Headlines: The case of the incredibly shrinking first-time homebuyer demographic

Here's a look at what's happening in real estate in the District of Columbia and beyond.

First-time homebuyers hit lowest level in nearly 30 years

The U.S. economy is improving, employment is growing and home prices are recovering, but first-time homebuyers are not returning to their normal, historical levels of homeownership.  CNBC

Where have all the first-time homebuyers gone?

"Rising rents and repaying student loan debt makes saving for a down payment more difficult, especially for young adults who've experienced limited job prospects and flat wage growth since entering the work force," says NAR's chief economist.  Washington Business Journal

1,700 residential units coming to Bethesda

Of the residential units in the pipeline in Bethesda, roughly 400 of then are condos. Additional apartments and retail space are also on the horizon.  Urban Turf

Congruency in design can sustain home's value

Consistency doesn't mean that every room should have the same finishes or materials.  Rather, it means that there should be a general congruency throughout the home.  Washington Post

How I stopped being a victim after I was attacked

If I were to give any advice to anyone in our community of REALTORS®, it would be to listen to your gut more. We’re all so eager to get the next deal; we’re not listening. Even as our gut is screaming, we think it won’t be us. — Realtor Magazine

Survey confirms yard signs, open houses taking back seat to mobile

After rising from 8 percent to 40 percent from 2001 through 2011, the percentage of buyers who found their homes on the Internet has remained steady at 43 percent for two years in a row. — Inman News

Headlines: Rule change may lower down payment requirement to 3%

Here's a look at what's happening in real estate in the District of Columbia and beyond.

Navigating the wide world of mortgage overlays

The word "overlay" in the context of home loans refers to the mortgage approval standards that lenders and their investors place above the guidelines set by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs. — Washington Post

JBG prices Atlantic Plumbing condos, and they're pushing $2 million

The mixed-use residential and retail project, at 2030 8th Street, N.W., will include 62 one- and two-bedroom condos with public and private rooftop terraces, a fitness center and ground-floor restaurants. — Washington Business Journal

US regulator targeting lower down payments on mortgages

The regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said on Monday it was developing rules to let Americans buy homes with down payments as low as 3 percent, part of a push to boost access to credit. — CNBC

Are Seattle's micro-units DC's future?

At least one DC developer, SB-Urban, is focusing exclusively on building micro-units and has 355 high-end units spread across three properties in its pipeline. Other developers are planning similar, albeit smaller, developments around the city. — Urban Turf

City outlines first steps for implementing 25-year transportation plan

The 36 action items described in today's plan tackle a broad array of challenges. There are public transit improvements, like dedicated bus lanes on a stretch of Georgia Avenue NW, traffic-light priority for 16th Street NW buses, and real-time arrival information in bus shelters across the city. — Washington City Paper

Couple posed as real estate agents to rob homes

The county Attorney's Office issued a statement Wednesday that the couple used an online system to find homes in that were for sale in 2012 and then one would pose as a real estate agent to book times at the homes when the couple knew that homeowners would be away, according to the statement. — USA Today

Close It!™ House of the Week: FHA-approved and priced to sell

This week we're changing things up a bit by looking at an FHA-approved 1BR condo across the street from the National Cathedral. It was last renovated in 2004.

This little sunny gem with southern exposures is located on Wisconsin Avenue in DC's Glover Park neighborhood. It's got hardwood floors throughout, its own washer/dryer unit, 9-foot ceilings and a private condo park with dog run and picnic area. 

Assuming a buyer put down 3.5 percent on an FHA loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $17,965.63. The monthly payments would then be around $2,014.11 per month including the HOA fee. For a complete picture of the cash to close, or for a run-down of the seller's side of the deal, plug the numbers into the Web version of Close It™ or download the free iOS app

Close It!™ House of the Week: Pet-friendly with courtyard & sunset views

This week we take a look at a pet friendly condo with a balcony in Friendship Heights, Washington, DC.

This bright, 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo is equidistant from the Tenleytown and Friendship Heights metro stops on the Red Line, located in on the third floor of a garden style apartment. Constructed just four years ago, the building is relatively new. And the unit offers several updated amenities including stainless steel appliances, self-closing drawers and granite counter tops. 

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $135,231.27. The monthly payments would then be around $2,691.25 per month. For a complete picture of the cash to close, or for a run-down of the seller's side of the deal, plug the numbers into the Web version of Close It™ or download the free iOS app.

Headlines: Close It! makes a splash; $1M condos at The Wharf

Here's a quick look at what's happening in real estate around the District of Columbia.

Record income gap fuels US housing weakness

The income gap between America's richest and poorest metropolitan regions has reached its widest on record, shaping an uneven housing recovery that threatens to hold back the broader revival of the world's largest economy. —CNBC

How SB-Urban plans to get its no-parking developments approved

Given the very low likelihood of residents having cars, the cost per parking space would be prohibitively expensive and add an unnecessary cost to the project, particularly when most of the spaces would go unused. Constructing parking that will go unused will lead to unnecessarily higher rents. — DC Urban Turf



Aptitude: Wondering what your closing costs will be? Ask CloseIt!

Whether you want something quick, easy and accurate to estimate closing costs and monthly mortgage payments, or you want to drill down into the numbers, this app takes the mystery out of closing. — Washington Post 

Why MLSs will soon be a lot more friendly to brokers

Currently, brokers and agents must often enter and maintain their listings in both their back-end office system and their MLS. With the Update feature implemented, agents will only have to enter their listings in their broker’s back-office system, which can then transmit their listings to the MLS. — Inman News

Revealing the facts and myths about DC's street system

Once you get outside of the original part of the city, the system changes a bit, but Curbed is here to tell you how you can understand the system to know where you are at all times, and to explain some of the misconceptions you may have heard about the plan. — Curbed DC

Condos selling in excess of $1 million to be first project to open at The Wharf

The $1.5 billion project, to deliver 3.2 million square feet of new shops, offices, homes and hotel rooms to The Wharf, will take years to fully materialize. But the first test of whether the development will become a live-work-play environment will come a lot sooner than that, at least the live part of the three-legged stool. — Washington Business Journal

  • Ways to save at closing

    Title charges are the largest chunk of closing costs and can vary by hundreds of dollars.

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  • What are closing costs?

    The real estate closing process involves loan steps, legal steps and title steps.

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  • What's title insurance?

    Insure your legal ownership just like you'd insure the building, but for lots cheaper.

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