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Government Subsidies for "  Moderate"   Income Purchasers

     Did you know you can find a one bedroom (small, yes, but separate) condo for around $260,000 nestled amid Rock Creek Park's greenery in expensive Kalorama, a five to ten minute walk across the Calvert bridge to the Woodley metro?


     What about two bedrooms and approximately 1400 square feet in a full service highrise with a resort sized pool, a twenty minute drive to downtown DC and a short metrobus ride to the Falls Church metro, for around $230,000?

Elegant highrise lobby


Falls Church highrise, $230,000


Brightwood 2 bedroom loft, $300,000

     And then of course, there’s a brand new “hip” (as per the developer) two bedroom two level loft in Brightwood for around $300,000.

     Generally we don’t think of our area as at all affordable. But even in our most expensive neighborhoods – Georgetown, Cleveland Park, Kalorama, even Dupont, Logan and Clarendon – you don’t have to be an attorney or highly paid consultant to find a home that is not only doable but also attractive.

     Which brings me to another thing I like about Suntrust. They are approved for all the lower income subsidies currently available from the Federal and local governments. In some cases the income cutoff is $50,400 for an individual so it’s really not that low. There are absolutely great programs out there –downpayment “grants” and interest rate assistance, for example, as well as DC’s five year tax abatement program for purchases of less than $320,000.

     One cautionary note: Apply to these programs well in advance of when you plan to buy – or, even, before you start looking. Most programs require an interview at least and, often, a lengthy application process. Lengthy is not an exaggeration. The wheels of bureaucracy grind not only slowly but also unpredictably. The “week” that one of my clients was told to expect from the HPAP downpayment grant approval process stretched into two weeks. At one month she'd handed over every piece of documentation they’d requested but had still not received “final” approval. Because HPAP and most others require approval before a contract is written, her two preferred condos were long gone to other purchasers.

Art Deco condominium in Kalorama, $260,000


DC’s Office of Tax and Revenue Real Property page: http://otr.cfo.dc.gov/otr/cwp/view,a,1330,q,594366,otrNav,|33280|,.asp
DC’s Property Tax Relief and Tax Credits: http://otr.cfo.dc.gov/otr/cwp/view,a,1330,q,594338.asp
DC’s HPAP downpayment grant: http://www.fhadpa.com/

Maryland Real Property page:


Fairfax County programs:

Other programs: http://www.gwul.org/published/programs_and_divisions/hpap.html