Driving from his condominium in the Mays Chapel area of Timonium to his job at Northwest Hospital in Randallstown—especially during the snowy and frigid winter months—was not an easy commute for longtime LifeBridge Health employee James McGill.
Tired of fighting through congested interstate traffic on a daily basis and condo living in general, McGill, a picture archiving and communications system (PACS) administrator, began scouring real estate listings for a nice traditional-style home near Northwest Hospital.
“I was looking for something small, but with multiple levels,” he said.
He then found the perfect place—a three-story, two-bedroom, brick-front colonial townhouse in Oakwood Village about five minutes from work. After picking out his ideal domicile, inevitably came the tough part—mapping out how to meet the immediate expenses that can hamper homebuyers. McGill didn’t just have the price of the home itself to worry about; he was also budgeting for home inspection and moving costs. But a newly enhanced program that provides incentives for LifeBridge employees who purchase a home near Northwest Hospital lessened McGill’s financial burden.
It was while reading an issue of the Bridge employee newsletter when McGill learned about the expanded Live Near Your Work program, which LifeBridge offers in partnership with Baltimore County. The program helps employees with down payments and closing costs. Having employees, the system’s greatest ambassadors, live near LifeBridge Health hospitals cultivates and strengthens a sense of community.
Instantly intrigued by the concept of being incentivized for moving closer to your place of employment, McGill applied for a “Live Near Your Work” grant and received it in advance of his September closing date.
A Chicago native, McGill is now thrilled to own his first home in Maryland. His son, Marcus, will stay with him temporarily, and he also plans to get a German shepherd. Just as much as the new digs, McGill is going to relish the shorter commutes and being an ambassador for LifeBridge Health in his new neighborhood.
“Any time that your job is going to support you and put you in a position to make positive contributions to the community that you work in, it’s a big benefit,” he said.
LifeBridge Health has been offering the “Live Near Your Work” program for years, with success in providing grants for homeownership in neighborhoods near Sinai Hospital. But it was announced in June that Baltimore County would also provide matching incentives to employees who buy homes near Northwest Hospital.
To qualify for the expanded “Live Near Your Work” program, you must be a LifeBridge Health employee, purchase a home in one of the program’s eligible neighborhoods (which are listed on Baltimore County’s official website), contribute at least $1,000 towards the purchase of the home, and use the property as your principal residence. Depending on the location of the house, employees can earn homebuyer grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. The highest incentives are given to employees who purchase homes in Stevenswood, Courtleigh, Greens Lane, Fieldstone, Lochearn, Gwynn Oak and Colonial Village, communities within close proximity of Northwest Hospital that have seen a decline in home ownership in recent years.
For more about the Live Near Your Work program, LifeBridge Health employees should visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/planning, or call LifeBridge Employee Services at 410-601-8000.
To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.