water mean that most houses should have new exterior paint every four to seven years. But washing your house not only gets rid of the grim, mold and mildew that you may not even notice until its gone, but it also extends the life of your paint job.


Take note, however, we discourage the use of power washers which can easily damage your siding.


We suggest you move “Wash the house” to the front of your to-do list.


At the very least, tackle the areas with obvious signs of mold and mildew to discourage these organisms from eating away at your paint and siding – and looking ugly in the process.


Start on the north side of the building, and in areas where vegetation has been in contact with your siding. (And cut back that vegetation while you are at it!)


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