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Cowlitz County, Washington FHA, VA, and USDA Loan Information

Table of Contents

-How to buy a home in Cowlitz County
-What are the government loan limits in Cowlitz County, WA?
-What parts of Cowlitz County are eligible for USDA loans?
-Do I need flood insurance?
-How do I learn about Property Taxes in Cowlitz County
-What is the median home price in Cowlitz County, WA?
-How many people live in Cowlitz County?
-What are the major cities?
-How do I see FHA- and VA-Approved homes for sale?
-Is there a cost to have a real estate agent represent me?
-What closing costs do I need?
-How can I get assistance with closing costs?
-About Cowlitz County
-How much of a loan can I qualify for, based on my income?
-Approved Condominium Projects in Cowlitz County

How to buy a home in Cowlitz County

Are you interested in buying a home in Cowlitz County? This is a step by step guide to all the ins and outs of the homebuying process. For more detail about FHA loans, be sure to check out our complete guide. We also have an in-depth guide to VA loans and the USDA’s Rural Development home loan program.
For now, let’s look at the basic steps to buying a home – and what you’ll have to look out for in Cowlitz County.

  1. Get in touch with a loan officer – give us a call at 877-432-5626 We can help you figure out what type of loan you might qualify for. Programs through the VA, USDA, and FHA allow you to buy a home with a small down payment – or no down payment at all. We will also check your credit and income to see how much of a loan you can qualify for. When we do this, we do a “soft pull” on your credit. This is different from an official credit inquiry and won’t hurt your credit score.
  2. Compare loan offers. Either call us or fill out the form by filling up the form at the top right of this page.
  3. Give your Loan Officer the information they need to find you a loan For a purchase loan or cash-out refinances:
    • Your ID
    • Previous two years of W2s
    • Most recent 30 days paystubs
    • Most recent 60 days bank statements
    • Landlord and HR/Payroll Department contact info
      For a refinance loan, you will also need information on the loan you want to refinance.
  4. Contact our Loan officers to compare the interest rates and APRS – but keep in mind that the fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages are apples and oranges. Use the Loan Estimate to compare the true costs of each loan, both month-to-month and over the life of the mortgage.
  5. Find a home Get connected with a FedHome Loan Centers Real Estate Agent. Once you meet with them to talk about your wants and needs, you can sign up for the property search feed. This will give you alerts about homes for sale in Cowlitz County. Now you’re ready to preview properties and start touring homes.
  6. Make an offer and negotiate the terms of the sale
  7. Get the necessary and recommended inspections Required Inspections:
    • Termite Inspection
    • Well or septic inspections, if applicable
    • We can help you check if your home is in one of the Cowlitz County flood hazard areas.
      Recommended Inspections:
      Home Inspection, Roof Inspection, Sewer Inspection
  8. Get the home appraised Construction loans require a construction appraisal and permit approval
  9. Lock in your interest rate Pro Tip: Wait until the appraisal to lock in your loan rates. If it turns out you need to make repairs, it can push the closing back. Then you run the risk of losing that rate or having to pay an extension fee.
  10. Close the deal and get packing! You’re ready to go!

FAQ

What are the Loan Limits for Cowlitz County?

  • FHA Loan Limit $331,760 (Single family residence) / $424,800 (Duplex) / $513,450 (Triplex) / $638,100 (Fourplex)
  • USDA Loan Limit $265,400
  • VA Home Loan Limit $0 down up to $3,000,000 / 2 open VA loans at one time $510,400 *(Call 877-432-5626 for details).

What Parts of Cowlitz County are eligible for USDA Loans?

  • Cowlitz County is eligible for a USDA Rural Development home loan.
  • Eligible Zip Codes are: 98581, 98603, 98611, 98616, 98625, 98645, 98649, 98674.

Do I need Flood Insurance?

  • The FHA, USDA, and VA all require flood insurance in Special Flood Hazard Areas.
  • In Cowlitz County, flood hazard areas are located around the Columbia River, the Cowlitz River, and the Toutle River.

How do I learn about Property Taxes in Cowlitz County?

  • Emily Wilcox is the Cowlitz county tax assessor. Her office is located at 207 North 4th Avenue, Room 203 Kelso, Washington, and can also be reached by calling (360) 577-3010.
  • Washington state offers about 50 tax incentives and deductions that are meant to bolster local business growth. Also, there are several tax credits programs for specific industries that meet individual requirements. Furthermore, deferral programs are also available for manufacturers, high technology businesses, and fruit & vegetable businesses.

What is the Median Home Price in Cowlitz County?

The median home value for Cowlitz County is $299,032. Also, the median household income for residents of the county is $51,752.

How many people live in Cowlitz County?

As of 2019, Cowlitz County’s population is 110,593, which has grown by about 8% within the last decade. Demographically speaking, 83% of the population is White, with 9% Hispanic, and 3% two or more races.

What are the major cities?

The county has five cities, including the town of Kelso, which serves as the county seat. The county’s four other cities in the county are Castle Rock, Kalama, Longview, and Woodland.

How do I see FHA- and VA-Approved homes for sale?

You can view all of the properties available for sale in Cowlitz County through our Multiple Listing Service. In addition, you can see approved condos at the bottom of this page.

Is there a cost to have a real estate agent represent me?

The seller must pay the real estate professionals’ commission, not the buyer. This means that, as a homebuyer, there is no cost to have a real estate agent represent you. In fact, it’s a good idea to get your own agent in order to have someone in your corner during the negotiation process. For more information about real estate agents, click here.

What closing costs do I need?

For FHA loans, closing costs can end up being 3-4% of the loan amount. These costs include origination fees from the lender, any discount points purchased for a better interest rate, and pre-paid items like insurance and taxes.

How can I get assistance with closing costs?

There are several ways to reduce the amount you have to pay at closing. One way is to get down payment assistance. The FHA’s Within Reach program provides grants to help low- and middle-income families with their down payment.

About Cowlitz County

Initially, the county was home to various Native American tribes, including the Cowlitz tribe, which the county was named after. However, the Native American population saw a significant decline due to a smallpox outbreak in 1829. By that time, European settlers had already established fur trading routes with the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Today the county has a growing economy, which is projected to grow by 35% in the next decade. However, in the present-day, the most common employment industries are manufacturing, healthcare, and retail trade. Hence, the most common occupations are in office, administrative, sales, and production.

Educationally speaking, the county is served by six school districts, ranging from Pre-K to 12th grade. In addition to its public education institutions, the county has higher education institutions like Lower Columbia College. Where most students get degrees in the liberal arts, registered nursing, and business administration.

The county currently has a growing tourism industry due to it being home, to part of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. The monument offers 110,000 acres worth of areas for research, recreation, and education about the area and its ecology. 

Another great tourist spot in the county is the Nutty Narrows Bridge, which is a bridge that is designed and built strictly for squirrels. It was built in 1963 by Amos Peters, and it was made to prevent squirrel casualties in the busy road underneath.             

How much of a loan can I qualify for, based on my income?

Monthly Income Purchase Price
$2,628.90 $195,175.91
$2,832.00 $210,254.55
$3,181.50 $236,202.27
$3,612.00 $268,163.64
$3,985.50 $295,893.18
$4,361.10 $323,778.64
$4,971.90 $369,125.91
$5,761.50 $427,747.73
$6,892.20 $520,625.00
$5,199.60 $368,791.82
$5,743.80 $408,815.91
$6,249.90 $450,287.73
$6,998.10 $501,960.45
$9,776.70 $725,845.91
$5,568.00 $413,381.82
$6,574.80 $488,129.09
$7,569.60 $561,985.45
$5,141.40 $381,710.00
$6,345.30 $471,090.45
$7,639.80 $567,197.27
$8,360.10 $620,674.09
$9,260.70 $687,536.82
$10,095.30 $749,499.55
$12,165.00 $903,159.09
$13,929.60 $1,034,167.27
$17,511.00 $1,300,059.09
$18,406.80 $1,366,506.06

Purchase Price subject to credit and income evaluation. 

Approved Condos in Cowlitz County

Condo
Name
Condo ID /
Submission
AddressCountyApproval
Method
Composition
of Project
CommentsDocument
Status
Manufactured
Housing
FHA
Concentration
StatusStatus
Date
Expiration
Date
MORRISON ESTATES CONDOMINIUMSS012888 001307 PEARDALE LN
LONGVIEW, WA 98632
COWLITZHRAPALL 11 CONDO UNITS WITHIN 6 BUILDINGS IN PROJECT.ExistsRecorded/
Not Uploaded
No9.09%Approved05/09/201905/09/2021

Your Dream Home is Waiting in Cowlitz County

FedHome Loan Centers wants to help you find and finance a condo or home. Apply for a home loan today!

For a list of beautiful homes in the area, contact FedHome Loan Centers today!