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The numbers in this article may be out of date.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

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

Scheduling a settlement date is a contractual obligation for homebuyers

An often overlooked provision in paragraph #6 of the GCAAR Regional Sales Contract provides that the "Purchaser agrees to contact the Settlement Agent within 10 Days after the Date of Ratification to schedule Settlement and to arrange for ordering the title exam and, if required, a survey."

Homebuyers and their agents should pay particular attention to this requirement.

Recently our office was notified that a seller had declared the purchaser in breach of contract due to purchaser's failure to schedule settlement within 10 days from the date of ratification.

While the purchaser had ordered a title exam with our office, neither he nor his agent had scheduled the settlement date.

Through email notification, Federal Title reminds homebuyers and their agents to schedule the closing with our office within this time period. Unfortunately, in this particular instance, our notifications were ignored.

  • Ways to save at closing

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

    Learn more

  • What are closing costs?

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

    Learn more

  • What's title insurance?

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

    Learn more

Connect with us


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.