• Sheena Saydam

Five Home Buyer Assistance Programs in DC Proper

In March I shared a post entitled Five First-Time Home Buyer Assistance Programs in Washington DC. In an effort to provide clarity and to remind our readers of the home buyer

programs available in DC specifically, the following post is written. Again, look for future posts on programs written specifically on home buyer assistance available in Maryland and Virginia.

If you are a first-time home buyer or just looking to move, there are several available programs to assist you here in DC proper. However, homebuyer assistance programs tend to be a bit hard to understand because of their many interconnected parts.

DC Open Doors: DC Open Doors provides down payment assistance to homeowners who may earn more than other assistance programs allow. Many qualify for this program. If you earn up to $123,395 a year, you are eligible. If you qualify, and you plan to live in DC proper for a while, you could get part of a deposit loan forgiven.

To qualify, your credit score must be 640 or higher with a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 45 percent. DC Open Doors will offer an FHA-backed loan or a standard loan through Fannie Mae of either 3.5 or 3 percent of the home price for you to use a down payment. 20 percent of that loan is forgiven each year you stay in that home.

Individual Development Account (IDA) program: If you want to buy a home but fall into a lower-income bracket, an IDA was designed to help you. Participants in this assistance program are setup with a savings account which is held in escrow. The money in this escrow account is then matched to help you build up that investment and encourage you to save. For example, before purchasing a home, Capital Area Asset Builders in DC match dollar-for-dollar what IDA participants put in their escrow account while they attend finance and budgeting classes.

Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP): First-time home buyers who qualify for HPAP are given interest-free loans and help with closing costs, but the list of eligibility criteria is a bit daunting because of its length. Income, the size of your household and the amount of your down payment determine the amount of help given. $40,000 in assistance plus another $4,000 in closing costs is the maximum offered with an HPAP.

Employer Assisted Housing Program (EAHP): Attention all first-time home buyers who work in DC proper. An EAHP is the assistance program for you. Down payments of up to $1,500 will be matched by the city of DC as well as a deferred loan of up to $10,000. The price of the home you are looking to buy cannot exceed $417,000 for an EAHP, but if you qualify, you’ll receive income and property tax credits as incentives for the first five years.

Lower-Income Home Ownership Tax Abatement: This assistance program is more than a mouthful to say. To qualify for this one you must meet the income requirements, must live in the home, and the home cannot be worth more than $356,000. As an eligible buyer with this assistance program, you could receive up to 5 years property-tax-free!

If you desire a shot at owning a home in DC proper, Maryland or Virginia, give me a call! Contact Sheena Saydam of Saydam Properties at 202-243-7700 or email Sheena@SaydamProperties.com. I can help you understand the assistance programs available to you and what you qualify for. Let me help you make the dream of home ownership yours!