Buy a House with WA’s First Time Home Buyer Loan and Grant Programs!

(Last Updated On: February 3, 2018)

Looking for first time home buyer loan programs in Washington? We’ve found them all! There are many programs that will assist you with tax reductions, down payment assistance and so much more!

Get more help buying a house with low income here!

Remember – even previous homeowners can qualify for first time home buyer loan programs if they haven’t had ownership interest in a property for at least three years! If you owned a home more than 36 months ago, these programs can still help you!

Washington has amazing first time home buyer loan programs!

Washington State Housing Finance Commission administers several first time home buyer loan programs. They have home buyer education workshops, home loan programs and down payment assistance.

EnergySpark Home Loans grant a 0.25% interest rate reduction to buyers who purchase an energy efficient home or make upgrades to an existing home at the time of purchase.

Home Advantage Loans are a type of WSHFC loan that is designed to help low income families purchase a home with a good interest rate. You can receive up to four percent of the mortgage loan amount in down payment assistance!

HomeChoice Down Payment Assistance Loan Program provides up to $15,000 toward the down payment and closing costs of your first time home buyer loan! This program is a second mortgage loan program for households with at least one disabled family member. This second mortgage has a mere one percent interest rate.

House Key Schools is a down payment assistance program for teachers and employees of K-12 public schools, private schools, community colleges and technical schools. The assistance is awarded as a second loan with a 3 percent interest rate and a 10 year loan term.

House Key Opportunity loans are a special mortgage product designed for those who are obtaining some form of down payment assistance. They can be combined with Opportunity Down Payment Assistance Loans of up to $10,000. Contact a lender for more information.

Veterans Down Payment Assistance is a statewide program that can provide $10,000 in down payment assistance for persons who received an honorable or medical discharge. Spouses who have never remarried and dependent children of deceased veterans may also qualify. This $10,000 loan carries a 3 percent interest rate and does not have monthly payments. You will have to pay off the balance when you pay off, sell, transfer or otherwise move out of the home, though.

homeowner assistance Washington State down payment assistance first time home buyer loans

Cities and counties offer additional first time home buyer loan programs!

For your convenience, I’ve divided the local resources into two categories: Western Washington and Eastern Washington.

Western Washington

Bellingham offers up to $40,000 in down payment assistance for buyers who purchase a home in the city. This secondary loan accrues 3 percent simple interest and does not have to be repaid for 30 years.

Built in Bremerton matches low income home buyers in Bremerton with newly renovated homes, down payment assistance and affordable mortgage payments. This first time home buyer program is coordinated by Community Frameworks.

Clark County and the surrounding area can benefit from a visit to the Community Housing Resource Center in Vancouver. They offer free homeownership preparation courses, homebuyer education classes, credit restoration services and more!

The Community Housing Resource Center serves low and moderate income earners from Southwest Washington and Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington Counties in Oregon. Their orientation and classes are free for qualifying low income clients and they have a full-time Spanish speaking counselor on staff.

Everett participates in a First Time Home Buyers Program that assists low income families with their condominum, single-family or two-family property purchase. Contact the Community Development & Housing department for more information.

King County has several resources available for first time home buyers. One of their best resources is an agency called HomeSight, which offers homebuyer education classes, homebuyer development counseling, mortgage lending, purchase assistance with down payments as low as 1 percent, matching funds of up to $7,500 and more!

East King County has a special ARCH Down Payment Assistance Program that can provide up to $30,000 in down payment assistance to low income home buyers who are purchasing a home or condo in an ARCH member city. This secondary loan accrues 4 percent simple interest and does not have to be repaid until the borrower sells, refinances, transfers, pays off or moves out of the property. ARCH also maintains a list of affordable homes in the area.

ARCH member cities include Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Issaquah, Woodinville and unincorporated King County.

Kitsap County residents benefit from a few Housing Kitsap programs. Housing Kitsap has a building program, down payment assistance and housing rehabilitation services. The self-help program is one of the coolest ideas I’ve seen. The agency keeps a list of homeownership opportunities for which low income families can apply. They recruit 8-12 families at a time to build their homes together with help and training from the agency. Mortgage payments are subsidized so they are affordable to the families.

Pierce County has a down payment program for those who live in Pierce County but outside the city limits of Tacoma, Lakewood, Bonney Lake, Auburn and Pacific. This program provides up to $24,900 in down payment assistance. The loan accrues 4 percent simple interest and does not have monthly payments for the first 30 years.

Seattle has a Down Payment Assistance Program that can be combined with the Home Advantage or Opportunity mortgage loans. Qualified buyers who are purchasing a home inside Seattle city limits can receive up to $55,000 in down payment assistance. This secondary loan accrues 3 percent simple interest and is deferred for 30 years.

Seattle is also home to El Centro de la Raza, a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, which provides helpful workshops and guidance throughout the homebuying process.

If you’re looking for affordable homes to purchase, Homestead Community Land Trust may be able to help. They offer affordable homes that are significantly below market value. The minimum down payment for a Homestead home is just $2,500. The catch? When you’re ready to move, you have to agree to sell your home to another moderate-income buyer for a reasonable price.

Of course, Seattle buyers can also receive assistance from HomeSight, an agency that offers homebuyer education classes, homebuyer development counseling, mortgage lending, purchase assistance with down payments as low as 1 percent, matching funds of up to $7,500 and more!

Snohomish County participates in the American Dream Down Payment Initiative program. This program offers down payment assistance funds to low income families who are purchasing single family homes.

Snohomish County residents can also receive assistance from HomeSight, an agency that offers homebuyer education classes, homebuyer development counseling, mortgage lending, purchase assistance with down payments as low as 1 percent, matching funds of up to $7,500 and more!

Tacoma offers up to $20,000 in down payment assistance. This secondary loan carries 4 percent simple interest and does not have to be repaid for 30 years. You will have to repay the loan when you sell, refinance, transfer, pay off or move out of the residence. To qualify, you must meet certain requirements and contribute at least $500 of your own funds.

Vancouver provides up to $50,000 for qualifying low income home buyers. This amount can be used toward the down payment and toward capital improvements.

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Eastern Washington

Rural Resources Community in Action serves residents of Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens and other North and Eastern Washington CountiesResidents can consult with Rural Resources Community in Action, an agency that can help you find the right low income first time home buyer loan programs for you. After you buy your home, they can also help you with free weatherization upgrades, minor home repairs and more!

Kennewick offers up to $10,000 in down payment assistance to qualified first time homebuyers. The borrower must provide $1,000 or 1% of the purchase price of the home, whichever is higher. Income limits and other criteria apply.

Pasco offers up to $10,000 in down payment assistance to qualified first time homebuyers. The borrower must provide $1,000 or 1% of the purchase price of the home, whichever is higher. Income limits and other criteria apply.

Richland offers up to $10,000 in down payment assistance to qualified first time homebuyers. The borrower must provide $1,000 or 1% of the purchase price of the home, whichever is higher. Income limits and other criteria apply.

Spokane residents can benefit from several local homebuyer programs. The City of Spokane even offers a Section 8 Homeownership program for Section 8 recipients!

The Arc of Spokane guides families with members who have an intellectual or developmental disability through the complex process of buying a home. They offer homebuyer counseling, one-on-one housing counseling and down payment assistance.

HomeStarts is a program that provides low income buyers with the opportunity to buy affordable, newly constructed homes. Coordinated by Community Frameworks, this is one of the best first time home buyer loan programs because it includes 100% financing with down payment assistance and low monthly mortgage payments on brand new homes!

Since 1988, SNAP has assisted low income families with free pre-purchase counseling, free home buyer education classes, down payment assistance loan program guidance and more!

Whitman County provides a self-help program for home buyers. This program helps people purchase homes with little to no down payment whatsoever. They intend to build four homes per year through this program. For details, contact the Homeowner Resource Center in Whitman County. 

Yakima has a Homeownership through New Construction program that promotes the purchase of newly constructed homes for low and medium income first-time buyers.

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