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Today’s Rates for First Time Homebuyers in Alaska

Monday, October 23, 2017

Mortgage rates are at 4.28% for the 30 year fixed loan program and at 3.25% for the 15 year fixed. As for variable rates, the 5/1 ARM rate currently stands at 3.33%. Check out FHA and VA rates as well if you are doing low or no down payments.

Alaska First Time Home Buyer Checklist

  1. Weigh out your loan program options. Depending on your background and area, you may be elgible for no down payment loans through USDA. Military members and veterans may be eligible for VA loans, which also do not require down payment. 
  2. Check your FICO score. Qualifying credit normally falls above 600, but some lenders accept scores in the high 500s. If your credit score needs repairs, work on boosting it before you try to take out a loan. Once yearly, you may request a report from one or more of the three major credit bureaus.
  3. Compare interest rates from different lenders in your area of Alaska. Compare their responses and choose one who not only provides the best offer, but has consistent customer service and retains a high rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  4. Get pre-approved. Once your lender is chosen, provide proof of income with your last two pay stubs and tax returns from the past two years. 
  5. Determine your budget. You may get pre-approved for a loan amount that is bigger than you had anticipated, but do not base affordability on that amount alone. Remember - pre-approvals are not guarantees, and only you know what you can afford. 
  6. Start home shopping. In the meantime, avoid making exhorbitant purchases, taking out new installment or other loans, or anything else that dampens your financial standing. 

Low Down Payment Loans Through FHA

If you’re a first time home buyer without a lot of cash to put down, an Alaska FHA loan may suit your budget. FHA loans are backed by the government and designed to help home buyers with limited resources receive financing.

  • Down payment: 3.5%
  • Minimum acceptable credit score: 580 (varies)
  • Mortgage insurance: Upfront (1.75% loan amount) and monthly
  • Property guidelines apply and are verified via home inspection

You can find additional information about FHA loans on the Alaska page of the FHA website.

No Down Payment Loans Through USDA

The United States Department of Agriculture insures home loans for nothing down to Alaska home buyers looking to live in rural areas. Find out if your area is eligible by searching the USDA's website.  Note that high traffic areas such as Anchorage and Juneau are not eligible. 

  • Down payment: None required; financing up to 102% available depending on home appraisal
  • Minimum acceptable credit score: 620
  • Mortgage insurance: Upfront (2% loan amount) and monthly
  • Income maximums apply 

Alaska Grant and Assistance Programs

Alaska first time home buyers have two affordable specialty mortgage products available through the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC). Several property types are eligible for each program including single family homes, duplexes, and type I manufactured homes. There are no location restrictions, so popular cities like Anchorage and Juneau are eligible. :

  • Tax-Exempt Program: offers lower rate to first time home buyers who meet income and property price requirements. Several loan programs can be combined with this program including Affordable Housing Enhanced and Energy Efficiency Interest Rate Reduction
  • Taxable Program: also offers lower interest rates, but without income and property price limits. The same loan programs are offered with the Taxable option. 

Affordable Housing Enhanced in particular provides down payment assistance in the form of a grant, forgivable loan, or deferred interest. Participants must complete a home buyer education course. 

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user suit Lenders in: Alaska.

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