Being a Successful Homeowner

When you own a home you will have more responsibilities to take care of the home and property, unless you own a condo.  As with renting, you must be sure to pay your mortgage on time every month.  Your mortgage payment will likely include the loan amount, interest on the loan, property taxes and homeowners insurance.  It may also include mortgage insurance if your down payment was less than 20% of the purchase price of the home.   

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Mortgage payment plan

It is important to have a plan for how you will pay your mortgage every month.  If you need help with making a plan, talk with your CLC (Community Living Coordinator), case manager or family/friends. 

Maintaining your home

Maintaining a home you own is much different from maintaining a home you rent.  As a homeowner, you are responsible for fixing things when they break, getting the grass cut and the bushes trimmed, replacing the roof if it gets older, painting the siding if it is wood and the wood trim, power washing the house and deck, fixing or replacing appliances, etc.  You will need to have extra money that you can put aside to pay for home maintenance.  For larger projects, you may want to borrow money or apply for a forgivable loan.  Information on financing programs for home improvement is listed below. 

Financing home maintenance and improvement 

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Assistance 

The State of Maryland has programs that may help pay for home improvement and modifications for accessibility.  Programs that may help are listed below. 

Independent Living Tax Credit – This is a new program through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development that can assist you with making accessibility modifications: 
Independent Living Tax Credit (maryland.gov) 

WholeHome Program – This program can help you make valuable repairs and enhancements to your home that can lower your family’s monthly utility bills and improve your quality of life: 
Improving Your Home with Maryland WholeHome 

Maryland Housing Rehabilitation Program – The purpose of the Maryland Housing Rehabilitation Program is to preserve and improve single family properties and one-to-four-unit rental properties. It is a program designed to bring properties up to applicable building codes and standards.  
 Maryland Housing Rehabilitation Program- Single Family  

Indoor Plumbing Program: The purpose of the Indoor Plumbing Program is to provide indoor plumbing in residential properties
 Indoor Plumbing Program (maryland.gov) 

Special Targeted Applicant Rehabilitation Program – The purpose of the Special Targeted Applicant Rehabilitation Program is to preserve and improve single-family properties. Special Targeted Applicant Rehabilitation is a program designed to bring properties up to applicable building codes and standards or a minimum housing quality standard
Special Targeted Applicant Rehabilitation Program (maryland.gov) 

Accessible Homes for Seniors – This is a program for accessibility related improvements to the homes of seniors
Accessible Homes for Seniors (maryland.gov) 

Lead Hazard Reduction Grant and Loan Program – This program provides funds to assist homeowners and landlords lessen the risk of lead poisoning and preserve the housing stock by reducing or eliminating lead-based paint hazards
Lead Hazard Reduction Grant and Loan Program (maryland.gov) 

Ground Rent Redemption Loan Program – This program was created by the Maryland General Assembly in 2007 to provide loans to homeowners to buy out (redeem) ground leases – Ground Rent Redemption Loan Program (maryland.gov) 

EmPOWER Maryland Limited Income Energy Efficiency Program  Repairs and upgrades to a home can significantly reduce energy use throughout the year, which can give you a more comfortable home, lower monthly power bills and improve air quality and family health. Maryland’s EmPOWER Program helps limited-income households with installation of materials and equipment at no charge
EmPOWER Maryland Limited Income Energy Efficiency Program 

Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) – MEAP is a federally funded program that operates year-round and assists eligible Maryland households free of charge. The program is aimed at making homes more comfortable by repairing and replacing heating, cooling, and water heating systems
Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) 

Weatherization Assistance Program – This program helps eligible low-income households across the State of Maryland with the installation of energy conservation materials in their dwelling units. These measures both reduce the consumption of energy and the cost of maintenance for these homes
Weatherization Assistance Program (maryland.gov) 

HUD Resources for Home Improvement  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a guide for “fixing up your home and how to finance it”:
Fixing Up Your Home and How to Finance It | HUD.gov / US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 

Realtor.com – Information on ways to finance home repairs can be found at 
5 Ways to Finance Home Repairs  

HOA Rules and Compliance

Many communities have a Homeowners Association (HOA) that sets rules for how the community looks, how it is maintained and how the community communicates about issues.  HOAs can be very different, so it’s important to read the rules and guidelines carefully.  In Maryland, you will have the opportunity to review the HOA rules and agree to them before committing to purchase a home.  Also know that HOAs charge a fee which needs to be considered in your monthly budget.  Some HOA fees are small – less than $200 per month, while others can be more than $1,000 per month.   For information on HOA laws and requirements in Maryland, see
Maryland HOA Laws and Resources

Getting along with condo/community staff – Some HOAs have staff that are on site regularly to maintain the community and common areas.  It is important to have a good relationship with the staff.  They can help you with maintenance issues. 

Reporting maintenance issues covered by the HOA – The HOA will have a central number you can call to report problems that can be fixed by the HOA.  Examples include burned out light bulbs, ice on sidewalks, dead shrubs, broken windows, etc.