Buy A Home

The Office of Housing provides downpayment assistance to first-time homebuyers at or below 80% of area median income through partnerships with local nonprofits and lending institutions. Our partners use Seattle Housing Levy funds, in addition to various other subsidy sources to create affordable homeownership opportunities in Seattle. See more information about our partner Homeownership Organizations below and learn about your eligibility for this program.

Habitat for Humanity
Habitat of Seattle/South King County builds decent, affordable homes for families in need. Homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor - sweat equity - into building their Habitat house and they pay a no-profit, no-interest mortgage.

HomeSight is a nonprofit community development corporation that promotes affordable homeownership opportunities through homebuyer education and financial planning, buyer purchase assistance loan underwriting and origination, and new home construction. Through private and public partnerships, HomeSight provides purchase assistance to qualified first-time homebuyers in the form of a low interest loan, and potential borrowers may access up to $70,000 in downpayment assistance.

Homestead Community Land Trust
Homestead is a community-based non-profit affordable homeownership provider that helps income-eligible buyers purchase affordable homes in Seattle, and keeps these homes affordable for future buyers, as well. Homes purchased through Homestead typically cost $50,000-$100,000 less than the home's market-value. Buyers agree that if they choose to sell their home in the future, the sale will be affordable for the next income-eligible buyer. Sellers are able to realize financial equity while Homestead ensures that homes remain affordable for the long-term.

House Key Plus Seattle
House Key Plus Seattle is a down payment assistance, second mortgage loan program that combines with the Home Advantage first mortgage loan program.  This program is for people living within the city limits of Seattle. This program allows up to $45,000 in down payment assistance with payments deferred for 30 years, at 3% simple interest. 

Parkview Services Homebuyer Program
Parkview Services is a King County based non-profit organization that supports people with developmental disabilities and their families. Parkview's Homeownership Program offers home buying assistance to individuals with developmental disabilities and family members who will live with them.

Generally, downpayment assistance programs that use Office of Housing funds will require the following eligibility and property selection criteria. Please work with one of the homeownership organizations listed above to 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. View the Income and Rent Limits page for more information. 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
Applicants must be first-time homebuyers or not have owned a home in the last 3-years, 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.

Assistance Amounts
Up to a maximum of $55,000 per household is available for downpayment assistance for open market purchases or for unrestricted homes developed by a homeownership partner organization. For resale restricted homes, developed by homeownership partner organizations the amount of assistance is higher. Up to $70,000, for homes with fewer than 3 bedrooms or up to $90,000 per unit for homes with 3 or more bedrooms.

Home Price Limit
Maximum purchase price through the down-payment assistance program is $450,000.

Within Seattle City Limits
Homes purchased through this program must be inside the city limits of Seattle.

Homebuyer Education Requirement
Applicants must complete a pre-purchase homebuyer education program approved by the City of Seattle. Classes are offered through the Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) or HomeSight among others. All first-time homebuyers are encouraged to attend a first-time homebuyer education class before beginning their home search.

Housing Counseling Requirement 
The Office of Housing requires that homebuyers using downpayment assistance receive one-on-one housing counseling in addition to the homebuyer education program. There are currently two approved organizations that offer this service: HomeSight and Parkview Services.

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.