Buying a home in Washington State means paying a higher price than most of the United States. But there are ways to stretch your budget with financial assistance from homeownership programs.
According to data from the University of Washingtonthe statewide median sale price of $654,500 in the second quarter of 2022 was significantly higher than the national median of $403,800 in July. This means that you will need a bigger down payment or have a higher income than most to get into your dream home.
If you’re not lucky enough to be in this situation, don’t be discouraged. Financial assistance is available through homeownership programs to help cover expenses such as closing costs and down payment requirements. If you qualify, you might end up being able to buy more homes than you think. There are also different types of mortgage programs, and choosing the right one could not only save you money, but also mean the difference between being approved or denied.
If you’re looking to get a mortgage in Washington State, here’s what you need to know about rates, fees, loan programs, and financial assistance.
What are today’s mortgage rates in Washington?
For Sunday, September 18, 2022, here are the current home loan rates in Washington. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 6.350%. The average 30-year fixed mortgage refinance rate is 6.360%. Today, the average 15-year fixed mortgage rate is 5.650%.
For variable rate loans, the average variable rate mortgage rate (ARM) of 5/1 is 5.750%.
This information comes from Bankrate’s latest survey of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders.
Current Mortgage Rates in Washington
|Type of loan||Assess|
|Fixed 30 years||6.350%|
|Fixed 15 years||5.650%|
|30 year refi||6.360%|
How much mortgage do you need to buy a house in Washington
One of the things you will need to buy a home is a down payment. The amount of down payment required will mainly depend on the type of loan you obtain. Conventional loans, which are a popular choice for many borrowers, can require as little as 3% down. FHA loans require a slightly higher down payment of 3.5%, but may be a good choice for people who don’t qualify for a conventional loan due to credit or income issues.
It is also possible to buy a house without any down payment. VA loans require no down payment and require no mortgage insurance payments. VA loans are not available to everyone, as you will need to have some type of qualifying military service to qualify. eligible.
Although these are only minimums, you should also consider a larger down payment if possible. Dina Maweather, a licensed realtor at Keller Williams, says you want to be sure you can live comfortably after adding the monthly mortgage payment to your budget. Having less than 20% down on a conventional loan means you will need a larger loan amount and higher monthly payments. You will have an additional monthly outlay of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), although PMI can be removed from a conventional loan once you reach 20% equity.
|Subway station||Median house price||3.5%||ten%||20%|
Types of Home Loans Available in Washington
You will find that there are many mortgage lenders licensed to do business in Washington. These lenders may offer different types of loans, including conventional loans, FHA loans, and VA loans. Each has its own unique requirements and features that can affect your loan eligibility, how much you’ll pay in closing costs, and how much you’ll make monthly payments.
As a first-time homebuyer, you can take advantage of a conventional loan with as little as 3% down payment. Conventional loans are a popular choice with many borrowers because they can offer competitive rates and fees. The minimum credit score is usually 620, with a maximum debt ratio of 45%.
That said, some lenders have more restrictive criteria. Many also rely on an automated underwriting system to issue a decision based on a holistic review of the loan. Therefore, some lenders may require a higher credit score or require a lower debt ratio.
If you are unable to be approved for a conventional loan, consider looking into FHA loans. FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration and provide more flexibility for borrowers who do not meet the credit or income requirements for a conventional mortgage. FHA loans require a minimum down payment of 3.5%, but allow credit scores as low as 580. With a 10% down payment, the minimum credit score requirement drops to 500.
FHA loans can be more expensive. Borrowers will be required to pay a one-time initial mortgage insurance premium, in addition to paying a monthly mortgage insurance premium.
VA loans, insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs, require no down payment. In addition, borrowers do not have to pay for mortgage insurance. As the down payment can often be a difficult item to meet, VA loans can be a fantastic option for those who are short on cash but still want to become a homeowner.
However, VA loans are not available to everyone. In order to qualify for a VA loan, you must have some type of qualifying military service. The VA website has details of who is eligibleand you will need to confirm your eligibility first, before going too far in this process.
Homeownership Programs in Washington
With home prices in Washington significantly higher than the US average, it looks like prospective homeowners could use all the help they can get. Fortunately, there are a number of homeownership programs available in Evergreen State to help with down payment requirements and closing costs.
The Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) lists a handful of programs you may be eligible for:
- WSHFC Home Advantage Program: Borrowers who are below specified income limits can take advantage of preferential pricing through a participating lender. Income limits vary by specific county, and those interested in this program must also complete a homebuyer education seminar.
- WSHFC House Key Opportunity Program: Preferred rates for this program are available to applicants who are also using a designated down payment assistance program. Eligible borrowers can qualify as first-time homebuyers or repeat homeowners buying in a targeted area. Completing a homebuyer education seminar, using a participating lender, and having an income below program limits are several other requirements.
- WSHFC Down payment assistance: Eligible borrowers must have a credit score of at least 620 and not exceed household income limits. Borrowers can usually get around $10,000, but due to the number of down payment programs available, WSHFC recommends that you contact a lender to determine the best option for you.
- WSHFC EnergySpark home loan: Borrowers who buy an energy-efficient home can save up to 0.25% on the interest rate. This program is also designed to work in conjunction with the Home Advantage and Down Payment Assistance programs. To be eligible for this type of loan, borrowers must have a credit score of at least 620, have a household income of less than $180,000, and purchase a qualifying energy-efficient home.
Despite their name, some first-time homebuyer assistance programs are available to those who are repeat buyers.