Washington State First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2020

NerdWalletSeptember 28, 2020
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First-time home buyers in Washington can take advantage of special loan programs and down payment assistance available just for residents. Got your eye on a cottage in King County? Or maybe a split-level in Spokane? The Washington State Housing Finance Commission, or WSHFC, knows the lay of the land and the lenders that can help.

National first-time home buyer programs

The WSHFC provides a wide variety of loan programs and down payment assistance; however, there are national loan programs to consider, as well.

Administered by government agencies — such as the VA or FHA — or federally authorized companies, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, these programs offer low-down-payment options, too.

WSHFC highlights and eligibility requirements

These are first-time home buyer assistance programs tailored just for residents in the Evergreen State. If you live here, it's a good idea to see if you qualify for them.

Highlights

  • 30-year fixed-rate home loans.

  • Down payment assistance up to 4% of the mortgage amount.

  • Available for single-family houses, condos, townhouses and manufactured homes.

Eligibility

  • A home buyer education course is required, in person or online.

  • Annual household income typically cannot exceed $145,000.

  • Some down payment assistance programs are restricted to first-time home buyers.

  • If you haven’t owned and occupied your primary residence in the past three years, you qualify as a first-time home buyer.

  • Specific areas are exempt from the first-time home buyer requirement.

Compare WSHFC lenders

WSHFC first-time home buyer loan programs

Summary: 2020 WSHFC first-time home buyer programs

  • Home Advantage program for reduced-rate mortgages for first-time home buyers.

  • Home Advantage Downpayment Assistance or up to 5% of your loan amount in down payment assistance.

  • Home Advantage Downpayment Assistance — Needs Based Program  for up to $10,000 in down payment assistance for qualifying borrowers.

  • Opportunity Downpayment Assistance Loan Program for a down payment loan of up to $10,000 in down payment assistance for first-time home buyers.

  • HomeChoice Downpayment Assistance Loan Program for up to $15,000 in down payment assistance for Washingtonians living with disabilities.

  • Veterans Downpayment Assistance Loan Program for up to $10,000 in down payment assistance for current or former military personnel.

WSHFC provides ample options for first-timers to get into a home. It all starts with a conversation with a lender — or better yet, several lenders. Find someone you feel comfortable with who will take the time to help you make sense of these programs.

Interest rates and loan terms vary by lender, which is why it makes sense to shop around for the best deal.

For full details on any program, visit the Washington State Housing Finance Commission online.

You’ll find lenders that participate in these programs on the WSHFC website.

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