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"Buying Into Baltimore" first-time home buyer incentive increased

Buying a home in Baltimore just got $1000 less expensive for potential homebuyers. Baltimore Housing has increased its funding commitment to Live Baltimore's popular "Buying Into Baltimore" event. A total of $200,000 will be made available this fall for qualified event participants. First time homebuyers can now receive $4,000, towards their homes. Prior to the funding increase the grants were $3,000. A total of 50 awards will be available.

This fall's "Buying Into Baltimore" event will take place on Saturday, September 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School, 3500 Hillen Road. It will feature the City's East Side neighborhoods.

Live Baltimore has organized the biannual "Buying into Baltimore" program since 1998. It includes neighborhood tours, educational workshops and an exhibitor fair.Participation in the tours as well as homeownership counseling qaulifies participants to receive funds for the downpayment or closing costs of a city home. Baltimore Housing provides the funding and administers the money, structured as five-year forgivable loans.

"We are very excited about this increased commitment by Baltimore Housing to encourage homeownership," says Anna Custer, Live Baltimore executive director. "With the expiration of the federal homebuyer tax credit, many potential buyers are sitting on the sidelines. We're hopeful this bigger award will help buyers get back in the game."

To receive the funds, participants must:

1) live in the desired home as the primary owner/occupant,

2) possess a valid homeownership counseling certificate,

3) participate in the "Buying into Baltimore" tour and have the tour ticket validated at four homes,

4) buy in the eastern part of Baltimore (see Live Baltimore website for boundary details),

5) purchase a home that is less than $417,000, and

6) sign the home sales contract after the event takes place.

Funds are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants must close on a house within 90 days of the eastern region fair to receive the $4,000 award. There are no income restrictions on this program, nor does a recipient have to be a first-time homebuyer. Full details about the award and the event are available on the organization's website: www.livebaltimore.com/bib.

"The market is ripe with great opportunities for first time home buyers," says Baltimore Housing Commissioner, Paul T. Graziano. "Baltimore is a great place to live and low interest rates matched with our $4000 in financial assistance could help the perspective home buyer capitalize immensely on the current market."

Source: Live Baltimore
Writer: Walaika Haskins

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