Downpayment Support Available for Bellingham Homebuyers
The Washington State Housing Finance Commission is offering a significant opportunity for Bellingham residents to become homeowners through the Bellingham Downpayment Assistance program. This program is designed as a second mortgage loan and is intended to work in conjunction with the Home Advantage or House Key Opportunity first mortgage loan programs.
Details of Available Assistance
The Bellingham Downpayment Assistance program provides substantial financial support for both down payments and closing costs. Eligible applicants can receive up to $40,000, with the loan payments deferred for 30 years at a 3 percent simple interest rate. Borrowers are required to contribute a minimum down payment of $2,500 or 1 percent of the purchase price, whichever is greater. Notably, the program allows for gift funds to cover up to 25 percent of this down payment requirement. There are no monthly payments on this loan, and the full balance becomes due under circumstances such as the sale, refinancing, or transfer of the home, or if the property ceases to be the borrower’s primary residence.
To qualify for the Bellingham Downpayment Assistance Program, applicants must meet several criteria:
- They should be first-time homebuyers.
- Completion of a one-on-one pre-purchase counseling session is required just before closing.
- Applicants must also attend a free Homebuyer Education Seminar sponsored by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. It is important to note that online Homebuyer Education does not fulfill this requirement.
The program has specific guidelines regarding the eligible properties:
- The purchased property must be the borrower’s principal residence and must be owner-occupied.
- In compliance with federal guidelines, the property should not have been tenant-occupied within 90 days prior to the purchase and sale agreement.
- The program sets a purchase price limit of $299,025 for both new and existing constructions.
The program also has income limits based on household size, as follows:
- 1 person: $38,300
- 2 person: $43,750
- 3 person: $49,200
- 4 person: $54,650
- 5 person: $59,050
- 6 person: $63,400
- 7 person: $67,800
- 8 person: $72,150
In summary, the Bellingham Downpayment Assistance program is a vital initiative by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, aimed at facilitating homeownership among first-time buyers in Bellingham. By providing significant financial assistance and setting clear guidelines, the program is an invaluable resource for those aspiring to own a home in this community.