Main Content

Washington State’s first-time homebuyer programs

FHA Home Loan
Buying a home isn’t always easy, especially for first-timers. But, if you’ve set your sights on Washington, the Evergreen State has varied ways of helping you get the home of their dreams.

  • FHA Home Loan

    The Federal Housing (FHA) Loan remains the most popular government home loan. Down payment (3.5% for borrowers whose credit score is 580 or up) is low. Homebuyers with a credit score of 500 can still avail of the loan by giving a 10% down payment.

    Closing costs are only about 2 to 5% of the loan value. The buyer can ask the seller to contribute as much as 6% of the home’s total sale amount for the closing cost.

    Borrowers can also use qualified gift funds to their down payment or closing costs. But they have to pay Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) in order to keep down payments and credit scores low.

  • VA Home Loan

    The Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) offers VA (Veteran Affairs) loans under the Washington Home Advantage Government Program.  These 30-year loans come with down payment assistance of up to 4% on the amount of the initial mortgage loan. Qualified borrowers may even buy their first home with zero down payment and PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance). 

    To qualify for a loan, check out the requirements here. Veterans who are first-time homebuyers can also apply for a Washington Veterans Down Payment Assistance Loan Program to get a second mortgage loan with 3% interest.

  • WSHFC Home Advantage

    To qualify, borrowers need a minimum credit score of 620, a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 50%, and a yearly income of below $145,000.

  • WSHFC House Key Opportunity

    This caters to lower income homebuyers availing of down payment assistance programs. Income limits are from $75,000 to $140,000 depending on home location and household size. The cost of a house available to the borrower is limited to a certain amount – from $265,000 to $575,000 based on location. Interest rate is below that of FHA, VA, and USDA loans.

  • Washington Down Payment Assistance (DPA)

    These loans must be paid once the home is sold, or the mortgage refinanced and paid off.  A credit score of at least 620 is required to meet income requirements, which is different from one program to the next. 

    Homebuyer programs under this scheme are:

    1. Home Advantage DPA Needs Based
      Together with a Home Advantage first mortgage, this program for homebuyers earning less than the $145,000 income threshold comes with a charge of 1% interest. Payment is spread out over 30 years. To qualify for a loan of up to $10,000, an applicant’s yearly income must fall below $89,800.
    2. Veterans DPA
      This second mortgage loan program charges 3% interest. Payment is extended up to 30 years for Washington State veterans. 
    3. Opportunity DPA
      This second mortgage program of up to $10,000 is paired with the House Key Opportunity first mortgage. It charges 1% interest. Payment is deferred for 30 years.  Income limits are a lot lower and depend on where the home is located as well as household size.
    4. Home Choice Disability DPA
      This program for the disabled provides up to $15,000 down payment assistance for a second mortgage. The second loan charges 1% interest.  Payment is spread out for 30 years.

Interested in buying your first home in North Central Washington? Call Coldwell Banker Real Estate at 509.888.8887 or drop us a line at info(at)cbcascade(dotted)com.

Related: How to find the right house to buy