May 2018 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Your Give was BIG


For all of you who remembered HomeSight on May 9th, our heartfelt thanks goes out to you for your support during Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG event. We thank everyone for all the donations that will be used to continue our support of the Rainier Valley and our community outreach projects. Your GIVE was BIG. 

Giving is getting, and for those who gave $10 or more, your name was put into a drawing to have lunch at Taco Street with our Executive Director, Tony To, and learn more about our upcoming capital campaign for Othello Square. Congratulations Alex Stonehill! While cruising social media and thinking about the head tax and housing, he came across HomeSight and decided to make a first-time donation.  Alex is planning an academic session next year in housing and there is no better resource than Tony To.  Giving is getting!

Thank you to Alex and everyone who donated for your support!

HomeSight Receives $925,500 Grant from US Treasury!

HomeSight was awarded a $926,500 grant from the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund at the US Treasury. This money will be used to provide 1st and 2nd mortgages to low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers across Washington State. As we continue our expansion beyond, but still include the Seattle metropolitan area, these funds will be critical in serving 1st-time buyers in underserved communities statewide, especially those not well served by mainstream lenders.


A CDFI award is so useful and so competitive (our team put in 300+ hours on the application) because once loans made with CDFI funds are repaid, that money goes into HomeSight’s revolving loan fund for future home purchase loans serving additional buyers. This means sustainability for our lending line of business which helps create even more homeownership opportunities for 1st-time buyers.

In related news, the Washington State Housing Trust Fund (HTF) has approved the use of repaid loan funds for deferred down payment assistance loans statewide. With over $7 million in HTF capital in our loan fund there is a steady stream of repaid funds available in our expanded statewide market. 

The CDFI and HTF funds will ensure HomeSight has enough money to meet demand for lending statewide. For more information contact Tom Jacobi, Chief Portfolio Officer at

It was One Hot April!

In a market that's hard for first-time homebuyers, HomeSight Homeownership Center closed the books on one hot April with 11 new homeowners! In neighborhoods everywhere from Lynnwood to Lakewood, these new homeowners are cozying up on a couch in a home all their own. This also means HomeSight helped pump over $2 million into the economies of those towns and cities where these home purchases were made. A feat that wouldn't be possible without the support of partners ranging from the U.S. Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions fund and WA State Housing Trust Fund to our current and past mortgage holders whose payments free up capital for us to make more loans.

Interested in learning more about how HomeSight can help you achieve homeownership? Sign up to take a homebuyer education class, create a profile on our online customer portal, or visit us at to learn more about our purchase assistance programs or how to get a free financial assessment.

NMLS #49289
Branch NMLS #1694327
HomeSight is an equal housing opportunity lender.

Meet the Home(Sight) Team

She’s definitely contagious. And, not in the, “don’t you dare go anywhere near me!” or “you have cooties!” kind of way. It has more to do with her undeniable positivity. Oh, and that laugh! It’s a laugh that just makes you smile inside and out. That’s not to say it’s all fun and games for HomeSight Chief Financial Officer, Lana Vahala-Marcus. The sort of “fell-into-it” CPA has definitely got a competitive side. Let’s just say her colleagues found out about that side during a championship-caliber game of Exploding Kittens. As a survivor of that match, I can attest, there were A LOT of exploding kittens. 

Besides a mean streak when it comes to board games, what more do you need to know about our new CFO? Find out in this edition of The Home Team!

Meet the Home Team: Lana Vahala-Marcus, Chief Financial Officer


Where were you before HomeSight?

I worked at DaVita for almost seven years. I came in as the second hire in the international accounting department and after several years of building infrastructure around global accounting and systems, oversaw the statutory reporting in each country and purchase accounting for international M&A.

How has your transition to HomeSight been?

It’s been intense. There’s a lot of acronyms to learn and while I’ve only been here four months it feels like a year just given the amount of stuff to learn and complexity of the operations. It’s been a steep ramp up but awesome nonetheless.

I’ve noticed that you’ve carried little baggies of food around to meetings. What’s the story behind that?

Hahaha! I just don’t like to be hungry! It’s pretty much my worst fear…getting stuck somewhere without something to eat. I also made the conscious effort to snack healthier so the little baggies of food help me stick to that. (This is true. Lana’s baggies usually contain veggies and lean proteins.)

And, to be honest, I do get hangry so the baggies are really for your protection. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I mentioned your competitive streak. What’s your best “win?”

All wins are good wins. My worst loss, however, well…let’s just say I’ve been known to ban certain games. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Where did you grow up?

I was a Navy brat so moved around a lot. I lived in the Philippines and Japan. However, I mainly grew up in Silverdale and I went to school in Poulsbo. 

If someone from Silverdale/Poulsbo were to describe you in one word, what would it be?

I’d have to say quirky. I’m still quirky.

You’ve begun to settle into your new desk. Have you brought anything in yet that really personifies you?

My Friends calendar! I’m an avid Friends fan. I believe strongly that anything in life can be related to a Friends episode. 

I’d like to do some rapid fire questions to end this interview to get to know more about you quickly. Here we go:

  1. Coffee or tea? Both! I love earl grey tea and iced soy lattes.
  2. Favorite color ink pen? Purple.
  3. Favorite ice cream flavor? I make my own flavor. It’s the combination of mint chocolate chip and jamocha at Baskin Robbins.
  4. Huskies or Cougars? Huskies. I graduated from UW-Tacoma.
  5. Office item you can’t live without? Rectangular post-its…rectangular, not square.
  6. SPAM. Yay or nay? Yay! Bacon SPAM is the best.
  7. Go to comfort food? Lipton chicken noodle soup without the chicken.
  8. Boyz II Men or Jodeci? Jodeci. (This interviewer’s heart is crushed.)     

What's Happening at HomeSight

- Come take a tour of our new Homeownership Center located in Othello! We're holding an Open House on June 12, 2018, from 4 to 6 p.m. (program begins at 5 p.m.). Light refreshments will be served. You can RSVP here.

- We're holding a Summer Othello-bration on June 16, 2018, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the future home of Othello Square (aka, the SW corner of MLK Jr Way S and S Othello St or 7301 MLK Jr Way S, Seattle, WA 98118).

- Several members of the staff recently returned from a training in Kansas City. A lot was learned in sessions that range from "Leading and Engaging Diverse Organizations" to a two-day Community Development Annual Meeting that centered at theme of "Disruption. Creativity. Solidarity." It wasn't all work though! Staff had the opportunity to discover Kansas City as evident by the smiling faces in this photo...