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.
You would be surprised at how many people I meet at the settlement table who have never opted out of their information being shared with their bank’s or lending institution’s affiliates.
People often complain about solicitations via mail, email and phone. If you have a credit card, bank account or mortgage with a lending institution, they are often allowed to share your information with their affiliates unless you specifically ask them not to share.
I hear, “I don’t want to be on the phone for hours waiting to opt out.”
Most of the institutions allow you to set up an account online to handle payment and inquiries. Usually there are privacy settings in the same online account you can set up – opt out of their marketing to affiliates, sharing credit information, etc.
If you would rather be on the phone, you can certainly call and opt out of your information being shared with affiliates or used for marketing. Just a few minutes of your time may save you hours sorting mail and/or emails.
Q: Can TOPA rights be assigned without a contract?
A: With our without a contract, TOPA rights can be assigned.
Q: How much (consideration) does the landlord/owner need to pay the Tenant to make the assignment valid?
A: Most title insurance underwriters agree that there must be at least $300.00 of consideration which can be in the form of rent abatement/waiver, moving expenses, or cash payment.
Q: What forms must be provided to the tenant prior to the existence of a contract?
A: The landlord/owner must provide TOPA Form B by certified mail before tenant signs the agreement to assign. Because the rights of first refusal will be assigned concurrently with the rights to purchase, it is not necessary to provide Form C.
Q: What forms must be provided to the tenant with the existence of a contract?
A: The landlord/owner must provide TOPA Form A by certified mail before tenant signs the agreement to assign.
Q: Once the Assignment is signed by both landlord/owner and tenant, is there a waiting period before settlement can occur?
A: No. However, do note that either Form A or Form B must be sent by certified mail in order to satisfy the legal requirements such that the rights become legally assignable.
What’s the Benefit?
DC First-Time Recordation Tax is reduced to 0.725% from customary 1.1% or 1.4%.
- Homebuyer* has never owned a principal residence in the District of Columbia.
- Homebuyer must qualify for the DC Homestead Deduction.
- Purchase price cannot exceed $625,000.
- Total Household Income cannot exceed defined thresholds listed below:
Persons in Households / Income Limits
- 1 / $139,140
- 2 / $158,940
- 3 / $178,740
- 4 / $198,540
- 5 / $214,560
- 6 / $230,400
- 7 / $246,240
- 8 / $262,080
What’s the Benefit?
The Maryland First-Time Homebuyer Credit exempts the buyer from paying the State Transfer Tax.
- All homebuyers must be individuals (cannot be a trust or other entity) who have never owned in the state of Maryland residential real property that has been the individual(s) principal residence; and
- The residence will be occupied as the homebuyer’s principal residence.
* There is an exemption that will allow a homebuyer to qualify if a co-buyer is on title solely for the loan qualification and will not occupy the property as a principal residence.