Maryland Home Loan Programs for VeteransUpdated: November 11, 2022
The State of Maryland Community Development Administration acts as the state’s Housing Finance Agency, and as such offers veteran-friendly mortgage loan options to qualifying veterans.
The State of Maryland offers a variety of homeowner benefits, but the ones that specifically include veterans provide financial help to get vets into affordable homes. Maryland veteran-friendly home loan programs include:
- Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP)
- Maryland SmartBuy
- State of Maryland tax credit for adapted housing
Home loans under this program are issued by a network of participating lenders. You will need to shop around for the right participating financial institution for you.
The Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP)
MMP offers qualifying veterans a 30-year fixed-rate home loan for homes purchased within the state. Interest rates and other loan terms are described as being “competitive” with other home loans.
According to the MMP official site, this program is unique because of the “range of associated financial incentives and other assistance that, for many homebuyers, means the difference between being able to purchase and continuing to rent.”
First-time home buyer status is required for full access to the program. Those who otherwise qualify but are not technically considered first-time buyers may still purchase a home under this program so long as it is in a targeted area.
Who is considered a first-time buyer for the purposes of this program? Someone who has not owned residential property “for three years or more” is a first-time buyer under this program and those who meet this criteria may purchase a home with MMP anywhere in the state.
Income limits and purchase price caps may apply; income limits depend on household size and those who have “liquid assets” above 20% may not qualify to use this program.
Maryland SmartBuy 2.0 Program
Maryland SmartBuy helps homebuyers with qualifying student debt purchase a home. The program works by paying off student debt during the purchase of the home through special Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) financing. Maryland SmartBuy involves the purchase of move-in-ready homes currently owned by, and available from, the state of Maryland.
Maryland SmartBuy 2.0 gives homebuyers an opportunity to purchase any home in Maryland that meets Maryland Mortgage Program guidelines while paying off student debt. This limited time program provides all of the student debt relief offered by the original Maryland SmartBuy 2.0 while making more homes eligible for purchase.
To qualify for either Maryland SmartBuy program, homebuyers must have an existing student debt with a minimum balance of $1,000. Maryland SmartBuy financing provides up to 15% of the home purchase price for the borrower to pay off their outstanding student debt with a maximum second loan amount of $40,000 for loans reserved prior to 9/1/2020 and a maximum of $30,000 for loans reserved on or after 9/1/2020. Maryland SmartBuy 2.0 offers the same student debt relief of 15% of the home purchase price with a maximum payoff of $30,000.
The full student debt must be paid off at the time of the home purchase, and homebuyers must meet all eligibility requirements for the Maryland Mortgage program.
Disabled Veteran-Friendly Maryland State Tax Credit For Adapted Housing
While this program is not specifically aimed at disabled veterans, those who qualify may find a state tax credit available for making adaptive alterations or improvements to a Maryland home to make it more accessible for a disabled home owner who has adapted the home to provide more independent living.
This tax credit, which allows up to 50% if the cost of the renovation to be recouped up to five thousand dollars regardless of whether the home is a rental, a unit owned by the veteran, or a unit owned by a family member that the veteran uses.
Improvements must be found on a list of approved projects which can include (but is not limited to) the following:
- No-step entryways
- Doorways with a 32-inch wide (or wider) clear opening
- Grab bars
- Reinforced walls to support grab bars
- Rocker panel light switches
- Routes to no-step entrances
- Accessible handles on doors, plumbing fixtures
- Chairlifts and elevators
- Visual smoke/fire/carbon monoxide alarm
- Roll-in shower/tub
- Alarms integrated into the unit to assist an individual with a sensory disability
- No-step route to accessible home entrance
- Railings for exterior or interior steps
- Railings for hallways
- Hallways/circulation paths 36 inches wide or more
- Slip-resistant floors
- Switches, doorbells, thermostats and breaker boxes at no more than 48 inches above the floor
- Electrical receptacles at least 15 inches above the floor
Tax laws change frequently so you will need to consult a State of Maryland tax office to learn how to claim it. Instructions to claim this tax credit included a requirement that the renovations be accomplished in the prior tax year.
Receipts and other paperwork are required to show your actual expenses on the renovation. Claiming the tax credit means submitting an Independent Living Tax Credit application–mail the completed forms to the address provided on the official site. Applications are generally due by June 1st of each year.
This program is subject to a budgetary cap for all awards–the agency can approve up to $1,000,000 total for all applicants for a given calendar year. When the funds run out, the program may be suspended until the following year.
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News