Washington Mortgage and Refinance Rates
As of Sunday, September 19, 2021, current rates in Washington are 3.09% for a 30-year fixed, 2.35% for a 15-year fixed, and 3.46% for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).
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Washington mortgage overview
By Dhara Singh
The Evergreen State is home to approximately 7.5 million residents. The state had a homeownership rate of 63.8 percent in 2019, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. With a median home price of $362,100 as of 2018, Washington homes are slightly higher than the national average as of Q1 2020, $327,100.
To help individuals and families purchase a home, resources include the Washington Homeownership Resource Center, a nonprofit with a website, hotline and portal with resources for first-time homebuyers, current owners and those who may be facing foreclosure or other hardships; the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, designed to protect homeowners and buyers and offering free counseling services; and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC), founded in 1983, which sponsors homebuyer education programs.
Top 5 Bankrate mortgage lenders in Washington
- Better.com – Best overall
- Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation – Best for low-credit score borrowers
- Accelin Loans – Best for jumbo loans
- Cardinal Financial Company – Best for FHA loans
- Blue Sky Financial – Best broker
Bankrate helps thousands of borrowers find mortgage and refinance lenders every day. To determine the top mortgage lenders, we analyzed proprietary data across more than 150 lenders to assess which on our platform received the most inquiries within a three-month period. We then assigned superlatives based on factors such as fees, products offered, convenience and other criteria. These top lenders are updated regularly.
Better.com - Best overall
With Better.com, you can get preapproved in three minutes (given you’re eligible) so you can immediately start shopping for a home. Once you put in an offer and go to contract, you’ll always be able to get help: The lender offers 24/7 support via text, chat and email. It’s a super-simple, all-digital approach to buying a home that speeds up the closing process: according to the lender, it typically closes 10 days faster than the industry average.
Strengths: No fees; guaranteed on-time closing or you get $2,000; simple and streamlined online process
Weaknesses: No home equity lines of credit (HELOCs); no branch locations in Washington (or anywhere)
Read Bankrate's Better.com mortgage review
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation – Best for low credit core borrowers
A low credit score might make you think homebuying isn’t in your future, but Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation prides itself on working with low- and moderate-income borrowers, particularly those who are purchasing in a rural part of Washington. The USDA named it its top lender in 2020 for assisting more than 4,600 homeowners secure USDA-backed loans.
Strengths: FairwayNOW mobile app makes tracking your application and communicating with a loan officer easy; loads of helpful online calculators and resources to educate you on the ins and outs of buying a home; more than 50 branches throughout Washington
Weaknesses: Doesn’t list mortgage rates or fees online; no home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
Read Bankrate's Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation review
Accelin Loans – Best for jumbo loans
When you’re borrowing a bigger-than-normal chunk of cash, you want to save as much as possible on additional fees. Accelin Loans offers jumbo loans as large as $2.5 million with reduced lender fees. Plus, it’s a mortgage broker, so you’ll be able to compare multiple options to determine the best fit for your finances.
Strengths: Broker helps collect multiple loan options for your review; convenient online application process
Weaknesses: Interest rates and lender fees not available online
Read Bankrate's Accelin Loans mortgage review
Cardinal Financial Company – Best for FHA loans
Cardinal Financial Company’s FHA loan requirements allow borrowers to have a credit score as low as 550. Additionally, the lender has a manual underwriting process to consider borrowers with limited credit histories. Borrowers with an FHA loan can also take advantage of a streamline refinance, which do not require an appraisal.
Strengths: E-signing option; great reviews on Trustpilot (4.1 out of five stars)
Weaknesses: Fees not disclosed online; must request a rate quote
Read Bankrate's Cardinal Financial mortgage review
Blue Sky Financial – Best broker
In addition to shopping around for the best mortgage rates for a home loan, Blue Sky Financial’s Home Concierge Service helps match you with the best real estate agent. The Idaho-based discount broker’s website offers instant rate estimates based on your credit score, down payment and a few other basic details — without requiring you to hand over your name and email address.
Strengths: Online loan pricer generates quick APR estimates; free concierge service helps connect you with a vetted real estate agent; 10-minute online application
Weaknesses: Website has limited information; broker has only been around since 2020
Read Bankrate's Blue Sky Financial review
First-time homebuyer programs in Washington
In Washington, qualifying homebuyers may have access to a variety of homebuyer programs and educational opportunities to help them through the buying process, including the:
- Home Advantage Program: This state program is for new homebuyers — either first-time homebuyers or those who have owned in the past but do not currently. Through it, qualifying buyers can receive up to 4 percent of the first mortgage price in down payment assistance. The borrower is required to attend a free five-hour homebuyer education course in order to qualify.
- House Key Opportunity Program: Designed exclusively for first-time homebuyers, this state bond program requires borrowers to complete a homebuyer education course and work with a state-approved lender. There are county-specific home value limits, with the statewide limit set at $510,400. Since the program is designed for low- to moderate-income borrowers, there are county-specific household income limits. For instance, in Pierce County, a one- or two-person household must earn an annual income of $85,000 or less. The program is available to those using certain down payment assistance programs, including Opportunity, HomeChoice, Veterans, Seattle, Tacoma, ARCH East King County, Bellingham and Pierce County. There are exceptions for those purchasing new construction or a home in a community land trust.
Washington mortgage refinancing
If you’re looking to refinance a home in Washington, private lenders, banks and mortgage brokers are options, as the Washington State Housing Finance Commission doesn’t offer any programs specifically for refinancing.
Regardless of the lending institution, it’s important to note that you don’t have to refinance with the same lender who holds your current mortgage. It’s smart to identify your goals in refinancing (such as a lower monthly mortgage payment or a shorter term), do your research and shop around and make sure you’re getting the best possible rate and terms.