Washington State home buyers have several various down payment assistance programs available and they’re not just limited to first time home buyers. These funds can go towards closing cost and the down payment of primary residence.
Here’s an updated list of what I have available.
National Home Buyer Fund Grants. The NHF Grant program offers down payment assistance that is not paid back by the borrower. It’s kind of like a gift from your favorite Uncle or Auntie! Grant funds range from 3 – 5% of the first mortgage loan amount and are in conjunction with a NHB first mortgage product. You do not need to be a first time home buyer and income limits do apply. Home buyer education classes are not required.
Washington State Housing Finance Commission Down Payment Assistance Programs (DPA). These programs are available in conjunction with a WSHFC first mortgage program like Home Advantage or House Key Opportunity (the state bond program). In order to be eligible for one of the following down payment assistance programs, borrowers must attend a WSHFC sponsored home buyers education class. Unlike a grant, DPAs are required to be paid back. Most often, the repayment takes place when the home is no longer occupied by the borrower (property is sold or becomes a rental) or if the first mortgage is refinanced.
- Home Advantage DPA: offers assistance based on 4% of the first mortgage at 0% apr with payments deferred for 30 years. This is probably the most popular dpa (down payment assistance) program that WSHFC offers.
- The HomeChoice Program: eligible borrowers must have a qualifying disability or have a family member with a qualified disability living with them. Maximum DPA is $15,000.
- House Key Schools: borrower must be an employee of an accredited or state recognized K-12, public or private school including community and technical schools. Max DPA is up to $10,000.
- House Key Veterans: eligible borrowers are veterans who received an honorable discharge and include members and honorably discharged former members of the Washington national guard and reserve or never remarried spouses and dependent/children of deceased veterans. Max DPA is $10,000.
- New Home for You: available to first time home buyers (or targeted area) meeting criteria and buying a never occupied new construction home. This program requires credit scores of 680 or higher. Max DPA is $10,000.
- House Key Plus ARCH: eligible home buyers must be purchasing a home in designated areas of east King County. Max DPA is up to $30,0000.
- House Key Seattle: provides up to $45,000 in down payment assistance. Eligible borrowers must meet income limits and the maximum purchase price is $288,000 for an existing home within the Seattle city limits and income limits apply. This dpa has limited funds available.
- Tacoma DPA: up to $20,000 in down payment assistance. First time home buyers (not owning a home in the last 3 years) must meet income limits and the maximum purchase price is $177,000 for existing homes or $233,000 for new construction.
Which down payment assistance program you should use will obviously depend on which one you qualify for and which one will be more beneficial to your financial goals. Some of my clients have opted for the grant over Home Advantage DPA because they don’t want to pay back the DPA when they sell the home and some opt for Home Advantage over the grant if they’re doing conventional financing as it will provide them with more assistance (the grant offers 3% and Home Advantage offers 4% based on the amount of the first mortgage). Bottom line, you need to compare and evaluate all of your options.
If you’re considering buying a home located anywhere in Washington state, please contact me. I am happy to help you with your mortgage!