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Learn more about DC Home Ownership Programs

DC has long valued the importance of home-ownership, which is why programs such as HPAP exist. The District has also made affordable housing a priority, not necessarily just for the lowest income residents, but for a variety of income groups.

Here is a quick look at some of the city’s housing programs, who they effect and how they might be able to help you own a home.

First-Time Home-buyer Tax Benefit

Thanks in part to the work of DCAR, DC now has a tax benefit in place for first-time homebuyers once again. The First-Time Homebuyer Tax Benefit lowers the recordation tax for qualified DC residents to 0.725%, as of October 2017.

Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP)

HPAP provides interest-free loans and closing cost assistance to qualified applicants looking to purchase a home. Depending on the borrower’s income, payments are deferred for five years or longer.

DC Open Doors (DCOD)

DC Open Doors offers fully forgivable second-trust loans, as well as below-market interest rates for first-trust mortgages for the purchase of homes in DC.

Negotiated Employee Assistance Home Purchase Program (NEAHP)

NEAHP provides financial assistance with down payments and closing costs for government employees looking to purchase a home in DC. The aid comes by way of a grant, and it can be up to $26,500 in value.

Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)

The MCC allows qualified borrowers to claim a Federal Tax Credit of 20% of the mortgage interest paid during each calendar year.


HomeSaver is a program that provides assistance for unemployed or underemployed DC homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes due to foreclosure or delinquent property taxes.

Home Purchase Rehabilitation Program (HPRP)

HPRP helps first-time homebuyers in the District to purchase homes that require limited repairs to address health, safety and building code violations.

Contact us if are interested in finding out more about this programs. For information

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Maryland Home Prices Continued Their Climb In September

Residential home prices remained strong in September for the eighth month in a row compared to the same period of 2017, according to housing statistics released by Maryland REALTORS®.  Average home prices rose by 4.9 percent, while median prices also rose in September by 3.6 percent as compared to the same time in 2017.

“The average residential home and median sale prices continued their rise for the eighth month in a row,” said Maryland REALTORS® President Merry Tobin.

“While the 3.9 months of available inventory is a negligible increase over the 3.6 months of inventory in 2017, this has the potential to start dampening consumers enthusiasm impacting everyone’s ability to buy or sell.” A 6 month to 6.5 month supply is considered to be a balanced market.

The September 2018 sales total of 6,018 represents a decrease of 10.8 percent from the September 2017 total of 6,743.

The September 2018 statewide median sales price was $ $287,700, an increase of 3.6% percent from the September 2017 median of $ $277,746.

Pending sales decreased 9 percent in September compared to a year ago to reach 6,918. The average days on market for home sales closed during September was 56, a decrease from 66 in September 2017.

The average sale price compared to original list price for September increased to 96.4% from 95.5% in September of 2017.

Maryland monthly housing statistics are compiled by data as reported by MRIS/Bright MLS.

For the purposes of this report, “units” are defined as the closed sales and “pending units” are properties under contract. Months of inventory are based on the current active inventory and monthly sales for the corresponding month.

Click here to download the full stats.


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Market Statistics: September 2018

September Home Sales Dip Compared to Last Year; Average, Median Prices Tick Upwards; Home Sellers Still ‘In Driver’s Seat,’
Reports the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors®

Fairfax – In spite of a productive local economy, a Federal Reserve edging up interest rates, and inflation making the news, some homebuyers may be sidelined by the mortgage application process and lean inventory, reports the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors®.

“Although Northern Virginia sellers remain in the driver’s seat, our September data regarding rising home values is a positive indicator to those wondering about market headwinds,” said 2018 NVAR Chairman of the Board Lorraine Arora. She pointed out that the average price increase of nearly 4 percent and the 3 percent rise in median sales price provide an encouraging picture for long-term appreciation gains. “Despite the volatility in the stock market and Federal Reserve decisions, homes that are priced and show well are selling, “Arora said. “Today’s consumers are savvy and know what they like and do not like and are willing to pay.”

Though inventory remains tight, buyers are not rushing to pull the trigger to purchase right now, explained Gary P. Lange, managing broker of Weichert in Vienna.

“The buyers are looking for move-in ready homes with all the bells and whistles,” he said. “If a home isn’t in tip-top shape, it is sitting. Sellers are trying to get top spring market prices and that just isn’t going to happen in fall and winter months. Sellers need to temper their expectations and be willing to do necessary updates to compel buyers to look at their property as ‘the home of choice.’ If they cannot do that, they need to lower their price.

“We’ve seen instances where buyers keep a home on the radar and then pounce on it with other potential buyers when the seller lowers the price,” he stated. “Advice to buyers would be to make an offer on a home you like while there is no competition and negotiate acceptable terms that work for both parties. In these cases, we are seeing flexibility by sellers,” he advised.

Some clients who want to buy are challenged by this region’s high prices coupled with rising rates. “We all know that the housing market is the bellwether for how interest rates impact economic growth,” said NVAR CEO Ryan Conrad. “Since our region continues to add jobs, this is driving up local housing demand. Due to new construction declines, we see upward pressure on resales. By year’s end, we expect sales activity to be on a level with last year’s.”


September 2018 Regional Home Sales Compared to September 2017: Northern Virginia

The Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® reports on September 2018 home sales activity for Fairfax and Arlington counties, the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church and the towns of Vienna, Herndon and Clifton.

A total of 1,427 homes sold in September 2018, a decrease of almost 12 percent below September 2017 home sales of 1,620.

Active listings decreased this month compared with 2017. Listings were down 9.32 percent below last year, with 4,134 active listings in September, compared with 4,560 homes available in September 2017. The average days on market (DOM) for homes in September 2018 was 36 days, a decrease of 14.29 percent compared to the 42 DOM for homes in September 2017.

The average home sale price rose compared with last September, to $573,555. This is 3.63 percent above the September 2017 average price of $553,440.

The median sold price of homes this September, which was $494,000, rose by 2.93 percent compared to September 2017, when the median price was $479,950.

The 1,652 new pending home sales in Northern Virginia in September were 5.92 percent fewer than the 1,756 contracts that were pending in September last year. Total pending sales of 2,001 in September were down by 9.78 percent, compared with 2,218 total pending contracts in September 2017.

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5 Ways to Leverage Your Lender to Help Your Buyers Win!

Limited inventory has more buyers competing in the marketplace and asking sellers to “pick me.” And, those buyers “not picked” are left feeling they missed out on their dream home. So, how can you leverage your lender to position your buyers for success?

  • Have your buyers meet with a local lender that you trust. Applying online for a mortgage is great if your buyer has done this before. First time buyers benefit from having a face to face conversation with their lender. Meeting in person has proven to reduce stress, build trust and instill confidence. There are many loan programs with differing rates, payments and cash needed at closing. Getting all their questions answered and finding out which option is best requires more time than emails and phone calls allow. Although there are no bad loan programs, there are certainly programs that don’t match up to the best interest of every buyer. An educated client makes a better buyer!
  • Get your buyers pre-approved (not just pre-qualified) before you make an offer on a home. A pre-approval is a conditional commitment to lend and means that an underwriter has reviewed the buyers documentation and has determined that it meets the requirements of the loan program. Granted, there could be issues with the home (title, condition or value), but the bulk of the loan review has already taken place. A pre-approval letter will put your buyers at ease and make the offer look stronger in the eyes of the seller.
  • Make the closing date sooner rather than later. Everyone wins with a fast closing (say 2 weeks)! Consider a rent back if the seller needs more time to vacate the property. The seller gets their proceeds early, the buyer may get rental income to offset expenses, and both agents receive their commissions quickly. If you forgo a quick close, work with a lender that will allow you to remove contingencies quickly!
  • Ensure that the lender reaches out to the listing agent to share that the buyer’s file has been reviewed by an underwriter and sets a communication schedule highlighting milestones for both agents.
  • Reinforce with your buyer the need to do what the lender requests – get documents to the lender asap, do not make any changes to income, assets, or debts, and not to open or close credit accounts.

Have you thought about creating a “one stop shop” experience? Surveys show that today’s consumers, especially millennials, prefer this. You, the agent, are almost always the first point of contact. If you can assure the homebuyer that you have the ability to shepherd them through the process from pre-approval, to contract, to home inspection, and to settlement, you have a greater chance of them becoming your client.


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Real Estate Roundup!

May new home sales gain 2.2% from April

Sales of new single-family houses in May 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 546,000, which is up 2.2% from April, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. — From Housing Wire

3 ways to tame student loan debt and afford a mortgage

It’s no secret that student loans can make buying a home a challenge. But what exactly is the problem, and how can buyers overcome it? The problem is that student loans can be included in the buyer’s debt-to-income ratio, or DTI. — From Bankrate

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