Thursday, September 27, 2007

First Time Homebuyer Assistance

I’ve been doing research on homebuyer assistance programs. I’ve found a few programs for first time homebuyer to consider.

One is sponsored by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. The loans have fixed interest rates that are typically below market, with 100% financing, and down payment assistance as well. To qualify you must first attend a free (5hr) Homebuyer Education seminar and use a Commission-trained loan officer. For more information go to .

The downside…the 5 hour seminar is a large time commitment. Also, the program’s money is pooled, which occasionally runs out. When it runs out, the homebuyer is placed on a waiting list.

A couple others are AmeriDream and HART (House Action Resource Trust), both non-profit organizations. With these the homebuyer receives gift money for their down payment, which they don’t have to pay back. AmeriDream offers a gift of up to 10% of the homes value and HART's gift is up to $15,000. Where does the “gift” money come from?...the home-seller. For more information go to or .

The downside…the seller must cooperate. Also, some sellers may look at this proposal as a scam and it will take an extra effort to convince them otherwise. Although, with the seasonal slow down coming up fast it may be an option more sellers will consider.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A good time to buy!

The real estate market has softened in Seattle and mortgage interest rates are low…sounds like a good time to buy!

It has been a long time since Seattle’s market has seen these conditions. With home prices cooling a bit, buyers are in a stronger position to negotiate the terms of a deal to their advantage. In addition, the cost of buying is still historically low with interest rates just above 6%. Also, the fundamentals of Washington State's economy remain strong which points to continued growth.

If you are currently renting or if you are an investor who is looking for rental property now is a good time to buy.