By Mike Davis
As a first time buyer, purchasing your first home can be a daunting task. Luckily, there are many helpful programs and resources in the state of Maryland to aid you in the process. By taking a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the many different options offered, you can make your steps to buying your first home much easier and save money along the way.
Maryland Mortgage Program
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) offers the Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP), which aids those meeting certain eligibility requirements with first time home mortgage assistance. The Maryland Mortgage Program provides first time buyers with a 30-year, fixed-rate loan, as well as down payment assistance. Buyers are able to work with any approved MMP lender to apply for these funds.
The requirements for the MMP assistance is income based, depending on household size.
It ranges from an income of $88,400 for a 1-2 person household up to a maximum of $128,760 for larger households. All applicants must complete a HUD approved home buying course to qualify for this first time homebuyer’s program.
Maryland Mortgage Program- You’ve Earned It Initiative & Homefront
Another grant offered by the MMP for those seeking help with first time mortgage assistance, is the You’ve Earned It Initiative. This initiative is in place for first time buyers who live in certain sustainable communities and have at least $25,000 in student debt. If you meet the eligibility requirements, a 0.25% discount is offered on the standard MMP mortgage rate.
First time homebuyers who are active duty military or veterans are also offered a 0.25% discount on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage loan known as Homefront
Maryland Mortgage Program- Maryland Home Credit
In addition to these great programs, the HUD approved lender of your choice can assist in with the Maryland Home Credit, which provides annual federal tax savings. These savings are free of standard DHCD fees.
Baltimore County Closing Cost & Down Payment Programs
If you are looking for a home in Baltimore County, there are two income eligible programs offered by the Baltimore County Department of Planning to specified areas. Moderate to low income new homebuyers can take advantage of the Settlement Expense Loan Program (SELP). SELP can help buyers by assisting them with closing costs. This offers the homebuyer a way to purchase a home without having the full out of pocket expense.
The second is the Mortgage Assistance Loan Program (MALP) which aids with down payment costs. SELP and MALP give the buyer a deferred loan. This type of loan can be forgiven if the buyer meets the HOME Investment Partnership act’s requirements. The requirements ask that buyers must occupy the home for a minimum of 15 years in order to reach the period of affordability (time required for the grant to be forgiven.)
Buying Into Baltimore & City Living Starts Here
For those who prefer city living, there are also some great programs to take advantage of for new homebuyers. Every year, Live Baltimore hosts two events, which provide incentives for the first 30 buyers. Buying Into Baltimore gives a $5,000 incentive towards the purchase of your new home. City Living Starts Here hosts 4 events for neighborhoods in the city, providing ten incentives at each neighborhood focused event. A homeowner education course is one of the requirements for these programs. If you would like to benefit from either of these, you can visit Live Baltimore to check on your program eligibility.
Baltimore City Employee Home Ownership Program
If you are an employee of the city of Baltimore, you may be eligible for a $5,000 grant when purchasing your first home. There are no income eligibility requirements and this grant can be used to purchase houses up to $417,000.
In addition, Firefighters, police officers, and teachers can purchase HUD homes through the Good Neighbors program. If these programs may apply to you, you can contact Marva Allette at 410-396-3124 or by email at *protected email* for more information.
Live Near Your Work
The Live Near Your Work grant is for first time buyers who are purchasing a home in the same area their employer. Baltimore city encourages home ownership in the vicinity of your workplace by matching the amount of assistance given by your employer. For example, if your employer donates $3,000, the city of Baltimore will match their donation by granting $3,000 towards the purchase of your new home. The amount of assistance can range from $2,000-$36,000.
Healthy Neighborhood Loan Program
Homeowners who plan to rehab or refinance a home in certain neighborhoods in the city of Baltimore may benefit from the Healthy Neighborhood Loan Program. This fixed interest loan, which is always 1%-6% below the standard 60 day Fannie Mae rate, can be used on targeted blocks or designated areas. Visit www.healthyneighborhoods.org to learn more about the Healthy Neighborhood Program.
As you can see, there are so many great options to aid first time buyers in the purchase of their new homes. By taking advantage of city and county sponsored grants and programs, buyers are able to save money and achieve the American dream of homeownership. Please be sure to visit the included links for application forms and additional information, then contact your local REALTOR® to assist in the home buying process. Good luck on your journey!