Down payment getting you down?
How can your friend who makes about as much as you do own a home? How come your friend’s monthly mortgage payment is less than your monthly rent? You know that you could afford that home you saw online because you have a stable income. So what’s holding you back? There is a good chance that what stands in your way is limited funds for a down payment.
Down Payment Assistance can be the key to homeownership.
Many prospective home buyers just don’t have the required money set aside. This is not only true for first-time homebuyers. It is also true for those who are on the rebound from the 2007 housing debacle. Their credit has been restored and their income qualifies them for homeownership.
“First-time” buyer redefined
Just because you once owned a home does not disqualify you for down payment assistance. A first-time buyer is defined as someone who hasn’t owned a home in the past three years. If you’ve been renting for the past four years, you are a first-time home buyer again!
Criteria for down payment assistance
Aside from household income thresholds, you must meet some credit score minimums and have some cash reserves. Income thresholds are based on the area median income—up to 120 percent in high-cost markets. Income limits are almost always based on household size. Limits for a family of five are significantly higher than for a single person. Most assistance programs, especially for first-time buyers, require the completion of homebuyer education programs.
Does your job serve the community?
Some programs are designed for individuals who provide necessary services to the community. They include teachers, firefighters, law enforcement personnel, health care workers, and veterans.
Not for investors.
To qualify for down payment assistance, the home must be occupied as the primary residence. Single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and even some multifamily properties are allowed as long as the buyer is also an owner occupant.
Find out if you are eligible.
Down payment assistance programs are available across the greater Seattle area. Find out if you and your community are eligible. This link connects you to an online form where you answer a few questions and, after you have learned about your eligibility, you will be redirected to me to assist you with specific properties.
Forward this post to a friend.
If you are a homeowner already but have family members, friends, or colleagues who should know about down payment assistance, please forward this post.
First published by Gerhard as his November 2019 View from the Street Newsletter.