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Buyer Assistance Programs

DC’s $0 Down Payment Mortgage Financing | Understand It For Yourself!


DC offers an organized $0 Down mortgage financing option that has been operating since 2013. The DC Open Doors program, sponsored by the DC Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA), has funded down payments for well over $200 million in local DC home purchases since its inception.

“DC Open Doors is a phenomenal program that eliminates a large amount of the required cash you need to buy a home. We adopted it immediately upon its launch in 2013 as a tool for our home buyer agents,” said Gerard DiRuggiero, Principal Broker of UrbanLand Company. “Today we want to share a little information that will help you decide if $0 Down financing is right for you.”

The best way to understand DC Open Doors is to ask us for help, or come to one of our Free Home Buyer Workshops that focus on the program.  “We get inquiries from 5 – 10 people per day who come to us for advice and help. Our agents meet in-person or by phone to answer questions, and we naturally often represent DC Open Doors applicants as their realtors when they purchase the actual home,” continued DiRuggiero.

Here’s the current calendar of upcoming Workshops. Ask us about $0 Down when you come in!

Want to learn more on your own? Here’s basic info and how to get help online. 

DC Open Doors Basic Information

Here’s how DC Open Doors works. More detail is available here.

  • If eligible , the DCHFA will pay your home or condo down payment, up to 3.5% of the purchase price of the home
  • The money is a forgivable loan – meaning you do NOT have to pay it back. The loan reduces by 20% each year during a 5 year period, resulting in a $0 balance due.
  • You must earn under $132,360 per year in income
  • Your credit score must be 660 or higher
  • You must have a realtor who knows the program and a program-authorized lender
  • You must live in the home 5 years as your primary residence

Free money is great, but there are some (slight) disadvantages to DC Open Doors. Yes, eliminating your Down Payment is great and removes a major barrier to home buying for many! The trade-off is that you will pay a slightly higher interest rate for your $0 Down Mortgage, and your monthly mortgage payment will be higher than a conventional mortgage due to required mortgage insurance. With a lot of popular mortgages, you can get rid of the higher monthly payment after you have 20% equity in the purchased home. What’s this mean? Ask a Question.

We’re here to help!

The UrbanLand Company group of agents have successfully sold over $41 million in DC area first time home buyer homes since 2014 alone. It’s over 155 condos, row homes, single family homes, turnkey renovations and fixer uppers ranging from the $200,000’s to the high $600,000’s. “Many come to us for our knowledge of the financing programs, and leave with an UrbanLand Company agent leading them through to a successful buy,” said Gerard. “We’re happy to help you with your purchase, whether you end up using low down payment programs or not.”

Take a look at some of the recent homes that Workshops attendees have purchased & settled on.

Other local area mortgage programs are available. Here’s some of the specialty assistance mortgages we use all the time with home buyers!

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