Posted by & filed under For Homebuyers & Renters, For REALTORS.

Home ownership is never beyond reach when buyers have the tools necessary for financial assistance.

Dreams Are Possible

Homeownership is one of the best ways to build wealth and equity. Most importantly, it facilitates the mobility families need to move up or down the housing spectrum depending on their needs. The prospect of owning a home is not some far-off fantasy. That is especially true when there are so many assistance options available. Today families of many different economic backgrounds can own a home, and DCAR brought in the experts to show our members what programs are available.

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Greater Washington Urban League (GWUL) | DC Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

DCAR invited three important home financing assistance groups for an in-depth discussion about how families can thrive through home ownership. Our members learned what they could do through the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP), DC Open Doors, and the VA Home Loan Program.

DCAR welcomed the GWUL’s Director of Housing Derek McDaniels to discuss HPAP and related programs that help working families afford the down payment necessary to purchase a home. DCHFA Director of Single Family Programs William Milko also spoke on behalf of DC Open Doors. Lastly, Loan Production Officer Maxine Henry and Quality Assurance, Loan Specialist Gregory Nelms from the VA explained how REALTORS® could make home ownership work for veterans and their families.These representatives lead the agencies working to make homeownership a reality for those who need a little help along the way.

DC Realtors met with home financing assistance representatives for an informative roundtable discussion about the programs available for homebuyers.

Greater Washington Urban League – Unlocking HPAP for Buyer Clients

The round-table discussion kicked off with a presentation that touted GWUL’s facts and figures alongside an improved approach to HPAP; he detailed this along with free counseling services, and the single family residential rehabilitation program, which the DC Department of Housing and Community Development offers.

McDaniels spent time clarifying how HPAP works and what limits exist. It is a Second Trust Mortgage for acquisition financing up to $50,000 and closing cost assistance up to $4,000. Since McDaniels took over the Housing Director position four months ago, he stressed the need for a thorough loan approval process that must guarantee money in the bank for their clients. Additionally, he laid out what loan types are allowed, what are acceptable credit scores, and rules on condo and coop fees.

For further questions, we urge our members and potential home buyers to reach out to Derek McDaniels and GWUL by visiting the agency’s contact page on their website. Additionally, you may view and download additional resources about HPAP on the program’s webpage. You can find valuable information about approval requirements and guidelines as well as contact information for the appropriate staff.

Read updates and get in touch with the Greater Washington Urban League: Website | Twitter | Facebook

DC Open Doors – Your Key to the City

Next, our members learned about what DC Open Doors and DCHFA services do for homebuyers in the District of Columbia. Pop quiz: First-time homebuyers are only eligible for the Down Payment Assistance Loan, true or false? The answer is false. If you are looking to buy in the District, you can receive a 3 to 3.5% loan with a five-year forgivable loan (20% annually) on a maximum income of $131,040. However, Down Payment Assistance Loans are only compatible with DC Open Doors mortgage products.

That is one part of the extensive information our members learned through Mr. Milko’s presentation. On top of the various finance assistance and loan programs, our members learned about the benefits of mortgage credit certificates, which gives homebuyers a huge benefit as a tax credit. These are just a couple examples of the services offered through DCHFA and DC Open Doors. We encourage our members and homebuyers to brush up on these effective programs.

Find more information at DCHFA’s website, which details all the services and information available to homebuyers and Realtors. Much of the information our attendees received can be downloaded and saved for future use, and we encourage our members to refer to these sources. Lastly, you can contact the agency directly. You can also find a staff directory here.

Read updates and get in touch with DCHFA and DC Open Doors: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Veterans Affairs Benefits – A Boot Camp for REALTORS®

The VA-guaranteed home loan program allows more favorable financing terms for our nation’s veterans who have served dutifully for its citizens. These people include servicemembers and eligible reservists to obtain, retain, adapt, or refinance a home. Our members learned about the service requirements for potential homebuyers and how the compensation and approval process works. Both Henry and Nelms stressed the importance of the Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in that an applicant must present such documentation to qualify for a VA-backed loan. The easiest way to obtain a COE is through VA’s eBenefits.

The VA home loan program is one of the cornerstone benefits to servicemembers. 2016 was a record year with over 2.6 million VA home loans recorded and an incredible 707 thousand guaranteed loans. Nearly 100 thousand veterans avoided foreclosure which solidified their sterling reputation of showing the lowest foreclosure rates in the industry for 32 quarters. You can’t beat that with a stick!

DC Realtors and servicemembers can find a deluge of information online through the VA website. The VA handles loans on a regional basis, and the Regional Loan Center in Roanoke, Virginia serves our region. You may also check out the step-by-step process to apply for benefits so you can help guide your clients through the VA Home Loan process. It’s an extensive procedure, so be sure to save it for your records.

Lastly, as we publish this on November 11, 2016, for Veterans Day, we would like to express our gratitude to the service men and women who have sacrificed day in and day out to protect our freedoms. Happy Veterans Day and thank you.

Read updates and get in touch with the VA Home Loan Program: Website | Twitter | Facebook

DCAR would like to extend a sincere THANK YOU to the representatives who provided our members with such a wealth of information. We believe these important home financing assistance programs provide the necessary tools for home buyers to stake their homestead in the District. Lastly, we thank our members who attended. We are happy to see your dedication to making the dream of homeownership a reality for families in the District of Columbia.

Saving some green for your homebuyer clients is easier than you think when you have the right tools at your fingertips.


  1.  A Day of Significant Importance: A Review of DCAR’s 2016 Advocacy Day | DC ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

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