MaineHousing offers first-time homebuyers an Advantage

Low interest rate plus $3,500 for down payment and closing cost assistance available through Advantage Program

AUGUSTA, Maine – February 24, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Maine’s real estate and lending experts are forecasting a solid home-buying season this year, and MaineHousing is improving its First Home Mortgage Program to help prospective buyers take the guess work out of choosing a home loan.

MaineHousing already offers a 3.5% (0 points, 4.25% APR) fixed rate on its 30-year mortgage loan. Now, through its Advantage Program, MaineHousing is providing a $3,500 grant for qualified homebuyers to use toward down payment and closing costs. No additional costs are involved and repayment is not required. (Visit www.mainehousinghomeloans.org for more information.)

Today’s mortgage lending climate is highly competitive, however MaineHousing believes its low rates, Advantage Program, and other program options will make it an attractive choice.

MaineHousing mortgage loans are available through more than 30 lending partners statewide, with many offering their own mortgage products, making it important for borrowers to ask specifically about a MaineHousing loan. A list of lenders is available at www.mainehousinghomeloans.org.

“An important part of the home-buying process is learning what mortgage is best for your budget,” said MaineHousing Director John Gallagher. “MaineHousing’s First Home Mortgage is an attractive option for first-time homebuyers, and when compared with other mortgage products in the marketplace, it could be the choice that makes homeownership a reality.”

MaineHousing’s First Home Mortgage Program is available to first-time homebuyers (defined as people who have not owned their principal residence in the past three years), and is available to active duty or retired military personnel, whether or not they have owned a home in the past three years. Income and purchase price limits do apply, but most Maine households and homes are eligible.

The Advantage Program with the $3,500 down payment and closing cost assistance grant requires buyers who choose the 0-point loan option to complete a hoMEworks-approved homebuyer education class prior to closing.

For most people, buying a home is the biggest financial decision of one’s life. MaineHousing believes it’s important to learn more about each step that will be taken on the path to homeownership enabling sound financial decisions to be made along the way.

“At MaineHousing, we strongly believe that education is important to succeed at homeownership,” Gallagher said. “Completion of a hoMEworks-approved homebuyer education class helps homebuyers understand the entire process and gives them confidence to make this substantial purchase.”

The hoMEworks-approved homebuyer education class is offered statewide and includes topics such as how to budget before and after buying a home, choosing the right mortgage, selecting a real estate agent, completing a loan application, and preparing for the loan closing. It will also provide valuable information regarding home inspections and ongoing maintenance needs. For class locations and times, visit www.mainehomeworks.org.

In addition to offering low fixed rates, little or no down payment is required for mortgages that are insured by through the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), USDA Rural Development (RD), and the Veterans Administration (VA).

MaineHousing loans come with four months of mortgage payment protection (MaineHOPE) for eligible borrowers who lose their jobs.

MaineHousing’s program also includes the Purchase Plus Improvement (PPI) option that allows homebuyers to borrow money to purchase the home and up to an additional $35,000 for repairs and improvements (including energy efficiency improvements) in one loan, one closing.
More than 10,500 Maine families currently live in a MaineHousing-financed home, including nearly 500 Maine families who purchased homes through the program last year.

Contact: Deborah Turcotte
MaineHousing Public Information Manager
Media: (207) 626-4617
Public: (207) 626-4600 and ask for Homeownership

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