We are here to help you

Call us: 1-800-731-3560

Washington First Time Home Buyer Loans

Get a Mortgage Loan to Buy Your First Home in Washington State
Loan Program Options - Down Payment Assistance - Fast Loan Approvals

Washington State First Time Home Buyer – 2019 Loan Programs

Are you looking to purchase your first home? Our first time home buyer programs might be the perfect solution to help you obtain the financing you need to purchase the home you desire. We provide excellent home financing options, and encourage you to compare our offered loan terms to other mortgage lenders.

Washington State First Time Home Buyer Loans

There are 5 types of first time home buyer loans.  You may select different loan terms, such as a fixed rate or adjustable rate mortgage, and the number of years to repay the loan (such as a 30 year fixed rate mortgage).

Types of Mortgages:

  • Conventional Loans – Conventional loans offer the best loan terms to borrowers with good or excellent credit, as well as those who can afford to place a larger down payment.  If you are able to put 20% or more down, you will be able to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI).  However, conventional loans also offer low down payment options, such as programs that only require 3% down.
  • FHA Loans – FHA loans are a good option for borrowers who may not be able to qualify for a conventional loan.  The qualification requirements for FHA loans are much more lenient than conventional loans.  This includes options for home buyers with credit scores as low as 500 (in order to qualify for a 3.5% down payment, you must have a credit score of at least 580).
  • USDA Loans – USDA loans provide home buyers the opportunity to purchase a home without any down payment.  These loans are intended for borrowers with low-to-moderate income.  In addition to not requiring any money down, you can also finance the closing costs into the loan.  This means you can essentially buy a home with no money out of pocket!
  • VA Loans – Active duty military members and veterans can apply for a VA loan which allows you to buy your first home without any down payment.  These loans are not available to the general public, but exclusively to military/veterans.
  • Jumbo Loans – Any loan that does not meet the conforming or FHA loan limits is a jumbo loan.  Washington has a lot of high cost areas, but many counties are limited to $484,350 for conforming loan limits, and as low as $314,827 for FHA loan limits (some counties are as high as $726,525, such as King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties).  For those who qualify, and want a little more than what conforming and FHA loan limits allow, we offer jumbo loans up to $2,000,000.

The above 5 types of loans are the main first time home buyer options that exist.  We can help you determine which loan is the right fit for you based on your particular needs and eligibility.

Washington State Down Payment Assistance Programs 

Washington leads the nation as one of the best states for down payment assistance (DPA) opportunities.  This includes a multitude of programs offered by the state, as well as several county and city initiatives assisting first time home buyers.

WSHFC Home Advantage Program

By far the most popular program, which is offered throughout the entire state is the Home Advantage DPA offered through the Washington State Housing Financing Commission.  You may be able to receive up to 4% of the purchase price of the home you want to buy, which can be used for your down payment.  The funds are classified as a loan, but it is at 0% interest and deferred for 30 years.  You do not have to pay this money back until the home is sold or refinanced.

Program Requirements

  • The minimum credit score required to qualify is 620.
  • You meet the income limits, which are $145,000 statewide (meaning that your total household income does not exceed this amount).
  • The maximum DTI ratio allowed is 50%.
  • You must also attend a homebuyer education course through a certified provider.

You can learn more about the Home Advantage Program on the Washington State Housing Finance Commission website.

Seattle Down Payment Assistance 

First time home buyers in Seattle may be able to receive up to $55,000 in down payment assistance.  This is one of the most generous DPA programs in the entire country.

Program Requirements

  • The home must be within the city limits of Seattle.
  • You must be a first time home buyer.
  • The property may not exceed the maximum price allowed of $450,000.
  • You must complete a homebuyer education course.
  • The home must be a primary residence (no investment properties allowed).
  • Your income must be below 80% of the average median income for Seattle (the income limits are shown below).

Income Limits

  • 1 person: $56,200
  • 2 people: $64,200
  • 3 people: $72,250
  • 4 people: $80,250
  • 5 people: $86,700
  • 6 people: $93,100
  • 7 people: $99,550
  • 8 people: $103,400

You can learn more about the requirements and program details, on the official city of Seattle website.

Tacoma Down Payment Assistance 

First time home buyers in Tacoma may receive up to $20,000 in down payment assistance.  The funds are received as a deferred loan with a 4% simple interest rate, but monthly payments are not required.  The money only must be paid back once the home is sold, refinanced, or if you (the borrower) no longer resides at the home, and use it as your primary residence.

Program Requirements

  • You must be a first time home buyer
  • Purchasing a home within the city limits of Tacoma.
  • Attend a homebuyer education course.
  • Contribute $500 towards your down payment.
  • The maximum purchase price allowed is $254,000 for an existing home, and $329,000 for new construction.
  • Your household income must not exceed the income limits, which are outlined below.

Income Limits

  • 1 person: $41,800
  • 2 people: $47,800
  • 3 people: $53,750
  • 4 people: $59,700
  • 5 people: $64,500
  • 6 people: $69,300
  • 7 people: $71,750
  • 8 people: $72,300

You can learn more about this program on the City of Tacoma website.

Pierce County Down Payment Assistance

First time home buyers in Pierce County may receive up to $24,900 in down payment assistance.  The funds are provided as a 30 year loan with a 4% interest rate.  Monthly payment are not required.  The money only must be paid back when you sell the home, refinance, or no longer reside in the home, and use it as your primary residence.

Program Requirements

  • You must be a first time home buyer.
  • The home must be located in Pierce County (excluding the city limits of Tacoma, Lakewood, and Bonney Lake).
  • You must complete a homebuyer education course.
  • The maximum purchase price allowed is $313,500 for an existing home, and $417,995 for a newly constructed home.
  • Your household income must not exceed the income limits, which are outlined below.

Income Limits

  • 1 person: $41,800
  • 2 people: $47,800
  • 3 people: $53,750
  • 4 people: $59,700
  • 5 people: $64,500
  • 6 people: $69,300
  • 7 people: $71,750
  • 8 people: $72,300

You can learn more about this program on the official Pierce County website.

ARCH East King County Down Payment Assistance

First time home buyers in King County may receive up to $30,000 in down payment assistance.  The funds are provided as a 30 year loan with a 4% interest rate.  Monthly payment are not required.  The money only must be paid back when you sell the home, refinance, or no longer reside in the home, and use it as your primary residence.

Program Requirements

  • You do NOT need to be a first time home buyer.
  • It is required that you occupy the property as your primary residence.
  • The home must be located in Beaux Arts Village, Bellevue, Bothell, Clyde Hill, Hunts Point, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kirkland, Medina, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Redmond, Sammamish, Woodinville, or Yarrow Point.
  • The maximum purchase price for a new or existing home is $373,000.
  • Your household income must not exceed the income limits, which are outlined below.

Income Limits

  • 1 person: $50,400
  • 2 people: $57,600
  • 3 people: $64,800
  • 4 people: $72,000
  • 5 people: $77,800
  • 6 people: $83,350
  • 7 people: $89,300
  • 8 people: $95,050

You can learn more about this program on the ARCH East King County page of the WSHFC website.

Bellingham Down Payment Assistance

First time home buyers in Bellingham may receive up to $40,000 in down payment assistance.  The funds are provided as a 30 year loan with a 3% interest rate.  Monthly payment are not required.  The money only must be paid back when you sell the home, refinance, or no longer reside in the home, and use it as your primary residence.

Program Requirements

  • You must be a first time home buyer.
  • The home must be located within the city limits of Bellingham.
  • You must complete a homebuyer education course.
  • The maximum purchase price allowed is $360,050 ($234,413 for a condo).
  • Your household income must not exceed the income limits, which are outlined below.

Income Limits

  • 1 person: $42,640
  • 2 people: $48,720
  • 3 people: $54,800
  • 4 people: $60,880
  • 5 people: $65,760
  • 6 people: $70,640
  • 7 people: $75,520
  • 8 people: $80,400

You can learn more about this program on the Bellingham page of the WSHFC website.

Washington State First Time Home Buyer Tax Credits

The Mortgage Credit Certification (MCC) tax credit provides you an opportunity to reduce your tax bill, as well as enhance your home loan application by reducing your debt-to-income ratios.  How this works, is you can deduct up to $2,000 off your federal tax bill each year.  The MCC allows up to 35% of your annual interest to be eliminated (with the cap being at $2,000).  Some great news, is this can be used in addition to standard mortgage interest deductions!

Click Here to Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan

If you would like some assistance seeing what down payment assistance programs and tax credits you may be eligible for, we would be happy to help.  You can also get pre-approved for a mortgage, find out how much you can borrow, what your monthly payment will be, and all other pertinent information.  To learn about what down payment assistance is available to you, and to get pre-approved for a home loan, request a free consultation today.

Frequently Asked Questions About Buying Your First Home

How much do I need for a down payment?
It depends on the type of loan you want.  USDA and VA loans often will not require any down payment.  FHA loans require a 3.5% down payment.  Conventional loans typically require either 3% or 5%.  If you receive down payment assistance, you may not need any money for your down payment.

What is the maximum loan amount that I can qualify for?
The amount that you will be allowed to borrow will depend mostly on your income, as well as the particular type of loan you are interested in. There are maximum loan limits for each type of mortgage program which are set at the county level. Conforming loan limits are the maximum loan amounts allowed for conventional mortgages.  FHA loans have their own loan limits.  This is not necessarily how much you can borrow though, but the maximum amount allowed in your location.  The amount that you can personal qualify for will be based upon your income, and how much debt you have.  For most loans, your monthly mortgage payment, along with your monthly debts may not exceed 43% of your income.

Can I buy a home without a real estate agent?
It depends on your state and the type of loan program.  For some states, you must use an agent.  In other states, you are not required to use a real estate agent for many loan program, such as conventional mortgages.  However, some loan types require that you use a real estate agent regardless of your location, such as USDA loans.

Do you have first time home buyer loans for bad credit?
Yes, we offer mortgage options for borrowers with bad credit. This includes FHA loans for bad credit, which you can possibly be approved with a credit score as low as 500. However, a 580 credit score is required for the 3.5% down payment. If your credit score is between 500-579, then you will need to put 10% down.

Can I buy a home if I owe tax debt?
For government-backed loans, such as FHA, VA, and USDA loans, you can buy a home with tax debt as long as you have made a payment plan with the IRS, and are not behind on the payments. Any federal debt must be in good standing in order to get a government-based mortgage. If your tax debts have moved into the status of a tax lien, this will prevent you from getting a home loan until it is resolved.

Can I buy a home if I have student loans?
As long as you are not delinquent on the student loan payments, and the monthly payments do not cause excessive debt-to-income ratios, you can still get a mortgage.

Can I buy a home without my spouse?
A common question is if you can buy a house without your wife or husband.  The short answer is yes. There are numerous reasons someone may want to exclude their spouse from a mortgage application, such as lower credit, lack of job history or income, or one spouse having excessive debt that could prevent an approval. You may be able to qualify and get a home loan without your spouse.

How do I know if I am ready and prepared to own a home?
It is critical to consider the often unexpected expenses of buying a home. This includes repairs, maintenance, and of course furnishing the home, monthly utilities, and all other expenses that are associated with homeownership. A common mistake is to just look at the difference in rent to your total mortgage payment. Almost every year, you can expect to have to pay for various upkeep to keep the property functional. This can include anything from repairing a hot water heater that broke, to landscaping, and various maintenance.

Something else financial consultants advise is that you have at least 3 months of reserves. This means that you could afford to make your new mortgage payment for at least 3 months in the event that you lose a job or have some other unforeseen circumstance that the savings would be needed for. This is not a requirement for most home loans, but it is good advice to consider.

Have more questions about buying your first home?  Give us a call at 1-800-731-3560.

Easily Receive More Information

Fill out the form below to receive more information or call 1-800-731-3560

Property State

Loan Type
 Purchase Refinance

Loan Amount

Credit Rating:  Excellent Good Fair Poor


Home Loan Programs Available In:

Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.