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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Settlement Assistance, Private Mortgage Insurance

Does Lancaster General Health have a list of homes that are available for sale?

We recommend that you work with a real estate agent to locate a home that meets your needs. Lancaster General Health does not have a listing. Employees who have homes for sale may list them in the Classified Section of In General.

Will I be taxed on this?

The funds are given to you as a loan that is forgiven proportionately each pay period over five years. You will be taxed on the amount that is forgiven each pay-period. We will help you determine approximately what this amount will be.

What if my credit is not good?

It will be up to your lender to determine whether you will qualify for a mortgage. We recommend you comparison shop a few different lenders.

Can you help me sell my house if it is within the zone?

We do not help you advertise, but you may list it in the Lancaster General Health Classifieds. Contact Jill Gross at extension 45053 to place an ad in the Classified Section of In General.

If I don't need $10,000 for closing costs, can I use it towards down-payment?

Yes. Closing costs must be paid first. The balance of the $10,000 can go directly towards the principal on the loan.

How long will the program be offered?

The plan documents say we can make changes or eliminate the program at any time; however there are no current plans to discontinue the program.

If the Home in the City benefit program is discontinued in the future, what happens if I am in the process of buying a home?

If you are already participating and have been approved for a specific home, you will remain in the program even if the program is subsequently changed or eliminated.

What if I switch to part-time due to having a baby or another reason?

If you change to PT, you will have to repay the balance due at that point. Going to less than a .8 is considered to be in default of the agreement. However, during the time an employee is out on FMLA for any reason (including the birth of a child), they are considered to be full time for the duration of that leave, so they would not be considered to be in default.

Do I have to work with any particular real estate agent, lending agent, or settlement company?

No. You may use the agencies and bank of your choice.

Do I have to get an inspection or an appraisal before I make an offer on the house?

That decision is entirely up to you and your lender.

Curb Appeal

Do I need to obtain a permit before doing improvements on my home?

Current City regulations include permit requirements. Call the City of Lancaster's Housing and Structural Inspections Department at 291-4724 for information on the city regulations. To find out whether a home is in a historic district, the homeowner should contact the Bureau of Planning at 291-4726. You can also refer to the City of Lancaster's website at www.cityoflancasterpa.com.

Can I do the work myself?

You may do the work yourself, but you will only be reimbursed for materials.

When should I apply for the program?

You should apply for the reimbursement before you begin any work. An Lancaster General Health representative will visit your home to look at the project before you begin. They will take "before" and "after" photographs of the project.

Do I need to use a licensed contractor?

The City of Lancaster does have requirements related to contractor licensure. Check with the City to learn those requirements.

What improvements are eligible?

Home in the City will reimburse curb appeal improvements that include any exterior improvements to the real estate. The matching portion required by the homeowner must also be made to the exterior of the home. Examples include the repair or replacement of porches, railings, doors, windows, spouting, roofs, and sidewalks. Painting the exterior of your home is also included, but interior improvements are not. The program does not cover landscaping.

If I want to rebuild my porch this year and replace my spouting next year, can I take advantage of this program for both projects if the total of the two projects does not exceed the allowed amount?

The Home in the City Curb Appeal program can be used only once. We recommend that you submit the application for both projects together. Funds will be disbursed one time only following the completion of both projects.

I used the Settlement Assistance program to help in the purchase of my home. Can I also take advantage of the Curb Appeal program?

Yes, you may take advantage of the Curb Appeal Program at any time following the settlement of your home purchase.