Following are the basic steps involved in the Home Trust of Skagit (HTS) homebuyer application.
Please read and review these steps before determining if this type of homeownership opportunity is appropriate for your home ownership needs. HTS guidelines are subject to change and may be updated from time to time to keep in compliance with the HTS homeownership program. Homebuyer eligibility will be determined by the HTS staff and subject to HTS Board approval.
1. Attend a Home Trust of Skagit homeownership orientation.
Home Trust of Skagit staff will explain the Community Land Trust model and review our home ownership vision. You will learn about the Home Trust of Skagit’s eligibility requirements, and about the ground lease and resale formula. You will also review the homeownership application process step by step with us.
2. Determine your eligibility and commitment level.
If your income level and financial requirements meet the criteria listed under the “Eligibility Guidelines”, you may be eligible to purchase a HTS home. HTS advises potential homeowners to read through the entire information packet provided at the Homeownership Orientation and review the Eligibility Guidelines, and then determine your willingness to complete all of the necessary steps. Please give consideration to the time involved in taking the homebuyer education classes (between 8 to 50 hours depending on the applicant’s needs) and the schedule of HTS fees.
3. Interview with HTS Staff to submit your homeownership application.
After attending a HTS Homeownership Orientation, schedule an interview with a HTS staff person to submit your completed application along with the HTS membership fee (if you are not already a member), credit verification fee and the HTS application fee. The order in which applications are completed will determine a household’s placement on any Home Trust of Skagit wait list.
4. Attend the Homebuyer Education Classes.
In order to complete your application, the Home Trust of Skagit requires a certificate of completion from the head(s) of applicant households, stating they have completed a HTS approved Homebuyer Education Program. Check with HTS for a list of local, approved education programs. The class is also offered online. Homebuyer education certification is mandatory and will give you the basic tools to move through the home buying process with knowledge and comfort.
Even if you do not think you qualify, you should talk to a HTS staff person to determine if you may be eligible now or in the future. Purchasing any type of home, and home ownership is a process that may be challenging. Working with the Home Trust of Skagit you have a partner to help you become a successful homeowner. We understand that every applicant is unique and that the home buying process will be different for everyone. Some homebuyers come to us ready to buy a house, while others may need more preparation to get ready for homeownership. Getting started in the process now to find a home of your own is the first step to take.
Applicant(s) – Household applying for HTS home ownership. This includes all adults age 18 or older living in the home. Households are not eligible applicants if any member of the household currently owns a home.
Income – Is calculated using all adults age 18 or older in the household (possible exemptions for students) and includes all wages: overtime and tips, interest and dividends, social security, annuities, pensions, unemployment, disability and severance compensation, alimony and child support, and most forms of public assistance.
Asset – Includes: savings, investments, land, recreational vehicles, or similar items.
Note: household possessions, cars, and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA’s) or Defined Retirement Accounts are not included in asset calculation.
Debt – Includes: any long-term obligations (with a repayment period of more than 6 months) such as automobile payments, child support, student loans and the minimum monthly payment for all credit card accounts.
1. Minimum residency: The applicants must currently live in and have lived in Skagit County Washington for at least one year.
2. Income: Applicants must have enough income to pay the monthly mortgage, taxes, and insurance. However your household income may not exceed 80% of the median income for Skagit County for your household size. In 2009 the maximum gross income by family size is shown in the table below. These figures are gross annual income, before taxes are withheld. Proof of income is required as part of the Home Trust of Skagit application.
Do You Fit HTS Home Ownership?
Any one who lives or works in Skagit County, earning less than 80% of the area median income can apply. The 2017 median income for Skagit County is $66,300.
Family Size – 80% of the Median Income Maximum
3. Credit Rating: Applicants must have a good credit rating showing no significant delinquencies in the past year and no bankruptcy in the past three years.
4. Debt: At the time of the mortgage application, the Applicant’s total Debt (including the costs of the house) should not exceed 40% of their income.
5. Employment or other income: Applicants must provide proof of steady employment or income for at least one year. Self-employed individuals must demonstrate proof of earnings with tax returns for the past two years. Self-employed individuals income is evaluated after business expenses are removed from the gross income.
6. Assets: If the applicants have total assets valued at more than $7,500 ($10,000 for seniors age 65 or older), they may be required to use them towards purchasing the home.
7. Closing Costs: Applicants must have access to sufficient funds to cover the initial closing costs of buying the home.
8. Membership: Applicants must be members of the Home Trust of Skagit.
9. Education: Heads of Households must attend a HTS Homeownership Orientation and complete a Homebuyer Class approved by HTS.
10. Background Check: All applicants must give authorization for a complete background review including a criminal background check.