Home-ownership Program

The MHT Home-ownership program aims to help bridge the gap between the rising cost of Methow Valley homes and the modest wages many local residents live on – the people who contribute to our community in so many ways: teachers, first responders, health care workers, social workers, elders, families, the people who provide essential services, who staff, innovate and give genuine character to our diverse business community. 

Give us a call to learn more about our neighborhood projects in Twisp, Winthrop and Mazama!

Watercolor illustration courtesy of Will Scales

Watercolor illustration courtesy of Will Scales

Think you might be eligible to buy a Methow Housing Trust home?

Here are some simple eligibility guidelines:

Methow Valley Resident
You must be a resident and you must have lived or worked in the Methow Valley for at least 12 months, or have a written commitment from a Methow Valley employer. In order to qualify for a mortgage, you will need to demonstrate that you can earn a living while living in the Methow Valley.

Income Eligible
Most MHT houses will be sold to buyers who have a gross household income that does not exceed 100% of Area Median Income (AMI).  To give you a sense for if you might qualify, the following table shows the approximate income and asset limits based on HUD income figures for Okanogan County in 2018.

Capture 2018 AMI.PNG

Asset Eligible
At the time you purchase your MHT home, personal assets may not exceed 80% of Area Median Income. If you are of retirement age or have assets in excess of MHT’s asset limit, you may still be eligible for a limited number of MHT homes. 

Able to Qualify for an Approved Mortgage
You need to be able to qualify for an approved mortgage to purchase your home, or have adequate assets to purchase it outright. This includes:

Adequate income – You must be able to document adequate, steady income so that your collective housing cost (mortgage, taxes, insurance, HOA fees) does not exceed 35% of your gross monthly income.

Adequate credit – Generally you will be able to get a loan to purchase your home if your credit score is at least 640. If your credit score is lower than 640 or you do not have a score, it may still possible to purchase a home if you can document at least forms of non-reported credit, such as utility bills, landlord references, etc.

Minimum debt – Your total debt payments, including your future house payment, may not exceed 45% of your gross monthly income, depending on your mortgage. MHT staff can help you calculate this. Generally speaking, monthly debt obligations of more than $250 per month, in addition to your house payment, make it difficult to qualify.

To learn more and begin an application, make an appointment with a Methow Housing Trust staff member.  Call 996-5943, or email contact@methowhousingtrust.org

What makes MHT homes different?

When you buy an Methow Housing Trust house, you purchase the building and sign a long-term lease to the land. The lease provides you with the security you need, and it provides MHT with the guarantee that you will help perpetuate the mission.

  • As long as you own the house, you and/or your family will live there full-time.

  • You will maintain the house and keep it in good shape.

  • You agree to sell the house at a price that is calculated according to the resale formula in the lease so the house remains affordable for the next buyer.

  • You will work with MHT to sell to another income-eligible family.

Partnership Program

Methow Housing Trust recognizes that home-ownership is not for everyone, and is committed to strategic partnerships that help support a broad set of solutions to housing needs in the Methow Valley. MHT strategic partnerships aim to:

  • Connect people and families with the specific resources they need.

  • Leverage greater support for affordable and workforce housing through collective fundraising, education and advocacy.

  • Create new solutions for housing that no single entity can devise alone.

Partners include: The Methow Valley Business Community, Methow Valley School District, RoomOne, The Cove, Methow at Home, Little Star Montessori, Twispworks, Methow Conservancy, Okanogan Housing Authority, Washington State Department of Commerce, Spokane Housing Ventures, National and Regional Community Land Trust Associations, and the Towns of Twisp and Winthrop.