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Ask Eli: Arlington Loan Programs

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Arlington resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: Are there any loan programs available to people buying a home in Arlington?

Answer: October is Housing Month in Arlington which means some nice County programs including the annual Live In Arlington Info Fair which provides a ton of great information and education on fair and affordable housing in the County.

To support affordable housing, Arlington offers four programs for moderate-income homebuyers that I’ll highlight below.

Most Popular: Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) Community Homeownership Revitalization Program (CHRP)

  • Reduces your interest rate on a VHDA loan by 1%
  • Household income must be 120% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI)
  • Purchase must be in one of three Arlington County zip codes: 22203, 22204, 22206
  • Must be a first-time homebuyer
  • Can be combined with other programs
  • Programs ends when funds run out each year. $5M was allocated in 2019 and ran out in September. Program will begin again in 2020 with new funding.

Most Unique: Moderate Income Purchase Assistance Program (MIPAP)

  • Interest-free loan up to 25% of the purchase price to cover down payments, closing costs, rate buy-downs, etc.
  • Owner pays back loan, interest-free, plus 25% of equity at time of a sale or refinance. If no equity or negative equity, only the original loan is due. This incentivizes owners to refinance once they can afford the home on their own and recycle the funds back to the County to expand the program.
  • MIPAP has only been used about ten times in the last two years, representing 50% of the program’s applicants
  • Household income must be 80% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI) and other loan/credit limits exist
  • Must be a first-time homebuyer or no interest in property within the last three year

Live Where You Work: Arlington County Employee Program (LINK)

  • Forgivable loan for Arlington County employees up to $6,600 (FY2020), becomes a grant after three years and does not have to be paid back
  • Can be used for down payment and/or closing costs and combined with other programs
  • No income limits or other restrictions
  • Also meant for teachers, but currently no budget allocated to it in FY20

Reduced Rate Homeownership: Affordable Dwelling Units (ADUs)

  • Housing units required to maintain specific reduced-price levels based on affordability standards for moderate income buyers
  • Buyers must register to qualify for ADUs and, once registered, will be notified when ADUs come up for sale. If multiple buyers are interested in purchasing an available ADU, there is a priority drawing.
  • Developers can include ADUs in new construction as a community benefit. Recent examples include Key & Nash (four two-bedrooms) in Rosslyn and Carver Place (six three-bedrooms) off Columbia Pike (Pike East)
  • Resale properties are periodically for sale, but there are none currently
  • Arlington currently has 55 ADUs in its portfolio
  • Arlington lender requirements mean buyers have access to a limited set of lenders and should inquire with their lender if they meet the portfolio requirements

If you have questions about any of these programs or would like to explore how they fit into your purchase strategy, feel free to email me at [email protected].

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column or to set-up an in-person meeting to discuss local real estate, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at www.EliResidential.com. Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, (202) 518-8781.

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