Downpayment Assistance: Helping Buyers in a High-Priced Market
In the current era of higher interest rates and lower inventory, REALTORS® have to find creative ways to help their buyers win offers while offsetting costs. On April 21, 2023, about 50 REALTORS® gathered at the SKCR office to learn about downpayment assistance programs (DPAs) from a group of local panelists.
The panel was organized and moderated by SKCR’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee Chair Marissa Beach. “Prior to June 2022, when interest rates began to increase, some would joke about being willing to sacrifice their first-born child to compete with other buyers,” she says. “Now, it’s all about finding the right kind of financing.”
The panel shared the details of programs specifically designed to assist buyers in making a downpayment for a home. The panel included:
- Jessica Santana – Homestreet Bank
- Raquel Rodriguez – ARCH (A Regional Coalition for Housing)
- Jeff Keeney – Banner Bank
- Leah Bueno – BECU (Boeing Employees Credit Union)
- Corinna Obar – WSHFC (Washington State Housing Financing Commission)
Attendees also heard from guest speaker Carmen Mercado of Freddie Mac, who outlined the demographics of need for downpayment assistance and introduced the categories of assistance from grants to tax credits.
The DEI Committee has a mission to educate REALTORS® about how DEI can be utilized in the everyday practice of real estate. The Committee convened the DPA panel during Fair Housing Month, an initiative of the National Association of REALTORS®, because downpayment assistance programs can be especially beneficial to segments of society that have historically been excluded from homeownership.
CLICK HERE to view the slide deck for the panel presentations.
CLICK HERE to view the slide deck for the Freddie Mac presentation.
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