Buyer Tips Down Payment Assistance Programs

Do I Qualify For Down Payment Assistance in MD if I Live in DC (and vice versa)?

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down payment assistance

The short answer is yes. Yes, you qualify!

But first, what is down payment assistance?

You are probably familiar with the various down payment assistance programs available. These programs assist with homebuyers mortgage down payment and the various closing costs required to purchase a home.

These programs are referred to as:

  • first time home buyer programs
  • home buyer assistance programs
  • down payment assistance (DPA) programs

Down payment assistance programs (DPAs) are typically meant for first-time home buyers. However, a repeat home buyer often counts as a “first-time buyer” if they haven’t owned a home in the past three years. Other requirements might include income caps and buying a home in a qualified area. 

Every down payment assistance program is a little different. The exact requirements to qualify will depend on the programs that are available. 

Various sources fund DPAs. Money may come from federal, state, city, county and non-profit organizations. And each of these are free to set its own eligibility criteria and rules.

Now, let’s get to the original questions– Do I Qualify For Down Payment Assistance in MD if I Live In DC (and vice versa)?

Typically, programs that are available in Maryland are for anyone wanting to purchase a property in Maryland. If you live in Washington, DC, but you want to move to Maryland, you would qualify for a Maryland homeownership program.

And vice versa….

Programs that are available in Washington, DC are for anyone wanting to purchase a property in the District of Columbia. If you live in Maryland, but you want to move to DC, you would qualify for a DC homeownership program.

To qualify for most a down payment assistance programs, it is based on where you want to live, not where you currently live.

Got it? Let us know if you have any further questions.

5 down payment assistance myths

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Buyer Tips Down Payment Assistance Programs

5 Down Payment Myths Debunked

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Many of our first-time homebuyer clients are not aware of the wide variety of financing options, such as down payment assistance available to them. We saw this as a clear opportunity to both educate and debunk common down payment myths that might be keeping buyers on the sidelines longer than necessary.

So, what is a down payment?

A home down payment is simply the part of a home’s purchase price that you pay up front and does not come from a mortgage lender via a loan. Suppose you want to buy a house for $400,000. For example- If you bring $12,000 towards the purchase price, or put 3% down, the mortgage lender provides $388,000.

Ok, not let’s clear up a few myths concerning down payments…

Myth #1: You need 20% down to buy a home.

Many new and potential homebuyers believe a large down payment is not required to purchase a home. In fact, there are many low down payment loans and programs available.

Having at least three months of mortgage payments is better measure of homeownership success than a large down payment. There are a wide range of homeownership programs that can help you with the down payment and closing costs to allow you to maintain a valuable cash cushion.

Myth #2: Down payment assistance is only for first-time homebuyers.

People often associate homeownership programs with first-time homebuyers, but eligibility is actually broader. The official definition of a first-time homebuyer — according to HUD — is someone who has not owned a home in three years. 

Approximately 41% of homeownership programs do not have a first-time homebuyer requirement and are available for eligible repeat homebuyers.

Myth #3: Down payment programs aren’t available in my area.

Down payment programs are available in every market across the country. Nearly 70% of programs are available in a specific local area, such as a city, county or neighborhood and 30% of programs are available state-wide through state housing finance agencies.

The states with the greatest number of down payment programs remain consistent —California, Florida and Texas are the top three with Maryland being #4 and the District of Columbia being #35.

Funded Programs14
% with Funds Available95%96%
Down Payment Program Data By State

Myth #4: It’s too expensive to buy a home in my market.

Down payment assistance is available in every market, including high cost areas in the District and Maryland.

Approximately, 11% of these programs offer incentives and even specific programs for educators and first responders, including police officers, firefighters, and healthcare workers.

More than 6% of the available programs have benefits for veterans, members of the military and surviving spouses. These programs can also be layered with zero down payment VA loans.

One-to-four unit multi-family properties can also qualify for down payment help. Twenty-five percent of programs allow buyers to purchase a multi-family property as long as the buyer occupies one of the units, which allows the homeowner to earn income from their rental units to help pay the mortgage.

Myth #5: Down payment programs make home financing more difficult.

Across the country, there are 2,451 homeownership programs available and 83% currently have funds available to eligible homebuyers. Exploring home financing options should be the first step for prospective buyers, however, you don’t have to go it alone — We’ve got your back!

Down Payment Assistance
Down Payment Assistance

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