We recently blogged about the changes in the District of Columbia’s Homestead Application process.
In that post, we commented on how the Office of Tax and Revenue had suddenly changed the requirements for applying for the DC Homestead credit. A new Homestead Application form was to be used, and the form required supporting documentation to be included with the application, specifically:
- Copy of the purchaser’s DC driver’s license with the purchaser’s new address
- Copy of the purchaser’s DC voter registration card with the purchaser’s new address,
- Copy of the purchaser’s DC motor vehicle registration with the purchaser’s new address,
- And copies of the purchaser’s 2009 DC tax returns.
Since it was impossible to obtain these items prior to closing, we were no longer able to file the DC Homestead Application on behalf of the borrower but instead just handed the application to the borrower to file later on.
Of course, a major concern for me as a settlement attorney was how many purchasers would actually file the application post-closing.
As anybody who has purchased a home can attest, the home buying process can be overwhelming, especially for a first-time buyer. There was no doubt in my mind that many first-time buyers would forget to file the Homestead Application and lose out on a significant savings.
But then the entire process changed … again! The DC Office of Tax and Revenue announced that the Homestead Application process will be simplified. A new, simpler application is being prepared and the supporting documentation will no longer be required.
Most importantly, because the supporting documentation is no longer necessary, the Homestead Application can now once again be completed at closing and submitted as part of the recording process, giving homebuyers one less thing to worry about and allowing them to concentrate on enjoying their new home.
Now let’s just hope that there will not be any more sudden changes…