Baltimore County Settlement Expense Loan Program (SELP)

SELP is a forgivable loan of up to $10,000 offered by Baltimore County and administered by nonprofit housing agencies, like Dundalk Renaissance, for first time home buyers. Loans are forgiven after twelve (12) years.  This program targets households earning less than 80% of the area median income. Homes must fall within specific SELP parameters and may not be new construction. Homes can be single family detached, semi- detached, townhouse, or a condominium unit.

Income Requirements

Household post purchase assets (excluding IRAs, 401(k) s and similar penalty for early withdrawal retirement accounts), may not exceed 12% of the annual household income as adjusted by allowable HOME exemptions (e.g., documented childcare expenses and income of full-time students). Assets are determined in conformance with HOME regulations and program guidelines.  Assets in excess of 25% of household income are expected to be utilized toward the purchase of the property, thereby reducing the amount of settlement assistance needed.

Household size  
















Income Limit      $ 62,600 $71,550 $80,500 $89,400 $96,600 $ 103,750 $110,900 $118,0500

SELP Parameters

  1. Buyer must be a first time home buyer. They cannot have owned a home within three (3) years.  This may be exempt in the case of divorce, separation or death of a spouse.  Talk to your housing counselor and be prepared to gather documentation to reflect this change in marital status.
  2. Buyer must put 5% of their gross annual income towards their home purchase. Gift contributions from family or friends cannot equal more than 3% of the sale price.
  3. Buyer must qualify for a fixed rate mortgage from an approved lender.
  4. Buyer’s proposed post purchase housing and total debt ratios cannot exceed 31% and 43%, respectively, of the gross monthly household income.
  5. Home cannot cost more than $290,000.
  6. If ground rent exists, the buyer must buy the ground.
  7. Homes must pass the federal Housing Quality Standards. Repairs of $3,000 or less may be added to the buyers loan and must be done by a licensed contractor.
  8. The purchase price of the home cannot exceed the appraised value of the property.
  9. The buyers home must be vacant, lived in by the seller or lived in by the buyer under the terms and conditions of a valid State of Maryland rental agreement for a period of no less than 90 days.
  10. The property must be occupied as the primary residence of the borrower within 60 days of closing.
  11. If the buyer moves, defaults or refinances before SELP loan is forgiven (seven years from purchase date), the buyer must repay the loan.
  12. Loan value cannot exceed 105% of the transaction.

Documents You’ll Need

  • State of MD issued Driver’s License or ID

  • Employment ID
  • School transcript (if a student)
  • Signed contract of sale for home purchase
  • Two (2) utility statements

Approved Lenders

Phone: 443.873.5500

2700 Lighthouse Point E
#340, Baltimore, MD 21224


Phone: 833.920.0019

110 West Road
Suite 500
Towson, MD 21204

Phone: 410.960.3959

3401 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21224

Phone: 410.266.2781

7405 Ritchie Highway
Glen BurnieMD 21061

Phone: 410.265.3699

7101 Security Blvd. Baltimore
Md. 21244

Paying Back SELP

During the first year of the loan period, you would owe 100% of the Loan ($10,000.00 of $10,000 SELP loan). 

During the second year of loan period, you would owe 86% of the loan (8,571.43 out of $10,000 SELP loan).

During the third year of the loan period, you would owe 71 % of the loan ($7,142.86 out of $10,000 SELP loan). 

During the fourth year of the loan period, you would owe 57 % of the loan ($5,714.29 out of $10,000 SELP loan).

During the fifth year of the loan period, you would owe 43% of the loan ($4,285.72 out of $10,000 SELP loan).

During the sixth year of the loan period, you would owe 29% of the loan ($2,857.14 out of $10,000 SELP loan).

During the seventh year of loan period, you would owe 14% of the Loan ($1,428.58 out of $10,000 SELP loan).

Pro Tips

  • Ask about SELP before you put an offer in on a house.  SELP recipients are required to complete a home buyer education class and receive one-on-one counseling before they can access SELP.
  • Have your documentation ready. All members of a household 18+ are counted in the income requirements for SELP, however student income of a full time student is exempt with proper documentation. The cost of childcare provided by a bonafide care provider may be deducted from gross household income with appropriate documentation.

Where Can I Buy?

Below is the urban-rural demarcation map for Baltimore County.  You can purchase anywhere south of the urban-rural demarcation line.

Rural Urban Demarcation Map

Next Steps

Reach out to Sonya Dease, our housing and financial counselor to see if SELP is right for you.

Phone: 410.282.0261 ext 107