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Today’s Rates for First Time Homebuyers in Maryland

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mortgage rates are at 4.10% for the 30 year fixed loan program and at 3.19% for the 15 year fixed. As for variable rates, the 5/1 ARM rate currently stands at 3.17%. Check out FHA and VA rates as well if you are doing low or no down payments.

Maryland First Time Home Buyer Checklist

  1. Get educated about various mortgage options. If you're moving to an eligible area, you may qualify for a zero down payment loan through USDA. Veterans may be eligible for VA loans, which do not require cash down. The content in the paragraphs below should give you an idea of where you may fall. 
  2. Check your credit score. Your credit should fall somewhere above 600, but few lenders accept scores in the high 500s. If your credit score needs a boost, work on raising it before you try to take out a mortgage. Once a year, you're able to request a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus. 
  3. Compare interest rates from different lenders in your part of Maryland. Choose one who not only provides a great offer, but carries a hefty rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  4. Get pre-approved. Once you've picked a lender, provide income documentation with your last two pay stubs and tax returns from the past two years. 
  5. Calculate your affordability. You could be pre-approved for a loan amount that is bigger than you had dreamed, but do not base affordability on the sum provided. Remember - pre-approvals are not guaranteed, and only you know what you can truly afford. 
  6. Begin home shopping. Be sure to avoid making extravagant purchases, taking out new installment loans, or anything else that could blemish your financial standing or credit score. Lenders will check your accounts again before closing your loan.  

Low Down Payment Loans Through FHA

If you’re a first time home buyer without a lot to put down, a Maryland FHA loan may accommodate you. FHA loans are backed by the government and designed to help home buyers with limited upfront funds 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 Maryland page of the FHA website.

No Down Payment Loans Through USDA

The United States Department of Agriculture backs home loans for zero down to Maryland home buyers looking to move to or live in rural areas. Find out if your buying city is eligible by searching the USDA's property map. Note that popular areas like Baltimore and Bethesda 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 

Maryland Grant and Assistance Programs

The Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) is facilitated through the state Department of Community and Housing development and offers an affordable, low interest, 30 year mortgage to Maryland residents who meet income and property eligibility requirements and complete the required home buyer education course prior to receiving financing. There are no location restrictions, so popular cities like Baltimore and Bethesda are eligible. 

Down payment and closing cost assistance is also available in conjunction with the MPP loan, and can garner as much as $8,500 in mortgage aid for qualifying borrowers. The funds are acquired through a second, interest-free loan. Down payment assistance is also available through Partner programs, and may be a loan or cash grant. 

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user suit Lenders in: Maryland.

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