Are you employed by Washington University or BJC Healthcare and planning to buy a house in the near future? If so, you may be eligible to purchase a home in the one of the qualifying neighborhoods and receive up to $8,500 or five percent (5%) of the home’s purchase price, whichever is less, in the form of a 100% forgivable loan from Washington University!
In this article we’ll walk you through the details of the Washington University Housing Assistance Program and how to apply. We’ll also take a look at the 7 neighborhoods that qualify for the program and give you access to listings on the market right now in those areas.
1. Meet with Explore STL Living.
Explore STL Living specializes in helping buyers, including those who are relocating, get to know St. Louis neighborhoods. We can give you the inside scoop on what makes each one unique, how long your commute times will be, where to grab coffee or a great cocktail and so much more. As a Buyer in the state of Missouri, our services are 100% free to you – the seller pays for us to represent you! We’d love the opportunity to guide you through your St. Louis real estate transaction. We’ll make sure you’re connected to great partners and that you receive 5-star service from beginning to end. Contact us here to get started.
2. Are you Eligible?
The first thing to figure out is whether you’re eligible for the program. Here’s the eligibility criteria, straight from the Washington University Housing Assistance Program’s website.
a. Eligible Employees:
i. Full-time or part-time employees working 20 or more hours
ii. Purchasing in qualified neighborhood
iii. Must qualify for a mortgage through a participating approved lends (see Approved Lenders List)
b. Eligible Properties:
i. They must be 1-4 family buildings. Condominiums are eligible
ii. They must be the primary residence by the purchasing employee
iii. The home must be located in one of the Approved Neighborhoods
3. What are the Rules?
These rules are directly from the Washington University Housing Assistance Program website.
A. Program Purpose:
Washington University, in order to permanently stabilize the DeBaliviere Place, Forest Park Southeast, Northeast University City, Skinker-DeBaliviere, West End, Parkview Gardens, and a portion of the Central West End neighborhoods, is offering forgivable loans to qualified Washington University employees. Qualified employees who purchase a home as a primary residence in the neighborhoods described below will receive the lesser of five percent (5%) of the home’s purchase price or eight thousand five hundred dollars ($8,500), to be used to pay either part of the down payment or closing cost on a home purchase. BJC employees are only eligible for the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. The maximum loan amount available to BJC employees is $4,000 or 5% of the purchase price, whichever is less. Purchase rehab loans will be five percent (5%) of the combined purchase price and rehab cost, or $8,500, whichever is less.
B. Eligible Properties:
Properties eligible for this program must meet all three of the following conditions:
- They must be 1-4 family buildings. Condominiums are eligible.
- They must be used a primary residence by the purchasing employee.
- The home must be located in one of the program approved areas – which are:
- DeBaliviere Place
- Forest Park Southeast
- Skinker DeBaliviere
- West End
- University City Northeast
- Parkview Gardens
- (Portion of the) Central West End
C. Eligible Employees:
Eligible employees must meet all of the following criteria:
- Full-time employees or part-time employees working 20 or more hours per week of Washington University in good standing.
- Purchasing an eligible property as described.
- Employee can use this benefit only once. The benefit cannot be combined with another employee’s benefit on a single home purchase.
- Eligible employees must qualify for a mortgage through a participating approved Fannie Mae lender (see Approved Lenders List).
- Must not be a disqualified person. A disqualified person is defined as following: An employee who is a “disqualified person” within the meaning of Section 4958 of the Internal Revenue Code shall not be eligible to participate in the program. A “disqualified person” includes any employee who is or was at any time during the previous five (5) years in a position to exercise substantial influence over the affairs of Washington University and any of his or her family members. Without limiting the foregoing, “disqualified persons” shall include the trustees and officers of Washington University who participate in the administration of the Employer Assisted Housing Program and his or her family members.
D. Forgiveness of Loan:
The Employer Assisted Housing Program (EAHP) loans will be forgivable over a period of five (5) years of home ownership. Twenty percent (20%) of the face amount of the loan will be forgivable the end of each full year. Certain situations include on the following:
- Death of the employee
- Retirement of the employee
- Permanent disability of the employee
- Termination of the employee due to reduction in staff
E. Required Legal Documents:
Each EAHP participant and any co-buyer of the property must sign the following legal documents prior to closing.
- Promissary Note
If you would like to preview the documents prior to the pre-closing meeting, please contact the program administrator.
F. Pre-closing Documents:
The employee and any co-buyer and the EAHP administrator will submit for review requested pre-closing documents within five (5) business days of the closing of the property. The employee and any co-buyer must furnish all required documentation to the EAHP administrator and the employee and any co-buyer must sign the required legal documents. Once these items have been accomplished, the EAHP administrator will be responsible for having the check and copies of the executed agreements delivered to the appropriate title company. If closing does not occur, the loan will not be funded and the signed legal documents will be destroyed or returned to the employee.
Once all required documents are received the Washington University Medical Center Redevelopment Corporation will wire the funds to your
closer. The legal documents will be kept on file at the Washington University Medical Center Redevelopment Corporation, Campus Box 8206, 660 South Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110.
H. Periodic Reviews/Reporting Requirements:
The EAHP administrator will initiate a quarterly review of all EAHP participants by furnishing Human Resources with name and addresses of all EAHP participants and a request that Human Resources verify that the employee is still employed at Washington University and that the address is still the current address for the employee. After Human Resources verifies the information and notifies the EAHP administrator of any exceptions, the EAHP administrator will attempt contact with the employee to resolve discrepancies. The EAHP administrator will seek assistance from Treasury Services and/or the General Counsel’s office to determine if loan terms have been violated and what action needs to be taken.
I. Subsequent Sale or Transfer of Property:
The EAHP administrator will get involved as necessary when issues of sale or transfer of property is involved. The EAHP administrator will notify Treasury Service and/or the General Counsel’s office to determine if loan terms have been violated and what action needs to be taken
If an EAHP participant notifies the EAHP administrator of other changes in the participant’s employment or ownership of the property or a desire to prepay the loan, the EAHP administrator will notify/seek assistance from Treasury Services and/or the General Counsel’s office.The following table lists other loan modification events and the effect on the loan.
K. Tax Liability:
The Employer Assisted Housing Program loan you are applying for has certain tax consequences. The amount of the loan that is forgiven will appear on your W-2 statements as “Other Income.” You will be required to count this as part of your taxable income.
4. Submit Your Application to Washington University.
If you meet the eligibility requirements above, the next step is to complete the online application here.
5. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage.
There are six (6) approved lenders for the Washington University Housing Assistance Program. We suggest reaching out to at least two (2) of them to complete an application for a home loan. Like anything, shopping for a mortgage is a process. You may find that one bank has more favorable rates than another, or lower fees, so we suggest you do some comparison shopping. Once you’ve decided which one to work with you’ll receive a pre-approval letter and you’ll know how much you’re able to spend on a home. Now that you have this, we need to start looking at houses and figure out where you want to live!
Schedule a call here so we can get started!
6. Where do you want to live?
There are 7 neighborhoods which are eligible for the Washington University Housing Assistance Program.
Each of these neighborhood have their own personality, housing stock, amenities, and pros/cons. We’d love to learn more about what’s important to you in a neighborhood so we can give you the information you need to make a decision.
Click below to learn more about each of these areas and start looking at listings. At the top of each page, you can sign up to receive free e-alerts when new homes in that neighborhood come on the market! Keep in mind, not every listing in each neighborhood will qualify for the Washington University Housing Assistance Program. Please refer to the map above or, if you only want to see eligible listings, send us an email and we’ll give you access to a list in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).
- University City
- Parkview Gardens
- West End
- Skinker DeBaliviere
- DeBaliviere Place
- Central West End
- Forest Park Southeast
7. Find YOUR Home and Make an Offer.
Now all that’s left to do is find the right one, make an offer, let Explore STL Living do all the heavy lifting for you, and move in after closing.
We hope you’ll consider interviewing us for the job of representing you in the purchase of your new home. If you enjoyed this article, you might like to read about how to How to Write a Winning Offer on a House or St. Louis MLS Status Codes & What They Mean
Still have questions about the Washington University Housing Assistance Program? You can get in touch with us via e-mail at [email protected], call me or shoot me a text at 314-366-0454.
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Written by Top St. Louis Real Estate Agent John Voirol, founder of ExploreSTLliving.com, and licensed Realtor® with Coldwell Banker Premier Group in St. Louis, MO.