Live Near Your Work

Considering buying a house in Baltimore City? We can help. The Johns Hopkins Live Near Your Work program offers grants of up to $17,000 toward a down payment and closing costs associated with buying a house in designated city neighborhoods.

Baltimore City Funding Update

City funding for LNYW is currently exhausted. Funds will be replenished in January 2023. Those applying for the Hopkins LNYW program must still apply for the City program in order to receive Hopkins funding.

LNYW: What are the Rules & How to Apply

A recording of this webinar can be viewed here (Passcode: 5m3@F4XN).

About

LNYW started in the early 1990’s, Hopkins being one of the first and the largest employer to use the program. It is an employer matching program, meaning you receive grant funds from your employer and from Baltimore City. Below are a few important details about the program to read through before you apply. Additional information and resources can be found by clicking through the tabs on this page.

  • Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements to be considered for a grant
  • Homebuying course & 1:1 counseling session MUST be completed prior to making an offer on a home (certificate is valid for one year)
  • LNYW grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis; funding may be discontinued at any time
  • LNYW grants are taxable benefits (at the supplemental rate) and will appear in a grantee’s paystub and Form W-2
  • Grants are provided at the discretion of JHU Benefits & Worklife and the Baltimore City Office of Homeownership; applying for a grant does not guarantee a grant
  • Approval and disbursement of funds is contingent upon the timely receipt of the documents required by JHU and Baltimore City
  • Applications are typically processed within 30 days; please apply no later than 30 days prior to your projected settlement date for the best chance at receiving a grant

Eligibility

Employer Affiliation & Status 

LNYW Grants are open to full-time benefits-eligible employees of:

    • Johns Hopkins University
    • Johns Hopkins Hospital
    • Johns Hopkins Bayview
    • Johns Hopkins Community Physicians
    • Johns Hopkins Health System
    • Johns Hopkins Health Care
  • There is no probationary period to apply for a LNYW grant provided that all eligibility criteria are met; one must be an active employee (meaning actively receiving pay from the Hopkins employer) in order to apply for LNYW funds
  • The following groups are NOT eligible:
    • Part-time employees, intrastaff, residents, postdoctoral fellows, students, Applied Physics Laboratory employees, Johns Hopkins Home Care Group, Pharmaquip employees, Howard County General, Sibley Memorial Hospital, Suburban Hospital, Broadway Services or Kennedy Krieger. (Broadway Services & Kennedy Krieger employees have their own LNYW program through their HR department)

Homeownership Counseling

  • PRIOR to making an offer on a home, you must complete a homeownership course and one-on-one counseling appointment with an approved homeownership counseling agency. There are NO exceptions to this rule. Those who enter into a sales agreement prior to completing this requirement will forfeit their eligibility for this program.
  • Certificates from a counseling class are good for one year. The course and session must be repeated if it expires prior to making an offer on a home.
  • A list of approved agencies can be found here. There may be a small fee associated with some in-person options and most virtual.
    • Some agencies use ehomeAmerica for their on-demand homebuying courses, there is a fee associated with these courses (typically $99)
  • The course and 1:1 counseling session must be completed with the SAME agency
  • This is a Hopkins and City requirement

Designated Neighborhood

  • Grants are only available in certain areas of Baltimore City; our boundary map outlines eligible areas and indicates grant amounts

Additional Rules and Requirements

  • Applicants are required to contribute at least $1,000 towards the purchase of the home
  • Grant money may be used ONLY for down payment and closing costs; only one LNYW grant may be made per eligible address
  • LNYW purchases must be the PRIMARY residence of the grantee, as defined by the state of Maryland, for a period of at least 5 years from the date of settlement
  • You must finance a mortgage loan to be eligible for the program
  • The following loans are NOT acceptable: no-documentation loan, interest-only loan, adjustable-rate loan, loan amount of greater than $517,500, loans with co-signers (co-buyers who both live in the home are accepted), and any loans for which prepayment penalties or fees are applicable or assessed
  • No cash sales/purchases of eligible homes are allowed. You must finance the purchase of an eligible home with a mortgage loan in order to apply for the LNYW program; standard FHA, conventional and HUD 203K loans are encouraged
Boundaries & Grants

The LNYW program is restricted to boundaries within Baltimore City since it is a CITY partnership program. The Johns Hopkins portion of the grant is considered taxable (at the supplemental rate) income by the IRS. The Baltimore City grant is not taxed. Additional information on grant amounts and tax calculations is listed below.

Boundary Map

  • If a property falls ON a boundary line between two grant amounts, Hopkins will honor the higher grant amount
  • Use the map to explore properties of interest and determine grant amounts based on boundaries; for JHU employees, grant amounts by area are:
      • Central Baltimore (HCPI, formerly A1): $14,500
      • East Baltimore/Eager Park (formerly A2): $14,500
      • Remington (HCPI) (formerly B1): $7,500 ($2,500 for all employees of JHHS)
      • Better Waverly (formerly B2): $7,500 ($2,500 for all employees of JHHS)
      • All other areas within boundaries: $2,500

REMINDER: Grant amounts will be less applicable withholding taxes.

**City’s grant portion currently unavailable due to exhausted funding. JH Net Grant is the estimated cash to close amount. Funds will be replenished in January 2023.

Net grant amounts may vary based on individualized tax calculations.

Grant Repayment

    • If the home is sold and/or the home is not the primary residence of the recipient during the five-year period after the settlement date, the following schedule will be used for grantee repayments:
        • 100% repayment during first three years from settlement date
        • 50% repayment during the period from three years and one day through four years from settlement date
        • 25% repayment if the home is not the primary residence during the period from four years and one day through five years from settlement date
    • A settlement date must occur no later than 60 days after a LNYW grant payment is made, and all grantees are required to provide proof of settlement; if a grantee does not close on the home within 60 days, Johns Hopkins reserves the right to treat the LNYW grant as an overpayment and the grantee will be required to repay the grant in full; repayments that occur in a year subsequent to the issuance of the grant, must be made gross of any federal and state taxes that were withheld.
    • False statements or material omissions made by an employee on, or in connection with, an application for a LNYW grant can result in denial of the grant, repayment of any grant funds received by the employee and disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Apply

Applying for the LNYW grant is actually one of the last steps in your homebuying process. Once you have completed your homebuying course and counseling, have made an offer that is accepted and have entered into a sales contract, you are ready to apply!

  • Create an account with Neighborly to begin your application (link below)
    • Application process takes about 20 minutes total to complete
    • There are 2 application links – make sure you are completing the correct application based on your Hopkins employer

  • Fill out all required fields and upload the required documents
    • Homebuying Course & Counseling Completion Certificate (signed by agency)
    • Signed Sales Contract (must be signed by the buyer and the seller)
  • Submit application
    • Once your application is submitted, it will be reviewed by our office; if anything is missing or additional information is required, we will reach out to you
  • Approval email from Johns Hopkins
    • After we approve your eligibility, you will receive an email with next steps along with a letter of intent of the estimated grant amount from Hopkins as well as the employer verification letter needed to apply for the City portion of the grant
  • Apply for Baltimore City LNYW Grant
    • Baltimore City also utilizes the Neighborly software; you will need to complete a separate application on their Neighborly page
  • Send Conditional Loan Documents
    • The next step is for you or your lender to send our office your conditional loan approval; once received we will initiate the grant payment process
  • Baltimore City Approval 
    • Baltimore City will email you an approval letter for their portion of the grant with next steps. Please allow 10-15 business days from the date on the approval letter for the check to arrive in the City’s office. As soon as the City receives the check, they will contact your lender to send a courier to pick up the check and the settlement package
  • Grant Payment 
    • Your grant payment will be deposited directly through payroll prior to your settlement date

Grant payments cannot be used retroactively; if you do not wait to receive your City grant check prior to settlement, you are no longer eligible for that grant 

  • Send Final Closing Disclosures Document
    • After you have settled on your home, please send us a copy of your final closing disclosures document (signed); template of document required can be found here: https://consumer-closing-disclosure.pdffiller.com/
    • Proof of settlement must be received within 60 days of your grant payment or you may be asked to repay your LNYW grant, as stated in the letter of intent you receive upon application approval.
      • Please note that settlement must occur within 60 days of the date of this letter.  If an extension is needed, please contact me.  Otherwise, if settlement does not occur within 60 days, then Johns Hopkins reserves the right to request repayment of the LNYW grant.  Additionally, if settlement does not occur by the deadline, then you must contact me immediately to reserve grant funding for a known settlement date on this property.

Apply through Neighborly

Resources

Contact Us

worklife@jhu.edu
410-516-2000
Information Request Form

Prerecorded webinars

    • July 20, 2022
      Topic: LIVEBaltimore – Homebuying Incentives
      View Webinar Here
      Passcode: ^3hco$2V
    • November 16, 2022
      Topic: Live Near Your Work: What are the Rules and How to Apply 
      View Webinar Here
       Passcode: 5m3@F4XN

Homes for Sale

Browse active listings in the main boundaries of the LNYW program by selecting an area below. All property listings are synched with MRIS (Metropolitan Regional Information Systems).

Neighborhoods Near Homewood
Hampden, Wyman Park
Abell, Oakenshawe
Waverly
Better Waverly
Ednor Gardens, Original Northwood
Remington
Charles Village
Harwood
Barclay
Charles North, Old Goucher
Greenmount West

Neighborhoods Near East Baltimore
Mount Vernon, Mid-Town Belvedere
Oliver, Gay Street, Johnston Square
Oldtown, Penn-Fallsway
Broadway East, Berea
Eager Park, Milton Montford, Madison-Eastend, Biddle Street
A.R.E., McElderry Park, Ellwood Park/Monument
Patterson Park, Patterson Place, Baltimore Highlands
Butcher’s Hill, Washington Hill
Fells Point, Upper Fells Point
Canton, Brewers Hill, Highlandtown
Bayview, Greektown
Medford, O’Donnell Heights, Broening Manor

Neighborhoods Near Northeast Baltimore
Belair Edison
Coldstream Homestead Montebello (CHUM)
Darley Park
East Baltimore-Midway
Johnston Square
Mayfield
South Clifton Park

  • Remember to limit your home search to the designated LNYW boundaries. If you decide to change your search criteria using the MRIS website, results may digress from the LNYW boundaries.
  • The Live Baltimore website includes detailed and rich information about Baltimore City neighborhoods. Visit their websiteto learn more about the neighborhoods that interest you.

  • Did you know that there are more than 30 homebuying incentive programs that can help you purchase in Baltimore City? Live Near Your Work is just one of many opportunities that are available when you buy. Please contact the experts at LIVEBaltimore to learn about incentive programs. LIVEBaltimore is a local nonprofit organization that has a dedicated staff member who can help you explore all incentives, as well as neighborhoods.
FAQ's

I completed my homebuying course and 1-on-1 counseling session a year ago, but am just now putting an offer in on a house, is my certificate still valid?
Completing the homebuying course and 1-on-1 counseling session is an important step in the homebuying process. The certificate is only valid for one year past the date of completion, per Baltimore City’s Office of Homeownership guidelines. You will need to re-do the course and provide updated documentation before making an offer and moving forward in the homebuying process. There are a number of agencies that now offer a virtual option, the full list can be found here.

Can an offer be made on a house before the homebuying course and 1-on-1 counseling session is completed?
No. The course and counseling session must be completed PRIOR to making an offer and is only valid for 1 year. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Is there a fee or cost associated with the homebuying course?
Most in-person courses are free of charge, however, now that the majority are remote due to COVID, there are fees associated with the ehomeamerica course. Registration cost is typically $99. Some agencies offer a discount code, be sure to visit their websites to find out what is required and what fees may be associated.

I purchased a home through the LNYW program 7 years ago, as my family has grown, we are starting to look for a new house. Can I use the LNYW grant program again? Or is it a one-time benefit?
You can apply again for a LNYW grant as long as the residence you are purchasing is your primary residence.

Why is my grant payment lower than what is listed on the website/boundaries?
Grants awarded by Johns Hopkins are considered taxable income by the IRS and will be taxed prior to receipt. An individual tax calculation is conducted for each LNYW applicant. Once approved, the NET grant amount will be sent to payroll to appear on the pay period prior to the settlement date. The Baltimore City portion of the grant, is not taxable.

If I make an offer on a house now and pay the down payment, can I credit the LNYW grant toward the loan balance once I have completed the LNYW eligibility requirements?
No. No exceptions are made for those who do not complete the homebuying course and 1-on-1 counseling session prior to making an offer on a home. Those who make an offer and enter into a sales agreement prior to completing this requirement forfeit their eligibility for this program. The homebuying course and 1-on-1 counseling session is a requirement by Baltimore City and Johns Hopkins.

I just accepted a position at Hopkins, but have not officially started yet. I found a home I would like to make an offer on, can I apply for the LNYW grant? Or can the funds be used retroactively to a home purchase?
No. You must be an active employee on payroll to be eligible for the program. Funds cannot be used retroactively.

Can I still qualify for the LNYW grant if I’m listed on the title, but my partner is the only one on the loan?
No. The Hopkins affiliate must be on the loan in order to be eligible to apply for this grant.

Are PhD students eligible for the LNYW grant?
No. The LNYW grant is an employee program. Grants are open to full-time, benefits-eligible employees of Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Johns Hopkins Health Care and Johns Hopkins Health System.

I am a Hopkins employee working 2 days a week in Baltimore City. I currently live out of state, but am considering buying a secondary home in Baltimore rather than paying for a hotel/parking when I am in the office. Can I use the LNYW grant for this purchase?
The LNYW grant can only be used towards the purchase of your primary residence. Secondary homes are not eligible for the grant.

Are there other incentive programs or loans that I can apply for?
Yes. LIVEBaltimore offers a number of incentives and programs for homebuying in Baltimore City. Visit their website to learn more: https://livebaltimore.com/.

If I am purchasing the house with someone else that is not employed through Hopkins, do they also have to complete the homebuying course and 1:1 counseling session?
Yes. It is a requirement of Baltimore City for the homebuying process.

How do I know if I am eligible for the LNYW program?
The LNYW program is open to full-time benefits-eligible employees. If you are eligible for full-time benefits through your department, you are eligible to apply for the LNYW program. If you are unsure of your status, confirm with your HR representative or supervisor. You can also email the LNYW program to inquire about eligibility: worklife@jhu.edu.

I have an F-1 Visa, am I eligible for the LNYW program or do I need to be on a H1-B?
Yes, you are eligible. As long as the other eligibility requirements are met, there is no restriction for having a visa. Homebuyers may want to check with their lenders in regards to applying for a mortgage loan.

My Baltimore City check was not ready for pick-up prior to my settlement date, can I use those funds retroactively?
No. The city check and Hopkins funds must be used AT settlement/closing. They cannot be used retroactively. The LNYW City check takes about 10-15 days from approval to pick-up, so please keep this in mind when you are applying for the grant. We recommend applying for the grant at least 30 days prior to your settlement date.

Since the LNYW grant is considered taxable income, if I qualify for the highest grant amount, will that move me up to a higher income tax bracket?
The best thing to do would be to contact your financial advisor or tax preparer to discuss the potential implications and how the grant may affect your tax bracket. Through the Johns Hopkins Employee Assistance Program (JHEAP) financial and tax assistance is available by calling 888-978-1262.

Can I use the LNYW grant to purchase a condo?
Yes, as long as it falls within the LNYW boundaries, condos are eligible.

Is there a minimum credit score needed?
You have to finance a mortgage loan in order to use this program, with that process, credit scores are considered. Through your homeownership counseling agency you can learn more about those requirements.

If I update my W4 and exempt taxes, can I increase the amount of the grant I receive with less taxes being withheld?
The LNYW grant is taxed at the supplemental, flat tax rate (currently 22%). However, if you claim tax exempt on your W4 form, no federal income tax will be withheld. This would affect the net grant amount you receive. Please note, the W4 does not affect the Social Security or Medicare taxes withheld. So even though you have updated your taxes to an exempt status for federal and/or state income taxes, the exemption does not cover FICA taxes, FICA taxes are mandatory.

Can the LNYW grant be used towards the purchase of a multi-family property? 
Yes. The multi-family property can only have up to 4 units, and you must reside in one of them as your primary residence. Commercial properties and buildings are not eligible. The loan amount cannot exceed $517,500.

If I am currently an employee, but not working, am I still eligible for the program?
If you are on short term disability, long term disability or a leave of absence, but are still benefits-eligible, you can still apply for the LNYW grant. If your LTD or LOA extends past one year, you are no longer eligible.

How does it work if my partner and I both work for Hopkins?
There is only one grant issued per address. Only one application is required, however, be sure the applicant is full-time benefits-eligible and meets all requirements of the program. Whoever applies for the grant must be listed on the contract and loan documents to be eligible for the program. You will both need to attend the homebuying course and counseling session, but do not necessarily have to attend the same course at the same time.

Are there any exceptions made if a property falls just outside of the LNYW boundary?
No. The boundaries are set and strict. There are no exceptions.

If my status changes at Hopkins from staff to student after receiving the grant but the house is still my primary residence, would I need to pay back the grant?
No, as long as you are an active full-time benefits-eligible employee at the time of settlement, and the house remains your primary residence for 5 years, you will not need to repay the grant.

If the City is out of funds, can I still apply for the program?
Yes, you can still apply for the LNYW program, but will only receive the Hopkins portion of the grant, which is taxed. Applicants must still apply for and be approved by the City in order to receive Hopkins funding. If you have flexibility in your homebuying timeline, funds will be replenished by the City.