First-Time Homebuyer Programs in DC, Maryland, & Virginia

D.C real estate can be quite expensive, and the most difficult part of buying a home - especially for first-time buyers - is saving up enough money for a down payment. Thankfully, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia offer a wide variety of home ownership programs specifically targeted at helping first-time homebuyers.

Some programs are funded by non-profit organizations, while others are organized by state housing finance agencies or other financial institutions. If you’re looking to buy your first home in the D.C. area, it’s important to be aware of these programs and how you can benefit.

D.C. First-Time Buyer Programs

D.C. block of houses


The D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development administers Home Purchase Assistance Programs (HPAP), which can provide financing assistance up to $50,000 and closing cost assistance of $4,000. Depending on your household income, funding ranges from $10,000 to $80,000, plus additional perks for city employees.

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D.C. Open Doors

This program is open to all those who are buying a home in the District, don’t already own a home, and have an individual borrower income that’s under $140,640.

To acquire a loan with a 5% down payment, you must have a credit score of 680 or above.

Washington D.C. skyline

Mortgage Credit Certificate

Eligible first-time buyers can use 20% of their mortgage interest as a credit against the balance they owe on their income taxes with the D.C. Mortgage Credit Certificate.

For 3 or more people, the maximum household income to qualify is $164,080.

Looking for the perfect D.C. jome for sale that fits your budget? Check out the latest listings in Washington, D.C. today!

Maryland First-Time Buyers Programs

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Maryland SmartBuy 2.0

This program offers an amazing opportunity for those who have been deterred from first-time home ownership due to overwhelming college debt. Eligible applicants can purchase a home through the Maryland Mortgage Program, and use up to $40,000 (15% of the value of their home) to pay off their student debt. In order to qualify, applicants must have existing student debt that exceeds $1,000.

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Maryland Mortgage Program

The Maryland Mortgage Program is quite popular, providing a 30-year, fixed-rate deferred payment loan at 0% interest that covers down payment and closing costs up to 5% of the purchase price.

This program also includes a low-interest first loan.

Maryland landscape

Mortgage Credit Certificate

Through the Maryland Mortgage Program, Maryland first-time home buyers can take an income tax credit of up to $2,000 of the mortgage interest paid on their loans.

Searching for homes in Maryland? Browse the latest listings now, and learn more about the Maryland area - courtesy of the SIG team.

Virginia First-Time Buyer Programs

Virginia neighborhood homes

VHDA Down Payment Grant

First-time buyers in Northern Virginia can qualify for a down payment grant of 3% or 3.5% of the home price.

Applicants with a max income of $97,520 for a household of 1-2 people, or $113,840 with 3+ people can be eligible for this grant. The maximum home price to qualify is $500,000.

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If you don’t qualify for the grant program, you may still be eligible for an FHA Plus loan. This provides a down payment of 3-5% in the form of a second mortgage loan, which is repaid over 30 years at a low interest rate.

The max income to qualify for this grant in Northern Virginia is $125,700 for a household of 1-2 people, or $146,700 for a household with 3+ people. Similarly to the grant, the max eligible home price is $500,000.

Virginia landscape

VHDA Mortgage Tax Credit Certificate

First-time Virginia buyers who are using the VHDA loan program to purchase their first home (and meet the income and price criteria of the FHA Plus program) may be eligible for a mortgage credit certificate.

This will credit your federal income taxes for the first 20% f the mortgage interest you pay. Since this credit is only available if you have an actual tax liability, it’s quite popular amongst higher-income borrowers in Northern Virginia.

Questions about buying your first home in D.C., Maryland, or Virginia? Connect with the SIG team today. We'd be happy to help you find the D.C. home of your dreams!

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