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First-Timer Primer: DC's Home Buyer Assistance Programs

  • May 18th

by Lark Turner

Whether you’re buying a home for the first time or looking to move, several programs in the DC area are available to assist buyers. Homebuyer assistance programs can be a bit complex, though, so this edition of First-Timer Primer aims to provide some clarity. This article looks at programs in DC proper.

  • DC Open Doors: DC Open Doors is designed to provide down payment assistance to homeowners who may exceed the income levels of other assistance programs (individuals earning up to $154,800 a year are eligible). To qualify, applicants likely need to have a credit score of 640 or higher and a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 50 percent. The program will offer a loan of either 3.5 or 3 percent of the home price to be used as a down payment (for either an FHA-backed loan or a standard loan through Fannie Mae). DCHFA’s down payment assistance is a deferred 0%, non-amortizing subordinate loan that is due and payable upon any one of the following events, (whichever first occurs): 30 years from the date of closing, sale of property or any transfer, property ceases to be your principal residence, or refinancing of the first mortgage.
  • Individual Development Account (IDA) program: An IDA is designed to help those with a lower-income buy a home. The program sets participants up with a savings account, held in escrow, that’s matched to help build up the investment and encourage saving. At Capital Area Asset Builders in DC, participants in the IDA program receive dollar-for-dollar matches while attending classes and receiving training on finances and budgeting — before they make the big purchase.
  • Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP): HPAP gives first-time buyers interest-free loans and help with closing costs to those who qualify. The amount awarded is based on income, the size of your household, and the amount of your down payment. HPAP offers a maximum of $80,000 in assistance and an additional $4,000 in closing. The list of eligibility requirements is long, though.
  • Employer Assisted Housing Program (EAHP): This program is for first-time homebuyers who work for the city. The program offers employees a deferred, 0% interest loan and a matching funds grant for down payment and closing costs toward purchase of their first home. 
  • Lower-Income Home Ownership Tax Abatement: Eligible buyers could enjoy up to five years without property tax. Sound good? You need to meet the income requirements and live in the home.

See other articles related to: dclofts, first-timer primer

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/first-timer_primer_a_rundown_of_dcs_home_buyer_assistance_programs/7974.

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