Real Estate

Homeownership may now be more accessible to Washington educators

Homeownership investment startup Landed launches in DC

Last month, Landed, a homeownership investment startup, launched in the Portland area with the goal of helping teachers achieve their dream of homeownership. 

Now, the company is launching in its seventh market: Washington, D.C. The startup pays half of the standard down payment (up to $120,000), in exchange for a return on its investment: 25% of the appreciation gain when the property is sold.

If the home goes down in value, Landed shoulders the loss. According to the company’s latest announcement, Landed’s down payment program will be available to all K-12 educators, administrators and staff at DCPS or a DC public charter school who have worked at least two years in education.

“We are thrilled to bring Landed’s home buying resources to the east coast, beginning with the nation’s capital, and we look forward to connecting directly with educators and their families across the city,” said Landed Co-Founder, Alex Lofton.

“As the son of a school teacher and a social worker, I know firsthand the struggles that many families go through to build financial security in expensive communities,” Lofton continued. “Landed hopes to be a support system to help all educators feel more secure in their financial future.”

As Lofton stated, the company targets expensive markets to launch in. Landed was first available in Bay Area of California in the fall of 2016. Since then, it expanded to Southern California and Denver in the spring of 2018, followed by Seattle later that fall. 

This year, Landed has launched in three markets: Hawaii, Portland, and now, Washington, D.C.

Landed isn’t the first company to notice the housing challenges in Washington. This May, BB&T and Suntrust announced a $10 million funding initiative aimed at addressing the lack of affordable housing.

The metro was also a topic of discussion at a recent event held by Urban Institute and Fannie Mae, “Unlocking the Market: Big Ideas for Local Housing Challenges.”

During one session, AJ Jackson, JGB Smith’s executive vice president of social impact investing, shared how the real estate investment firm is looking to solve the housing crisis in the Washington area. In partnership with DC nonprofit Federal City Council, JBG Smith launched the Washington Housing Initiative.

The initiative aims to preserve affordable workforce housing for those who can’t afford Washington’s high market-rate home prices but earn too much to qualify for its subsidies. Jackson said at the time that an estimated $90 million had been raised. 

Now, Landed is joining a rallying group of companies dedicated to helping Washington residents achieve homeownership status. 

“As we work to build 36,000 homes by 2025, we must be intentional about ensuring these new homes are accessible to families and workers across the income spectrum,” said Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Our educators should be able to live in the city they serve. Over the past decade, our community has made big investments in attracting and retaining high-quality teachers for students across the District.

“This partnership with Landed will build on those efforts and ensure that DC continues to be an attractive and rewarding place for our educators to live and work,” Bowser added.

Landed estimates that it  has helped more than 250 educators purchase homes in all of its markets since 2015. This expansion to Washington is the company’s first east coast launch.

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