Loan Descriptions & Down Payment Assistance Programs

normalUpcoming Free (& non-promotional) Home Buyer Classes:

Saturday, May 12th, from 9am-12pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College) 

Saturday, May 19th, from 12pm-3pm (ish)
Vancouver YMCA
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (corner of SR 503 & 112th Ave/Gher Road)
If these class dates and/or times don’t work for you, please let us know.  We understand that you have lives, and families, and work.  We will work something out that works better with your schedule.  Just let us know….                                                                                  
….we also have home seller classes available too…link on left on website                  
Remember…with reservation…we will throw in lunch, or dinner


Good news!!  Chris Berg is putting together a class on credit.  I am going to email out the 2nd part of the credit 101 email blog after I have a date for his class.  A lot of questions were emailed because of that email.  We appreciate your questions, and truly want to help with those.  We think the class will be very helpful.

Thank you to everyone who came to the Client Appreciation Event this past Saturday for the Avengers:  Infinity War.  Wow!  That was CRAZY!  I have a ton of theories on what is going to happen for part 2 next year…  I’d love to hear yours too 😀
Please don’t forget that our NEXT Client Appreciation is on Saturday, 6/16, for the Incredibles 2.  We’ve all been waiting a long time for this sequel.  I’m crossing my fingers that it is worth the wait.  My oldest daughter is pregnant and hormonal…so if it isn’t….  well, let’s just home that the sequel is awesome.

So, this week we’re going to spend some time talking about down payment.  Like Closing Costs, or money that folks need to buy a home….there seems to be a lot of misinformation regarding this. Many banks, or lenders, will tell you different things…or different down payment dollar amounts that you will need because that is what THEIR lending institution will allow, but there’s always more options.  Please remember that I am NOT a lender.  Please call or email Chris Berg at Pinnacle Mortgage for more information on any of these, or feel free to come to one of the classes.  We are here to help.  Chris’s information is:  503-320-0925  &…  or you can Facebook him as well.


FHA is the king loan as most folks will use this when buying a home.  Chris says that, with FHA, you can buy a home with as low as a 580 credit score, but it’s rough…  620, or higher,  and you will love him.  FHA requires the lowest down payment, and that is 3.5% of the purchase price.  If you have your down payment, the lender can help with your closing costs.  We will talk about Closing costs next week.


You can get a conventional loan with a down payment of 3% of the purchase price if you or the home meet certain criteria or 5% down if you make too much money for the program, but interest rates tend to be higher with this loan, and the best rates go to those folks with 720 or higher credit scores.

USDA or Rural:

This is a zero down payment loan….(remember that you do still have to have some money to buy a home…see last weeks email).  USDA is location specific though as you have to buy in their approved areas….and they don’t like barns, or acreage.
Have to be a veteran, or spouse of a deceased veteran who died in service.  No down payment required.  This really is the best loan program there is, and frankly our military vets & folks deserve it.  
Those are the 4 basic loans and, in some form or another, most lenders work with them or offer variations of them.  However, what if you don’t have money for a down payment?  You have your earnest money, your inspection fee, and your appraisal fee (unless you’re VA which includes the appraisal fee)…but you really want to buy your OWN home?  ….and you don’t want to live in a USDA approved area?  You want to live in Vancouver?  Well, there’s programs for that too!
From Chris:
Here is the information on a couple of loans that the big banks and credit unions don’t offer that may help you get into a home now:
WSHFC Home Advantage: This is for Washington residents buying a home that they are going to use as their primary residence.  They offer a 2nd mortgage to cover your down payment with 0% interest and no payments on that 2nd mortgage for 30 years.  Also only need a 620 credit score to qualify.  Those are the pros.  Cons include higher interest rate on the 1st mortgage, more closing costs, 3rd party underwriting, and there is a max income (for all living in the home) that you have to be under.
Chenoa Down Payment Assistance:  This is a cool option.  Works for multiple states (including WA and OR).  First mortgage is FHA and the 2nd mortgage (if you are under the max income threshold) that covers your down payment is forgiven after you have made your on time payments for 36 months.  Good news is that if you make more than the max income for the program you can still do it, you just have to pay the 2nd mortgage back.  Cons are mostly in the fact that the rate for the 1st mortgage is higher than if you had a down payment.
Long story short, there are several low/zero down payment options for you to consider.  You will always get a better deal if you have a down payment but if you don’t I have got you covered.  There are also options and avenues for a down payment too.
 ….and don’t forget gifts.  If you have a family member who wants to help you (and can they adopt me?), gifts can be used to help with your down payment, or earnest money.  This is actually quite common.  Another way to get a down payment is to use your 401k.  If you have a 401k, or retirement account, most of those have special options that you can use to get money out for your down payment.  So…whether you have your down payment, or you need help with a down payment… there are options, and help available.  We are always here to answer any questions you might have.  It’s what we do…  🙂 
            Information is power, and I hope that I am able to help you.  Good luck, and as always…May the odds be ever in your favor out there….  AND If you are looking for a real estate agent, I would love to be able to help you.                                                                       
    As always….this is just a quick overview…. again…and I can’t say this enough…please remember that your agent is NOT a salesperson, and should not be acting like one.  Real Estate is not really about houses, it is about relationships.  Your agent, and your lender work for YOU.  You drive the bus…we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals.  Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your home adventure.  The goal is to be informative and non-promotional.  🙂  We are, however, hoping you will call and want us to help with your adventure.  
If you have any questions about this, or something you have heard…or if you would like me to help you with your home adventure, please call, email,  text, or facebook me anytime.  I am, as always, happy to help!
Thank you again for your business and your referrals!!  …and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers. 
 .   ..disclaimer…if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings… 
Upcoming Topics: 
Credit 101… part 2….  with information for the credit class
Flash vs Bones…what should a buyer be looking for in homes? 
What happens after an offer is made?  and
Water?  What water?  oh… the water under the house…..
Last Week:  Credit 101… part one 
Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,
Tracie DeMars
Real Estate broker 
Re/Max – Van Mall
360/ 903-3504 cell
360/ 882-3600 fax
“Interested in free and non promotional home education classes?  Go to for local upcoming home buyer and home SELLER classes, or facebook: Tracie DeMars Real Estate for my home buyer education blog.”

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 
– Shel Silverstein, American poet, cartoonist and composer, (1930 – 1999).