Close It! House of the Week: Bright unit with luxurious features in a super walkable location

Close It! House of the Week: Bright unit with luxurious features in a super walkable location

This week we’re venturing in the super walkable Columbia Heights neighborhood to check out a newly constructed 2BR / 2BA condo, the last unit for sale in a rowhouse conversion project. It’s listed for $649,000.

Dark hardwood flooring, exposed brick and quartz countertops are some of the special design features offered in this bright unit that lets in lots of sunlight through large windows. The master bathroom features a marbled-topped vanity and luxurious rain shower head.

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $148,130.61. Monthly payments will then be around $3,253.75, which also includes the HOA fee of $190. For a complete picture of cash-to-close, including the seller’s net proceeds from this home-sale scenario, check out the Close It! Web version or download the free Close It! iOS app.

Top D.C. real estate stories (Week of April 24)

Top D.C. real estate stories (Week of April 24)

Two former Olympians now working in D.C. commercial real estate, a banner war in Southwest, high hopes for D.C.'s spring real estate market and more in this week's top stories.

D.C. building bans balcony banners after residents use them to argue about politics | Washingtonian

The likely inspiration for this sudden order, according to one resident, was a rush of political banners in the past few months, starting with a “Trump: Make America Great Again” flag that appeared shortly after last November’s election.

D.C.'s missing middle | Urban Turf

Their income enables them to afford a monthly mortgage, although likely not a down payment, for a home.

This spring's real estate market likely to be busier than last year's | Curbed DC

Some of the factors that survey respondents said will contribute to a busier spring include an improved job market, more first-time homebuyers entering the market, more qualified buyers.

D.C. area tops the list for black, Latino homeownership rates, Trulia says | Washington Post

The D.C. area tops the list for the largest increase in black homeownership between 1990 and 2015, with a 9.6 percent rise.

7 former star athletes in D.C. commercial real estate | Bisnow

Commercial real estate is a competitive industry, and some of the top players in the DC market have backgrounds in high-level sports that set them up for high-stakes dealing.

Close It! House of the Week: Bright, open townhouse condo with easy city access

Close It! House of the Week: Bright, open townhouse condo with easy city access

This week we’re heading over to the D.C. side of Chevy Chase to check out a spacious 2BR / 1.5BA townhouse-style condo on Connecticut Avenue. It’s listed for $525,000 with an open house scheduled for this Sunday.

In addition to an open floor plan with 10-foot ceilings, this unit features a beautiful wood burning, brick fireplace and a fully renovated kitchen with breakfast bar. A private balcony looks onto a quiet, residential street, but it’s just a short walk away to Metro as well as the shops like Politics and Prose and restaurants like Comet Ping Pong.

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $121,149.89. Monthly payments will then be around $2,721.16, which also includes the HOA fee of $251. For a complete picture of cash-to-close, including the seller’s net proceeds from this home-sale scenario, check out the Close It! Web version or download the free Close It! iOS app.

Catching up with the First-time Homebuyer Tax Benefit Amendment Act of 2015

Catching up with the First-time Homebuyer Tax Benefit Amendment Act of 2015

First-time buyers and real estate pros in the District of Columbia awaiting word on the status of the First-time Homebuyer Tax Benefit Amendment Act of 2015 can expect to hear a response from the office of Mayor Muriel Bowser this week.

A final version of the bill that would amend the District of Columbia Deed Recordation Tax Act was transmitted to the Mayor’s office Feb. 2, and a response is due by Feb. 16.

The revised transfer tax rule would retroactively go into effect Oct. 1, 2016, according to the final bill, provided the measure is approved by the Mayor and passes the 30-day congressional review period.

As we previously reported, the bill will create a new transfer tax rate of 0.725% for homebuyers who have never purchased a house, condo or share in a cooperative unit in the District of Columbia. The current transfer tax rate for D.C. homebuyers is 1.1 percent on purchases of $399,999 or less and 1.45 percent on purchases of $400,000 or more.

The median home price in the region soared to a record high of $446,000 last summer, the Washington Post reported.

When we checked in last April with the bill known as B21-0417, or the First-time Homebuyer Tax Benefit Act of 2015, it was under committee review and awaiting scheduling for a mark-up. That happened last November.

After a first reading of the of the bill was delivered Dec. 3, 2016, Councilwoman Elissa Silverman (D-At Large) was the only one to vote against the measure, later telling Washington City Paper that because the bill did not specify income limits, the tax break would benefit a homebuyer in Ward 3 five times more than a homebuyer in Ward 8, rendering the benefit "regressive."

Councilwoman Silverman was not the only individual to express this sentiment. The lack of an income restriction has been a concern of the bill’s critics all along.

During testimonies that took place about a year ago, a representative from the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute said the city would negatively impact its Housing Production Trust Fund, which has produced or preserved more than 8,000 affordable homes since its inception in 2002.

“Rather than provide a new tax benefit for all first-time homebuyers, DCFPI recommends that policymakers review the city’s current deed tax assistance to low- and moderate-income homebuyers and make adjustments if they appear warranted,” said DCFPI Housing Policy Associate Claire Zippel in her testimony last February.

The city regularly alters the income and purchase price restrictions on its popular D.C. Tax Abatement program, and the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue most recently increased the income and purchase price limitations at the end of last year.

However, the income-restriction concern in regards to B21-0417 was addressed Dec. 13, 2016 when Councilwoman Anita Bonds (D-At Large) introduced an amendment that added two eligibility requirements, an income limit of 180 percent of the area median income as well as proof of District residency.

The median income in D.C. in 2015 was $109,200 annually, so buyers earning up to $196,564 could potentially qualify for transfer tax relief.

The amendment also created a lifespan of four years after the program’s implementation date, at which point the Mayor must submit a report to City Council that reviews the benefits or impact of the tax relief program on homeownership rates.

With the Bonds amendment in place, Council voted unanimously in favor of the First-time Homebuyer Tax Benefit Amendment Act of 2015 on Dec. 20, 2016.

DC Tax Abatement income, purchase price limits increase

DC Tax Abatement income, purchase price limits increase

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 District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue upped the purchase price threshold to $439,160 from $408,000.

At the same time, the income threshold for a single buyer increased to $58,980 from $57,540 while the income threshold for a two-person household increased to $67,380 from $65,760.

In "Economic Development Zones," the income limits are higher. For a single buyer, it's $67,265 and for a couple it's $76,890.

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

Real estate website Trulia reports the median sales price for homes in DC was $539,000 over the past three months, an increase of 5 percent over 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.

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.
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