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VA home loans combined with First Time Buyer programs make home ownership more affordable

The Down Payment Assistance program combined with a VA home loan can save you money. Photo credit: Stock photo

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You probably know that a VA home loan does not require a down payment, but did you know there is also a Down Payment Assistance program that you can combine with VA to lower other closing costs and  expenses?

The Washington State Housing Finance Commission offers several programs designed to make homeownership more affordable and accessible to families. One of these programs is the Downpayment Assistance program, which helps qualified borrowers cover the upfront costs of purchasing a home. By combining that program with a VA home loan, borrowers can also cover the upfront costs associated with purchasing a home, making homeownership even more affordable and accessible to those that have or currently serve their country in uniform. However, it's important to note that borrowers must still meet the eligibility requirements for both programs.

Leah Zamir teaches classes on all sorts of programs in Western Washington, but as a VA loan expert too, she knows how to make both programs work for military members.

"Both programs are great, but together, they can significantly save our military money in buying a home,' Zamir said. "But, there are rules and ways to qualify."

The WSHFC Down Payment Assistance program is funded by a variety of sources, including state and local housing agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private foundations. The funds are provided in the form of grants, forgivable loans, or deferred-payment loans, depending on the specific program.

To be eligible for the WSHFC's Down Payment Assistance program, borrowers must meet certain income requirements, which vary depending on the program. They must also have a credit score of at least 620 and a debt-to-income ratio of no more than 56%. Additionally, borrowers must complete a homebuyer education course.

Leah can help with that, and her customers agree.

"Leah Zamir from Guild Mortgage made buying our very first house possible," said Jenina Albajeso. "Another lender made me feel like it's not the right time to buy a house. But one simple phone call with Leah, made all the difference. That very first phone call was made 17 April, and a few weeks thereafter, we're moving into our new house."

Once a borrower is approved for the program, they can use the funds provided to cover the down payment and closing costs associated with purchasing a home. The funds are typically provided at the time of closing, and the borrower is required to sign a promissory note outlining the terms of the loan.

The WSHFC Down Payment Assistance program can be combined with a VA home loan to help eligible veterans and service members become homeowners. The VA home loan program provides financing for eligible veterans and service members to purchase a home with no down payment required.

To combine the programs, borrowers should first apply for a VA home loan through a VA-approved lender. Once they have been approved for the loan, they can then apply for the WSHFC's Down Payment Assistance program through a participating lender or housing agency.

Zamir works for Guild Mortgage, but also provides classes on the FHA program as part of the state's education program. She can be reached here in the Puget Sound area to answer questions at (206) 577-2313. Her email is Besides the Washington market, Zamir is also licensed in Texas, California, Arizona and Tennessee. 

Jenina encourages you to call Leah. "Leah's expertise and impressive knowledge in navigating the intricacies of the VA loan is all we needed to make buying our very first home a reality, and we are forever grateful."


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