Who we are at NeighborWorks
Over the last 22 years of writing this, we at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor County hope it has been a great source of information and connection with various resources for Grays Harbor citizens.
Every once in a while, we like to step back and try to give an overview of just what kinds of services our nonprofit organization offers this community.
A little background
In 1981, we became officially affiliated with a nationwide organization originally known as Neighborhood Reinvestment, an organization created by Congress to address Lenders not loaning on houses in certain areas called “red lining.” There were also so many more needs of low income, blighted communities suffering from the effects of deteriorating housing.
Now it is called NeighborWorks America and NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor County is one of the oldest chartered organizations of nearly 250 located in every state and possession.
In a nutshell, our volunteer board and our staff are very committed to providing decent, safe and affordable housing opportunities for the Grays Harbor community. We want you to know about all the different programs and areas of expertise we can provide.
Our motivation is helping more people find solutions for their various housing, home maintenance and budgeting needs.
Our intent is to support sustainable housing for homeowners, homebuyers and renters through no-cost counseling/advising, homebuyer education, tailored affordable loans, construction management and community education opportunities, like this weekly column.
As you look at this list in the next two weeks, even if you currently aren’t in need, perhaps you have a neighbor, friend or relative who could use one of our services. Word of mouth is our best advertisement!
Who can receive our help?
We were established more than 40 years ago to develop the funding and construction expertise necessary to offer an owner-occupied rehabilitation program in a targeted neighborhood in Aberdeen. Since then, we’ve expanded our services menu and service area several times.
We now serve folks of all incomes in some way and have income-qualified loan products focused on the purchase and or rehabilitation of owner-occupied homes.
While many of our loan products are intended to serve income-qualified folks, anyone can access our HUD housing counseling at no cost. We also offer construction management on a fee-for- service basis regardless of income.
Our rehab loans always include the beginning–to-completion construction management.
Here are some of our services:
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.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you want to buy a home, we may be able to help guide you to down payment assistance and first mortgage opportunities. It’s one of the many services we offer to help encourage home ownership.
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. The course is very comprehensive, convenient, inexpensive, and required to be eligible for many of the best and affordable lending programs, including ours and many of our partners’ loan products.
This eHome Home Buyer Education is available nationwide on the internet. We 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 it!
More information 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 smart phone!
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 – in person or by phone. The course is also available in Spanish!
The course certificate is accepted by USDA, Washington State Housing Finance Commission 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.
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.
Learn more in our next blog!
We simply can’t include all of our programs and services in one blog. So, stay tuned for more next week – plus a special announcement!