Tag Archive for first time home buyer Seattle King County

Home Advantage Down Payment Assistance

How much Down Payment Assistance can I get with Home Advantage?  This depends on the price of the home and lending guidelines.  Home Advantage provides down payment assistance up to 4% of your loan amount.  So if your loan amount was $200,000, you would potentially be eligible for $8,000 in down payment assistance!

Do I have to pay the Down Payment Assistance back?  The money would have to be paid back eventually, but there is NO monthly payment and ZERO interest!  You would repay the down payment assistance when you either sell the home, rent it out, or pay off your 30 year mortgage.A or B?

What loan programs can be used with Home Advantage?  Almost any loan program can be paired with this down payment assistance program, including Conventional, FHA, USDA, and even VA loans.

Is Home Advantage any different than other Down Payment Assistance programs?  Yes.  The rates are much better than other programs that have been offered by Washington State in the past.  Also, for this down payment assistance program you DO NOT have to be a first time home buyer AND it can be paired with the MCC program!  This is unprecedented as in the past most programs have only been available to first time home buyers and could not be paired with the MCC.

Is Home Advantage right for everyone?  Everybody’s personal situation is different.  To find out more about Home Advantage guidelines, as well as other down payment assistance programs offered in Washington State, go to our Calendar/Reservations page and sign up for one of our FREE First Time Home Buyer workshops.  Don’t make the biggest decision of your life without getting educated!


What if I Don’t Close on Time?

What if I don’t close on time?  Closing your home purchase on time is crucial!  Many lenders think if a first time home buyer misses their close date it’s not really a big deal.  “Just get an extension”, they might say.  But it’s not this easy, so make sure you ask your lender up front how long it will take them to process your file, and hold them to it.

How does it affect me?  Much of first time home buyers lives will revolve around their closing date.  You’ll give your landlord notice that your vacating, you’ll schedule movers, you’ll potentially have new furniture delivered.  If you miss your close date it will probably throw a monkey wrench into your entire life, not to mention you not having a place to live for a while!

Does the seller care?  The seller’s life will also revolve around the close date.  They’ll be scheduling similar situations, so they want to stay on schedule as much as you do.  They also may be buying a new place, and they usually Senior man showing a for sale signcan’t close on their purchase until you close on purchasing their existing home.  So the seller is very concerned with you closing on time.

Sounds like just a bit of inconvenience.  The biggest thing for first time home buyers to be aware of, is if you miss your close date the seller DOES NOT have to give you extra time to secure your loan.  In today’s current housing market, many buyers are placing back up offers on homes that are already under contract with other buyers.  If you miss your close date it gives the seller a way to EXIT the contract and potentially sell to another buyer!

Don’t make the biggest financial decision of your life without getting educated!
  If you’d like to learn more about the closing timeline or the home buying process in general, please go to our Calendar/Reservations page and register for one of our First Time Home Buyer/Down Payment Assistance workshops.



First Time Home Buyer Market in Seattle

How’s the first time home buyer market doing in Seattle?  Competition is still STIFF.  Low inventory levels are still leading to multiple offer situations and even some bidding wars.  Months of inventory (essentially supply vs. demand) is at about 1 month for entry level housing in North Seattle.  Many other first time home buyer demographics are seeing similar trends, which means its a seller’s market in many places around the Greater Seattle area.

So when will it get better for first time home buyers?  In When Will We See More Listings?, we described a potential timeline for more listings coming on the market in the near future.  We’re still speculating that this may come to fruition in late spring/early summer of this year.  If this is the case, first time home buyers should have more to choose from in the next 4-6 months or so.

So should first time home buyers wait until there are more choices? 
In our past blog we also described some pros/cons for waiting.  There are numerous variables to consider such as appreciation levels, interest rates, life circumstances, etc.  It really just depends on your specific situation, so you should gather information based on YOUR goals, not necessarily what the media is covering in general.

Don’t make the biggest decision of your life without getting educated! 
If you’d like to learn more about first time home buyer inventory levels in your specific area, or about the home buying process in general, please go to our Calendar/Reservations page and sign up for one our FREE First Time Home Buyer workshops.


King County Home Prices Up 20% YOY!


King County home prices are up 20% year-over-year!  The Seattle PI stated a couple different reasons as to why this could be.  The first being that due to an incredibly low level of available housing, many first time home buyers are getting caught in bidding wars.  The second being that as continued reports surface about a recovering economy, people become more confident in buying more expensive housing.

Are those the only reasons prices are up?  Another reason prices are probably rebounding so quickly is because they fell so far.  In mid-2011, many home prices we’re so low that you could buy a home with barely any down payment and still pay less per month to own than you would pay to rent the same place.  Many renters/first time home buyers (and investors) saw this opportunity as a no brainer, causing a huge flood of new buyers into the market, leading to increasing prices.

Regardless of the reason, prices are still up drastically!  You can debate the reasons behind these increases to no avail.  But the reality is as prices rise, consumer confidence rises, causing more people to jump into the market, causing prices to rise.  It will continue to build on itself, and hopefully this time around now that prices are a bit more realistic, the prices will rise at a more sustainable level (5-7%/yr) moving forward.

Did I miss the boat?  If you’re a first time home buyer, it’s not too late to get a great deal.  You just need to know what you’re up against so you can properly navigate the landscape with confidence.  Staying informed will help you make the best decision for your specific situation.

Don’t make the biggest decision of your life without getting educated!  If you’re a first time home buyer looking to get more information about down payment assistance or the home buying process in general, go to our Calendar/Reservations page and sign up for one of our FREE First Time Home Buyer/Down Payment Assistance workshops.


Good News for Short-Sales

Good News for Short-Sales!  Part of the fiscal cliff deal approved last week included an extension of the forgiveness for taxes owed on relieved mortgage debt related to short-sales.  This extension will last until 12/31/2013.  In the past, when a homeowner completed a short-sale, the forgiven debt would have been counted as income and therefore taxed.

How does this help first time home buyers though?  Extending this tax forgiveness will probably mean more underwater homeowners will make the decision to sell.  If the Federal Government wouldn’t have extended this break, it would have potentially been one more thing forcing underwater homeowners to stay in a home they couldn’t afford.

But how does that help me, if I’m buying my first home?  The Greater Seattle area has had quite a lack of inventory for some time now.  Home prices in Seattle are continuing to rise partially because there are a lot of first time home buyers looking to buy, but not many homes on the market.  This causes multiple offer situations and bidding wars, which increases prices for first time home buyers.

So should first time home buyers buy short-sales?  Short-sales can be great deals in some cases, but there are some risks first time home buyers need to be aware of.  If you are considering buying a short-sale, you should first become educated on how they function.

Don’t buy a home without getting educated first!  If you’re thinking about buying a short-sale, or are looking for general information about buying your first home, please go to our Calendar/Reservations page and sign up for one of our FREE First Time Home Buyer workshops.