Loan program offers funds for settlement costs

Real Estate Watch

August 11, 1996

An estimated 350 homebuyers in Baltimore can get help with settlement costs, thanks to a $1.4 million infusion of funds into a popular city loan program.

The city's Settlement Expense Loan Program, designed to help with closing costs and settlement fees, has been expanded from originally targeting first-time buyers to include any buyer of a house selling for up to $203,150, said Thomas H. Jaudon, chief of the Home Ownership Institute Development Division, in the city's Department of Housing and Community Development.

The loans, available through 13 lenders, have 10-year terms at 7 1/2 percent interest.

The July funds came from the sale of of general obligation bonds, approved by voters last November.

"It empowers people to get qualified to buy a house," Jaudon said.

Since launching the SELP program in April 1993, the city has made more than 1,700 loans worth about $7.3 million.

Since December, when the city's Board of Estimates approved the sale of $1.4 million in bonds to replenish SELP, and city officials found another $1 million in unused bonds for the program, the city has made 545 loans.

Those loans have averaged $3,792, on an average home price of $63,340.

Buyers using the program have had an average income of $33,782.

Prospective homebuyers interested in the program should contact a real estate agent or one of the participating lenders, or they can call (410) 396-8407.

Pub Date: 8/11/96

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