NEWS FLASH: House Key Opportunitiy Program is no longer available

I just received this message from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission regarding the state bond program “House Key Opportunity”:

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING HOUSE KEY OPPORTUNITY

We have been informed by our investment bankers that due to market conditions, we can no longer offer a 2.5% (government) and 2.75% (conventional) interest rate for the House Key Opportunity Program. As of June 25, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. we will no longer be taking House Key Opportunity Program reservations. All existing House Key Opportunity Program reservations will be honored.

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Common misconceptions about the Washington State mortgage program: Home Advantage

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.

 

 

 

Home Buyer Education Class on July 20, 2013

Do you or someone you know want to learn more about the home buying process?

Jim Reppond from Coldwell Banker Danforth and I will be instructing a free home buyers class on Saturday, July 20, 2013 at the Green Lake Library.

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Attend my Home Buyer Education Class on July 13, 2013

UPDATE 7/14/2013:  This class has already taken place.  If you would like to attend another home buyer seminar that I’m teaching, visit my home buyer education page.

I will be teaching a home buyer education class on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at the High Point Library in West Seattle.

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Why you should compare FHA to a Home Advantage Mortgage

If your credit scores are 680 or higher and you’re considering buying a home located anywhere in Washington state using FHA for your mortgage, you may want to consider the Home Advantage Mortgage program.

Home Advantage is a mortgage program created by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. Only Loan Officers, like yours truly, who have completed WSHFC training are allowed to offer this program.

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House Key Opportunity – Washington State Bond Mortgage Program

UPDATE MAY 1, 2014: FUNDS ARE BACK FOR HOUSE KEY ARE BACK – AND ARE LIMITED.   

House Key Opportunity is a mortgage program offered by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. House Key Opportunity is probably the program you’ve heard about when someone mentions “state bond” mortgages. This program offers below market mortgage rates for a select group of home buyers and is often combined with a WSHFC second mortgage for down payment assistance. The rates are only available until the funds reserved for the program run out.

Here’s a quick review of House Key Opportunity:

  • Borrowers must be first time home buyers (or have not owned a home in the last three years) unless you’re buying in a “targeted area”.
  • Income limits apply based on the size of the household with the first mortgage. Additional income restrictions may apply with the DPA (down payment assistance) second mortgage.
  • Maximum acquisition cost applies based on county.
  • Home buyers must attend a WSFHC approved class.
  • Property must remain owner occupied or recapture tax applies.
  • Properties must have an inspection unless a 1 year warranty is provided by the builder.

The House Key Opportunity Program with down payment assistance programs are available to borrowers who meet specific program requirements. Amounts and terms of the DPA vary with each program. The second mortgage programs listed below may also be used with a Home Advantage first mortgage and are provided based on need. Not all of the DPAs listed below have constant funding so availability may be limited.

  • 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 is only available with a House Key first mortgage and requires credit scores of 680 or higher. Max DPA is $10,000.
  • House Key Plus ARCH: first time home buyers must be purchasing a home in designated areas of east King County. Max DPA is up to $30,0000.
  • Home Advantage Rebound: the home being purchased must be bank owned, foreclosed or a short sale. Max DPA is up to $10,000

Home buyers seeking down payment assistance, who do not want to buy in a targeted area or who are not first time home buyers or who do not meet the specific needs criteria, may opt for WSFHC Home Advantage Program.

For current rates on House Key Opportunity and more information about this program, click here.

As a Washington State Housing Finance Commissioned trained Loan Officer, I’m pleased to offer both House Key Opportunity and Home Advantage mortgage programs. Here as a list of WSHFC classes where I will be one of the instructors.

If I can help you with your home purchase or refinance on property located anywhere in Washington, please contact me.

Home Advantage Mortgage with Down Payment Assistance

2013-03-07_0746Home Advantage is a program that is offered through the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.  Home Advantage is typically combined with a Home Advantage second mortgage that can finance closing cost and the down payment. Unlike the House Key program (state bond), this program has unlimited funds available for qualified Washington home buyers.

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More options for Washington home buyers

Yesterday I was “in class” at the Washington State Housing Finance Commission learning about programs they have to offer Washington home buyers, including down payment assistance programs.

In order to obtain the down payment assistance, you must use a WSHFC first mortgage product, which includes:

The first mortgages may be FHA, USDA, VA or conventional mortgages with private mortgage insurance.

The down payment assistance (DPA) is in the form of a second mortgage that have specific criteria home buyers must meet to qualify.

  • Home Advantage DPA has an income limit of $97,000 and does not have a “needs assessment”.
  • Commissioned Second Mortgage works with the House Key Opportunity and is available to home buyers with special needs.

Home buyers interested in either program must attend a 5 hour class in order to qualify for these programs. While at class yesterday, I also received training to be a “Commission trained instructor”.

Watch for more details to follow soon!