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Complete List of First Time Home Buyer Programs Seattle | Your Seattle first time home buyer 🏠 Ultimate Guide

Last Updated on: 27th May 2024, 01:29 pm

Buying a home is a significant milestone in your life. However, rising interest rates and increasing living costs can make this goal challenging for many. Fortunately, for residents in Kings County, various first time home buyer Seattle programs are available to help make homeownership more attainable.

The City of Seattle and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission provide comprehensive Seattle first time home buyer programs that offer financial aid like low-interest loans and grants. In addition to more well-known Federal options, these local programs offer a range of benefits, from down payment assistance in Seattle to favorable loan terms that reduce the financial burden for first time home buyer individuals and families.

Whether you’re navigating the market for the first time or you’ve been out of the homeownership loop for a while, these programs provide substantial support, typically available to those who haven’t owned a home in the last three years. Stay tuned for more details on how Seattle first time home buyer assistance programs can help you achieve your dreams in the best family neighborhoods in Seattle and other local hot spots.

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credits & Down Payment Assistance in Washington

Washington offers a variety of programs aimed at making homeownership more attainable, especially for first-time buyers in bustling cities like Seattle. For those interested in moving to Seattle or one of the amazing cities near Seattle WA, understanding the following down payment assistance programs can be the key to transforming the dream of homeownership into reality.

Whether you are searching for first time home buyer Washington State options, need down payment assistance in Seattle, or are exploring Seattle first time home buyer tax credits, Washington’s range of supportive measures cater to diverse needs and financial situations.

Houses in Washington with mountain backdrop.

The Home Advantage Down Payment Assistance Program

The Home Advantage Down Payment Assistance Program, accessible through the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, is designed to aid homebuyers across the state, not just a Seattle first-time home buyer. To be eligible, you don’t have to be a first time home buyer, but you must attain your home loan through the Home Advantage Program.

This Home Advantage DPA program provides the funds necessary for your down payment in the form of a no interest loan with payments deferred for a helpful 30 years.

Down payment help hinges on meeting a set of criteria, including a minimum credit score of 620, $180,000/year max income limits, and attending a homebuyer education seminar. It will cover up to 5% of the loan amount using our Home Advantage conventional or FHA loan and is specifically used for down payments and closing costs, making the initial stages of homeownership more manageable for buyers.

Home Advantage Needs-Based Down Payment Assistance Program

The Home Advantage Needs-Based Down Payment Assistance Program is a sought-after option for those buying a house in Seattle. Paired with the Home Advantage first mortgage program, it’s tailored for individuals earning below average income limits.

Qualifying is simple: if your income falls below $146,500 in King County and Snohomish counties or $114,600 in all other counties, you’re eligible for a loan of up to $10,000. This loan features a low 1% interest rate and offers a 30-year payment deferral period, providing flexibility and accessibility for those seeking homeownership assistance.

Additionally, veterans are exempt from the income assessment requirement, allowing them access to the full $10,000 loan amount without demonstrating financial need.

House Key Opportunity Program WA

The House Key Opportunity Program extends Seattle down payment assistance and closing cost help to a broader audience, not restricted to first-time buyers and available to all Washington residents who buy a home in a target area.

The House Key Opportunity Down payment assistance loan provides a second mortgage that requires repayment only when the first mortgage is paid off, the home is sold, or refinanced, up to $15,000, with a competitive interest rate of 1%.

Eligibility hinges on meeting county income limits, being a max household income of $88,800 for a 2-family household in Kings County, a 620+ credit score, and completing mandatory education.

Veterans Down Payment Program WA

The Veterans Program is a special initiative under the Washington State Housing Finance Commission helpful for veterans, offering down payment assistance across the state, including for those searching for Seattle first time home buyer programs or down payment assistance Seattle.

This program does not limit eligibility to first-time buyers, however, allowing greater accessibility for veterans looking to purchase a home. For those with a loan under the Home Advantage or House Key first mortgage loan program, the assistance provided takes the form of a second mortgage with 3% interest, repayable under certain conditions.

Qualifying veterans need a minimum credit score of 620 and must attend a homebuyer education seminar while income restrictions to qualify in King or Snohomish Counties are capped at $147,400.

HomeChoice Program

The HomeChoice Program is structured to alleviate pressure of the homebuying process for individuals and families with disabilities. This program is open to all eligible residents of Washington and is not limited to just Seattle first-time homebuyers. It features up to a $15,000 second mortgage used for the down payment or toward closing cost.

Applicants must meet a minimum credit score of 620 and completion of a homebuyer education seminar, as well as 1-on-1 counseling required.

This program is an excellent resource for potential borrowers looking for Seattle first time home buyer assistance or needing specialized down payment assistance Seattle due to disability.

The $15,000 First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit

There are no first-time Home Buyer Tax Credits for Washington state, but a Seattle first-time home buyer can utilize the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Act of 2024. Under this act, eligible buyers can receive a tax credit of up to $15,000 upon purchasing their first home, credited in cash, down payment assistance, or other costs.

This credit serves to reduce the overall tax burden for qualifying individuals, making homeownership more attainable and promoting economic growth in the housing market on a national and local scale.

First Time Home Buyer Loans in Seattle Washington

Navigating the landscape of home financing can be daunting, especially for a first time home buyer in Seattle WA.

From federal options like USDA loans and FHA loans to Washington state-specific programs tailored for new homeowners, there’s a myriad of loan options available. In this section, we’ll explore various loan options to work with or replace a conventional loan (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) route, all designed to empower first-time home buyers in Seattle.


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WSHFC Home Advantage Program

This Seattle first time home buyer loan program is also available to first-time homebuyers across Washington State, offering a loan with reduced interest rates. Eligibility hinges on a 620+ credit score, a debt-to-income ratio no greater than 50%, and annual earnings below $180,000.

WSHFC House Key Opportunity Program

Targeting lower-income first-time homebuyers throughout Washington State, the House Key Opportunity program provides low interest loan funded via the proceeds of tax-exempt bonds. It’s offered to lower income thresholds between $100,000 and $175,000, setting a maximum purchase price limit varying by location.

WSHFC EnergySpark Program

For eco-conscious homebuyers in Washington, the WSHFC EnergySpark program offers a .25% interest rate reduction when purchasing a new energy-efficient home or upgrading an existing one at the time of purchase. Qualifications mirror those of the Home Advantage loan, with the additional requirement of purchasing a qualified new construction or improving an existing home’s energy efficiency by at least 10%.

FHA Loans for First-Time Home Buyer Seattle WA 

Particularly appealing to first-time homebuyers due to its low 3.5% down payment requirement, with the cap ranging from $472,030 for single-family homes to $1,879,850 for four-plexes. Types include:

  • FHA’s purchase mortgage
  • FHA “rehab & repair” mortgage
  • Energy-efficient mortgage
  • Reverse mortgage

And other FHA programs that offer purchase assistance for individuals seeking first-time home buyer programs in Washington State and beyond.

VA Loans for Washington Veterans

A VA loan is facilitated by private approved lenders but are backed by the VA, enabling benefits like competitive low interest rates, zero down payment, capped closing costs, and no requirement for Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for service members, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses.

First Time Home Buyer Programs Seattle/King County

In addition to the above national and state programs that help home purchases in Seattle, there’s a handful of extremely helpful Seattle first time home buyer programs specific to our city limits. With varying income requirements and other intricacies, let’s look into the following assistance programs to see if you qualify.


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Seattle’s Office of Housing Down Payment Assistance Programs

The Seattle Office of Housing Program offers robust down payment assistance of up to $55,000 for households in Seattle earning below 80% of the area median income, helping to offset the Seattle cost of living for those buying their first home. This Seattle first time home buyer assistance program is brought to life by the following partners, offering their own unique criteria and benefits.

  • Habitat for Humanity Seattle – King County: Builds affordable homes through a “sweat equity” model where homeowners contribute labor, offering down payment assistance and subsidy financing to keep housing costs below 30% of income.
  • HomeSight Seattle Down Payment Assistance Program: A non-profit organization promoting affordable homeownership through education, financial planning, and up to $70,000 in low-interest purchase assistance loans for first-time buyers.
  • Homestead Community Land Trust: Provides affordable homes priced below market value to income-qualified buyers in Seattle, ensuring long-term affordability by setting a controlled future sale price.
  • Parkview Services Seattle: Delivers housing solutions and support for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, offering up to $110,000 in down payment assistance through a low-interest deferred second mortgage.

700 5th Ave #5700, Seattle, WA 98104 (206-684-0721)

The ARCH East King County Downpayment Assistance Loan Program

This down payment assistance in Seattle offers up to $30,000 at 4% interest to aid homebuyers in purchasing a home or condominium within its member cities, including Bellevue, Redmond, and Issaquah, among others. This loan is not exclusive to first-time homebuyers but does require the property to be the buyer’s owner-occupied primary residence. Income and purchase price limits, as well as other restrictions apply, aiming to support affordability in the region.

First Time Home Buyer Seattle FAQs

Who Is Considered a First Time Home Buyer in Seattle?

In Seattle, a first time home buyer is defined as someone who has not owned a primary residence at any point during the last three years. This definition helps determine eligibility for various first time home buyer programs the state and county offers, aiming to make homeownership accessible to more people.

What Programs are Available for First Time Home Buyers in Seattle?

Seattle offers a range of programs, including the Washington first time home buyer and down payment assistance Washington State programs, as well as King County initiatives that provide low-interest loans, grants, and tax credits to help reduce the initial costs of purchasing a home.

Do You Have to Pay Back Down Payment Assistance in Seattle?

The requirement to repay down payment assistance in Seattle depends on the specific program. Some programs offer grants that do not require repayment, others might offer deferred loans that only need to be repaid when the home is sold, refinanced, or ceases to be the primary residence, while some require monthly mortgage payments.

For those navigating the journey towards homeownership in Seattle, the variety of down payment assistance and first-time buyer loan options we’ve outlined can provide substantial financial support. Whether you’re leveraging programs from Habitat for Humanity, the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, HomeSight, or others, these resources are designed to make your dream home a reality.

When you’re ready to make your move, don’t hesitate to contact All Ready Moving & Storage for reliable and professional Seattle moving services, promising a stress-free transition to your new home. Call us today at 360-507-2447 or fill out our form for a free, no-hassle quote!

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