Being a first-time homebuyer can be a very exciting and equally scary time. There is a ton of information to process, houses to see, and finances to get in order. While it is an overwhelming experience, first-time homebuyers actually hold a lot of cards in their favor. Particularly in Baltimore. Here are a few incentive programs that Charm City has to offer for you:
#1 Baltimore Employer-Based Incentives
These incentives are typically easy to qualify for and fairly easy to understand. There are several incentives, but here are a few of the most popular ones:
- Baltimore City Employee Homeownership Incentive: a deferred forgivable loan up to $5,000 that depreciates by 20% each year you live in your home. To qualify, you must be an employee for a city agency and employed by the mayor and city council.
- Live Near Your Work Incentive: provides $2,000-$17,000 to homebuyers. Eligibility depends on where you work and how close the house you buy is to your work. Ask your employer if they participate in this incentive program. The goal here is to encourage homeownership near place of employment
- Good Neighbor Next Door: an incentive for Baltimore city teacher’s grade K-12, fire fighters/EMTs, and police officers. To qualify, you have to commit to live in your home for at least 3 years and choose a specific home.
#2 Home Ownership Assistance Program
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Assistance Program allots $5,000 for you to use on your first home. In order to qualify, your household income should be less than 80% of the area’s median income ($44,750 individual, $63,900 family of four). This is a five-year forgivable loan, meaning your balance will be forgiven by 20% every year until you no longer owe. Pretty awesome, right?
#3 Buying into Baltimore
This is a great $5,000 incentive that you can use to buy a house anywhere in Baltimore City. Twenty people are selected by a lottery to receive awards twice a year. Your mortgage amount cannot exceed $517,000 and winners must close within 60 days of being chosen. They even offer incentive tours where you can meet with real estate experts and community organizations while touring Baltimore neighborhoods. These events take place every other month. Find out more here.
#4 Maryland Mortgage Program – “You’ve Earned It”
This is a special interest rate and down payment assistance program for those with a lot of student loan debt. The buyer must have at least $25,000 in student debt to receive this deferred loan. The loan will have to be paid back at time of sale of property without interest. For a limited time, the MMP is offering a 0.25% discount on the standard Maryland Mortgage Program mortgage rate and $5,000 in down payment assistance to qualified home buyers who have at least $25,000 in student debt and are purchasing a home in one of Maryland’s sustainable communities. These communities are regions across the state where communities, businesses, and governments are working to achieve sustainable grown, jobs, and neighborhoods.
If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you can see there’s a lot out there for you in our great city to help you get your foot in the door of your first home! For more information on these programs, contact a member of the MD Home Team.