Buying a home for the first time can be exciting and nerve-wracking, sometimes simultaneously. On the one hand, you know you’re ready to find a place of your own so you can tailor your space to your liking and truly call it your home. On the other hand, you know that homeownership and the home purchase process mean more expenses than renting a home, which is why it’s crucial to stick to your budget.
But Washington, DC is making it easier — and cheaper — for you to buy your first home.
Incentives That DC Offers First-Time Buyers
First-time home buyers are getting a boost to help them afford to buy a home within district limits. These incentives include financial assistance programs and even proposed changes to current tax rates. Here are just a few of these first-time home buying incentives.
DC Open Doors Program
DC Open Doors, a program offered through the DC Housing Finance Agency, helps first-time home buyers purchase a home by offering financial assistance. Home buyers can shop for loans using the program’s preferred vendors and get down payment assistance depending on the loan product they choose.
You can learn more about qualifying for DC Open Doors products here.
Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP)
Another financial assistance program available to first-time buyers is the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP). In 2017, buyers who qualify can now receive a financial boost of up to $80,000 (up from $50,000 from last year) to purchase a house, condo, or co-op and $4,000 in closing cost assistance.
You can learn more about income and loan requirements for this program on the 2017 HPAP income guidelines sheet here.
A Lower Recordation Tax
In Washington, DC, one of the property taxes that home buyers pay is what’s called a “recordation tax,” which is a tax associated with the transfer of the deed from the seller to the buyer. Currently, the recordation tax is a percentage of the home’s value — 1.1% for properties at or under $400,000 and 1.45% for properties over $400,000.
The DC Council is considering lowering the recordation tax to 0.75% for all properties, regardless of their price. If it’s approved, first-time home buyers (and buyers who’ve never purchased real estate in DC) can end up saving thousands of dollars!
We Can Help You Buy Your First Home
As expert Washington, DC real estate professionals, we can help you find your ideal home, navigate the home buying process, and experience a hassle-free closing. We’d be happy to point you to neighborhoods and properties we think you’ll love and that will fit your budget.
Call us at (202) 256-0639 and let’s talk about your goals.