New Primary Resident Incentives in Ocean City, MD

Amid the coronavirus pandemic and unrest in some of the country’s largest cities, homeowners are beginning to seek residency in smaller metro areas. A recent report by real estate company Redfin shows as many as 27.4 percent of their website users were looking to move to smaller metro areas in the second quarter of 2020. Ocean City Mayor, Rick Meehan and the town council recently approved a two-year pilot Primary Residence Incentive Program (referred to as PRIP) that aims to promote housing affordability for new year-round residents moving to Ocean City. The timing could not have been more perfect for the City Council to move forward with PRIP.

In the past, Ocean City has been passed on as a place for primary residency because permitting fees and property taxes are more affordable in neighboring towns such as Berlin, Ocean Pines, Fenwick and other Delaware towns. For the last year or so, the Mayor and Council have heard concerns from property owners and potential homebuilders about the rising cost of developing new homes in our resort town including building permit fees, impact fees, inspection fees and a variety of other factors.

With the pilot program PRIP, new residents that sign an affidavit committing to a 5-year primary residence use of the property and agreeing not to rent the property are eligible for a building permit fee waiver of up to $7,500 for new construction or substantially improved primary residences. Impact fees may be included in this amount. In addition, once a property owner establishes primary residence and occupancy within the Town of Ocean City, they are eligible for a Real Property tax rebate of up to $2,500 allocated over a maximum of 5 years. Applicants may be eligible for both programs, for a
combined potential cost savings of $10,000.

By passing this pilot program, the future of Ocean City is what is ultimately on the mind of the City Council. Encouraging new primary residency in town will optimistically promote investment in the local community by increasing property-values, increasing participation in special events, recreational activities and civic participation and creating new small businesses, employees and volunteers.

Interested applicants can apply online at and completed forms can be emailed to [email protected]

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