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:
- Your household income should be less than 80% of the area median income
- 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!
- 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.
- This is a deferred loan and will have to be paid back at time of sale of property without interest
- Buyer must have at least $25,000.00 in student debt
- Interest rate is a .25 percentage point under
- Mortgage loan cannot exceed $525,901.00
- 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:
- Mortgage amount cannot exceed $517,000.00.
- 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.
- Winners must close within 60 days for being selected.
- Co-signers, cash sales, or owner financing are not permitted.
- No short sales, no foreclosures, and no new construction will be considered.
- Home buyer must invest at least $1000.00 from personal resources
Most new Maryland buyers ask for the seller(s) for contribution towards the down payment and other upfront closing costs they need to buy their first home. While a good agent can help you negotiate seller concession, also known as seller help or seller contribution toward closing there are other resources available to you. The Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) is a down payment assistance program offered to first time home buyers looking to purchase in the state of Maryland. While it is not “free money” it is a 0% interest deferred loan. This loan will give you up to $5,000.00 toward your down payment and is paid off only when you sell without interest.
**To be eligible for this program applicants must be:
- First time home buyers, who have never owned (or held title for) a principal residence anywhere in the last three years.
- Purchasing the home to use as their primary residence. Home may NOT be used as an investment property or rental.
- Able to complete a Homebuyer Education course. *This course needs to be finished, your one on one counseling session completed, and you should have your certificate in hand prior to making an offer or gong under contract on a home.
- Making a MAXIMUM income of $108,600.00 (for 1-2 people) or $126,700.00 (for a household of 3).
**Other important factors that apply outside of being approved include:
- Your current debt, employment status, and credit history.
- Loan type:
· FHA loans require a minimum credit score of 660.
· Conventional loans require a minim credit score of 640.
- Your debt-to-income ratio must also meet the loan requirements for your loan type.
**Important details you’ll need to know:
- Your new mortage loan cannot exceed $525,901.00.
- You CAN use this program with other grant incentives.
- Home buyer must use an approved lender.
Programs like this have helped the majority of my first time home buyers afford their new home. If you are interested in learning more about the MMP please contact Meighan Sweeney at Meighan@CrabbyHomes.com
The housing market can be a fickle thing, and while many people look to roll the dice and get lucky in the house flipping game few are able to turn a profit. When working with Baltimore investors, or new home buyers looking to cash in on resale down the road, I always say Baltimore’s Highlandtown neighborhood is the place to buy now. Highlandtown, zip code 21224, boarders the booming neighborhood of Canton. Canton has it all: nightlife, shopping, restaurants, water views, and the price tag shows it. Curious how far your dollar goes in the Canton area, click here.
Lately I’ve been working with some smart millennials, on a first time home buyers budget. Many have decided to look slightly south to Highlandtown area. Highlandtown has long been home to Baltimore staples like Di Pasquales, The Creative Alliance Theater, and the always charming Laughing Pint. Highlandtown Main Street has a strong community force aiding in the area’s popularity.
Additionally, in the last year we have seen the sale and demolition of the iconic Haussners building on Eastern Avenue which is to be rebuilt into luxury apartments, a Mount Pleasant church is set to become a seventy unit condominium building, and smart contractors are buying homes in need of rehab. Hip new restaurants like “Snake Hill Tavern” and “Gnocco” are popping up on Highlandtown corners.
The numbers don’t lie. New rehabs are listing in the low 200’s and closing at or slightly under ask. 3 bedroom 1 baths in need of renovations are moving much higher than they were only five years ago but a savvy Baltimore investors can buy in the 50-70K range and turn a heathy profit quickly. Curious what’s out there? Email me, Meighan Sweeney, for a list of the great Highlandtown investments.
Many people renting a home question if they are throwing their money away month after month by not buying a home of their own. First time home buyers are often shocked to learn that they could own their own home for less than what they are paying in rent right around the corner from their current residence.
Take 8013 Park Haven for example, this home is listed at only $149,000.00. I asked our preferred lender, Coastal Lending Group, if a first time home buyer is puts 3.5% down on a 30 year fixed mortgage, wha’ts their estimated monthly payment. Jon Vitak of Coastal Lending Group, responded that it would cost is less than $1100.00 a month. This makes buying a smart move especially when comparable rentals in the area run from $1,200.00 to $1,500.00 per month. Ask yourself: Why am I waiting to buy?
8013 Park Haven sits directly park side in a quiet Dundalk neighborhood in Baltimore County. It features 2 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, brand new stainless steel appliances, and new roof. This well maintained and affordable row home is the perfect starter house for first time home buyer or family. See below for some property photos. I help a lot of first time home buyers get into thier new home. If you’d like help, please contact me, Meighan Sweeney.
I’m what you may call an over planner, a scrupulous decision maker, an advanced weigher of options. Basically, I like to know the ins and outs, and dissect every pro versus con of every decision before taking a plunge – believe me I have the lists to prove it.
So, at the age of 32, having worked in the hospitality industry, the fitness arena, and in sales I found myself once again weighing options. Career change… Really? I mean, I had some good things going for me. I was paying bills, and putting some money in the bank while I was at it, so why rock the boat when it seems to be smooth sailing?
I’m not sure if it’s my greatest asset, or my greatest vice, but I have what you may call an “ambition issue.” I had a career, I’ve had a few, but always felt limited. I’d hit the ceiling with nowhere else to go. What could I do that would allow me to have no ceiling? What gives the people willing to work for it no limit to personal and earning potential to match a work ethic? What business allows you to simply work hard and see your hard work pay off? Where can intense motivation and energy actually see an equal reward? Real estate.
Yes, real estate, more specifically Baltimore real estate. Being through the daunting home buying process myself, I knew being a first time home buyer can be terrifying and that most the people in the world think of real estate agents as sleazy used car salesmen. I also knew that the industry is flooded with Baltimore Realtors, this was concerning to me. Could I do this and could I help maybe take the “ick factor” out of being an agent? I drilled every friend I knew in the business and began my lists. Pro – I love working with people, I love interacting and helping people especially during exciting times.
Pro -I not only have experience in sales, but was a top producer in my industry.
Pro – I’m well networked and versed in the many neighborhoods of Maryland. Things were looking up for ol’ Meighan Sweeney!
Oh, but wait, the Cons. Yes there were a few standing in the way of my starry eyed vision. By my calculations it was going to cost me just about a million bazillion dollars to get started (okay minor exaggeration,) but between classes, getting licensed, becoming affiliated with a broker, marketing, registering, signs, cards, and well I would go on but you get the idea; to make a long story short I was going have to drop some major coin if I was going to do this. Also, while I am driven and motivated, like so many things in this world, the reward was no guarantee, while the risk seemed ample. Also a major con, it would be a slow start into, from what I could tell, is a dog eat dog world.
Lucky for me, as I mentioned before, I had lots of friends in the biz. It was with their guidance, and their reassurance that I pulled the trigger, registered for classes, and hit the ground running. I’ve been told that real estate is a “business built on relationships.” I have to say, as things play out, not only is that completely true, but I am already not only capitalizing on my relationships but building a future upon them.
The picture above was taken this month, January 2016. I had my first settlement of the year and placed Nelson V. into the 21224!