Down Payment/Closing Cost Assistance Program: FAQs for Homebuyers
Who is qualified to apply for the program?
You are eligible to apply for the Down Payment/Closing Cost (DPCC) Assistance Program if you meet all of the following qualifiers:
- You’re a first-time homebuyer (or you have not had ownership interest in any residential property within the last 3 years within or outside the United States. This includes undeveloped land and inherited real estate, whether or not you actually occupied the property as your primary residence).
- You have a Gross Annual Household Income between $35,150 and $82,050
- You have a middle credit score of at least 620
- You have demonstrated a need for funding. (In other words, you don’t have quite enough savings and liquid assets to cover the down payment and closing costs without financial assistance)
- You have lived or worked in Loudoun County for at least the last 6 months (exceptions for military returning from active duty assignments)
- You are able to contribute at least $1,000 of your own money towards down payment/closing costs
- You have a contract to purchase a home within 45 to 60 days
I’m qualified to apply! What are the loan terms?
The loan is secured by a 2nd lien on your home for a 30-year term at 5.00%. The maximum loan amount is $25,000 (or 10% of the purchase price – whichever is less). You will make monthly payments beginning about 30-45 days after your settlement. There is no prepayment penalty if you decide to pay your loan off early.
I am also participating in the Affordable Dwelling Unit (ADU) Purchase program. Can I use the DPCC program in conjunction with my home purchase?
Yes. Many ADU buyers take advantage of one of the county’s housing finance programs.
I need more the maximum loan amount to cover all of my closing costs and down payment. I qualify for the PEG grant as well. Can I use both programs?
No. Even if borrowers are eligible for both programs, only one may be used.
I don’t need as much DPCC as I was approved for, can I use the rest for other things?
No. DPCC funds can only be used towards down payment and/or closing costs. Borrowers are not permitted to receive cash back at settlement. In this case, the DPCC loan amount would be reduced and the County of Loudoun would be reimbursed by the title company post settlement.
The checklist says that everyone over the age of 18 must submit proof of income. My spouse/child is not currently employed. What documentation will you need from them?
Occupants over 18 who do not receive income must submit a notarized statement certifying that they do not receive income from employment or any other source. You may request a Zero Income Certification form from the county if you prefer.
Full-time students may submit proof of enrollment such as a class schedule to fulfill this requirement.
I’ve submitted my complete application and all supporting documents. How long will it be before I know if I’m approved?
You will typically hear from the county within 3 to 5 business days after you have submitted the full application. The entire application process from start to finish will typically take at least 45 to 60 days. Processing could take longer if documentation is missing from your application packet. You will be notified about any outstanding items. If you are able to provide all required documentation with your initial application submission, this will help minimize delays.
What do you need from me to keep the application process moving as quickly as possible?
First you will need to submit your application online along with all the required supporting documents. You can use the checklist in the application packet to help you gather the documents you will need.
Depending on your own unique situation, we may ask you to submit other documentation which may not be specifically listed on the checklist. Your prompt response will help us to process your application as quickly as possible.
There are some additional documents which will require your signature if your application is approved. Once we reach that point of the process, you should watch your email and/or check voicemail daily so you are quickly notified when we attempt to reach you.
Are there any other conditions for my acceptance of the loan?
Yes. You must present a Certificate of Completion of the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) Homebuyer Education class prior to settlement. The class is offered statewide, but you may also take it online at no cost to you. Find out more or register at www.vhda.com .
You will also need to attend the county’s HomeCents post-settlement seminar within 6 months of closing and submit your certificate to the Housing Finance Specialist. This seminar provides valuable information that will help you transition into homeownership. You will receive a large packet at no cost to you with lots of great resources to assist you along the way. You may also take this prior to settlement if you wish. Find out more and register here.
Buyers must pay a $200 service fee at closing. This fee cannot be financed. Non-payment of this fee will cause your settlement to be delayed. You may pay with a check, money order, or cashier’s check made payable to County of Loudoun. You may leave the $200 payment with the title company and they will send it to us with your closing package.
My DPCC loan was approved! What happens now?
We will be working with your lender and the title company to prepare for your settlement. We will also be contacting you to obtain signatures on a few more important forms so that we can request the check for settlement. Check your email and voicemail regularly during this time in case we need your assistance.
I read in the guidelines that there is a service fee of $200 required for the program. How do I get payment to the county?
You may pay with a check, money order, or cashier’s check made payable to County of Loudoun. You may leave your $200 payment with the title company and they will be sure to send it to us with your closing package. Please note that this fee cannot be financed. Non-payment of this fee will cause your settlement to be delayed.
How soon can we go to settlement after approval?
If all required documentation has been received from the applicant, lender and the title company, settlement can occur within about 15 business days. (A minimum of 10 business days is required in order to receive a check in time for settlement). This process may be delayed if we are waiting for documents or information from your lender or the title company. Be sure to let us know if your settlement date changes so that we can be prepared in time.
My lender said that I could possibly get my earnest money deposit back at closing. Is this allowed?
No. Buyers may not receive any cash out at closing. The approved loan amount will be reduced in order to avoid cash out.
I am purchasing a condo with mandatory country club membership and fees. May I use DPCC funds to finance these expenses?
No. Costs related to country club memberships are not a permitted use of county funds and must be paid by the borrower with other funds. Details of limits to common closing costs are in the Program Information document in the application packet. All fees are subject to Loan Committee final approval.
I was declined for the program. Is there an appeal process?
There is no appeal process and all loan decisions are final. You may apply again after one year to be reconsidered for approval.
What if I want to refinance in the future to get a lower rate?
Refinances will be considered if there is no cash out in the transaction. The county will not approve subordinations for Home Equity loans or a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). In these cases (or in the case of default), the remaining DPCC balance must be paid in full.
What happens next? When do I have to start making loan payments?
You will receive a letter at settlement which will give you the details of your loan. It will give you all the information you need to start your payments, as well as contact info for the Account Specialists in Family Services who will service your loan.
Payments will generally begin 30 to 45 days after closing. You will receive payment coupons in the mail and a quarterly statement to help you keep track of your loan balance.
I may be able to pay off my loan early. Is there a pre-payment penalty?
No. You may make extra payments or pay the entire loan balance off at any time with no penalty.
What if I want to refinance my first trust in the future? Will the county subordinate the DPCC loan?
Subordinations for refinance will be considered if you will not be receiving any cash out in the transaction. All subordinations are subject to Loan Committee approval. The county will not approve subordinations for Home Equity Loans or HELOCs. In these cases (or in the case of default), the remaining DPCC balance must be paid in full.