To be able to apply for a home loan through the Maryland Mortgage Program, homebuyers need to meet certain eligibility criteria, although total household income requirements (see below) are based on all adults who will be living in the property.
To confirm your eligibility as a homebuyer through the Maryland Mortgage Program, please talk to one of our
approved mortgage lenders.
Basic Applicant Eligibility
In all cases, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid social security number. Note that U.S. citizenship is not required to be eligible.
First-Time Homebuyer Eligibility
Someone who has not owned residential property for three years or more is considered a “First-Time Homebuyer.” First-Time Homebuyers who meet household income limits (see next section) can use the Maryland Mortgage Program to purchase a home anywhere in Maryland.
The First-Time Homebuyer requirement does not apply for homebuyers purchasing in Targeted Areas, veterans using their exemption for the first time, or borrowers using Flex loan products (without mortgage credit certificates). Borrowers should talk to their lender for more information.
This definition applies to the Maryland Mortgage Program, and is not the same definition used for recording tax purposes.
Household Income Eligibility
To use the Maryland Mortgage Program, the total “Household Income” of homebuyers needs to be at or below certain limits, and those limits vary by location and household size.
Household Income is the combined incomes of all people 18 years of age or over who live in a household. It includes every form of income, including salaries and wages, retirement income, near cash government transfers like food stamps, and investment gains.
Household Income Limits Vary by Location
Each Maryland county and Baltimore City has defined Household Income limits. In counties that have Targeted Areas covering part of the jurisdiction, Household Income limits differ inside and outside those areas.
Targeted Areas are parts of Maryland in which it is a little easier to be eligible for the Maryland Mortgage Program. Household Income limits are slightly higher if you’re purchasing a property in a Targeted Area, and you don’t need to be a First-Time Homebuyer.
- If you’re purchasing in Baltimore City, or in Allegany, Caroline, Dorchester, Garrett, Kent, or Somerset County, then all properties are within a Targeted Area.
- If you’re purchasing in Calvert, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Howard, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, Talbot, or Worcester County, there are no properties within a Targeted Area.
- For all other counties in Maryland, there are certain designated areas that are Targeted Areas, and you can determine a property’s status by using the
Learn more about
Targeted Areas and other property factors that can impact your eligibility for the program.
Household Income Limits Vary by Household Size
Household Income limits vary based on the number of people that make up the household (regardless of age). Households with 1 or 2 people have one set of income limits and households with 3 or more people have slightly higher income limits. Note that pregnancy, certified by a doctor, counts as having an additional person for purposes of determining household size.
Household Income limits in Maryland range from $92,500 up to $154,420, depending on property location and household size. Download the full income eligibility table for all counties in Maryland.
Ownership and Occupancy Eligibility
The Maryland Mortgage Program can only be used to finance the purchase of a home that will be occupied by the homebuyer(s) as their primary residence, and homebuyers may not own other residential property.
“Liquid Assets” Eligibility
Homebuyers who have “liquid assets” of at least 20% of the purchase price of the property MAY not be eligible to use the Maryland Mortgage Program. Gifts in the form of cash or equity are generally considered liquid assets.
A “liquid asset” is cash on hand or an asset that can be readily converted to cash. An asset that can readily be converted into cash is similar to cash itself because the asset can be sold with little impact on its value.
Homebuyers should talk to one the Maryland Mortgage Program’s approved lenders to determine if their liquid assets affect their eligibility.
Additional Notes about Eligibility
- Being eligible for the Maryland Mortgage Program doesn’t automatically mean that a homebuyer will be approved for a home loan.
- Eligibility details described on this page apply to most available programs. For any programs with different requirements, precise eligibility guidelines will be identified in program information.