It's not $8,000, but it is a government incentive: You could get $3,000 from Baltimore if you attend an event this Saturday or Monday and buy in the western half of the city. The money can be put toward your closing costs and down payment.

The first 50 people who close on a home purchase within 90 days of Live Baltimore's Buying Into Baltimore event this Saturday (and meet several other qualifications) are eligible for the city money, which starts out as a loan and converts into a grant after you've lived in your home for five years.

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Comprehensive Housing Assistance Inc. says participants in its own Buying Into Baltimore event on Monday are also eligible.

Both events will have tours of homes for sale and home-buying information.

Live Baltimore's is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, 1400 W. Cold Spring Lane. CHAI's event is Monday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 5700 Park Heights Ave.

You might check with your employer to see if it participates in the city's Live Near Your Work program or the state's similarly named effort. That's another way to get a closing-cost and down-payment grant. (Johns Hopkins employees can get up to $17,000 in certain neighborhoods.)

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