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Climbing the Down Payment Mountain by Michelle Doell, Realtor

Rents around the District continue to rise. The average one bedroom apartment runs about $2290. Trying to pay rent and save for a down payment on your first home can be close to impossible with that rent. New research by Zillow shows it will take the average buyer 7.2 years to save for the 20% downpayment and in places like D.C., you need to add two more years.

When I lived in the district, most of my paycheck when to pay my rent. I equated saving for my first home to climbing Mount Everest. I thought I would never be able to buy my home but I discovered there are many different loans that can help the first time home buyer. You don't always have to put down 20%!

I was lucky enough to qualify for a USDA loan. This loan allows you to borrow 100% of the home value. There are income restrictions and location restrictions. Portions of Anne Arundel County and all of Calvert County qualify for this type of loan. But with not having to have any cash for a downpayment and rolling my closing costs into the deal, I needed very little to purchase our home.

That's not the only 100% loan. The VA offers the same type of loan. You have to currently be in the military or have served in the military. This is a great loan with no income restrictions or location restrictions. The VA and USDA do require the home to be livable and will inspect it to make sure.

The Maryland Mortgage program offers programs that will help you get that down payment. They also offer a program to help pay off that student loan debt. It's a great option as well. Plus a lot of lenders offer lower downpayment options. So don't get discouraged. You have options. Your best bet reach out to a lender who can walk you through the different programs.

Michelle Doell is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage serving Calvert and Southern Anne Arundel Counties. Michelle loves helping clients realize their dreams.

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