Baltimore City First Time Home Buyers Incentives

March 6, 2017 by Meighan Sweeney

 If you are like most first time home buyers you might be overwhelmed by down payment and closing costs that come with buying a home.  While a good agent will help you to negotiate seller help they should also be knowledgeable about the resources available to you through Live Baltimore. Savvy buyers can use these incentives combined with state programs leaving their out of pocket expenses next to nothing.   As with the MMP  there are certain prerequisites, but most first time home buyers are eligible for one if not more of these programs.  Also, as with the MMP, you must attend the FTHB class, complete your one on one counseling, and receive your certificate to be eligible prior to entering a contract.

Home Ownership Assistance Program:  
The community block grant (CDBG) you can qualify for $5000.00 toward your fist home.  
You should know:

  1. Your household income should be less than 80% of the area median income
  2. This is a five year forgivable loan which means your balance is forgiven by 20% every year until you no longer owe, not a bad deal!
  3. You must receive a HQS (housing quality home inspection) on the property.  This means you must use a home inspector with this certification.

Baltimore Employer-Based incentives:  are among the easiest to understand, receive, and qualify for.
There are several, here are just a few of the most popular:

  1. Live Near Your Work: provides between $2,000-$17,000 to homebuyers.   The amount you are eligible for depends on where you work and where you buy in proximity to your work. You can ask your employer if they participate in this program.

  2. Good Neighbor Next Door: This incentive is for Baltimore city teacher’s grade K-12, fire fighters/EMTs, and police officers.  You must commit to living in the home for at least 3 years and must choose a home from city specific/HUD homes.
  3. Baltimore city Employee Homeownership Incentive:is a deferred forgivable loan up to $5,000 that depreciates by 20% every year you live in the home.  Employee for city agencies who are employed by the mayor and city council qualify.  Also your mortgage can not exceed $417,000.00, you must put $1000.00 of your own money toward the purchase, and one person per household may apply. 

MMP “You’ve Earned It” : is a special interest rate and down payment assistance program for those with high student loan dept. 

  1. This is a deferred loan and will have to be paid back at time of sale of property without interest
  2. Buyer must have at least $25,000.00 in student debt
  3. Interest rate is a .25 percentage point under
  4. Mortgage loan cannot exceed  $525,901.00
  5. Homebuyer must invest at least $1000.00 of personal funds

Buying into Baltimore is a $5000.00 incentive that can be used to buy a home anywhere in Baltimore City.  There are two events: a spring/summer and fall/winter.  20 individuals will be selected by a lottery to receive awards.  You need to know:

  1. Mortgage amount cannot exceed $517,000.00.
  2. Applicants have ten business days after attending to enter into a contract on a home and submit the application to be eligible for the lottery.
  3. Winners must close within 60 days for being selected.
  4. Co-signers, cash sales, or owner financing are not permitted.
  5. No short sales, no foreclosures, and no new construction will be considered.
  6. Home buyer must invest at least $1000.00 from personal resources


If you have questions about any of these programs, or think you may qualify, please contact me at  


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Meighan Sweeney - Realtor · 2314 Boston St
Baltimore · MD 21224

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