How Much Does It Cost to Buy a House in Washington, DC?

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By Jon Stubbs Updated May 17, 2024


The average home buyer in Washington D.C. spends between $50,367 and $160,876 when purchasing a $561,419 home — the state median value.

Keep in mind, this is just the cost of buying a home. After you close, you'll still need to budget for all the ongoing costs of homeownership.

Luckily, Clever Real Estate can help make buying a home more affordable. Working with a Clever agent means you'll not only get great service from start to finish, but you could also be eligible for up to 0.5% cash back after closing. That's about $2,807 back on an average-priced home in Washington D.C.!

Clever will connect you with a top local agent and send you a check after closing. Contact Clever for full-service realtor recommendations.

Average closing costs in Washington D.C.

Expense Amount
Earnest money deposit (1-3%) $5,614 to $16,843
Down payment (3.5-20%) $19,650 to $112,284
Cash reserves $6,012 to $9,019
Closing costs (3.09%) $17,364
Inspection $250
Appraisal $227
Moving $1,250 to $4,890
Total $50,367 to $160,876
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Buyer closing costs in Washington D.C.

While the other costs to buy a house in Washington D.C. are pretty transparent, Washington D.C. closing costs are a bit more nuanced. They're actually a series of smaller costs lumped together into one total. Here's a breakdown of all of the Washington D.C. closing costs you'll likely pay when buying a home.

Closing cost Amount
Closing fee $561
Recording fee $1,520
Title service fees $948
Origination fee $2,807
Underwriting fee $600
Discount points $4,491 per point
Lender's title insurance $260
Owner's title insurance Typically paid by seller
Prorated property tax Varies
Recordation Tax 1.10%
Total $17,364
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Does the buyer or seller pay closing costs in Washington D.C.?

The seller typically pays the bulk of the closing costs in Washington D.C.. The seller is responsible for costs like title insurance, real estate transfer tax, and recording fees. The seller also pays their listing agent.

Traditionally, the seller has covered the buyer's agent fees as well. However, a November 2023 lawsuit decision against the National Association of Realtors makes it likely that buyers will be responsible for their own agent's fees going forward.

Will the NAR lawsuit change how real estate commission works?

On March 15, 2024, the National Association of Realtors agreed to pay $418 million in damages to settle a real estate commission lawsuit the industry group lost in November 2023. 

While the full impact of the settlement is yet to be determined, experts believe that the change will eventually lead to lower buyer's agent commissions and give buyers the ability to negotiate those commissions based on the services they need. 

The terms of the settlement are scheduled to take effect in mid-July 2024. But, the settlement hasn't been officially approved yet, and it could be delayed or changed by objections. We'll continue to monitor the status of the settlement and the effects it has on the real estate industry.


Keep in mind, closing costs are often negotiable. Motivated sellers will sometimes agree to pay for some of the buyer's closing costs. However, to win the negotiation battle, you'll need a great agent who can work out a deal with the seller. Clever can match you with a top agent in your area that can get the seller to shoulder more of the above costs.

Contact us at Clever for top agent recommendations.

Cost to buy a house in Washington D.C. calculator

Ongoing costs of homeownership in Washington D.C.

Unfortunately, the cost to buy a house is just the beginning. After closing, you'll officially own the home and begin paying for the ongoing costs of homeownership.

Besides the expenses outlined above, you'll also want to consider private mortgage insurance (PMI) and homeowner's association (HOA) fees.

  • If you pay less than 20% as a down payment on your house, you'll probably have to pay PMI monthly until you get to 20% equity. For the average Washington D.C. homeowner, this is between $244 to $827 a month.
  • Some neighborhoods have HOA fees for the care and maintenance of common areas. The national average is around $250 per month.

» MORE: The true cost of homeownership

Top ways to save money when buying a house in Washington D.C.

1. Look into better financing options

Paying off debts and getting your credit in the best shape possible before applying for a loan will help you get a better interest rate, which will lower your monthly payments for the life of the loan.

You can also shop around to compare lenders so you get the lowest fees and interest rates available. It may be a good idea to enlist the help of a mortgage broker if you're not sure how to go about vetting lenders.

2. Participate in home buyer programs in Washington D.C.

There are a few programs in the District of Columbia that can make homeownership more affordable.

Low-income and first-time home buyers can apply for the DC Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Home Purchase Assistance (HPAP) program. Eligible participants can receive up to $80,000 in gap financing and an additional $4,000 in closing cost assistance. Meanwhile, the DC Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) lists several available programs for eligible buyers in the state, ranging from low-interest loans to mortgage credit certificates.

» MORE: First-time home buyer programs everyone should know about

3. Partner with an expert agent

Some real estate companies, like Clever, offer home buyers a percentage of their home's price back after the sale finalizes.

That means if you work with a Clever agent, you'll not only get the expertise that helps you get the best deal possible — you could also get up to 0.5% of your home price back after closing!

Find your agent through Clever, qualify for cash back!

Clever matches you with top local agents so you can compare options and choose the best fit. And eligible buyers can get cash back after closing.

Fill out the form below and get started now. Clever's service is 100% free with no obligation.


The Clever team of researchers gathered data for property taxes, transfer taxes, and recording fees using publicly available information. We found average costs for attorney fees, title insurance, and other services by requesting quotes from local providers. 

Home values are based on Zillow data as of May 2024.

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Our experts continually research, evaluate, and monitor real estate companies and industry trends. We update our articles when new information becomes available.

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