House Key Opportunity – Washington State Bond Mortgage Program


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.


  1. I can’t sit for 5 hours to attend a seminar so I inquired about taking the class on-line. If I show up in person it’s “free” (the currency I’m probably expected to pay with is all my information and listening to a sales pitch), but if I want to take it on-line it’s $50. It would seem that it would be less expensive to provide it on-line than to provide in person instruction. Anyway, another barrier. And while I’m ranting: I think it stinks that any “investor” can get funds to rehab torn up houses (who tore them up, by the way, to provide these “opportunities” for “investors”?), but if I want to rehab a house for me to live in, there are numerous obstacles, including a loan process that practically precludes it. Seems unfairly biased in favor of predatory investors who buy low, rehab cheap, and sell or rent high, and against someone who just wants to buy a house and fix it up to live in. I guess that’s one more way they keep the poor poor.

    • Mary, the instructors are not allowed to make sales pitches during the class. Rehab loans are expensive and typically require additional inspections. I believe the WSHFC offers an FHA 203k with down payment assistance. We, Mortgage Master’s, has an FHA 203k – but not one with down payment assistance.


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