For Hopkins employees, a way to find homes that come with $17k
The Johns Hopkins institutions offer a pretty big incentive to get full-time employees to buy homes near work: up to $17,000 towards the down payment and closing costs. (No fooling.)
But not just anywhere in the general vicinity. The university and hospital, which are collectively the state's largest private employer, have specific boundaries inside which you must stay if you want the maximum -- and other boundaries for lesser grants ranging from $10,000 to $2,500.
Now a new search tool put together by the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors and Metropolitan Regional Information Systems lets employees see exactly what homes are for sale in each area. Scroll to the links for the "tiers" -- i.e. Tier A1 (Harwood, Barclay, and Greenmount West) -- for each interactive map.
You can have the system email you an alert when the sort of home you're looking for comes on the market. You can also find out how close certain homes are to restaurants, daycare options, police stations, places of worship and a number of other niceties. (Click on "points of interest" to choose which of those things you want to see. Then mouse over each icon for name, address and phone number.)
"I think it'll make it a lot easier for people," said Joseph T. "Jody" Landers III with the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors -- even if they're just looking for a daycare center, not a house.
If you don't work for Hopkins, you might still qualify for other live-near-your-work incentives. Maryland's Department of Housing and Community Development has Smart Keys 4 Employees, an add-on to its House Keys 4 Employees down payment and closing-cost help. Baltimore City has its own Live Near Your Work program.