There are several first-time homebuyer programs in Maryland, but you might not be aware of all of them. And because these programs can change (and new ones can pop up), it’s a good idea to talk to your REALTOR® if you’re a first time homebuyer; he may be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to helpful programs designed just for you. Whether you’re looking at Ellicott City homes for sale, Catonsville homes, real estate in Columbia, or something else, your REALTOR will be there to ensure you get the most from your transaction.
First-Time Homebuyer Programs in Maryland
When you’re buying a home in Maryland, you might qualify for national first-time homebuyer programs as well as state programs. We’ll get into those, too, but first, you need to know that for most programs, you don’t necessarily have to be a first-time buyer. In fact, many programs allow you to be:
- A person who hasn’t owned a principal residence in the past 3 years
- A single parent who has only owned a home with a former spouse (while married)
- A person who’s a displaced homemaker and has only owned a home with a spouse
- A person who has only owned a principal residence that’s not permanently affixed to a permanent foundation (such as a trailer)
- A person who has only owned a property that wasn’t up to code and could not be brought up to code for less money than building a permanent structure
Every program is different, but if you fall into one of these categories, you could be eligible for first-time homebuyer assistance.
Some national first-time homebuyer programs include:
- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
- FHA loans
- VA loans
- USDA loans
Related: VA loan FAQ
The latest first-time homebuyer programs in Maryland include:
- 4% Grant Assist
- 6% Opportunity Grant
- Maryland Homefront Mortgage
- Maryland Mortgage Premier
- Maryland SmartBuy Mortgage
- Partner Match
- Preferred Rate Mortgage
- You’ve Earned It Mortgage
Here’s a closer look at each.
4% Grant Assist
The 4% Grant Assist includes a grant totaling 4 percent of the Maryland Mortgage Program loan to use toward closing costs or a down payment. Learn more here.
6% Opportunity Grant
The Maryland 6% Opportunity Grant is for income-selected homebuyers who are buying a house with a Freddie Mac Housing Finance Agencies Advantage mortgage.
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, or DHCD, offers several types of financial assistance programs that make it easier to buy a home. These programs offer 30-year mortgages with competitive interest rates, closing cost and down payment assistance, and some rate discounts and tax credits for eligible borrowers.
The Maryland HomeCredit program lets homeowners claim an annual federal tax credit that’s equivalent to 25 percent of their mortgage interest payments in a tax year. Over time, that can save you tens of thousands of dollars – and it makes ownership that much more affordable.
- You cannot have owned a home within the past three years unless you’re purchasing in a targeted area or using a veteran’s one-time exemption
- You must meet the same income limits and purchase price limits as you would with the Maryland Mortgage Program
- You must be purchasing a primary residence
Maryland Homefront Mortgage
Maryland Homefront Mortgages are available to veterans and military families, and they provide a special interest rate discount of 0.25 percent for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.
Maryland Mortgage Premier
Maryland Mortgage Premier provides competitive interest rates and, for those who qualify, a no-interest, deferred loan of up to $5,000 that you can use to cover your down payment and closing costs.
Maryland SmartBuy Mortgage
The Maryland SmartBuy program helps people who have qualifying student debt and want to buy a home. The program pays off student debt during the purchase of a home through a special kind of Maryland Mortgage Program financing.
- You must have an existing student debt with a minimum balance of $1,000
- You must pay off your full student debt at the time you purchase the home
Maryland’s Partner Match programs offer extra down payment and closing cost assistance for people who qualify. These programs work with only certain Maryland Mortgage Program loans, and participating partners provide assistance directly.
Preferred Rate Mortgage
These loans, through the Maryland Mortgage Rate Assist, give eligible buyers the most affordable loans possible by providing the lowest available interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-interest home loan. You can use this program with a Maryland HomeCredit program to lower your monthly payments over the loan’s lifetime.
You’ve Earned It Mortgage
Maryland’s You’ve Earned It Mortgage program offers a 0.25 percent discount on the standard Maryland Mortgage Program rate, $5,000 in down payment assistance to qualified buyers with at least $25,000 in student debt, and who purchase a home in a sustainable community.
Are You Buying a Home in Ellicott City?
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or not, we can help you find the right home. Call us at 443-955-1227 to let us know what you’re looking for. If it’s easier, fill out the form below and tell us there.