Frequently Asked Questions

Program Overview

NeighborhoodLIFT funds are provided as a five-year forgivable loan program for owner-occupied properties. As long as the borrower resides in the home, the loan will be forgiven at 20 percent each year on the anniversary date of settlement. If the house is no longer a principal residence or the property is transferred, repayment of the balance of funds will be immediately due. If you qualify for the military benefit, check with NHS Baltimore on repayment terms.

Yes. Income limits are set for each market for NeighborhoodLIFT funds. The income limits are calculated based on borrower income in connection with household size. View Income Limits.  View First Responder, Military & Teacher Benefit Information

You may be required to make an additional down payment contribution from your own funds if your ‘remaining liquid assets’ at the time of your eligibility determination session will exceed $20,000.

‘Remaining liquid assets’ are defined as your available funds in bank accounts such as checking, savings or money market accounts that are readily accessible without withdrawal restrictions or penalties after you have met any out-of-pocket settlement requirements from your own funds.

Liquid assets do not include Retirement Accounts (such as 401(k), IRA or pension accounts), Investment Accounts (such as stock, bond or mutual funds), Certificates of Deposit (CDs), Business Checking or Savings Accounts.

Liquid asset determinations and contribution requirement estimates are made at the time of your Eligibility Determination Session. Liquid asset funds that are subsequently transferred to restricted accounts after your Eligibility Determination Session will not be excluded from contribution calculation requirements.

Yes. Down payment assistance funds will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis for eligible buyers who have completed the required steps.

Homebuyer education is an eight-hour class that teaches about the home buying process. Homebuyer education must be provided by a HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agency that has adopted the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling. More information and a list of approved providers will be available soon.

No. Only homebuyer education certificates from HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agencies that have adopted the National Industry Standards are eligible for NeighborhoodLIFT funds.

Yes, if you currently own a home but will be selling it prior to closing on the NeighborhoodLIFT property, you can still be eligible for the program. At the time of closing you may not own any additional properties including investment properties.

Short sale properties are eligible for the program. The purchase agreement for the short sale property must be signed by the buyer and the seller to apply for NeighborhoodLIFT funds. The lender (lien holder of short sale property) must ratify the agreement prior to closing. NeighborhoodLIFT funds can be used in connection with the financing of a Wells Fargo short sale but only if Wells Fargo is not the new first mortgage lender on the short sale purchase. Another lender must originate the new first mortgage loan.

NeighborhoodLIFT down payment assistance funds may be used for any eligible purpose including closing cost assistance, down payment assistance, or borrower minimum out-of-pocket investment if allowed by the first mortgage loan program. NeighborhoodLIFT funds may cover the closing costs or out-of-pocket requirements of an FHA first mortgage or other type of first mortgage loan; however, for an FHA mortgage the borrower must still provide their own 3.5% down payment.  You should consult directly with your first mortgage lender and NHS Baltimore to determine how NeighborhoodLIFT program funds may be used in connection with your home purchase.

Yes. There may be several programs eligible for layering incentives together with NeighborhoodLIFT funding. Programs sponsored by Baltimore City or the State of Maryland could potentially be included. For information on other incentive programs, contact NHS Baltimore.

Eligibility for each program is determined by the program administrators. Contact them directly to participate in their programs.

Yes. Wells Fargo REO (real estate owned) properties are not eligible for NeighborhoodLIFT funds. To learn if a property is a Wells Fargo REO click here https://reo.wellsfargo.com/Home-Search.aspx.

Following the NeighborhoodLIFT event, clients who receive an allocation of funds will have 60 days to obtain a contract on a home and submit the required documents to NHS Baltimore. Clients who do not complete all of these steps will lose their NeighborhoodLIFT allocation. Clients are encouraged to submit the documents following the NeighborhoodLIFT event as soon as they are available. Please note successful completion of the eight-hour HBE course is required prior to signing your contract.

Once a buyer has an executed contract, they should request an Eligibility Determination Session. Borrowers should complete their Eligibility Determination Session no less than 21 calendar days prior to the closing date listed on their purchase and sale agreement. Even if a borrower has a purchase and sale agreement, no closings may take place before August 19, 2019. Once a borrower is determined to be eligible, a commitment letter will be issued with a copy sent to the first mortgage lender. The first mortgage lender will then prepare documents for closing and provide copies of the required documents to NHS Baltimore at least 14 calendar days prior to closing. NHS Baltimore will then have all documents prepared for the closing.

No. Extensions are only available for clients who have met the program requirements and are preparing for settlement.

Clients who are not able to qualify for a loan will be offered individual Financial Coaching appointments following the event. NHS Coaching is designed to help prepare clients to get approved for a first mortgage. Financial Coaching provides information on how to manage income and create a budget based on that income, how to save, how to obtain a credit report, as well as how to apply for and use credit. Contact NHS Baltimore start your home buying journey.

It depends on which step the client is in the process. If this happens the client should follow up with NHS Baltimore directly.