Skip to main content

Do you qualify as a DC first-time homebuyer?

The would-be DC first-time homebuyer was treated to some promising news this week when Mayor Bowser’s office announced a limit increase for the city’s Home Purchase Assistance Program from $80,000 to $202,000 beginning October 1.

Did you know? Even if you have owned real property before, you may still qualify as a DC first-time homebuyer for HPAP and other DC homebuying programs.

The Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) has a number of requirements to qualify, including that the applicant must be a DC first-time homebuyer. To qualify as a DC first-time homebuyer, the applicant cannot have had ownership interest in any residential real estate within 3 years prior to application, according to the HPAP website.

This means even if a prospective homebuyer has owned property in the past, they qualify as a DC first-time homebuyer so long as it’s been longer than 3 years since they have owned a home.

For DC first-time homebuyers who are also employees of the District, the city offers another great home buying subsidy through the Employer Assisted Housing Program.

EAHP is only available to employees who are also DC first-time homebuyers; however, the definition of a DC first-time homebuyer is the same: having no ownership in a principal residence, in the District, in the past 3 years, according to the EAHP website.

The purchased property must become the employee’s principal residence, but the purchaser can own property in another jurisdiction.

Police officers, corrections officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics and teachers in a public or public charter school are immediately eligible for the benefit, while other District employees become eligible after a year of employment.

The definition to qualify for the DC first-time homebuyer Reduced Recordation Tax benefit is a bit more stringent. A DC first-time homebuyer is defined as an individual purchaser who has never owned eligible property as the individual’s principal residence.

The term also includes an individual who has divorced or separated and who, by a written settlement agreement or court order, did not obtain an ownership interest in a principal residence that had previously been jointly owned. In order for a deed to qualify for the reduced rate, each grantee named in the deed must be a DC first-time homebuyer.

Got Home Buying Questions?

Speak with an Expert

DC First Time Homebuyers, first time home buyer, first time home buyer programs, homebuyer, washington dc