5 Best Physician Mortgage Loans in the District of Columbia

Physician mortgage loans in Washington D.C. are available to medical doctors, dentists and other professionals and can save you money with no PMI.

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Key Terms

  • Higher loan limits with potential 100% financing in some cases give borrowers more options.
  • Student loan payments typically receive favorable treatment with a doctor loan, making it easier to qualify for a mortgage.
  • A Washington D.C. physician mortgage does not require PMI or even a 0% down payment.

Washington D.C. is a small-in-size but big-in-power city that sits on the Potomac River, serving as the nation’s capital. It’s home to the White House, the Capitol, and the Supreme Court, but also to some historically charming communities, beautiful parks and great tourist sites. It is a city with much to offer its internationally diverse community of people.

The DC Realtors Association reported that in the most recent month 916 homes were sold in the city. The median sales price for those homes was $650,000, which is about 5.3% lower than the previous year at the same time. Yet, the area has high home values and limited inventory, which can make it hard to buy into in some cases. 

The District of Columbia is home to some 5,950 physicians, meaning there are plenty of medical professionals in the mix who are looking for a home. The physician mortgage loan programs in the Washington D.C. area may help some doctors and other professionals looking to buy a home. For qualified individuals, these financial products may reduce some of the complexities involved in obtaining a loan, such as having to put down a large down payment.

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Advantages/Disadvantages of Washington D.C. physician mortgage loans

Weighing the pluses and minuses involved in a financial product is an important first step when considering a loan. We’ve summarized both the pros and cons of District of Columbia physician mortgage loans below to help you with your decision making.  

The pros involved in District of Columbia doctor mortgage, include:

  • Little to no down payment needed
  • Higher limits, meaning you can get a bigger house
  • No PMI payment(s)
  • Special consideration for student debt

For doctors, who might have used a lot on credit cards and have limited funds in checking accounts, it’s hard to qualify for regular loans because of credit score issues and the impact of student loans. Limited earning potential in residency is also a factor in the challenges of coming up with a down payment. This makes home ownership hard for people who are just on the cusp of great earning potential, and that’s where doctor mortgage loans come in to help if you locate a perfect place to buy on the NMLS.

The cons involved in entering into a doctor mortgage include:

  • Higher limits may cause you to buy more house than you need
  • Higher interest rates, in some cases
  • A required relationship with the bank (i.e. opening a bank account)

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5 Top doctor mortgage lenders in Washington D.C.

If you’re ready to check out the top physician mortgage lenders in Washington D.C., here are the best options we’ve found through our research.

1. BMO Harris Bank

BMO Harris Bank is an established player in the mortgage industry that ranks 16th largest by total assets in the country. The bank offers a full range of financial products, including a physician loan to certain medical professions.

We spoke to a BMO Harris loan officer to get additional details about the doctor mortgage, many of which aren’t published. Here are some key terms and highlights:

  • Program is divided between Physicians and Dentists that are less than 10 years since their last training was completed (residency, fellowship, or medical/dental school, whichever ended last) and those over 10 years.
  • Less than 10 years practicing:
  • 0% down up to $1,000,000
  • 5% down up to $1,500,000
  • 10% down up to $2,000,000
  • More than 10 years:
  • 10% down up to $2,000,000
  • 10, 15, 20, & 30 year fixed rate or 5, 7, and 10 year ARM loans.
  • No rate premium, pricing premium, or interest rate increase for using the program.
  • No income history is required. They can use an offer letter or match letter that states your employer name, start date, salary, and job title. They can close the loan up to 89 days prior to the start date for the new contract. The contract can be for a W2 or 1099 pay structure as long as a guaranteed base salary/pay amount is listed.
  • Reserve requirements for loans up to $400,000 equal two months PITI for the new home, for loans over $400,000 the requirements is four months PITI.
  • The borrower is required to have liquid reserve funds at the time of closing, this would be required on top of any cash to close due.
  • Seller credits are allowed to assist with closing costs but cannot exceed the total of closing costs and cannot exceed the amount you, as the buyer, are contributing to the purchase.
  • Gift funds from a family member are allowed for any cash due at closing or down payment as well as the reserve requirements.

If you have a credit score as low as 680, BMO Harris can offer you $0 down up to $1,000,000 but it will take a credit score of 720 to get access to the full program.

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer experienced in doctor mortgages, use our form to quickly match with eligible loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

2. Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank is one of the largest banks in the Untied States. I bet you didn’t know that it’s headquartered in the smallest state: Rhode Island. With over $160 billion in assets, it’s no surprise that Citizens offers a full range of financial products, including a physician loan.

We contacted a loan officer at Citizens Bank to learn more about their doctor mortgage loan program specifically. Here are details you won’t find anywhere else:

  • 5% down up to $850,000
  • 10% down up to $1,000,000
  • Practicing licensed medical doctors (MD and DO), dentists (DDS and DMD), residents and research physicians are eligible
  • Licensed residents, fellows and interns can borrow a maximum of $600,00 (or $400,000 if unlicensed)
  • No more than 10 years out of residency
  • Self-employed professionals are eligible with a two-year history of self-employment income
  • New medical professional graduates who are under contract for residency within 60 days of closing and have not yet obtained a license are eligible
  • No private mortgage insurance
  • 40% max debt-to-income ratio
  • Student loan debt that’s deferred for more than 12 months from the date of closing can be excluded from DTI calculations
  • Construction-to-permanent loans available with a maximum of 89% financing
  • Fixed rate or adjustable-rate mortgage options
  • Interest-only option on certain adjustable-rate mortgage options (max financing at 89%)

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer experienced in doctor mortgages, use our form to quickly match with eligible loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

3. Flagstar Bank

Flagstar Bank was chartered in 1987 and holds around $23 billion in assets, making it a medium-sized bank. However, they punch well above their weight when it comes to mortgages and operate as the sixth largest bank mortgage originator nationally. Not surprisingly, a big part of their success has been a doctor mortgage program.

We contacted Flagstar Bank to learn more details about their physician loan. Here are the key terms that you need to know?

  • 5, 7 & 10 year ARM  products
  • 0% down up to $1,000,000 (first time homebuyer – have not owned in last 3 years)
  • 5% down up to $1,500,000 (first time homebuyer – have not owned in last 3 years)
  • If not a first-time home buyer
  • 10% down up to $1,000,000
  • 15% down up to $1,500,000
  • 20% down up to $2,000,000
  • 25% down up to $2,500,000
  • Fixed products
  • 10% down on the jumbo fixed to a max loan amount of $1,000,000 with no PMI
  • 20% down on the jumbo 30 year fixed with a max loan amount of $3,000,000
  • For first time home buyer (have not owned within last 3 years):
  • 3% down up to $647,200
  • If not a first time home buyer:
  • 5% down up to county limit (with and without PMI)
  • Medical doctors and lawyers are eligible. We weren’t able to confirm that the program is available to dentists and other (non-doctor) medical professionals, but encourage you to contact them to confirm.

The total reported lender fees as of the date of this article were $1395 ($550 processing and $845 for underwriting).

Another benefit of Flagstar is that they can submit a full file to underwriting for an actual loan approval (not pre-approval) without having a purchase contract signed, which makes your competitive with all cash offers and the process less stressful for you. There is no application fee or prepayment penalties. They also offer a float down, buy down, and recast option.

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer experienced in doctor mortgages, use our form to quickly match with eligible loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

4. TD Bank

TD Bank is one of the largest banks in the United States. While primarily operating on the east coast, in recent years they have expanded their footprint through a series of acquisitions and now rank as one of the top 10 banks in the country. The bank offers a full suite of financial products, including a physician loan.

We reached out to a loan officer at TD Bank to find out more details about their doctor mortgage. Our key takeaways and program highlights are below:

  • 0% down up to $750,000
  • 5% down up to $1,250,000
  • 10% down up to $1,500,000
  • The following degrees qualify: practicing physician (MD, DO or DPM), dentist (DDS or DMD) and oral surgeon.
  • Licensed medical resident or fellow and licensed dental resident or fellow qualifies
  • If self employed doctor or dentist, you must have owned your practice or have been otherwise self-employed for at least two years
  • Available property types: single family residence, condominium, co-op (in specific markets only) and property in a planned unit development (PUD).
  • Fixed or adjustable rate loans available
  • No private mortgage insurance
  • Flexible approach to debt-to-income understanding that medical professionals have significant student loan debt
  • Contract for new employment can be used to qualify for mortgage
  • Minimum credit score of 720 (for loans below $750,000) or 740 (for loans above $750,000)
  • Must be within 10 years of residency or fellowship

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer experienced in doctor mortgages, use our form to quickly match with eligible loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

5. Fulton Bank

Fulton Bank  is a subsidiary of Fulton Bank, a financial institution that traces its roots back to 1882. The bank and mortgage company offer a full suite of financial products, including an attractive physician loan program.

We contacted Fulton Bank to get more details about the doctor mortgage specifically and we think you’re going to like a lot of the terms. Here are the important details:

  • 0% down up to $1,000,000
  • 5% down up to $1,500,000
  • 10% down up to $2,000,000
  • 30 and 15 year fixed rate options as well as adjustable rate options (5/1, 7/1, 10/1, and 15/1)
  • No mortgage insurance
  • Up to 6% seller paid closing costs and prepaids are allowed
  • Gift funds from immediately family members allowed
  • Student loans deferred for 12 months or longer are not included in the credit approval process
  • You can close on a house up to 90 days prior to start of new employment with an employment contract
  • Physicians, Pharmacists, Dentists and Veterinarians are eligible for the program

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer experienced in doctor mortgages, use our form to quickly match with eligible loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

6. City National Bank of Florida

City National Bank of Florida is a medium-sized bank with over $22 billion in assets. Although they are headquartered in Florida, they offer a physician loan in all 48 contiguous states and are eager to find physicians and other professionals as new customers.

We spoke with a loan officer at City National Bank of Florida to gather details on the doctor mortgage program. Here is what we learned:

  • Physicians, Dentists, Attorneys and CPAs are eligible
  • 3% down up to $650,000
  • 5% down up to $850,000
  • 10% down up to $1,250,000
  • 10.51% down up to $2,500,000
  • 15.51% down up to $3,000,000
  • Primary residence and vacation homes are available (higher down payments required for secondary houses)
  • Can finance condos but only with a 20% down payment
  • Minimum credit score required is 660 but better rates/options require 720 credit score
  • Self-employed individuals need to provide 2 years of income verification

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer experienced in doctor mortgages, use our form to quickly match with eligible loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

Is a District of Columbia physician mortgage loan right for you?

So, is a D.C. physician mortgage right for you? Determining this means asking yourself some questions about your life, career, and financial goals. 

If you don’t have a first home to refinance, coming up with a down payment can be really challenging for medical residents. If buying a bigger or more expensive home, getting a traditional home loan might not be an option. Going that traditional route like working with an equal housing lender or trying to qualify for a VA loan, where applicable, might not give you enough buying power or benefits to come through the home buying process.

For healthcare professionals who want to own real estate in D.C., one of the best options is to consider a doctor mortgage. Like a traditional loan, monthly payments are due throughout the life of the mortgage, which means it’s important to confirm you can cover repayment with your future earnings. Physician home loans enable residents and upcoming medical professionals to become a homeowner with some upfront benefits while still being able to make mortgage payments over the life of the loan.

But before you commit, are you in a job that you enjoy and to which you want to stay? If you are in the very early days of a job, no matter how lucrative, it may not be the right time to buy. If you have been in your job for at least a few years and feel established in your role, the time may be right. 

Next, take a look at your overall financial picture. Are you okay with paying a possibly higher interest rate? This can add up over the life of your loan, but may be worth it. If you believe that you can save for a down payment on a conventional loan in a few years, you may want to wait.  

Finally, know that the bank or lender may very well want to have a relationship with you for years to come. This can mean making a commitment to a bank account, be it a checking or savings account; to many, this is a small “price” to pay for the convenience of a doctor mortgage.  

Examples of doctors who take out physician loans in Washington D.C.

Let’s take a look at some of the physicians in the District of Columbia who are taking out physician loans. Reading through these descriptions may help you understand more about the process and help you decide whether or not you want to take out a doctor mortgage. 

Doctor who is looking to maximize leverage

Sabrina’s Northwest dermatology practice is doing quite well. She’s popular with the Bethesda/Chevy Chase set and respected by her peers. Ten years in, she’s managed to make some investments, and her portfolio is doing well. Overall, her financial picture is healthy, but she doesn’t have that much cash or that many liquid assets. 

A house is available in her neighborhood and she wants to make an offer. What should she do about the down payment on a conventional loan? With little cash on hand, she would have to liquidate some of her holdings. Fortunately, she knows that a lender in the area is extending doctor mortgages to professionals just like her; this no money down option will let her purchase the home without losing any of her leverage. 

A physician who gets the best rate with a physician mortgage

Kwame is a partner in a family practice in Adams Morgan. He and his growing family are looking for a new home, and he’s been comparison shopping various mortgages. He could qualify for a conventional loan, but some investigation has revealed that a doctor mortgage offered by a local bank will actually get him a better rate. This will mean thousands in savings over the life of his mortgage, translating into money in the bank for his family. 

If you’re looking to explore physician mortgage loans in other states, check out our national overview of physician loans as a starting point in your search.

Find a Physician Loan Specialist

Joshua Holt

Joshua Holt is a licensed mortgage loan originator (NMLS #2306824) and founder of Biglaw Investor. His mortgage expertise lies in the areas of professional mortgage loans, particularly for lawyers, doctors and other high-income professionals. Prior to Biglaw Investor, Josh practiced private equity mergers & acquisition law for one of the largest law firms in the country.

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