If you’re a first-time homebuyer contemplating settling down in the gorgeous state of Maryland, you may be attracted to its beautiful outdoor scenery or its proximity to Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City. While the state is absolutely stunning in its natural forests, sandy beaches, and freshwater creeks, the price tag on new homes can be a bit hefty. Fortunately, there are several programs for new homeowners to help make your new purchase a bit easier.
While you are shopping for your dream home, you might notice a gap between the purchase price and the mortgage you can afford. To help you as a new homebuyer purchase your dream house, Maryland offers multiple programs to provide financial assistance so that you can close that gap, pack your bags and settle into your new house!
Who qualifies as a first-time homebuyer in Maryland?
In Maryland, an individual who has not owned a home in the past three years is considered a first-time homebuyer. There are some exceptions to this, such as homeowners purchasing in a Targeted Area and some qualified veterans. When reviewing the guidelines for each program, check the specific requirements for exceptions.
Statewide First-Time Buyer Programs
Maryland Mortgage Program 1st Time Advantage
For Marylanders who are looking to purchase their first home, the Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) offers 30-year fixed-rate home loans to eligible homebuyers. Any down payment or closing cost assistance opportunities through MMP are only available in combination with a loan product. For first-time buyers, MMP offers the 1st Time Advantage Program with a line of products to meet your needs. All of these products offer the lowest interest rate available for MMP loans, but they cannot be layered with the mortgage credit certificates program. Other requirements and eligibility criteria may apply, so visit the website for details.
Statewide Non First-Time Buyer Programs
While the above programs are strictly available for first-time homebuyers, there are other statewide programs to assist individuals looking to move from one home they have owned into another.
Flex Loans, also offered through Maryland Mortgage Program, provide grants or no-interest, deferred loans for assistance with down payment and/or closing costs. These are not restricted to first-time buyers and repeat homeowners may also be eligible. First-time homeowners may be able to layer the mortgage credit certificate with a flex loan. There are a few options in the line of Flex Loans with different benefits. Be sure to visit the website to learn more.
Financial assistance may be offered by several various organizations. For example, your employer, homebuilders, or real estate developers may offer alternative financial assistance programs for new buyers. For eligible borrowers who receive assistance from any of these or similar organizations but choose a Maryland DHCD mortgage, the Partner Match program will match those funds up to $2,500 in a no-interest deferred loan to be used as a down payment assistance. See the website for details and eligibility criteria.
Maryland SmartBuy 2.0
Are you ready to settle down, but worried about your student debt? MMP’s SmartBuy 2.0 program allows individuals with student debt to purchase a home in the state of Maryland that meets the program’s preferred guidelines. The homebuyer must have an existing debt of at least $1,000 and the full student debt for at least one of the borrowers must be completely paid off to qualify. Financing for Maryland SmartBuy 2.0 provides up to 15% of the purchase price for the borrower to pay off their student debt. The maximum payoff amount is $30,000. To see more details and learn about eligibility criteria, visit their website.
Homebuyer Programs by Location
In addition to statewide programs, there are often homebuyer assistance programs based in different cities and counties in a state.
Residents who are considering living in Maryland’s most populous city should first check the Baltimore City Department of Housing & Community Development website. First-time buyers in Baltimore may be eligible for one of several incentive programs to promote homeownership and apply to your down payment and lower your closing costs. See their website for a full list of programs and details on how to apply.
Marylanders who reside in Frederick (or dream of purchasing a home there!) may take advantage of the Frederick Community Partners Incentive Program. This program provides down payment and closing cost assistance for first-time homebuyers purchasing a house within the city. See the website for details.
In the City of Gaithersburg, residents may participate in homeowners assistance programs such as the Gaithersburg Homebuyer Assistance Loan Program to obtain assistance with down payment and/or closing costs. For more information on the program including eligibility criteria, please visit the website.
Residents of Hagerstown also have the opportunity to partake in various incentives for homeowners through local government officials. The City provides financial assistance to qualified individuals or families through the Hagerstown Homeownership Program. Income limits and other eligibility criteria may apply, so be sure to visit the website for details.
Marylanders residing in Anne Arundel County will want to visit the municipal website to learn more about the ACDS Mortgage Assistance Program for first-time buyers. This program is specifically for first-time homeowners living in the county. The program provides deferred loans to first-time homebuyers to assist with down payment and closing costs. See the website for more details.
Offered by Baltimore County, the Settlement Expense Loan Program (SELP) provides financial support to low- and moderate-income, first-time homebuyers. The County government may lend up to $10,000 to income-eligible borrowers to help pay closing costs when buying an existing home within Baltimore County. See the website for more information on eligibility and income limits.
Residents of Howard County should check out the Settlement Down Payment Loan Program through the Howard County’s Department of Housing & Community Development. This program provides financial assistance to put toward down payment and closing costs. Eligibility may be dependent upon multiple factors, so be sure to check out the website to learn more.
For residents looking to buy a house in Montgomery County, be sure to visit the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County to peruse the Montgomery County Closing Cost Assistance Program. There are several options to the program depending on your qualifications, so be sure to visit the website to learn more.
Prince George’s County
Residents of Prince George’s County may be interested in the Prince George’s County Purchase Assistance Program, or PGCPAP. Eligible borrowers will receive financial assistance in the form of down payment, mortgage principal reduction, and/or closing costs. This deferred loan has a maximum limit of $15,000. Police officers, deputy sheriffs, teachers, firefighters, EMTs, and nurses may also be eligible for an additional $5,000 based on their specific needs. See the website for details and how to apply.
Find Your Dream Home
Whether you are a mountain climber or are a fan of the coast, it’s easy to fall in love with the natural scenery in Maryland. Hopefully, this list will give you a place to start while looking for ways to finance your dream home. Check out some of these options, and you’ll be home in no time!
The links on this site were researched by NewHomeSource. This is as cohesive a list as possible. Individual homebuyers should contact entities to fully understand requirements and processes.
Melanie Theriault is a writer, counselor, and lifelong learner. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Southwestern University, where she discovered her passion for fostering human connection through storytelling.