Real Estate

8.07% of DC Home Buyers Putting 3% Down or Less on Their Home Purchase

A recent data report by RealtyTrac analyzed sale by sale data for every US county and focused on purchases where the buyer put 3% or less down when buying the home. The following ‘heat map’ shows area Counties and is color coded to show the % of low down payment sales occurring in the area.


Washington, DC, while not its own county, is always highlighted separately in the reports. For home buyers inside the District lines, 8.07% of purchasers paid 3% down or less in 2014. The average across the USA by county was 19.3%. Washington,DC falls into the 4% – 13% color code on the heat map.

“DC is a unique market in more ways than one, and our lower % of low down payment loans is driven by our higher housing prices and by a lack of awareness about down payment assistance programs,” said Gerard DiRuggiero, Principal Broker of UrbanLand Company. “The median selling price overall for all residential home purchases in 2014 was $482,500 for DC. Let’s not get hung up or panic about that stated $482,500 median price; our First Time Buyer group over here at UrbanLand Company is settling condos and homes in the $200,000’s very often through our Buyer Workshops program in both DC and Maryland! A large portion of our buyers in that purchase price range are using programs like FHA with 3% down or DC Open Doors for $0 down.”

Here’s some other useful statistics pulled from the overall analysis.

  • The average down payment paid in 2014 across the USA was 14% of the purchase price, or a dollar amount of $32,141.
  • Markets with lower overall price points averaged just 12 % down and markets noted as ‘higher priced’ averaged 24% down.

“The statistics are interesting but bear in mind that they are based on 2014’s activity and are also general statistics across the whole country,” commented DiRuggiero. “The problem with generalized statistics is that real estate is an individual person by person process. You have so many variables that influence the ability for a buyer to purchase, including the presence of Buying Assistance Programs beyond FHA that facilitate extremely low down payments. In the DC area, we have lots of options.”

For DC, you have the ‘DC Open Doors’ $0 Down Program, in place since mid 2013. There’s been over $100 million in home loans where the city has paid up to 3% of the down payment. “Our Buyer Workshops have personally delivered over $12 million of $0 Down homes since DC Open Doors became available. There’s an art and a science to using that program in a competitive marketplace like DC.”

NOVA temporarily has their VHDA $0 Down Grants program which is currently funded through 9/30/2015. It may or may not be extended. That Program runs pretty much the same way as DC Open Doors, but is usable in any Virginia County. We love it for Arlington, Alexandria and other close-in locations that have lots and lots of condos.

Maryland has several programs currently including long running Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) $0 Down Loan program. This is a different format where you pay back the $0 Down assistance over time, but you also get lower interest rates and some of the administrative loan fees eliminated. There’s also a great tax credit.

“See what we mean? Be careful what you read in the statistics. There are great values from the $200,000 – $350,000 price range all over this area, and we know how to acquire them for you in a way that minimizes your cash out of pocket,” concluded DiRuggiero. “If you’re curious, give us an email or pop by a Workshop on Tuesday nights at 5:30pm or Saturday mornings at 10am. We’re at 913 Florida Avenue, NW and our agents are extremely accessible to first time buyers wanting some guidance.”

RSVP to confirm dates and space. We’re also on Facebook Events!

Here’s what some of our recent Workshop Attendees purchased!


Skip to toolbar
Tools Fast Help