Washington Mortgage and Refinance Rates
As of Sunday, June 13, 2021, current rates in Washington are 3.12% for a 30-year fixed, 2.40% for a 15-year fixed, and 3.60% 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.
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.