If you are considering buying a home in WA State’s most populous county in the near future, you’ll want to team up with an experienced King County mortgage company. They can help you get the mortgage you need to buy a home in any one of the cities in this extremely popular PNW destination.
Find out why people love to live in this corner of the country, take a look at the housing market in King County, WA, and get some useful tips on finding the best mortgage company in King County to team up with.
Why Buy a Home in King County, WA?
The state of Washington is one of the most desirable places in all of the US to live thanks to its bustling economy, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty that draws people from all over. Among the more popular counties in the state is King County, which is home to Seattle, an iconic metropolis and the state’s most populous city.
King County’s housing market is hot right now, with high demand and low supply driving prices and activity among buyers. And with the current mortgage interest rates hovering near historic lows, homebuyer hopefuls are flocking to the housing market in King County to take advantage of these lower rates.
Home prices have decreased over the past 12 months and are expected to continue on the same trajectory over the next year. Those who already own a home in King County have therefore been able to take advantage of more equity and will continue to do so over the coming months.
Overview of the King County Real Estate Market
King County’s median home value currently sits at about $799,604, as of January 2024. That’s much higher than the statewide average of $562,290. Some of the more expensive cities in the Evergreen State reside within the confines of King County, such as Seattle and Bellevue, which contributes to the higher-than-average median home price in the county.
Based on the average home price in King County, a 10% down payment would be just over $79,960. Of course, buyers can also make smaller or larger down payments based on their finances and the type of home loan they apply for.
For example, an FHA loan would require a minimum down payment of 3.5% of the purchase price of a home, which would come to almost $27,986 in the case of an average home price in King County. On the other hand, a conventional loan without private mortgage insurance (PMI) would require at least 20% down, which would come to a little more than $159,920.
As mentioned earlier, the down payment amount you put forth will depend on the mortgage you take out, among other things, which is why it’s important that you work with the right King County mortgage company when choosing a home loan.
Five Tips for Choosing a King County Mortgage Company
Here are a few tips to help you find the best mortgage company in King County, WA, so you can get the right home loan for your needs.
Tip #1: Get References
One of the best ways to go about finding the right mortgage company to work with is to simply ask people you know. If anyone in your social circle has recently bought a home in King County, ask them who they worked with to get a mortgage to finance it.
Ask your friends or family what their King County mortgage company was like to work with, how quickly they were able to get them the home loan required, the types of mortgage products they offer, and so forth.
Otherwise, you may also want to take to the internet to search for mortgage companies in King County, and look over all the reviews that have been left behind by previous clients. Just be sure to read as many reviews as possible rather than focusing on only a handful to get a general sense of the mortgage company and how efficient they are at helping buyers get the mortgages they need.
Tip #2: Verify the Mortgage Company’s Credentials
Luckily, most mortgage companies in King County are reputable. That said, there are still some firms out there that are less than trustworthy and should be avoided. One way to steer clear of these mortgage companies is by verifying their credentials. Mortgage lenders must be properly licensed in the state they work in to provide mortgages to buyers.
You can check into a mortgage company’s credentials by asking them directly, or looking them up in the Nationwide Multi-state Licensing System Registry, or the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Tip #3: Ask Questions
It’s important that you ask a number of pertinent questions before you decide on a particular mortgage company in King County, Such questions may include the following:
- What types of home loan programs are offered?
- How much of a down payment would I need?
- Are there any down payment assistance programs that I would qualify for?
- What is the mortgage interest rate for the loan type I am applying for?
- What are the fees and closing costs?
- What are the terms of the mortgage?
- Are home loans originated in-house?
The answers that the mortgage companies provide you with will give you plenty of information to go on when deciding who to work with.
Tip #4: Compare Mortgage Interest Rates
One of the more important factors to consider when deciding on a mortgage company in King County is the mortgage interest rates they charge. Thankfully, comparison shopping for interest rates on mortgages is easy thanks to the internet. With a quick Google search, you can quickly find various rates on mortgages offered by different lenders.
The interest rate can make a huge difference in the overall cost of your mortgage. As such, the lower the rate, the better. Just make sure that you take the mortgage company’s fees into consideration before settling on one lender.
Tip #5: Pull Your Credit Report
There are a handful of factors that mortgage lenders consider when they determine whether or not to approve a loan application, and your credit score is one of them. Maintaining a healthy credit score can afford you with many financial products, including mortgages.
With a good credit score, you can increase your chances of not only getting approved for a home loan, but securing a lower rate, too. This can help make your mortgage more affordable over the long run.
A low score, on the other hand, can make it more difficult to get approved for a mortgage and will increase your chances of getting stuck with a higher interest rate.
To find out what your score is, pull your credit report, which you can do for free once every 12 months from one of the three major credit bureaus. If your score is on the lower end, take steps to improve it but doing the following:
- Pay all of your bills on time
- Pay down your debt
- Keep your credit card expenditures less than 30% of your credit card limit
- Don’t take out any other loans or lines of credit
- Keep old credit accounts open, even if you’re not using them
- Have any errors on your credit report fixed right away
What You Need to Know About Loan Limits
Homebuyers should get familiar with loan limits, which are dollar caps placed on a home loan. For conforming loans, loan limits are caps that are placed on loans that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will purchase or guarantee. For FHA loans, loan limits are dollar caps on loans that the FHA guarantees.
VA loan limits have been eliminated. But some borrowers may still be subject to them if they already have VA loans or have defaulted on one in the past.
Loan limits are assigned to every county in the country and usually increase at the start of every year to reflect the increase in home prices.
Check out our mortgage loan limit tool for conventional, FHA, and VA loans.
Get More Info on King County Mortgages
There’s so much to know about mortgages in King County and the mortgage companies that offer them. At Sammamish Mortgage, we can provide you with all the information required about home loans without the need to do any leg work yourself. We’ve been helping borrowers all over Washington, Idaho, California, Colorado, and Oregon apply for mortgages since 1992, and we’d love to help you too. We offer plenty of mortgage programs with flexible qualification criteria, and we would love to speak to you about how we can help. Contact us today to get the info you need about home loans needed to buy a home in King County!