(Courtesy of RM Design Studio)

Federal Capital Partners and Level 2 Development recently began leasing Takoma Central, a new 150-unit apartment building in Northwest Washington’s Takoma D.C. neighborhood adjacent to the Takoma Metro station.

The building’s first floor will be occupied by a Busboys and Poets restaurant, and residents will be able to walk to the neighborhood’s eclectic mix of shops and restaurants as well as the year-round Takoma Park Farmers Market.

Transit options including Metro, Capital Bikeshare, Metrobus and Ride-on bus services. The sustainable and health-focused features of the building include LEED certification, bike storage, preferred and reserved parking for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles, high-efficiency water-saving devices, recycled building materials and eco-friendly cleaning supplies. The property is smoke-free.

Building amenities at Takoma Central will include a fitness center, a resident lounge, a courtyard with a firepit and grills, a business center, a social e-café and an automatic package concierge system. The homes will have wide-plank oak flooring in the living room, and granite counters, maple cabinets and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. Some homes have a balcony or patio.

Rents for the studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments range from $1,485 to $3,150. Residents are anticipated to move in this fall.

For information and updates, go to www.takomacentral.com or call 202-888-2387. Bozzuto Management will handle the initial leasing phase from 232 Carroll St. NW Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

(Photo by HomeVisit) 1327 Constitution Ave. NE

Contemporary townhouses available on Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill’s stately Federal and Colonial-style townhouses, interspersed with some distinctive Victorians, have been joined by a pair of sleek contemporary-style homes built by Ditto Residential and designed by Chuong Cao of Dep Design Group.

The historic facades of each home, located at 1325 and 1327 Constitution Ave. NE, have been maintained, while the back of each home and the interiors have been completely modernized. Both homes have an open interior flooded with light from an oversized skylight and walls of windows.

A sleek angled wood staircase that visually connects all three levels serves to define the dining area and living area. A patio is accessible through glass doors for a completely connected interior and exterior when the weather permits. The modern kitchens have glossy white quartz counters, custom-made white cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

Each home has three bedrooms, four baths and a third floor office or study with contemporary-style French doors to a roof deck. The homes also have a custom-designed audio feature and wiring for a security system.

Both townhomes are priced at $1,299,900. The virtual tour can be seen at http://tour.homevisit.com/mls/80790.

For more information, contact listing agents Kimberly Casey at 202-361-3228 or Daryl Judy at 202-380-7219 at Washington Fine Properties or visit www.wfp.com.

New FHA program to benefit first-time buyers

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured loans have long been geared to first-time homebuyers and those with a low-to-moderate income. But in recent years, the FHA has increased mortgage insurance premiums and extended the payment of those premiums for the life of the loan in order to boost its required reserve fund.

The additional mortgage insurance has kept some would-be buyers out of the market because of the extra monthly cost of the loans. Now the FHA recently announced a pilot program, known as the FHA Homeowners Armed with Knowledge (HAWK) program, which offers reduced mortgage insurance payments in exchange for buyers participating in housing counseling.

Set to begin Oct. 1, the pilot program will initially be limited to lenders chosen by the FHA. To be eligible for reduced insurance payments, borrowers must be first-time buyers (defined as not owning a home in the previous three years) and must participate in HUD-approved housing counseling before they put a contract on a home, before the closing and after the closing.

For more information, click  here.

Homebuyers confident but unprepared for mortgage

Discover Home Loans recently surveyed more than 1,000 prospective homebuyers and found that while 83 percent have been prequalified for a home loan, many have yet to do the required math to determine the actual cost of buying a home.

Only 52 percent have determined a projected monthly payment and 41 percent have yet to calculate their down payment.

Nearly half (48 percent) don’t know how much their mortgage payment would be if they chose a more or less expensive property.

Working with a lender to make these calculations can help buyers be better prepared financially to make an offer on a home and can potentially widen or narrow the price range of homes to consider purchasing.

Michele Lerner  is a freelance writer. To pass on a tip or news item, contact us at realestate@washpost.com and put “Town Square” in the subject line.