Common misconceptions about the Washington State mortgage program: Home Advantage

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When most folks think of the mortgage programs offered by the Washington State Finance Housing Commission, they often think of the state bond program (House Key Opportunity).  Washington home buyers and real estate agents may not realize that the WSFHC offers a “revamped” program, Home Advantage Mortgage, which will eventually phase out House Key Opportunity. Both Home Advantage and House Key Opportunity offer down payment assistance to Washington home buyers.

Here are some questions that I often hear about the Home Advantage Mortgage Program:

Do I have to be a first time home buyer?

The Home Advantage Mortgage program is NOT limited to first time home buyers.  It is limited to homes located in Washington state and the buyer must be occupying the property. It is not available for second homes or investment properties.

Is there a recapture tax, like the state bond program?

There is NO recapture tax with the Home Advantage Program. When the home owners sells or no longer occupies their home, the balance of the Home Advantage second mortgage that was used as down payment assistance will be called due.

Isn’t this program just for lower priced homes?

Home Advantage does not have an acquisition limit or restriction to the sales price of the home. Home Advantage does have an income limit of $97,000.  Based on debt to income ratios, I’ve qualified borrowers up sales prices up to $400,000.  How much someone qualifies for will depend on current interest rates and their personal debts.  If a couple with dual incomes exceeds $97,000, it’s possible to remove one of the incomes as long as they still qualify with their debts.

What are the terms to the down payment assistance?

The Home Advantage Program offers a second mortgage based on up to four percent of the first mortgage loan amount at 0% interest with the payment deferred for 30 years. The DPA can only be used towards down payment or closing cost. Home buyers using this program do not have to use the full four percent.

What first mortgage programs are available with Home Advantage?

Washington State Housing Finance Commission offers conventional (up to 97% loan to value), FHA, VA and USDA mortgages. I’m happy to provide you with a rate quote for this (or any) mortgage program.

Do I have to attend a Home Buyer Class to qualify?

In order to qualify for any of the WSHFC mortgage programs, you must attend one of their sponsored home buyer education seminars. All parties who will be on the mortgage must attend this 5 hour course.

As a WSHFC trained mortgage originator, I’m pleased to be able to offer the Home Advantage and House Key mortgage programs. I will be an instructor at two home buyer education classes next month in Seattle. If you or someone you know are interested in buying a home in Washington and would like help with your down payment, please contact me.

 

 

 

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