Since the launch of the “DC Open Doors” $0 Down Home Buying Assistance Program in June 2013, UrbanLand Company has been a strong supporter and early adopter of the program, featuring a unique zero down payment loan program for DC residents or those wishing to move into the city.
“We saw immediate potential once DCHFA came into our offices to showcase the initiative,” said Gerard DiRuggiero, Principal Broker at UrbanLand Company. “Our firm immediately changed the focus of our already successful first time home buyer workshops and seminars to be 100% on the DC Open Doors program and how to use it to buy a home with zero down.”
The program is truly unique among DC assistance programs. “Past homebuyer assistance programs in DC have been difficult or unrealistic to qualify for,” continued DiRuggiero. “The real difference about DC Open Doors is that it is a program designed to reach a very broad cross section of DC residents, with much broader financial, income and credit requirements.”
The DC Open Doors program is structured around an additional 5 year Down Payment “loan” that does not have to be repaid at all – the balance owed on the down payment reduces by 20% per year for its 5 year term, reaching a $0 balance at the end of the 5th year. To qualify for consideration for the program, applicants must earn under $123,395 per year and have a fair to decent credit score of 640. There are other minor qualifiers also, but the income and credit score are the real deciding factors.
The DC Housing Finance Agency explains that the DC Open Doors program was designed to assist potential homeowners who have good salaries and a decent credit history but lack the savings to pay a traditional down payment when buying their first home or condominium.
DCHFA spokesperson Lee Whack has been quoted as saying, “We designed the program to fill a niche in DC,” he said. “Our target borrower is someone whose income is close to or slightly below the Area Median Income (AMI), putting them solidly in what could be called ‘the middle class’. Our goal is to reach borrowers who do not qualify for other DC homeownership programs but who still need help buying a home.”
“We hate to use the term ‘middle class’, but DCHFA’s statements are correct,” concluded DiRuggiero. “The DC Open Doors program is really designed to help a very large cross section of the DC population get around down payment issues, something that is the number one obstacle to someone buying a home in DC.”
UrbanLand Company is a private downtown real estate brokerage headquartered off of U Street in NW. RSVPs to their DC Open Doors homebuyer workshops, which occur approximately every other Saturday morning, are available via Facebook or by emailing Info@UrbanLandCompany.com. The UrbanLand Company “DC Open Doors” informational website can be visited at DCHFAOpenDoors.com and features easy ways to begin the application process from the convenience of your home or office.