Every year at this time, I pay my dues to the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors (PMAR). Of course, this benefits me in many ways, but it also benefits you, the homebuyer. PMAR runs the HowNW.com website, which is offers many resources, especially for first time homebuyers. Here is a selection of what you can find and use at their website.

-HowNW maintains a list of homebuyer education courses, including classes at the incredible Portland Housing Center.

–Get answers to questions about FICO scores. Even get a truly free credit report. Really. No strings attached. (You don’t even have to listen to a Canadian faux indie rocker sing about free credit reports.)

–Do you know first time homebuyers can get free money to match their down payment savings? Yup. Just takes some smarts, patience and diligence. There are also programs for home repairs and more. With home prices and interest rates this low and so many homes to choose from, getting some free government money to help just seems like a no-brainer. Check out the complete list of local programs here.

–Ever get confused by the vocabulary of homebuying? Most people only buy or sell a home a few times in their lives, and they shouldn’t need to learn a new language to do it. So check out the HowNW.com glossary to define weird words. There will be a quiz when I see you. Make sure you know the difference between easements and encumbrances!

–Find out about the possible dangers that might be lurking in your new home. Lead. Radon. Mold. Asbestos. Avocado green kitchens from the 70s.

–So much more….including tips on avoiding foreclosure and rescue scams.

If you ever have questions about navigating the homebuying process and how to find and use the myriad of resources out there, just drop me a line. I’m always happy to help!