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If you’re Active Duty Military, a Veteran or National Guard and looking to buy a home there are downpayment assistance programs available. Although there are nation wide programs, the focus of this blog is on Washington State. There are six military instillations in Washington State where soldiers would want to buy homes near, including:

Financial Assistance for Military Homebuyers in Washington State

The main resource for assistance in WA is the The Washington State Housing Finance Commission’s Veterans Downpayment Assistance Loan Program, which offers down payment assistance to Washington State Veterans who have served our country.

Available Assistance
The Veterans Downpayment Assistance Loan Program combines with the Home Advantage first mortgage loan program to offer down payment assistance in the form a second mortgage with a 3 percent interest rate and a ten-year loan term. Eligible households may qualify for a maximum loan amount of up to $10,000.

Eligibility Requirements
According to the WSHFC the follow persons are eligible:

  • Persons receiving an honorable discharge or who have received 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.  
  • Borrowers must be first-time homebuyers or buying in a targeted area. Borrowers must qualify for one of the Commission’s first mortgage loan programs.
  • All borrowers must be first-time homebuyers or buying in a targeted area* and must qualify for the Home Advantage Program first mortgage. They are also required 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

Please Note: All figures mentioned were accurate at the time of publication and may no longer be current – please visit the program website for updated information. Targeted areas are census tracts in Washington state that meet federal guidelines as economically distressed.

The purpose of this program is to make funds available to eligible applicants who are interested in purchasing a home but need financial help to pay the upfront costs, which include the down payment, as well as the closing costs and prepaid items required to obtain homeownership. These expenses can add up to a substantial amount, and the inability to pay it might keep people stuck in a renters trap. If you have questions about how this might work for you, contact one of our local loan officers.

If you have questions about the Veterans Downpayment Assistance Loan Program, please contact Dietrich Schmitz at 206-287-4459 or toll free at 800-767-4663, Ext. 459, or by e-mail dietrich.schmitz@wshfc.org

Have you contacted the WA State Department of Veterans Affairs to discuss benefits?
Please visit 
http://www.dva.wa.gov or call 1-800-562-2308.

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Read about the Memorandum of Understanding between The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA), Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC), and Washington Association of Realtors®.

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Additional Downpayment Programs in Washington

ARCH East King County Downpayment Assistance Loan

This is another option for Veteran home buyers. The ARCH East King County Downpayment Assistance Loan Program helps qualified borrowers purchasing a home or condominium within an ARCH member city. It provides up to $30,000 in down payment assistance at 4 percent simple interest.  See their website for details.

Bellingham Downpayment Assistance

Want to move to Bellingham? Now’s your chance. The Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) offers residents of Bellingham the Bellingham Downpayment Assistance program with up to $40,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance. Payment can be deferred for 30 years at 3% simple interest. See their website for details.

Home Advantage Down Payment Assistance Loan Program

The Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) offers homebuyers the Home Advantage Down Payment Assistance Loan Program, a second mortgage with a zero percent interest rate and payment deferred for 30 years that combines with the Home Advantage first mortgage. See their website for details.

HomeChoice Down Payment Assistance Program

HomeChoice is a down payment assistance program offered by the Washington Housing and Finance Commission (WSHFC). It combines with the House Key and Home Advantage first mortgage loan programs. See their website and contact them for details.

Opportunity Downpayment Assistance Loan Program

The Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) offers individuals the Opportunity Downpayment Assistance Loan Program, a second mortgage loan program with a 1 percent interest rate, with the payment deferred for 30 years.  See their website and contact them for details.

Pierce County Downpayment Assistance Program

This program is for qualified borrowers purchasing within the Pierce County limits, outside of the Tacoma, Lakewood, Bonney Lake, Auburn, and Pacific city limits. The loan amount goes up to $24,900, with payments deferred for 30 years, at 4 percent simple interest. See their website details.

Seattle Downpayment Assistance Program

Want to live in Urban Seattle? This program is for you. Under this program, qualified borrowers purchasing within the city limits of Seattle are allowed up to $45,000 in assistance with payments deferred for 30 years, at 3 percent simple interest. Funds may be used for down payment and closing costs.  See their website and contact them for details.

Tacoma Down Payment Assistance Program

Tacoma is a super hot Real Estate market right now, conveniently located near Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). Qualified borrowers within Tacoma city limits are allowed up to $20,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance with payments deferred for 30 years, at 4 percent simple interest. The borrower’s minimum down payment requirement is $500. See their website for details.

Veterans Downpayment Assistance Loan Program

The Washington State Housing Finance Commission’s (WSHFC) Veterans Downpayment Assistance Loan Program offers down payment assistance in the form of a second mortgage loan to Washington State Veterans who have served our country. Contact our team to see if you qualify for this option.

More Homebuying Options

The list in this blog is not a complete list, but it can serve as a starting point in your search for the down payment assistance program or grant for your situation. It is up to you to contact these entities and research the specifics of each program. Or, contact our team and have a loan officer walk you through it.

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