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Building community and creating affordable housing opportunities Steve Walker, Acting Director



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Generally, downpayment assistance programs that use Office of Housing funds will require the following eligibility and property selection criteria:

You should confirm specific eligibility and property selection criteria with the downpayment assistance program you will be using. 


Household Income Limits

Your household must earn LESS than 80% of area median income by household size (as shown in the Income Limits spreadsheet) to be eligible. 

If you have questions about how to determine your household income, or if your income is very close to the income limit showing for your family size, check with one of our program partners first before ruling yourself out!

First-Time Homebuyer
One or more individuals purchasing a home who are members of a household  that does not include any person who has owned any interest in a residence within the 3-year period immediately preceding the home purchase for which assistance is provided, unless that person is a displaced homemaker.  

A displaced homemaker is an adult who, during the past 3 years, owned an interest in a home and worked primarily without remuneration to care for his or her home and family, and was displaced from his or her home.

Home Price Limits
HUD has issued new HOME Homeownership Value Limits for 2014 that are effective January 1, 2014. These new limits apply to homeownership housing to which HOME funds are committed on or after January 1, 2014, and remain in effect until HUD issues new limits. The 2014 limits for the Seattle area are: $288,000 for existing homes and $294,000 for new homes.

Within Seattle City Limits
The home you purchase must be inside the city limits of Seattle. Office of Housing funds cannot be used in other cities, so check carefully and make sure the home of your choice is actually inside Seattle city limits! The southern boundaries of the city of Seattle are especially complicated. Your real estate agent and/or the downpayment assistance program you choose can assist you to make sure that your home is inside the city limits.

Homebuyer Education Requirement
You must complete a pre-purchase homebuyer education program approved by the City of Seattle. Typically, homebuyers have chosen to attend either a Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) sponsored first-time homebuyer education class, or the HomeSight education series. All first-time homebuyers are encouraged to attend a first-time homebuyer education class before beginning their home search.

WSHFC-sponsored homebuyer education seminars are offered in many Washington communities. These seminars help homebuyers learn how to purchase and maintain a home. This program is meant to be the first step in purchasing a home.

HomeSight’s education series offers current information in the rapidly changing housing industry throughout the year.  Their program includes a free seminar: The American Dream: Is Homeownership for You?

Principal Residence
Properties must be used as principal residences only. Investment properties are not permitted. All types of units are eligible for purchase, including single-family houses, condominiums, limited equity cooperatives, co-housing, land trusts and homes on leased land.


Questions for the Office of Housing?

If you have questions about any of the City of Seattle homeownership programs, contact our reception desk at (206) 684-0721.

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