Homeownership FAQs

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive in regards to homeownership:

How do I know if I am ready to purchase a home?

Purchasing a home is a big step. You will need a team of knowledgeable individuals to help you through the process of selecting your home, determining which mortgage loan best suits you, obtaining a mortgage loan, etc. A good place to start is a HUD approved housing counseling agency to learn more about the home buying process. Or, if you are ready to start shopping for a home, you will need to select a participating lender and a realtor.

Can I afford to purchase a home?

For an estimate of what your monthly mortgage payment might be with one of our DC Open Doors mortgage loans, go to our mortgage calculator  and enter in your specifics. Your next step should be to contact one of our participating lenders who can determine what mortgage loan products you might qualify for.

How much of a down payment will I need to purchase a home?

Your required minimum down payment will depend upon your home purchase price and your mortgage loan product. Some mortgage loan products require a minimum of a 3.00% down payment, while others require 3.50% and some even require 5.00%. Our participating lenders will help you determine how much of a down payment you will need. DC Open Doors offers down payment assistance loans for qualifying borrowers who use our mortgage products. You may also be eligible for down payment assistance from the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP).

Do I need homebuyer education to obtain a DC Open Doors mortgage loan?

DCHFA encourages homebuyer education and it is required for some of our mortgage loan products. Homebuyer education must meet the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling in order for it to be acceptable for a DC Open Doors mortgage loan. Please contact a HUD approved housing counseling agency for more information on homebuyer education.

Does the process for obtaining a DC Open Doors mortgage product take longer than a “normal” mortgage loan?

No, it does not. Purchasing a home with a DC Open Doors mortgage product should not add any additional time to your home purchase process. In fact, DCHFA monitors its lenders very carefully to ensure loans are processed as quickly as efficiently as possible.

How do I know if a participating lender has qualified me for a DC Open Doors mortgage loan, including down payment assistance?

Borrowers approved for a DC Open Doors down payment assistance loan (DPAL) will receive a Borrower Commitment Letter. If you are not sure if your lender has reserved a mortgage loan for you under DC Open Doors, contact your lender to verify or feel free to contact us directly at 202-777-1600.

Can I purchase a home anywhere using DC Open Doors?

You can purchase a home in any neighborhood, area, or Ward of Washington, DC using DC Open Doors. However, DC Open Doors can only assist applicants on homes within the District of Columbia.

How do I find a home to purchase?

A realtor will be happy to assist you in your home selection process once you have been pre-qualified by a participating lender for a DC Open Doors mortgage loan.

Can I qualify for a DC Open Doors mortgage loan if I am not a first-time homebuyer?

Yes, DC Open Doors has a variety of mortgage loan products to serve both first-time and repeat homebuyers. Please reference the DC Open Doors page for specific product requirements and parameters.

Can a DC Open Doors mortgage finance affordable dwelling units (ADUs)?

Yes, DC Open Doors can finance the purchase of an affordable dwelling unit (ADU).

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