Partner with us for a place to call home.

Buyer Selection Criteria

Homebuyers applying to Habitat for Humanity of Seattle-King County must meet the following criteria:

Demonstrate a Need for Adequate and Affordable Housing

  • Applicant must not have owned a home for the past 3 years.
  • ONE of the following must be TRUE:
    1. The applicant is “cost burdened” (defined as spending more than 35% of their gross income for housing).
    2. The applicant is living in substandard, overcrowded, run-down, defective, or unsafe housing.
    3. The applicant is living in subsidized housing or a temporary housing situation (ex: Living with family members).

Demonstrate Ability to Pay

  • An applicant’s gross income must be less than 80% of the area median income based on family size (less than 50% or 60% for some areas).
  • Monthly backend debt (including loan and/or credit card payments) must be no more than 43% of an applicant’s monthly gross (pre-tax) income.
  • Applicants must have a minimum credit score of at least 620 and be clear of any liens and judgments. Any bankruptcies must be discharged at least 4 years ago.
  • Applicant must have worked in the same occupation for one year or at least two years if self-employed.

2020 income guidelines

Total household income must be below 80% of the area median income

Household SizeMaximum Income
*Minimum Income varies depending on the home location


  1. Applicant must live or work in King County.
  2. Applicant must be a permanent legal resident of the United States at the time of application.
  3. Applicant must use the home as their primary residence.

Willingness To Partner

Sweat Equity: An applicant must be willing to complete 250 hours of sweat equity per household. Sweat Equity is Habitat’s term for the labor that Habitat homeowners put into building their home and the homes of their Habitat neighbors.

Households are required to complete at least 250 hours of sweat equity. They can complete their hours on our construction sites, in our stores, through homeowner education classes, or by working in our office. We accommodate individuals with disabilities on a case by case basis.

First steps

Step 1 – Read Requirements – Review and be sure you understand the above requirements.

Step 2 – Mailing List Form: Register for the mailing list form by clicking the button below. This allows us to notify you when we have homeownership opportunities available.

Step 3 – Pre-Approval Letter: Habitat homebuyers need to secure financing from a Washington State Housing Finance Commission approved lender. To buy a Habitat home, you must be pre-approved for financing that is equal to or greater than the starting Habitat sales price. You can get a pre-approval letter at any step of the process, but it can take a couple of weeks to get so the sooner the better.