Knowledge is key in preparing for life’s biggest purchase

Before investing in one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make – your home – it pays to know what you’re getting into.

And it’s not only learning about downpayments and monthly mortgage payments, but all the other costs that a home entails as well – “property taxes, maintenance and future expenses like a new roof – and how those might affect your financial situation,” explains David Munen, executive director of NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor.

Working together, we can make it happen

Working under the theme, ‘working together, we can make it happen,’ NeighborWorks brings people together to create safe and affordable housing for everyone in Grays Harbor County. That can include capital projects or lending to refurbish an existing home, but more and more, it’s that vital education component they focus on – supporting homebuyers before they purchase to ensure they’re getting the right home for their needs and financial situation. This is accomplished through the internet homebuyer education platform eHome America and NeighborWorks pre-purchase counseling by phone.

“We’re really focused on home ownership, and especially working with young people, before they start the home purchase process, to help them make better decisions,” Murnen says. “You can’t be one hot water tank expense away from losing your home.”

As part of a 240-plus NeighborWorks America nation-wide network, the organization receives some grant funding and vital education and training support. But support also comes from community partners like Bank of the Pacific.

“I think Bank of the Pacific subscribes to the idea that as lending regulations fade away, especially first-time homebuyers need to know what they’re getting into and what predatory lending practices look like,” Murnen reflects.

For homebuyers, counseling is always free

As a HUD-approved counseling agency that brings nearly 40 years of local know-how to your home search, NeighborWorks walks clients step-by-step through the homebuying process, from getting their budget in order, to refinancing a home loan. The eHome homebuyer education course is typically the first step required for programs that assist first-time and income qualified homebuyers. Better yet, the counseling is always free.

Beyond the course, phone counseling and follow-up sessions are also available to ensure homebuyers are comfortable with the information. “We receive hundreds of questions every week and it’s committed partners like Bank of the Pacific that help support our counseling program, adding meaningful impact in the community,” Murnen says.

Bank of the Pacific is also active on the NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor board since 2006. We are opening our board nomination list, Murnen says, inviting local individuals, business and community leaders to join them in making a difference.

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Bank of the Pacific has provided personal and commercial banking services since 1971, with 17 branches in Western Washington and Northern Oregon. The Bank continues a proud tradition of making a real impact in the lives of the families, businesses and communities they serve.