Free Public Service Resources for Home Buyers and Home Owners

The Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors, a nonprofit trade association for Realtors, provides two public service resources for the home-buying and home-selling public.
HOWNW.com is a stand-alone website that covers the home buying and home-ownership experience, including the ABCs of home ownership, home-buying programs and much more. PMAR.org/green was developed by PMAR’s Sustainable Practices Committee as a resource for sustainable home ownership.

“Both of these public service websites were developed as part of PMAR’s core value of protecting and promoting home ownership,” says PMAR CEO Kathy Querin. “Our goal is to provide trusted, accurate information to help consumers realize the American dream of home ownership.”

Home buyers looking for unbiased information about home ownership can turn to HOWNW.com, a unique public service website that acts as a comprehensive home-ownership resource. HOWNW.com contains a searchable, multilingual (translatable into more than 50 languages) database of home-buying programs available in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties. Consumers can enter the county they live in or wish to live in, number of people in the household and annual income to discover what financial programs, options and resources are available.

The website walks consumers through the home-buying process and includes features such as 100 Questions and Answers for Buying a Home, information on finding a loan, a real estate glossary and much more. In addition, information on consumer issues such as predatory lending, finding a healthy home and credit is provided to help educate potential home buyers. The site also includes resources for veterans and military service members.

New this year: home-ownership retention and renovation resources available to individuals desiring to stay in their own homes indefinitely. Consumers can look to the site for an unbiased explanation of reverse mortgages, help evaluating the economic factors of aging in place, tips for accessible renovations and much more.

“Home ownership can be the single greatest achievement any one of us makes,” says Portland Housing Center Executive Director Peg Malloy. “Thankfully, staying in a home over the long haul has been made easier by PMAR with the addition of its Forever Home, a link to resources and information for those of us who would like to stay put in our homes but do so comfortably and safely.”

PMAR.org/green is a public service website compiled by the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors with trusted, accurate information on sustainable home-improvement projects, recycling, business practices, sustainable preservation and more. The site includes: Comprehensive lists of federal and state tax credits, cash incentives and financing options for:

• Sustainable home-improvement projects, organized by project.
• Sustainability 101 primer, including a glossary of terms.
• Recycling resources, including construction salvage, hazardous waste, heating oil and more.
• Sustainable preservation tips for weatherizing older homes, window repair, etc.

The site is updated quarterly, at minimum, to ensure information is accurate and up to date. The site only links to nonprofits or governmental agencies rather than promoting individual companies. The one exception is in the Realtor Education section, where the site links to a few for-profit education providers.

Elizabeth Coffey is the communications director of the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors.

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