First-Time Home Buyer Guide
For Vancouver, WA
First-time home buyers in Vancouver, WA have a whole bevy of down payment assistance and special loan programs for residents of Washington State.
If you are looking to jump into a starter home in Vancouver and are wondering how you can maximize your dollar the, Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) has the info you need. At The Domench Team, we are happy to help break things down for our customers and community in an effort to help you flourish!
Give us a call anytime at (360) 524-2587 and we will be happy to help you figure out which programs will work best for you with a free consultation.
Before jumping into this article, it might be a good idea to know what your credit score is and have an idea of what you would like to spend on a down payment
National First-Time Home Buyer Programs
The WSHFC offers a lot of different loan programs and down payment assistance offers, but before we take a look at those, there are some very advantageous national loan programs to consider.
The following programs are offered by government agencies and some federally authorized companies. They are often the best choice for first-time home buyers and they usually offer some low-down-payment options, as well.
FHA loans are best for those with an already low credit score and for those who are looking to have a low down payment.
For many with low credit scores, FHA loans are the best option because the Federal Housing Administration allows for down payments as low as 3.5% for those with credit scores of at least 580. The FHA will insure loans to those with credit scores as low as 500 but (as with all loans) as the score lowers, the required down payment raises. A score of 500 requires a down payment of 10%. One catch with an FHA loan is that mortgage insurance is required over the life of the whole loan.
USDA loans are best for those looking for a low down payment and for those who are looking to buy in a rural location, so it probably won’t do you any good if you are looking for a home inside Vancouver, WA city limits.
USDA loans are zero-down-payment mortgages for eligible rural and some suburban home buyers. These loans are issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These loans come with income limitations that vary by region. If you have a score of 640 or better, it can make the process of being accepted for a USDA loan much easier. Those with scores lower than 640 can still receive a USDA loan, but the underwriting standards make it a lengthier and less common occurrence.
Conventional Mortgages are best for those who are looking to make a low down payment and for those who can handle limited mortgage insurance premiums
Conventional mortgages are not insured or guaranteed by the federal government. Conventional mortgages allow down payments as low as 3% to those who are buying their first home or who meet a lower-income requirement. These meet standards that are put in place by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The nice thing about conventional mortgages is they allow borrowers to cancel their mortgage insurance or avoid it entirely by putting at least 20% down.
VA loans are best for those who are in the military or who have served and for those looking for a low down payment.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs puts this program on and offers it to service members, surviving spouses, and veterans to help them buy a house. VA loans are among the most generous loans that one can receive. They have great interest rates, usually require no down payment, and don’t require mortgage insurance. It is advisable to have a credit score of at least 640 if you would like to apply for a VA loan, even though there is no official minimum credit score.
WSHFC Highlights and Eligibility Requirements
The following are the first-time home buyer assistance programs that are tailored just for residents in Washington State. If you are a resident or are thinking about becoming one, check them out to see what you could qualify for.
CHECK IT OUT: 9 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers
Highlights of WSHFC
- Some programs offer down payment assistance that can cover up to 5% of the mortgage amount.
- These programs are available for almost any residence.
- Some offer 30-year fixed-rate home loans.
Are You Eligible for WSHFC?
There are some eligibility requirements to be able to be considered for first-time home buyers assistance in Washington state:
- Some programs require that you complete a home buyer education course.
- Some plans are restricted only to first-time home buyers.
- Annual household income can’t exceed $97,000 in most cases.
- If you haven’t occupied/owned your residence for the past three years you qualify as a first-time home buyer.
- Some areas where you can buy homes are exempt from these programs.
WSHFC First-Time Home Buyer Loan Programs
This program is best for assistance with down payments of up to $10,000. The interest rate is a super-low 1% and it’s deferred for 30 years! This is only available to first-time home buyers in certain areas within Washington.
House Key Veterans
This program is best for service and ex-service members who need help with their down payment. This can help with $10,000 in down payment assistance that is set-up like a second mortgage with a 3% interest rate. This is also deferred for 30 years.
Home Advantage DPA #1
This program specializes in down payment assistance. And allows you to receive up to 5% of the total loan amount in down payment assistance depending on the classification of loan you chose (conventional, VA, etc.). This is a 0% interest loan, with payment deferred for 30 years.
Home Advantage DPA #2
This program helps with down payment assistance for military and ex-military members to the tune of $10,000 with needs based qualifications.
This is best for down payment assistance up to $10,000 at a 1% interest rate, deferred for30 years. To qualify for opportunity DPA you just need to be a first-time home buyer and be buying a home in certain approved areas or Washington.
Summary for 2020 Washington First-Time Home Buyers
There are tons of programs to help you first-time home buyers out there, and we at The Domench Team can help you figure out which ones will work best for you. Best of all, we can help streamline the application process for you and get you into that new house of your dreams.
Please give us a call at (360) 524-2587 and let us know how we can help you!