BECU’s First-Time Homebuyer Grant Removes Barrier to Ownership
Grant program helped credit union members purchase nearly 150 homes last year
BECU, Washington's largest community credit union, announced it is again offering its First-Time Homebuyer Grant program, which was launched in 2018 to address a major hurdle to home ownership: the down payment. The credit union has reallocated $1 million in grant funds to reward eligible members with up to 2 percent (up to $6,500) toward the down payment or closing costs on their first home.
Grant funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each recipient must apply, qualify for and close on their new home using a BECU conventional fixed or adjustable-rate loan, up to $484,350. Interested homeowners can visit BECU.org to review eligibility criteria and apply, or to schedule an appointment with a BECU mortgage advisor.
“Many of our members want to purchase their first house or condo, but tell us that the down payment is a major obstacle. This program was created to address that need,” said Scott Strand, BECU's executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Last year, we helped members—from Gen Z-ers to baby boomers—purchase nearly 150 homes with the help of the grant. With house prices remaining relatively high across Washington, we are recommitting $1 million to help even more people realize the dream of homeownership this year.”
In its first year of the program, grant dollars supported purchases in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane and other counties across the state. The majority of purchases from the program were for single family residences, followed by low-rise condos.
Save Members Time and Money
BECU understands that buying a house is a large financial investment, but an important milestone in a journey toward financial health. Members who purchase a home with BECU work with a dedicated mortgage advisor to advise them through the entire process, including how to pre-qualify for a loan and how much members can afford. The credit union also offers no origination fees on conventional fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage home loans, which can significantly reduce closing costs.
For members who need additional assistance finding a home, the BECU Home Rewards program connects members with a member advocate who can recommend a local real estate agent based upon their needs and home criteria. Members may also qualify to receive between $300 and $6,000 in rebates after closing, which totaled more than $1 million in member savings last year. Through a partnership with Prime Alliance Real Estate Services (PARES), members can also search for a home in Western Washington and Spokane on an easy-to-use MLS Search online platform.
Home Buying 101
As a member-owned credit union, BECU is committed to helping educate its members on all aspects of finances. Tips and advice for home buying and other topics is available through articles and webinars available on BECU.org, including:
- Buying Your First Home
- Rent vs. Own: Is it the Right Time to Buy a Home?
- Smart Budgeting for Prospective Home Buyers