Programs aid home purchases

June 02, 2002

The following programs are available to help prospective home buyers:

Maryland Mortgage Program

This program helps first-time home buyers or people who haven't owned a home in three years buy a home. It also helps people without those restrictions if the home is in the Hagerstown Smart Growth area.

The interest rate is below market and subject to change weekly. Call the Hagerstown Home Store at 301-797-0900 for the latest.

The 30-year fixed loan requires a small down payment. Gift funds for closing costs are acceptable.

The qualifying ratios are 29 percent and 41 percent.

To participate in this program, the maximum purchase price for an existing home in Washington County is $133,918. The maximum price for a newly constructed home is $142,500.


Applicants must file a tax return, complete home buyer education and purchase a home inspection. Home buyer education consists of a workshop and a private consultation with a housing adviser.

The income level for a one- or two-person household must be no more than $69,400. For a household with three or more people, income can be no more than $76,935.

Smart Move 2000 Incentive Awards

This program helps first-time home buyers, people who haven't owned a home in three years or a tenant improve a newly purchased home with grants of up to $5,000.

The home must be in the Hagerstown Revitalization Area, which includes most of downtown Hagerstown and extends into portions of the West End and South End.

The property must have been on the market for at least 75 days, unless it's being bought by a tenant.

The home buyer must live in the house.

The Smart Move 2000 Awards Committee must preapprove home improvements. The work must be done by a licensed contractor.

The award may be forgiven if the owner lives in the property for at least five years.

City of Hagerstown Homeownership Program

This program helps low- and moderate-income households buy homes renovated through the City of Hagerstown's Homeownership Program.

Applicants must have good or improving credit with no outstanding liens or judgments.

Buyers must use the Maryland Mortgage Program for their first mortgage.

Second mortgages can be obtained to cover down payments. Closing costs are available with low interest rates and flexible terms based on the buyer's affordability.

The home buyer must contribute at least $500 toward purchase.

City of Hagerstown Smart Growth Second Mortgage Program

The program provides second mortgages for buyers purchasing homes in targeted neighborhoods using Maryland Mortgage Program financing.

This program can be used to pay the difference between the first mortgage and the selling price. It also could be used to pay the first mortgage loan origination fee and other settlement costs.

The maximum second mortgage is $10,000.

The loan terms are determined by affordability. Applicants could get 0 percent to 4 percent interest with deferred payments for up to 30 years.

Guidelines for the City Homeownership Program and Smart Growth Second Mortgages include:

-- Home buyer education must be completed.

-- The applicant cannot be a homeowner.

- There is a minimum $500 down payment.

The income limits are:

One person - $30,700.

Two people - $35,050.

Three people - $39,450.

Four people - $43,850.

Five people - $47,350.

Six people - $50,850.

Seven people - $54,350.

Eight people - $57,850.

Maryland Home Financing Program - Homeownership for Individual with Disabilities

At least one borrower must be disabled and provide a Certificate of Disability.

Home buyer education is required.

The fixed interest rate is 3 percent. The maximum income level is $38,170 and the maximum purchase price is $100,000. The qualifying ratios are 32 percent and 40 percent.

The maximum first mortgage amount is $100,000. This is based on the lesser of the purchase price or the appraised value, including eligible closing costs.

The loan is for 30 to 40 years, based on affordability.

Participants must contribute at least $500 in cash, which can be a gift.

Private mortgage insurance is not required.

Habitat for Humanity of Washington County

Habitat for Humanity is an ecumenical Christian group of volunteers and donors from all faiths and traditions that provides homes and low-interest loans for families that cannot get a home mortgage through other means.

Applicants must participate in the family selection process and fulfill the volunteer service requirement.

The down payment is $400.

Most homes cost between $35,000 and $45,000 with monthly payments between $250 and $350.

Income limits

One person - $10,500 to $17,700.

Two people - $11,450 to $20,200.

Three people - $12,900 to $22,750.

Four people - $14,350 to $25,250.

Five people - $15,500 to $27,250.

Six people - $16,650 to $29,300.

Seven people - $17,800 to $31,300.

Eight or more people - $18,950 to $33,350.

Call 301-791-9009 for more information.

Call the Hagerstown Home Store at 301-797-0900 for complete program guidelines, applications and a list of local lenders.

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