Today I got in the mail a letter from the DC Housing Finance Agency wanting to know if I still occupied my home to make sure I was still complying in regards to my agreement to take H.O.M.E. funds. I signed those papers 10 years ago and believed my obligation to DC HFA and to stay put ended this year. The letter said my obligation to occupy the home was 15 years. Oh, Hell no!
Also the paper I got, which is a form letter that doesn't even name me, says it is for the $10,000 Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance program. I did not get $10000 in down-payment assistance, nor will I act in any way that says I did.
What I got was a subsidized loan. It had a sweet interest rate. 3.75% which was great back when I bought the house. I got rid of that loan about 2 years ago when I refinanced. And I went into 2011 thinking my ties and obligations would sunset.
DC HFA currently offers a bond mortgage program AND downpayment assistance to qualified borrowers. I do not remember down payment assistance. I do remember saving money for one. I also remember writing the $1000 check out of my own funds for the earnest money deposit. Looking through the paperwork I saved regarding the purchase of my home, I looked for stuff with DC HFA's name on it. I don't see nothing about me being on the hook for 15 years. It vaguely looks like 10 with some complicated math formula that doesn't seem to make sense regarding the recapure tax that I'd owe if I sold the house after so many years of residing here, which does not go beyond year 9. So I was shocked and pissed when I saw 15 in the letter I got today.
The DC government has a lot of great 1st time homebuyer programs, but several of them come with strings, sticky strings. If you're going for the bond mortgage loan, or the HPAP (which I remember my housing counselor warning me against) read the paperwork carefully. You're making a deal with the housing devil.