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Live Baltimore to Offer Homeownership Tour of Baltimore City

Live Baltimore to Offer Homeownership Tour of Baltimore City

Grants for Down Payment, Closing Costs Available

As Project C.O.R.E. works to bring new life to areas of Baltimore City, a nonprofit that aims to attract new residents to the city is gearing up for one of its biggest homeownership events of the year.

Live Baltimore will hold its Buying Into Baltimore Trolley Tour on May 13, with stops in the Waverly, Ednor-Gardens – Lakeside, Original Northwood, Hillen, New Northwood, Belvedere, and Homeland neighborhoods. It’s one of six annual homebuying events hosted by the groups, as well as one of its largest. This tour, held twice a year, offers participants the chance to take advantage of a particularly generous offer: if at the end of the tour they decide they’re ready to buy a home, they have the chance to receive one of 30 available $5,000 awards that go toward down payment and closing cost assistance. This is available through the Buying Into Baltimore program, which is funded by the city and offered exclusively by Live Baltimore. These funds, according to Executive Director Steven Gondol, can be used in conjunction with Maryland Mortgage Program funds to give prospective buyers $10,000 toward buying a home in Baltimore City.

The Maryland Mortgage Program is popular among the first-time homebuyers Live Baltimore frequently works with, Gondol said. He added that Project C.O.R.E. is working very well when it comes to revitalizing Baltimore and making it appeal to new residents. When they attend these tours, people who may be unfamiliar with Baltimore get to see it in a positive light. Live Baltimore makes it a point, Gondol said, to “take people off the known path and try and introduce them to other stable, established areas where we see there’s opportunity.”

The department’s homeownership programs have been successful in the city to the benefit of their mission before, Gondol said, pointing out that more than 400 people were able to become homeowners through a previous department initiative, Maryland Grand Slam. These resources are what ultimately will help most in bringing in a new day for Baltimore.

“Any time you can have a broad array of resources, you increase your chances of attracting people and being able to help them,” Gondol said. “It’s a really valuable asset to help sell Baltimore City. You can use the products anywhere in Baltimore City, and there’s products for people at any stage of life. It’s helping us stabilize and grow Baltimore City’s population. I feel the state really knows when to step up and help out. In terms of community development, it’s very generous of the state.”

The tour comes not long after the department announced the Baltimore City Special, a new initiative offered through the Maryland Mortgage Program. Eligible buyers who use the Baltimore City Special may receive a $7,500 grant, with $5,000 of the funds offered through the department and the remaining $2,500 through Baltimore City. With other Maryland Mortgage Program products, buyers typically receive a loan rather than a grant. These funds may also be used in conjunction with the Buying Into Baltimore program.