First Time Home Buyer Information

During my 20+ years as a successful mortgage officer, I helped thousands of first time home buyers purchase their first homes.  Now as the owner of a real estate agency, I still want to show buyers how easy it is to purchase their first home and how to get help from the State to do so!  Read the information below to get a brief idea on how you can purchase your first home, and then send me a message!

 

MaineHousing’s First Home Loan Program makes it easier and more affordable to buy a home of your own by providing low fixed interest rate mortgages. There are options with little or no down payment required, and if you still need help with the cash for closing costs, we also offer a down payment and closing cost assistance option called Advantage. 

MaineHousing mortgage options include: 

  • Little or no down payment – When a MaineHousing mortgage is combined with a government guaranty (FHA/RD/ VA) or with a MaineHousing approved  private mortgage insurance company, little or no down payment is required.

    MaineHousing is currently offering a private mortgage insurance pilot program with Arch MI for one Unit Single Family properties and approved Condominiums located in the cities of Bangor, Lewiston, Auburn, Westbrook, Portland or South Portland only. MaineHousing Quick Guide
  • Advantage down payment and closing cost assistance – The Advantage option can provide $3,500 toward the cash you need for closing. Applicants choosing Advantage must take a hoMEworks-approved homebuyer education class prior to closing and must make a minimum borrower contribution of 1% of the loan. The cost of the homebuyer education class counts towards the 1% contribution. Advantage Summary Sheet
  • Low fixed interest rates with no point and low point options – MaineHousing’s low interest rates can save our average homebuyer thousands of dollars over the full term of the loan.

    Discount points may be paid at closing to reduce your interest rate. MaineHousing offers both a zero point and a two point mortgage option. Whether payment of points makes financial sense for you may depend on how long you think you’ll stay in your home without refinancing your mortgage. Current Rate Sheet

  • Home improvements included in your loan amount – The Purchase Plus Improvement option finances the purchase and needed repairs of a home with one loan. If you are eligible, you may include between $500 and $35,000 for home improvements in your mortgage, as long as the cost of the home plus improvements does not exceed program purchase price limits. Purchase Plus Improvement Summary Sheet

  • Financing for mobile homes – MaineHousing offers mortgages for single- and double-wide mobile homes located on owned or leased land. With this program option, there is a purchase price limit of $175,000 statewide, interest rates are a little higher, and the term of the loan is based on the age of the mobile home. Mobile Home Self-Insured Summary Sheet


Eligibility

Am I eligible?
  • Am I a first-time homebuyer?  If you have not held an ownership interest in your principal home within the past 3 years, you qualify as a first-time homebuyer.  That means even if you have owned a home before you may still be eligible. 
  • Am I a Veteran, retired military or on qualified active duty?  If so, the first-time homebuyer requirement is waived and MaineHousing provides an interest rate reduction. Salute ME Summary
  • Although household income limits apply, most Maine households are income-eligible for the program. Limits vary depending on how many people live in your household and where in Maine you plan to buy your home. 
  • You must have an acceptable credit history with a minimum credit score of 640.
  • Can I afford a home? Generally, you should plan to use no more than 30 – 33 percent (30 -33 %) of your income for a monthly mortgage payment. A MaineHousing-approved First Home Lender can help you determine how much home you can afford and identify any credit issues you may need to work on before buying.
What kind of home can I buy?

  • New and existing single family homes.
  • Owner-occupied, 2- to 4-unit apartment buildings.
  • Condominiums.
  • Permanently attached mobile homes built within the last 20 years.
    (Mobile home may be located on owned or leased land.)