Real Estate Report

(Dec. 7, 2018) The Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) helps homebuyers in Maryland achieve their dream of homeownership through a range of programs that make purchasing and owning a home more affordable.

Below are two options of loan products through the MMP that offer lower interest rates than the mortgage market can offer buyers.

The 1st Time Advantage is designed to offer eligible first-time homebuyers the lowest 30-year fixed interest rate available for a Maryland Mortgage Program loan.

The Maryland HomeCredit Program (mortgage credit certificates) may not be layered with this loan, and there are no MMP down payment or closing cost assistance funds (including Partner Match) other than the Special Assistance Grants, if applicable.

The 1st Time Advantage with 3 percent assistance offers eligible first-time home buyers a low interest rate on their first mortgage and a deferred, no interest second loan equal to 3 percent of the first mortgage.

This 3 percent assistance loan can be used for down payment and closing costs and no payments are due until the first mortgage is either paid off, refinanced, or transferred.

Also, if the 3 percent assistance loan funds exceed closing costs and down payment costs the remaining amount can even be applied by the lender to the principal.

Buyers must be first-time homebuyers and meet all of the standard MMP eligibility requirements such as income limits.

Both the 1st Time Advantage and the 1st Time Advantage with 3 percent assistance products are only available for first-time homebuyers, unless:

• Borrower is purchasing in a targeted area and sold their current home prior to closing on the new property; (for more information on where targeted areas are located within the state, visit www.mmp.maryland.gov); or

• It has been more than three years since borrower has owned a principal residence; or

• Borrower is an honorably discharged veteran who has not previously used the first-time homebuyer exemption. This is in accordance with the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008, as amended. A DD-214 form must be submitted to document veteran status, and a Veteran First Time Homebuyer Exemption form must be completed.

— Lauren Bunting is a licensed Associate Broker with Bunting Realty, Inc. in Berlin.

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