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November 2018

Bellevue educators may qualify for down payment assistance when purchasing a home in their high-cost district

Landed logoLanded, a company that helps teachers and other essential professionals buy homes in expensive markets where they work, made its debut in Washington state in mid-October when a partnership with the Bellevue School District was announced.

Based in the San Francisco Bay area, the three-year-old company invests alongside educators who need down payment assistance. The local program is available to teachers, administrators and staff who have been with the Bellevue School District for at least two years.

Since its founding in 2015, Landed has helped more than 100 educators buy homes in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Denver, usually by providing half the down payment. 

As explained on its website, Landed helps make home buying more affordable to educators by providing half the down payment on a home (up to $120,000 per family) in exchange for a portion of the change in value of the home upon its sale. Gains are then reinvested in the program. (If a home loses value, Landed shares in the loss.) Financial coaching is also available.

Company co-founder and Head of Growth Alex Lofton is the son of a retired teacher in the Bellevue district and a second-generation graduate of Bellevue public schools.
"I couldn't be more thrilled to bring Landed's work to the district and its employees who provided me with such a solid education," Lofton said. "It's a humbling privilege to return something to the community that formed my foundation as an entrepreneur and lifelong learner."

On average, an elementary teacher in Bellevue earns a salary of $62,764, with a typical range falling between $51,444 and $74,444, according to salary.com. Based on Northwest Multiple Listing Service data, the median price for a single family home that sold in the district during 2017 was $1,163,500.

"As the cost of housing in Bellevue continues to rise, too many of our educators are finding it harder to afford homes in the area," said Bellevue School District Superintendent Dr. Ivan Duran in a statement. "We believe Landed will be a valuable solution to help improve school recruitment and retention by providing educators with a new option to help make homeownership more accessible."

Landed has partnerships and fee-sharing arrangements nationwide with regional real estate brokerages. Partnerships are formed by invitation or when a broker brings Landed an eligible customer. As part of the arrangement, Landed provides a buyer support letter prior to every offer that agents can include in the offer package. That letter has proven to be beneficial in competitive bid situations, according to Landed.

Landed was founded in 2015. It currently has the backing of: Y Combinator, prominent angel and venture capital investors, top banking executives, former directors of federal housing authorities, affordable housing policy experts, union organizers, philanthropists, and Stanford economists.

Brokers interested in joining the Landed network and educators who want to learn more about the program can submit an online interest form.