First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Programs for 2022 in Washington

Last Updated on August 7, 2022 by Danielle McDonald

Mortgage Assistance for Homebuyers in Washington

Office of Housing Down Payment Assistance

The Office of Housing offers down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers in Seattle through partnerships with local nonprofits and lending institutions as an effort to help residents in Seattle own a home.

Available Assistance

The Office of Housing Down Payment Assistance Program provides up to $55,000 in down payment assistance for open-market purchases, or unrestricted houses built by homeownership partner organizations. However, the amount provided for resale-restricted homes, that have been built by homeownership partners organizations, is higher. Homes with less than 3 bedrooms can get up to $70,000. While homes with 3 or more bedrooms can get up to $90,000.

Eligibility Requirements

The Office of Housing Down Payment Assistance Program is only available to first-time homebuyers, or those who have not owned a home for the past 3 years. However, displaced homemakers are given an exception. These are adults who have owned an interest in a home. They also provided care for their family primarily for without remuneration, but were removed from their home in past 3 years. Seattle City approves applicants who earn less than 80% of the area median income based on household size, and who have completed a pre-purchase education program.

Property Guidelines

Properties purchased using funds from this program must be the applicant’s principal residence. Therefore, investment properties are not allowed. The eligible property types are single-family homes, condominiums, limited equity cooperatives, cohousing, and land trusts. Also, they include houses on leased land inside Seattle City limits. The highest purchase price via the down payment assistance program is $450,000.
This is similar to the down payment first-time homebuyer assistance programs in Virginia.

ARCH East King County Downpayment Assistance Loan

The ARCH East King County Downpayment Assistance Loan program assists qualified borrowers in purchasing a home or condo within an ARCH member municipality. This loan program also provides up to $30,000 of down payment assistance with simple interest at 4 percent.

Available Assistance

The ARCH East King County Downpayment Assistance Loan offers up to $30,000 in assistance with down payment at 4 percent interest. However, the down payment required by the borrower is 2 percent of purchase price. Gift funds can also make up to half of the remaining 2 percent. Additionally, this loan does not require monthly payments. The balance of the loan is due upon the sale, refinanced or transferred, payment is made, or the property is no longer the borrower’s primary residence.

Eligibility Requirements 

This program isn’t only for first-time homebuyers, unlike other down payment assistance programs. All applicants must comply with certain conditions. There is also a requirement for borrowers to attend and complete the free Homebuyer Education Seminar, sponsored by Washington State Housing Finance Commission. There is also a one-on-one pre-purchase counseling session.

Only residents of eligible cities are eligible for this program: Bellevue, Bothell, Hunts Point, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kirkland, Medina, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Redmond, Sammamish, Woodinville.

Property Guidelines

The buyer must use the home as their primary residence. It must also be occupied by the owner. Federal guidelines also requires that the home should not be occupied by tenants within the first 90 days after the purchase and sale agreement. Additionally, the new and existing constructions have a maximum purchase price of $373,000.

Income Limits

  • 1 person household: $50,400
  • 2 person household: $57,600
  • 3 person household: $64,800
  • 4 person household: $72,000
  • 5 person household: $77,800
  • 6 person household: $83,350
  • 7 person household: $89,300
  • 8 person household: $95,050

Bellingham Down Payment Assistance

Bellingham residents can receive up to $40,000 in closing cost and down payment assistance from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. You can defer payment for up to 30 years at 3% interest.

Available Assistance

This program provides up to $40,000 for closing cost assistance and down payment. There can be a payment deferral for up to 30 years at 3 percent interest, A minimum down payment of $2500, or 1 percent of purchase price, is a requirement. They also permit gift funds up to 25% of the requirement . Additionally, this loan does not require monthly payments. However, the balance of the loan is due upon the sale, refinanced or transferred of the home.

Eligibility Requirements 

Applicants must be first-time homebuyers to be eligible for the Bellingham Down Payment Assistance Program. They will need to attend a pre-purchase counseling session with a counselor just before closing.

Property Guidelines

The property must be the borrower’s primary residence. Federal guidelines also require that the tenants should not be occupying the property within the first 90 days after the signing of purchase and sale agreements. Additionally, new and existing constructions have a maximum purchase price of $299,025.

Income Limits

  • 1 person: $38,300
  • 2 person: $43,750
  • 3 person: $49,200
  • 4 person: $54,650
  • 5 person: $59,050
  • 6 person: $63,400
  • 7 person: $67,800
  • 8 person: $72,150

Home Advantage Down Payment Assistance Loan Program

Washington State Housing Finance Commission offers homebuyers a Home Advantage Down Payment Assistance Program Loan Program. However, this is a second mortgage that has a zero percent interest and deferred payment for 30 years.

Available Assistance

The Home Advantage Down payment Assistance Loan Program is a second mortgage that has a zero-percent interest rate. You can use this program in conjunction with the Home Advantage first mortgage. Additionally, Aal payments are deferred for a period of 30 years. Eligible households can also get loans up to 4% of the total loan amount in any county.

Eligible households who meet the loan officer’s needs-based requirements and have income below certain limits may be eligible for up to $10,000 in loan amounts at a 1% rate with deferred payments for 30 years. Veterans can also apply for $10,000 and there is no need-based assessment.

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the Home Advantage Down Payment Assistance Loan Program. The annual income limit for homebuyers is $97,000. Before requesting funds under the Home Advantage Program, applicants must attend a Commission-sponsored seminar for homebuyers.

Income Limits

  • King/Snohomish: $96,000
  • Kitsap: $77,100
  • Island: $77,300
  • All Other Counties: $76,500 

HomeChoice Down Payment Assistance Program

The Washington Housing and Finance Commission offers HomeChoice, a program that helps with down payments. Then, it can be combined with the House Key or Home Advantage first mortgage loan programs.

Available Assistance

HomeChoice offers eligible applicants a second mortgage that is payment-deferred. The loan has a 1% interest and can be used to pay down the mortgage or for closing costs. The payments are deferred for a period of 30 years or until the property is sold or refinanced. HomeChoice can be used in conjunction with the House Key and Home Advantage first mortgage loans programs.

Eligibility Requirements

The HomeChoice program can only be used by individuals with disabilities or family members with disabilities. Applicants must be first-time homebuyers, unless they’re purchasing a property in a Target Area. In that case, it is not mandatory. However, all borrowers must attend the Homebuyer Education Seminar offered by the HomeChoice Lender.

Income Limits 

  • King/Snohomish: $96,000
  • Island: $77,300
  • Kitsap: $77,100
  • All Other Counties: $76,500

This program provides financial assistance to qualified applicants who are interested to purchase a home, but cannot afford the upfront costs. It includes both the down payment and closing costs. This is because these costs can be significant and people might find themselves stuck in a renters’ trap if they are unable to pay them.

Opportunity Down Payment Assistance Loan Program

The Washington State Housing Finance Commission offers the Opportunity Down Payment Assistance loan program to individuals. This is a second mortgage loan program that has a 1% interest rate and the payment can be deferred for up to 30 years.

Available Assistance

Opportunity Down Payment Assistance Loan Program (also known as the Second Mortgage) is a second mortgage that has a 1 percent interest rate and deferred payments for 30 years. Based on your need, the loan amount can reach $10,000. Veterans are not eligible for this loan. The Opportunity program can also be combined with the Opportunity mortgage loan program.

Eligibility Requirements 

All applicants must meet the eligibility requirements to be eligible for the Opportunity Down Payment Assistance Loan Program. All applicants must be first-time buyers or residents of a specific area. * They must be eligible for the Opportunity first mortgage loan program, and they must attend a homebuyer seminar sponsored by the commission before they can reserve funds.

Income Limits 

Applicants must fall within the following income limits determined in the program:

King/Snohomish County
  • 1 or 2 person households: $57,600
  • 3 or more person households: $72,000
Clark/Thurston/Island/Pierce/Skamania County
  • 1 or 2 person households: $48,850
  • 3 or more person households: $61,050
Kitsap  County
  • 1 or 2 person households: $49,400
  • 3 or more person households: $61,700
All Other Counties
  • 1 or 2 person households: $42,050
  • 3 or more person households: $52,250

Pierce County Downpayment Assistance Program

This program is only for qualified borrowers who are able to purchase within Pierce County, but not outside the Tacoma and Lakewood, Bonney Lakes, Auburn, or Pacific city limits. The loan amount is up to $24,900 with deferred payments for 30 years at 4 percent interest.

Available Assistance

Pierce County Downpayment Assistance Program offers assistance funds of up to $24,900 for qualified borrowers in the form of a second mortgage. The loan is a simple interest of 4% with deferred payments for 30 years. However, all applicants must make a minimum $1000 down payment. Gift funds are also permitted to satisfy this requirement. Then this loan does not require monthly payments. The balance due upon the sale, refinanced or transferred of the home, or when it is no longer the borrower’s primary residence.

Eligibility Requirements 

All applicants must meet certain criteria to be eligible for the Pierce County Down payment assistance program. All applicants must be first-time homebuyers. They also need to attend and complete the free Homebuyer Education Seminar sponsored and hosted by Washington State Housing Finance Commission. They must also attend a pre-purchase counseling session one-on-one before closing.

Property Guidelines

The property must be the borrower’s primary residence. It must be within Pierce County, but not outside of the City of Tacoma or Lakewood, Bonney Lake and Auburn. Federal guidelines require that the property not be occupied by tenants within the first 90 days after the purchase and sale agreement. The program limits for the purchase price of the property are $247,000 for existing construction and $303,990 in new construction.

Income Limits: 

  • 1 person household: $41,750
  • 2 person household: $47,700
  • 3 person household: $53,650
  • 4 person household: $59,600
  • 5 person household: $64,400
  • 6 person household: $69,150
  • 7 person household: $73,950
  • 8 person household: $76,500

Seattle Down Payment Assistance Program

The Seattle Down Payment Assistance Program (also known as the Home Advantage second mortgage loan program) is a program that allows you to combine your Home Advantage mortgage loan with the Seattle Down Payment Assistance Program. The program allows qualified borrowers to purchase within Seattle’s city limits to receive up to $45,000 in assistance, with payments deferred for up to 30 years at 3 percent interest.

Funds can also be used to pay down the purchase price or for closing costs. However, the minimum down payment required by a borrower is 1% of the purchase cost or $2500, depending on which is higher.

Eligibility Requirements

The maximum purchase price for new or existing construction is $354,000. Within 90 days of the purchase or sale agreement, the home cannot have been occupied. However, borrowers must be first-time homebuyers and the home must also be their primary residence. All borrowers must also attend the free Homebuyer Education Seminar, sponsored by Washington State Housing Finance Commission. In order to receive a certificate, they will need to complete a questionnaire.

Seminar Standards Assure the Following:

The seminars last for at least five hours and cover all aspects of the home-buying process. They are presented in an open, honest format. However, only approved training materials and handouts can be used. Seminars will also be led by instructors who have completed the Commission’s instructor training. The instructor and any guests will not give sales or marketing presentations.

Income Limits

  • 1 person household: $48,550
  • 2 person household: $55,450
  • 3 person household: $62,400
  • 4 person household: $69,300
  • 5 person household: $74,850
  • 6 person household: $80,400
  • 7 person household: $85,950
  • 8 person household: $90,300

Tacoma Down Payment Assistance Program

Qualified borrowers living within Tacoma’s city limits can get up to $20,000 in closing cost assistance and down payment. Payments are deferred for 30 year at 4% interest. Minimum down payment for borrowers is $500

Tacoma Down Payment Assistance has been established by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. This second mortgage loan program also combines with Home Advantage. Then, qualified borrowers living within Tacoma’s city limits can receive up to $20,000 in closing cost and down payment assistance. Payments are also deferred for 30 year at 4% interest. However, the minimum down payment required by a borrower is $500. You may also use the gift funds to meet this requirement.

This loan does not require monthly payments. The balance would be due under the following circumstances: borrower sells the home, refinances the home, transfers the home, fails to maintain the property, or when the home is paid off on or before 30 years.

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must be first-time homebuyers. Then, applicants must purchase the principal residence and the owner must live there. Additionally, the federal guidelines require that the property not be occupied by tenants within the first 90 days following the sale and purchase agreement. There is also a requirement for borrowers to attend and complete the free Homebuyer Education Seminar hosted by Washington State Housing Finance Commission. Pre-purchase counseling sessions are also available for free to all borrowers.

Income Limits

  • 1 person household: $40,500
  • 2 person household: $46,300
  • 3 person household: $52,100
  • 4 person household: $57,850
  • 5 person household: $62,500
  • 6 person household: $67,150
  • 7 person household: $71,750
  • 8 person household: $72,300

Property Price Limit

  • Existing Construction Home Limit: $218,000
  • New Construction Home Limit: $228,000

Veterans Down Payment Assistance Loan Program

Washington State Housing Finance Commission’s Veterans Down Payment Assistance Loan program offers assistance to veterans who have served their country with a second mortgage loan.

Available Assistance

You can combine the Veterans Down Payment Assistance Loan Program with the Home Advantage first-mortgage loan program to provide down payment assistance in the form of a second mortgage at a 3 percent interest rate with a 10-year term. Additionally, the maximum loan amount of $10,000 may be available to eligible households.

Eligibility Requirements

The Veterans Down Payment Assistance Loan Program is available to any person who has received an honorable discharge or a discharge for medical reasons with an honorable record, members and honorably discharged former members of the Washington National Guard and Reserve, and  never remarried spouses and dependent children of deceased Veterans.

All borrowers must be first-time homebuyers or buying in a targeted area and must also qualify for the Home Advantage Program first mortgage. There is also a requirement to attend a commission-sponsored homebuyer seminar prior to reserving funds

Income Limits

  • King/Snohomish: $96,000
  • Kitsap: $77,100
  • Island: $77,300
  • All Other Counties: $76,500

Are you interested in the First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Programs in West Virginia?

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