DC First-Time Homebuyer Reduction Applies to Revocable Trusts

As of October 1, 2017, the District of Columbia passed a reduced recordation tax benefit to first-time homebuyers that reduces the Recordation Tax for eligible DC First Time Homebuyers.

In general, the recordation tax will be reduced to 0.725% if the homebuyer taking title has never owned a principal residence in the District and the purchase price does not exceed $625,000. For more details on the general eligibility requirements, click here.

What was unclear from the passage of the initial legislation was whether a purchaser taking title in the name of a trust was eligible for the discount.

Since then, the District issued a Notice of Final Rulemaking clarifying that a revocable trust is eligible for the discount.

This allows for consistency with the Homestead Deduction, since it is a condition of the Reduced Recordation Tax that the property must qualify for the homestead deduction, and the homestead deduction does allow for revocable trusts to apply.

Close It! House of the Week: Jaw-dropping views of the Capitol, spiral staircase feature

Close It! House of the Week: Jaw-dropping views of the Capitol, spiral staircase feature

This week, we’re headed on over to a spacious penthouse loft of 1,369 square feet. This beautiful property has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, and is fitted with gorgeous, modern amenities. Also included in this residential, garden-style loft unit, is an assigned parking space and, its most unique feature, its cascading spiral staircase. It's listed at $869,000.

This condo has a two stunning, upgraded bathroom and includes two industrial style bedrooms with exposed ducts on the ceiling. In addition, the unit has a gourmet kitchen with granite countertops, new stainless-steel appliances, and an electric stove. Hardwood floors flow throughout the condo until they reach the condo’s spectacular 200 square foot private terrace that overlooks the city. Also, nearby the condo is Meridian Hill Park, perfect for those who like spending time outdoors.

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $197,834.79. Monthly payments will then be around $3,905.84 (this does not include HOA fees). For a complete picture of the cash to close, including the seller’s side of the transaction, try the Web version of Close It™ download the free Close It™ iOS app.

Real Estate Headlines: Tiny Homes, Tall Views

Real Estate Headlines: Tiny Homes, Tall Views

HERE’S A LOOK AT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN REAL ESTATE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLOMBIA AND BEYOND.

Tiny house movement makes its way to DC

The Independent model single-family manufactured by Kasita is coming to DC to be available for touring. –Washington Post

Rosslyn shares its corner of the sky

Rosslyn’s Observation Deck at CEB Towers will be available to the public for no cost, offering flawless views of the skyline. –Curbed DC

Architect David Adjaye’s first skyscraper makes its debut

Designs for David Adjaye’s 66 story skyscraper are revealed drawing inspiration from New York’s past. –Wallpaper

Dispute over plans for Anacostia’s Big K site

Residents of Anacostia disagree with DHCD over the development of the Big K lot in Anacostia. –Washington City Paper

Alexa making an entrance into the hotel industry

Amazon’s Alexa is to be introduced to the Hotel Marriott chain and is expected to be seen in every Marriott location late summer. –Washington Business Journal

What's the status of e-closings in DC, Maryland and Virginia?

It’s about time. The title insurance industry is catching up and rapidly integrating technology into all aspects of the real estate transaction.

The ESIGN Act was federally passed in 2000 to enforce the viability of electronically signed documents, but ironically, an industry that thirsts for more efficiency has been slow in adapting to technology.

Eighteen years on, homebuyers and refinancing homeowners still come to our closing table every day to sign their closing documents, some 50+ pages, with pen in hand. But that all may be changing in the very near future.

With the emergence of online mortgage solutions and the increasing availability of technology to simplify the process of finding a home for purchase, the title insurance industry may be next on the fast track to online integration.

In the next year there will be a major shift toward electronic closings, or e-closings, as legislation is being proposed and adopted all over the country to make way for a faster and more secure way to close real estate transactions.

In 1996, Federal Title became one the first companies in the nation to offer an online service to shop and compare closing costs, and more importantly, order title and settlement services.

We are now positioned to be among the first in the country to offer e-closings in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. We’re still waiting for clearer legislation in Maryland and DC to make e-closings viable, and not all lenders have a system in place yet for tracking them.

How does an e-closing work?

Once the parties have a ratified contract, any party in the transaction may order settlement services at https://federaltitle.com/order. The title company and lender will work to finalize a closing disclosure and coordinate a settlement date with the borrower.

The closing documents from the title company and the loan documents from the lender will then be uploaded to an online portal where the borrower, lender, agent and seller (if a purchase), will have the ability to review and sign their documents in front of a video notary.

Can I close remotely now via e-closing?

Federal Title is up to date with the latest software to provide an online closing for our clients. However, there a few caveats to be ironed out this year.

Legislation in DC and Maryland does not yet explicitly state that the use of a video notary is acceptable, although no legislation against it has been passed.

Meanwhile, Virginia was the first state in the United States to allow the use of video notary and thus is a viable option for e-closing.

The second caveat is on the lending side. The Note and Deed of Trust are essentially the two most important mortgage documents that the borrower signs.

Some mortgage lenders have already established an “E-Note” and “E-Vault” platform and are capable of closing your entire loan electronically. Essentially, the E-Note allows for the Note to be enforceable when electronically signed, and the E-Vault stores the E-Note.

Many mortgage lenders are diligently working to transition to e-closings, and it will be no surprise to see a major influx of e-closings in the very near future. We’re also keeping an eye on e-closing legislation in DC and Maryland.

To see if you qualify for a remote closing or have more questions regarding the e-closing process, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Our blog contains general information only, not intended to be relied upon as, nor a substitute for, specific professional advice. Rate tables and figures that appear on our blog are deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For current rates & policies, refer to our Quick Quote and Consumer Guide. We accept no responsibility for loss occasioned to any purpose acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material on our blog.