Washington D.C. Mortgage Rates

On July 16, 1790, Washington, DC was officially proclaimed by the Constitution of the United States as the capital of this great country. Besides being the seat of the federal government, Washington, DC is also a cosmopolitan city with an increasingly diverse ethnic population. The 2010 U.S. census has its population listed at slightly less than 602,000 and this population rises to over 1 million during the work week as a result of workers commuting from surrounding cities and suburbs. The Metrorail system is second to NYC’s subway system as one of the busiest rapid transit systems in the country. Washington, DC, which is actually a District and not a state, is home to a number of national monuments and museums, and is host to 174 foreign embassies. The Washington metropolitan area includes counties in Baltimore, MD and Virginia. In spite of the diminishing housing market, Washington, DC still ranks high on the list as one of the communities that is still thriving in the housing market business.

Washington, DC continues to expand with a reported growth of more new residents between July 2008 and July 2009 than has ever been reported in a one-year period since World War II. This growth includes not only residents but new businesses that are relocating there as well. However, much of Washington, DC’s housing market is extremely expensive. While there is beauty, culture and charm in this great city, people with average incomes could find it difficult to reside here.

Real Estate Values

Currently, the median listing price of homes in Washington, DC is reported as $275,000, verses the national median price of $200,000. Average home values in Washington, DC range from approximately $175,000 to $450,000.

Popular and Fastest Growing Cities

Washington, DC is itself a city, so when speaking of the popular and fastest growing cities, one is referring mainly to the surrounding cities and suburbs in Virginia and Maryland. There are, however, communities in Washington, DC that are worth mentioning along with the other surrounding cities.

Penn Quarter

Penn Quarter is a neighborhood located in the east end of Washington, DC. This area consists of an assortment of newly-built and renovated buildings, homes and apartments, parks and plazas, offices, restaurants, museums, and theatres. Penn Quarter has undergone a period of revitalization over the last couple of decades resulting in the richly rewarding residential community that now exists. The median home and condo sale price is currently reported at $485,000 and condos are the predominant form of housing. Home sales continued to flourish despite conditions of the national housing market. There’s no doubt that residents obtain immense pleasure from the brilliantly cultivating atmosphere and the constant flurry of assorted activity.

Georgetown

Georgetown became part of Washington, DC officially in 1871. It’s located in the northwestern section of the district. Currently, Georgetown is considered to be one of the most affluent communities in Washington, DC and many politicians and government lobbyists live here. It features DC’s oldest architecture and many of the homes which have been restored are almost 200 years old. An impressive historical presence has been retained in the old world architecture and cobblestone streets. The Georgetown Waterfront has been upgraded with luxury condominiums, offices and restaurants. Median home prices for one- to four-bedroom homes range from $435,000 to $2,000,000,000. All those who wish to live in Georgetown must have ample income to sustain an extravagant lifestyle. With all its marvelous architecture and glorious landscapes, it’s certain that there are few communities that can match Georgetown’s splendor!

Alexandria, VA

All those who visit Alexandria, VA will experience the magical ambience of this great city that combines a wealth of history with urban magnificence! It’s located in the heart of the Washington, DC metropolitan area and it offers its residents vibrant and colorful neighborhoods filled with tree-lined brick streets that are set in the midst of an array of restaurants, museums and historical sites. Over the last year, homes have depreciated 9.9% in value but as of June 2010, the average price of homes here was still slightly above $404,000.

Chevy Chase, MD

The town of Chevy Chase is located on the northern edge of Washington, DC. The median listing price for homes is currently reported at approximately $924,000 with home values ranging from $750,000 to $3,000,000. To say these homes are breathtaking is an understatement but then at prices like this, what else would one expect? The distinctive properties are built to include masterfully created structures surrounded by spectacular views of acres of land in splendid color and dynamic scenery.

Bethesda, MD

Bethesda is a suburb in the Washington, DC metropolitan area which has a successful business district, arts and entertainment venue, and a multitude of shops, boutiques and ethnic restaurants. In 2009, the estimated home and condo values were estimated at approximately $719,000 with total housing values (i.e., homes, condos, townhouses, mobile homes, etc.) ranging from $284,000 to slightly more than $1,000,000. Barring the high cost of living, Bethesda’s low crime rate, accelerated job growth and its easy access to downtown Washington, DC and airports makes this suburb an instant appeal to many prospective homeowners. And the stately beauty of its tree-lined, exquisitely landscaped streets housing elaborately structured buildings is a further enticement to all who behold this magnificence.

About the Housing Market

Washington, DC was one of the few cities that saw a small rise in its housing market. The following are the particulars regarding Washington, DC’s housing regulations.

Recourse or Non-Recourse State: Washington, DC operates under the laws of recourse. In a recourse state, if a home is sold in an auction or short sale for less money than is owed to the lender, then through the judicial process, the lender can come after the homeowner to collect the deficiency payment. The deficiency payment is defined as the difference between the balance due on the home and the final selling price of the home. In a non-recourse state, the lender loses all deficiencies because they cannot go after the homeowner. However, homeowners should know that while they may be free of paying the remaining balance in a non-recourse state, they may be subject to paying taxes on that deficiency amount.

Deed of Trust or Mortgage: Washington, DC lenders use a Deed of Trust and if foreclosure becomes necessary, the home is sold in a trustee sale.

Right of Redemption vs. Right of Reinstatement: Under the right of redemption, the homeowner has the right to buy back their home from the buyer who purchased it. To redeem the home, the homeowner must pay the redemption price which is the entire balance due of the current loan on the property. The redemption period is either three or twelve months, depending on whether or not sufficient proceeds are collected to cover the note following the sale. Since Washington, DC is a Deed of Trust state, there is no right of redemption in Washington, DC.

Under the right to reinstate, homeowners must pay all expenses, fees and late charges due on their home bringing their note current. If they successfully pay all monies due, the loan is reinstated and homeowners can continue living in their homes making regular monthly payments as though no problems had occurred. Most states offer the right to reinstate so homeowners should check with the real estate laws of Washington, DC to see if this right exists there.

Foreclosure Process

In Washington, DC, the foreclosure process begins with the filing of the Notice of Default (NOD) at the County Recorder’s office for recording. After this Notice is recorded, the NOD is sent by registered or certified mail, and also by regular mail to the homeowner notifying them of the filing because of their delinquent mortgage payments. Once the home is sold at an auction, the homeowner is expected to leave the home immediately. If they don’t, the new owner has the right to begin the eviction process by serving the homeowner with a Notice to Quit giving them three days to leave the property. At this point, the homeowner does have options:

a) Homeowners can ask for extra time to move out. It’s possible that the new owners haven’t yet solidified their plans for the home and until they do, it may be advantageous for them to keep the homeowner in the home until their plans are finalized.

b) Cash for Keys: Some lenders will offer to pay a sum of money provided the homeowner vacates the home immediately leaving it clean and with no damages. Homeowners should inquire as to whether or not their lender offers this provision.

c) Consider a Short Sale: A short sale involves getting the lender to agree to sell a home for less than what it’s worth. As with foreclosures, once a home is sold in a short sale, the homeowner will be expected to move out immediately. If the property is sold for less than is owed, the lender may forgive the difference between what is owed and the actual sale price; this is something that should be discussed prior to entering a short sale agreement. If the lender does agree to forgive deficiencies, homeowners should keep in mind that they may have to deal with tax liabilities for the forgiven amount.

On the other hand, this process could be a viable solution for all concerned because although the lender could get less than what is owed to them, it’s very possible they’d receive more than what might be offered at an auction. In the meantime, the homeowner lives rent free in the home while the short sale process continues and this process could be a lengthy one. The other advantage of starting a short sale is the lender cannot foreclose on the property before it’s sold, and once the property is sold, the homeowner can still inquire about “Cash for Keys” to see if it would be possible to receive money to help them move.

If all else fails, however, and the three-day period of the Notice to Quit expires, then the new owner is within their rights to begin eviction procedures using a sheriff to serve all documents pertaining to the “unlawful detainer” process and this could take place within a matter of days.

Mortgage Rates

The current mortgage rates average out to 4.64% which is about the same as the current national rates for fixed and adjustable rate mortgages.

Are there Specific regulations regarding refinancing, second mortgages and home equity loans?

  • Under standard home loan regulations, there are many types of loans available to Washington, DC residents. If homeowners have sufficient equity in their homes and the required income, they should be able to obtain second mortgages or home equity loans, as well as be able to refinance their current loan.

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