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4 Benefits for Baltimore’s First-Time Homebuyers

butchers-hill-houses-4-bpxntuk02Being 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.


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Josh Mente

Real Estate Leader Josh Mente, is a founding member and owner of The MD Home Team of Keller Williams Excellence, and is responsible for business administration and marketing for the firm. Josh’s career path began in 1998 as a loan officer for Eastern Savings Bank, where he managed national accounts. He later joined Option One Mortgage originating more than 500 transactions per year valued at $100M+ in sales. In 2006, Mente shifted his expertise to real estate sales, gained his license and focused on buy/fix/sell transactions. Josh is a member of Elite Real Estate Network (ERN), the 2009 Rookie of the Year for Long and Foster corporate, and in 2012 ranked 206 and 2013 ranked 234 in Real Trends of the Wall Street Journal, ranking in the top 250 agents nationwide for all brokerages. From any early age, Josh was introverted and worked hard to overcome a fears of sales - a business that doesn't lend itself well to introverted people. When challenged by a manager that he didn’t have what it took for a specific job, Josh pushed forward and won approval in his new position. That was a pivotal moment that set the pace for his success in real estate sales. Having earned an AA degree from Montgomery College in business administration in 1995 and a Bachelors of Arts Degree from Towson University in Mass Communications 1997, Josh married his college sweetheart Melinda and they now have three wonderful daughters that provide the opportunity to watch them grow up and experience things for the first time. A committed sports fanatic, Josh spends time on the golf course, and follows the Ravens and Orioles as a season ticket holder. He is a part owner of two restaurants in Manhattan, enjoys music and time away with the family at their beach house in Rehoboth, DE. He hopes to find time for his hobbies that include building furniture, playing guitar, learning Spanish and flying planes.

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