As I write this column, spring is a few weeks away. It has not been a particularly harsh winter in western Washington; it just seems like a super long one. Our members in Alaska, Montana and many other areas of District 8 have been limping through it, enduring high heating bills, icy roads and uncooperative snow plows. Many of us will be very happy when things warm up.
Along with the thaw of the seasons comes the inevitable maintenance on yards and property following winter. Where I live, this takes the form of cleaning mold and moss off everything — roof, yard and vehicles. For me, the only upside of this intense cleaning is the opportunity to reconnect with neighbors who are doing the same and who have been hibernating since October.
As many of you know, besides my work for the Nation, I am a real estate broker in Olympia, Washington. While this job is year-round, it definitely has its peaks and valleys as far as activity levels. Now that spring is around the corner, both buyers and sellers are becoming more active. Not just because it is what I do, but because I know that home ownership is the number-one way American families build wealth, I encourage members who haven’t taken the leap into home ownership to at least explore it.
As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation or any federally recognized tribe, you may want to explore a special type of loan, known as a 184 Loan. I have written about this in the past, so I will not repeat the details. However, this loan has guidelines that are more flexible, and it is only available to Native Americans. A quick Google search should help you find a lender in your area with expertise.
You are also eligible for a one-time grant that you can coordinate with the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Housing Department to assist you with closing costs in the purchase or refinance of a home. The grant amount is $2,125, and it is only available for primary residences, not for manufactured homes. I have had excellent experience referring members to Sherry Byers, who is the CPN homeowner manager, and she can be reached at 1-800-880-9880.
There are programs throughout District 8 and the country as a whole that can assist with a down payment. For example, there are eight programs and five agencies in Montana, and there are 37 programs and 29 agencies in Oregon that help. It is my understanding that creditworthiness and other factors are still very important. For more information about down-payment resource homeownership
programs, go to downpaymentresource.com.
If you are thinking about going to Family Reunion Festival this year, the dates are June 29 through July 1. The prices of airfare tend to rise as the travel dates near, so consider getting online or calling around to do some investigating. The availability of hotel accommodations also becomes problematic, so consider booking that early, too.
The Nation’s Grand Casino Hotel & Resort is an obvious first choice for lodging, and they have a special rate during festival. They also have some excellent restaurants on-site, ranging from pub grub to sushi to a Brazilian steakhouse. Check it all out at grandresortok.com.
As always, it is my honor to represent you in the legislature.
Representative, District 8
520 Lilly Road, Building 1
Olympia, WA 98506