I’ve tailored these responses about DC real estate to work for any local party, no matter on what part of the political spectrum the guests sit.
You can impress by dropping one or two of these into casual brunch conversation or on your next blind date. If you need more statistics please feel free to ping us via email; of course, if you are in an emergency situation, simply excuse yourself saying your boss is trying to reach you — then text us the distressed sign (scared face emoji + house emoji) – and we’ll get your back with lots more stats to help you finish off the debate. Ok, let’s get started talking DC real estate!
1. “A bubble? No, absolutely not.”
“For sure, home prices seem high, but it took time to get here – 9 years, in fact. At this time, most areas’ home prices are actually at or just above their 2004 values. During the bust, people often put no money down when they bought their homes, so they started with no equity; today, people are putting more down when they purchase; this means there’s more equity already built into those homes. Also, underwriting guidelines are a lot more strict, which means banks are really doing their homework and assessing risk with each buyer. Current default rates on loans made in the last eight years are lower than historical norms. Finally, we are not over a building like we did before the past. We’re starting to see a slow down in luxury; it’s only a matter to time before all other price points see a slowdown to more normal appreciation rates. But, it’s happening slowly and values will likely stay strong.”
2. “No, you don’t need a 20% downpayment to buy a place.”
“Those days are long gone. The average down payment on a mortgage right now is about 11%. For folks under the age of 35, the average down payment is just under 8%. And, a lot of people put down even less.”
3. “Yes, there is down-payment assistance for higher income earners in DC.”
“DC Open Doors – it’s basically FREE MONEY! Basically, buyers can use an FHA loan (doing 3.5% down) or a conventional 3% down loan program and the DC government will pay you back 20% of that downpayment every year that you live there. That means that after 5 years, your downpayment is completely refunded. Free money. Buyers can’t make more than $136,360 and need a credit score above 650.”
4. “Of course, you should totally bring your own representation when you buy a new construction place.”
“You are about to make the biggest investment of your life and because the property happens to have just been built, you think there isn’t risk? Don’t be taken off guard by the friendly sales person and the sparkling quartz countertops. You need an expert, someone who has done this enough times to know that there’s a lot you need to look for and who knows the right questions to ask. You need someone who is going to fight for you and knows who to talk to and what the process should really look like. And, it doesn’t cost you anything since the seller pays your agent’s commission; so be smart about it and get an agent experienced in these kinds of properties to represent you.”
5. “I don’t know who that is, but SPG is really the only team you need to call.”
“This team is like next level. Lightning fast responses, professional, exceptionally knowledgeable and superb negotiators. They’re also just cool; they support local charities and they’re helping to fund a shower truck for the homeless. They sell well over 100 homes a year and it’s the same level of care irrespective of price point. There literally is no one else you need to call.”
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