Real Estate in Washington DC: What Programs are Available for First-Time Buyers?

The District of Columbia is a great place for first-time homebuyers to purchase real estate, as it offers a variety of programs to help them get started. The Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program provides qualified borrowers with the opportunity to apply for a federal tax credit of 20% of the mortgage interest paid each year. The DC4me program is available to full-time DC government employees and offers a reduced interest rate on a first mortgage, as well as the option of receiving down payment assistance for 3% of the mortgage in the form of a deferred loan at 0% interest. Low-income households may even be able to get a loan with no monthly payments.

All loans must be paid in full if you transfer or sell the property, refinance the main mortgage, or rent the home. Additionally, eligible buyers can apply for a federal tax credit of up to 20% of mortgage interest each year. In addition to these programs, there are several federal government programs designed for people with low credit scores or limited funds for a down payment. These programs are available to regular homeowners, such as state programs, and can be especially beneficial for those who are buying their first home or have not owned a home in several years.

To help with the process, D. C. Open Doors organizes two free educational sessions for homebuyers each month, as well as free seminars outside of Open Doors. This calendar can help you find educational resources.

Attending a homebuyer education program is always recommended, regardless of whether you have owned a home before or not. For some of the programs listed above, assistance is required. Homebuyer education can help all buyers understand how much they can afford to pay for the mortgage, what fees come with it, and how the loan and closing processes work. The amount you receive and the terms of your reimbursement will depend on your income and family size.

Mortgages are generally available for single-family homes, properties of two to four units that will be occupied by their owners, approved condominiums, townhouses, planned unit developments, and some manufactured homes. Some donors even allow you to use their funds to cover closing costs.

Emmett Whitson
Emmett Whitson

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