Income, purchase price limits for DC Tax Abatement increase

Income, purchase price limits for DC Tax Abatement increase

The purchase price and qualifying income limits for the District of Columbia's popular tax abatement program have gone up, according to the Office of Tax and Revenue, which should be good news for local homebuyers who have seen median home prices soar over $500,000 in recent months.

Under the latest guidelines, purchase price may not exceed $408,000. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 homes are currently on the market in Washington, DC at a list price that meets the purchase price qualification for DC Tax Abatement, based on a quick search on Home Snap.

Limits on household income, the other major qualifying factor for DC Tax Abatement, also increased. Review the income qualification table below:

Persons in household
Household income limits
1.
$57,120
2.
$65,280
3.
$73,440
4.
$81,600
5.
$88,140
6.
$94,680
7.
$101,220
8.
$107,760

For those who haven't stopped by in a while, we recently revamped our page on the DC Tax Abatement program. There we answer several commonly asked questions about the program and address some of the finer points on qualification criteria. The topic of household income, for example, is a popular one.

The DC Tax Abatement program is one of our favorite topics to write about. Check out our collection of articles on DC Tax Abatement to learn more about how the program works and how to qualify.

Headlines: The real estate roller coaster; 7 mortgage myths debunked

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

Buying trumps renting in Washington

A Washington resident making the region's median household income is spending an average of 18.1 percent of monthly income on a mortgage payment, according to report from Zillow. Renters are spending an average 27.1 percent. -Washington Business Journal

DC region's housing market remains stalled

According to data released Wednesday by RealEstate Business Intelligence, a subsidiary of MRIS, sales of homes in the D.C. metro region fell to 3,036, a decrease of 1 percent compared to November 2013.  -Washington Post

Renting is twice as expensive as buying: Zillow

On average, homebuyers making the nation’s median income and purchasing the typical U.S. home spend 15.3% of their income on their monthly house payment, down from the historical norm of 22.1% during the pre-bubble period from 1985 to 1999. -Housing Wire

3% down payments may be a game changer

Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced Monday that first-time home buyers can now qualify for loans with down payments as low as 3 percent. That will expand credit for qualified home shoppers who may have been sidelined the last few years because of higher down-payment requirements, housing analysts say. -Realtor Magazine

7 myths millennials believe about mortgage lending

Millennials are forecasted to be a driving force in housing in 2015, with the majority of them being first-time homeowners. -Housing Wire

Real estate agent builds roller coaster house tour (video)

Dutch real estate broker Verder met Wonen found the perfect way to give tours to potential homebuyers: send them for a ride on a custom-built roller coaster through the house. -Distractify

New thresholds for DC Tax Abatement

Purchase price and income thresholds to qualify for the popular DC Tax Abatement Program have increased, hopefully making it easier for more homebuyers to become homeowners.
The numbers in this article may be out of date. Visit our guide how to qualify for DC Tax Abatement for the most current information.

The District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue upped the purchase price threshold to $375,200 from $367,200.

At the same time, the income threshold for a single buyer increased to $57,540 from $56,100 while the income threshold for a two-person household increased to $65,760 from $64,080.

In "Economic Development Zones," the income limits are higher. For a single buyer, it's $65,890 and for a couple it's $75,350.

For more on income limitations and the DC Tax Abatement Program, please visit our page on the DC Tax Abatement Program.

The most recent data, which is for October, shows a $400,000 median sales price in the District, the highest October-level in nine years. The October median sales price was 2.6 percent higher than September and 5.3 percent higher than the previous year.

The DC Tax Abatement Program provides an exemption from the DC 1.1% Recordation Tax and an allowable credit from your seller(s) of 1.1% equal to the DC Transfer Tax. Additionally, the program provides a five-year real estate tax abatement that begins October 1 following your date of closing.

5 marketing ideas for real estate agents from Close It!™

The best real estate agents are constantly on the look-out for ways to better market themselves to their home buyers.

And while the latest report shows it's 34% more affordable to buy versus rent in the DC metro area, many would-be homebuyers remain on the fence

How can you get these homebuyers off the fence – and then convince them to buy the fence along with the house that comes with it? Here are 5 ways Close It!™ can help you market your real estate business:

1. Follow up with clients by sharing Close It!™ in your email, social media or blogging campaigns. 

You've already got a database of email addresses, Facebook page likes and Twitter followers. Perhaps some of those contacts are would-be homebuyers who aren't quite sure if they can really afford to buy a house. Reach out to them about the only app in the region that calculates a homebuyer's total cash to close. It's a fun and useful tool that lets them crunch the numbers any way they want. 

2. Customize your Close It!™ reports with photo and contact info.

You're already working with several prospective homebuyers who no doubt have lots of questions about how much everything is going to cost in the end. Follow up on last weekend's house tour with a set of HUD-1s custom branded with your professional photo and contact information. Your homebuyers will be impressed when you outline every cost for them down to the penny.

3. Appeal to the foreign investor market.

If you're working in neighborhoods like Georgetown, Foggy Bottom and the West End, it's quite possible you've worked with foreign investors or that you will at some point. Did you know that sellers who do not participate in the U.S. tax system must pay the IRS a tax of 10% of the sales price for all properties over $300,000? A surprise like that at closing could cost you a client, or worse yet, merit you a negative online review. Close It!™ helps you better serve foreign clients by accounting for FIRPTA withholding along with every other nuance of real estate law and tax code for each jurisdiction.

4. Appeal to the first-time homebuyer market.

The first-time homebuyer demographic may make up a smaller share of homebuyers now compared to historic levels, but it's only a matter of time before an influx of millennial homebuyers causes it to explode. And the millennials, more than previous generations, are more likely to look to technology to help them gather information about the process. Be their guide. Keep up with real estate technology, including mobile apps, and share your favorite findings with your millennial homebuyers. Close It!™ is one app homebuyers in the DC metro region in particular will appreciate, but there are many more apps, tools and resources to discover. 

5. Appeal to the move-up buyer market with seller's calculator. 

For buyers in the move-up market, how much house they can afford often depends on how much money they can net from their existing home sale. Introduce those clients to the app that toggles between a net proceeds calculator for the seller side and a cash-to-close calculator for the buyer side. 

Close It!™ is a free iOS and Web app that helps real estate agents, buyers and sellers drill down the costs of buying and selling real estate.

Headlines: Best October in 9 years; how to woo first-time homebuyers

Headlines: Best October in 9 years; how to woo first-time homebuyers
Here's a look at what's happening in real estate in the District of Columbia and beyond. 

The key to fueling first-time homebuyers

Purchases by first-time homebuyers fell to the lowest level in nearly three decades—just 33 percent this year, down from 38 percent a year ago, according to an annual survey of homebuyers by the National Association of Realtors released last week. The long-term average, dating back to 1981, shows that 4 out of 10 purchases are by first-time buyers. − CNBC

Millennials need to be wooed

Millennials need to be wooed. They need to be shown that, despite their student loans, there’s a massive incentive for them to put money aside to buy, and there are large swaths of the millennial generation that are making far more money than their elders. − Inman News

20% down payment takes 12 years on average

First-time buyers have a whole lot of saving to do — possibly more than a decade of saving for a home purchase. It can take, on average, 12.5 years for first-time buyers to save a 20 percent down payment based on a current personal savings rate at 5.6 percent, according to new research by RealtyTrac.  Realtor Magazine

DC area home prices reach highest October level in 9 years

The region’s median sales price rose to $400,000, an increase of 5.3 percent over 2013. Every jurisdiction in the area experienced price growth, with Fairfax City (14%) and Prince George’s County (13%) leading the annual gains. P.G. County has now seen price increases for 32 straight months. In D.C. proper, home sales prices rose almost 10 percent to $500,000.  Urban Turf

Southwest Waterfront: Born of change, about to change again

A forest of cranes crisscrosses the sky and piles are being driven for the first phase of construction. Condominiums, apartments, offices, hotels, music venues and shops are on the drawing table. − Washington Post

Falls Church still leads Washington in housing market

While there are pricier neighborhoods in Washington, Falls Church City continues to lead median prices by jurisdiction, at $615,000 last month, up 4.2 percent from a year earlier. − Washington Business Journal

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