$5,000 Grant Program Attracts New Home Buyers

$5,000 Grant Program Attracts New Home Buyers

Shanelle Myles had been looking for a home in Belair-Edison for some time. When she found the perfect home that had everything she wanted – including an open kitchen, hardwood floors downstairs and wall-to-wall carpet upstairs – she was “thrilled” to learn about the down payment grant program that she could use towards the purchase of her new home on Erdman Avenue.

The Buy In Belair-Edison incentive program was created by Belair-Edison Neighborhoods, Inc. (BENI) with funding from the Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative program, as a way to attract new home buyers to the community and help drive investment to targeted blocks. These home purchase grants are offered at a $5,000 ad $2,000 level.

The program features a $5,000 down payment grant for homes purchased on select these blocks in Belair-Edison:

  • 2700 Chesterfield Avenue
  • 2600 Brendan Avenue
  • 2800 Brendan Avenue
  • 2600 Kentucky Avenue
  • 3400 Parklawn Avenue 

If you fall in love with a house in Belair-Edison that is not located on one of the target blocks, BENI is also offering $2,000 for the purchase of any home in the neighborhood.

The grants are available only for owner-occupant buyers and on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds have been awarded.

Home buyers can combine the Buy In Belair-Edison grant with assistance from other programs available in the city, including the Healthy Neighborhood Initiative (HNI), which provides prospective homeowners with low-interest mortgages and home renovation financing.

Myles grew up in East Baltimore, so she was familiar with the neighborhood, but she spent time online researching both the neighborhood and the available homes before determining that it would be a good fit for her and her 12-year-old son.

She says she found her house “within five minutes” of it coming online. Her research also led her to BENI’s website. A call connected her to John Watkins, BENI’s homeownership and real estate investment manager, who told her about the available grant programs.

Although the home Myles purchased was not on one of the target blocks, she said that Mr. Watkins worked with her to identify $2,500 in funds which “absolutely” persuaded her to buy her home.

Rochelle McDonald, another new homeowner, heard about Belair-Edison from friends who live there. She worked with a real estate agent to find her home on Lawnview Avenue and with BENI to understand grant funds that could be used towards the purchase of her home.

Although she says she would have bought her home anyway, the grant was a “surprise and a blessing” that the large investment much easier.

McDonald says she’s “not always the most patient person,” but she had nothing but compliments for her agent and John Watkins at BENI. “They were so nice and helpful,” she said. “They were patient and counseled me to be that way.”

Both new homeowners found the paperwork involved in buying a home to be a bit stressful, but said it was worth it in the end to live in your own home in a quiet, friendly neighborhood.

BENI’s website has information on all the incentive programs. The organization is also a resource for trusted Belair-Edison Premier Real Estate Agents trained in working with first-time homebuyers and knowledgeable about financial incentive programs.

For more information about the grant program, contact John Watkins, BENI’s homeownership and real estate investment manager at john@belair-edison.org, or call 410-485-8422 x.4208.