Maryland Mortgage Program | 2017 Grants and First Time Home Buyer Assistance

Maryland Mortgage Program

The State of Maryland has introduced several different loan programs to benefit potential home buyers. The Maryland Mortgage Program is the state’s flagship homeownership program. It has helped thousands of families achieve the dream of home ownership. This is done through a combination of down payment assistance, tax credits, interest rate options, and homebuyer education resources.

The Maryland Mortgage Program does however have certain criteria that must be met by the borrower or co-borrowers to be eligble. Being eligible however, doesn’t automatically mean that an applicant will be approved for a home loan. Standard underwriting practices apply, which means that a loan officer will consider a range of factors when determining whether funds can be borrowed to purchase a home and how much can be borrowed. Factors like income and current debt, employment status, and credit history will all be considered.

Maryland Mortgage Program Loan Products

Down Payment Assistance & Partner Match Programs

Coming up with the money for a down payment and other upfront costs is often the largest hurdle facing first-time homebuyers. Even with certain mortgages that require low down payments, these expenses will still usually total several thousand dollars.

The Maryland Mortgage Program provides help in the form of Down Payment Assistance, as well as a range of Partner Match programs. Partner Match can be contributed from employers, developers, and community organizations. They can help you cover these down payment and closing costs.  These programs may make it possible for first-time homebuyers to afford a mortgage when they would not be able to do so the conventional way.

Maryland Mortgage Program - Maryland Down Payment Assistance & Partner Match Programs

Maryland SmartBuy

The Maryland SmartBuy initiative helps homebuyers with eligible student debt purchase a home. The program offers highly attractive financing and closing cost assistance for move-in ready homes. It includes loan forgiveness of up to 15% of the purchase price.
Maryland Mortgage Program - Maryland SmartBuy

Maryland HomeFront

Maryland Homefront provides military veterans and active duty military with a special interest rate discount. The interest rate discount is 0.25% for a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage. This initiative is in appreciation of the contributions made by members of the United States armed services and their families.
Maryland Mortgage Program - Maryland HomeFront

Maryland Preferred

Homebuyers can get an even lower interest rate than the standard Maryland Mortgage Program home loan by choosing the Maryland Preferred Rate Program. The lower interest rate helps borrowers obtain significant savings each month on their mortgage payments.

  • Reduced Interest Rate on standard Maryland Mortgage loans
  • Maryland HomeCredit Fee waived – $450 value
  • Save up to $150 a month with lower PMI expenses
Maryland Mortgage Program - Maryland Preffered Rate

Maryland Mortgage Grant Assist

The Maryland Mortgage Grant Assist Program provides eligible homebuyers a grant valued at 4% of the first mortgage. This grant is applied to closing costs only. This grant does not need to be repaid, and funds available through this grant in excess of closing costs are applied to principle reduction of the purchase. The Maryland Mortgage Program has made homeownership more affordable for thousands of families. It comes with the security that only the state’s flagship homeownership program can provide.
Maryland Mortgage Program - Maryland Mortgage Grant Assist

Maryland HomeCredit

A Maryland HomeCredit can save a homebuyer tens of thousands of dollars over the life of a home loan. The program offers Down Payment Assistance and the certainty of a 30-year fixed interest rate. The State of Maryland is making the dream of sustainable homeownership a reality for more Marylanders than ever.
Maryland Mortgage Program - Maryland HomeCredit


First Time Home Buyers
MMP borrowers and Maryland HomeCredit applicants must be First Time Homebuyers, who are defined as individuals who have not owned a home anywhere for at least three years. Exceptions to this include borrowers who are purchasing a home in a Targeted area and military veterans. Military veterans may qualify to use a one-time exemption from the First Time Homebuyer requirements with the submission of a DD-214.
Household Income Limits
There are upper limits that apply to applicants’ total household income. The exact limit depends on the size pf the household and the Maryland location where the property is being purchased. Refer to the Maryland Mortgage Program limits by household size and location here at the Income and Purchase Price Limits page.
Property as Primary Residence
The purchased property must be for the borrower to live in as their primary residence. A MMP loan or Maryland HomeCredit cannot be used for the purchase of an investment property or a house for someone else to live in. Borrowers may not own any other real property at the time of settlement.
Completion of Homebuyer Education
All borrowers must complete a Homebuyer Education class. In some counties, this needs to be done before a contract is signed on a house or may require face to face counseling. A MMP approved lender can help borrowers identify any special homebuyer education requirements in a jurisdiction where a property is being purchased. The Maryland Mortgage Program website has details of some HomeBuyer Education classes available by region.
Some Property Restrictions Apply
New construction homes, or properties less than one year old, can only be purchased with a MMP loan if they are within the Priority Funding Areas. Eligible properties are single family, one-unit residences, including townhomes, detached or semi-detached homes. Condominiums that are on the approved list for FHA orFNMA are eligible except for when purchased with conventional loans with an LTV of over 95%. Second homes, rental properties, and manufactured homes are not eligible properties under MMP. 
Liquid Assets
Limits apply to the amount of liquid assets a borrower may have. An MMP approved lender will apply an Asset Test for borrowers whose liquid assets equal or exceed 20% of the purchase price of the property to help determine eligibility.

Home Buyer Education

For many borrowers in Maryland, completing any of the listed Homebuyer Education classes will qualify you for Down Payment Assistance and Partner Match programs (your lender will include your certificate of completion in your loan documentation). To find a Homebuyer Education Class close to you, visit the Maryland Mortgage Program Homebuyer Education page.

Anne Arundel County:

  • Homebuyer Education must be provided by a HUD-Approved housing counseling agency.
  • The borrower must complete a Homebuyer Education class that includes at least eight hours of education on credit, budget, savings, the settlement process, and mortgage products.
  • NOTE: ​The City of Annapolis does not have special requirements for homebuyer education.​

Baltimore City:

  • First-Time Homebuyers (see “Definitions” below) must complete Homebuyer Education with an organization approved by Baltimore City, and obtain a certificate of completion BEFORE entering into a contract of sale to purchase a home.
  • Move-Up Homebuyers (see “Definitions” below) must complete Homebuyer Education with an organization approved by Baltimore City, and obtain a certificate of completion BEFORE CLOSING.

Baltimore County:

  • Homebuyer Education must be received from one of the following agencies:
    • Belair-Edison Neighborhoods, Inc.
    • Diversified Housing Development
    • Eastside Community Development Corp., Inc.
    • Harbel Housing Partnership Program
    • St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center​​
  • Workshop and individual counseling must be completed and a certificate of completion received BEFORE the borrower enters into a contract of sale to purchase a home.

Harford County:

  • Homebuyer Education must include a minimum of two hours of one-on-one, face-to-face counseling and three hours of workshop counseling. The counseling must be conducted by a HUD-approved housing counseling agency or by a lender that uses the services of a mortgage insurer with an established education/counseling program.​