This week I spent time investigating the resources offered by “Live Baltimore Home Center” which is a fully independent non-profit entity dedicated to promote Baltimore City as a community of choice. Baltimore is a city of neighborhoods, from classic federal row homes to high-rise condos on the inner harbor to detached craftsman-style homes on shady tree-lined streets; there is something for every taste in virtually every budget.
Here is an overview of some of the great incentive programs that are being offered by the Baltimore Housing Authority:
My favorite is the “Buying into Baltimore Trolley Tour”. Neighborhood tours are scheduled in the spring and fall. The first 50 homebuyers that attend the trolley tour and execute a sales contract within 90 days receive a $5,000 award towards closing costs. To qualify for this program the mortgage loan may not exceed $417,000. Buyer must contribute at least $1000 towards the purchase and must use the property as the principle residence.
Baltimore City Live Near Your Work Program is a partnership between participating employers and the City of Baltimore designed to encourage homeownership near your place of employment. This is a program for employees of participating companies who are first time homebuyers in the City of Baltimore. Up to $5000 in grant money is available with no annual income limits.
“Vacant to Value Program” and the “Vacant to Value Booster Program” A borrower utilizing the Buying into Baltimore Incentive Program to purchase a City owned property will receive a $5000 deferred loan. The property must be owner-occupied. In addition to this program, the booster program will offer $10,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance.
This program is for disabled borrowers or borrowers that are the parent of a child with a disability. The family income cannot exceed $85,000 and the sale price cannot exceed $300,000. The mortgage program offers a 3% to 5% interest rate loan for eligible buyers. City settlement funds are part of the program. The minimum cash requirement is approximately $900.
I love this program. This is a program for tenants buying the homes they are currently renting, City funds are available for help with the settlement costs. The minimum cash requirement is $1000.
This is a program for first-time homebuyers with a counseling certificate from a City approved counseling agency. A certified lead abatement inspector must inspect the property of choice. The program can give qualified applicants $5,000 towards down payment and settlement expenses structured as a 5-year loan forgivable 20 percent per year. Additionally, if you qualify for other mortgage incentive programs, you can “stack” these incentives to pay all of your closing cost expenses and may have enough residual to reduce your mortgage principal. Baltimore Housing has witnessed homebuyers “stacking” more than $20,000 in incentive funds. There are income limitations to qualify for this program. A minimum of $1000 down must come directly from the purchaser.
· Newly Constructed Dwelling Tax Credit
· Rehabilitated Vacant Dwelling Tax Credit
· Home Improvement Tax Credit
· Historic Landmarks and District Tax Credit
These tax incentive programs run from 5 year to 10 year periods, sometimes allowing as much as 100% tax credit on increased value. Don’t buy in Baltimore without getting hip on programs that may benefit you, the homebuyer.
Baltimore is a vibrant and affordable city. If you want to become a homeowner and you have a limited amount of funds to make this happen, Baltimore City has a lot to offer.
Broker / Owner Guerilla Realty and
Vice President Tranzon Fox Auctions
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