Maryland First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2020

NerdWalletJanuary 23, 2020
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On a similar note...
Maryland First-Time Homebuyer Programs

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Whether you want to live in the hills of western Maryland or the historic neighborhoods of Baltimore, buying your first house can be intimidating. Knowing where to find the right loan and assistance programs makes the process easier, especially if you have less-than-perfect credit or need help with a down payment.

Learn more about the first-time home buyer programs available from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, or DHCD, as well as national loan programs that may benefit you.

National first-time home buyer programs

These loans, available in all 50 states, offer flexible underwriting requirements that come in handy when you're a first time home buyer. If you've had credit issues or struggled to save up a big down payment, be sure to explore these national mortgage options.

DHCD highlights and eligibility requirements

The Maryland DHCD offers mortgage and financial assistance programs to make homeownership more accessible, especially for first-time home buyers.

If you haven’t owned residential property in the past three years, you’re considered a first-time home buyer in Maryland. Even if you’re a repeat buyer, you may still be eligible for a DHCD mortgage if you meet income limits and the property is located in an economically distressed target area.


  • 30-year mortgages with competitive interest rates.

  • Down payment and closing cost assistance, including non-repayable grants.

  • Rate discounts and tax credits available to some borrowers.

  • Some programs can be combined for added savings.


  • Borrower must be a first-time home buyer unless property is in a targeted area.

  • Borrower must meet income guidelines, which vary by location and household size.

  • Borrower’s liquid assets, including gifts, shouldn’t exceed 20% of the purchase price.

  • Property must be the borrower’s primary residence.

  • Individual programs may have additional eligibility requirements.

Compare DHCD Lenders

Maryland first-time home buyer loan programs

Summary: 2020 Maryland DHCD first-time home buyer programs

  • Maryland Mortgage Premier provides up to $5,000 in assistance.

  • Maryland Homefront Mortgage allows a quarter-point interest rate discount to military members.

  • You've Earned It Mortgage offers a discounted interest rate and $5,000 of assistance to borrowers with $25,000 or more in student loan debt purchasing a home in certain areas.

  • The Maryland SmartBuy mortgage will pay off your student debt if you purchase a state-owned home.

  • A Preferred Rate mortgage offers a discounted interest rate.

  • The 4% Grant Assist provides free money up to 4% of your loan amount.

  • The 6% Opportunity Grant gives you assistance totaling 6% of a conventional mortgage.

  • Partner Match equals the financial contribution you receive, up to $2,500, from an employer or other organization.

  • HomeCredit allows a tax credit against the mortgage interest you pay, up to $2,000 annually.

Now that you’ve been introduced to the first-time home buyer programs Maryland has to offer, it’s time to get better acquainted. For full details on any of the programs listed above, visit the Department of Housing and Community Development website.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your homebuying journey, contact a participating lender to discuss your options. Note that each lender may have rules about eligibility and how much you can borrow.

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