Tag Archives: first time home buyer

Maryland announces mortgage program for active duty and veterans

flagA $20 million initiative was announced to assist veterans and military families to buy a home. The “You’ve Earned It!” program offers low mortgage and significant down payment assistance.

Governor Larry Hogan was quoted in a press release from the Governor’s office, ““I am very proud of this new initiative, which helps our brave men and women in uniform and their families to achieve the American dream of home ownership and establish roots here in Maryland…The program is not only good for our economy, but good for our communities.”

The “You’ve Earned It!” initiative is a program through the Maryland Mortgage Program. The program offers active duty military (including Reserves and National Guard), honorably discharged veterans and honorably discharged disabled veterans a 2.75% fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage and $10,000 in down-payment assistance. The program is available until the $20 million allocation is exhausted – so hurry!

Purchases must be in one of Maryland’s Sustainable Communities. There is at least one designated Sustainable Community in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City. Find a Maryland Sustainable Community: (www.mdhousing.org/website/programs/dn/communities.aspx);or search by property address (www.bit.ly/dhcd_scmap).

What do first time home buyers need to know?

Home buying tips and fundamentals for

first time home buyers

Don’t let your first time home buying experience be overwhelming. Before you plan your Sunday trip to open houses, it’s important to review the fundamentals and make sure you are going into your home purchase fully aware of the responsibility you are about to take on, as well as prepare you for the process and pitfalls that may come your way.

The first item on the list is to determine how much you can afford. Affordability is determined by your financial state and interest rates. Your financial state includes factors such as your income, debt, savings, and expenses. Interest rates impact on your ability to purchase a home because your monthly payment is based on the rate you lock into; the higher the rate, the higher your payment. To determine how much you can afford, you need to contact a mortgage lender for a pre-approval (I am happy to provide you with several names of licensed loan officers).

Once you know how much you can afford, make a housing budget. Making a housing budget can help you understand your expenses, which included utilities, maintenance, and other expenses such as cable and internet. Additionally, take into account any interest rate adjustment (if you have an adjustable rate mortgage) and increasing real estate taxes. Many first time home buyers get into trouble because they underestimate their monthly housing expenses.

Knowing your rights as a home buyer can help you too. Learn about consumer protection laws such as RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act), Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Truth in Lending Act. You can get more information about these laws from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (consumerfinance.gov).

As a first time home buyer it is important to know that you have the right to choose your service providers (except for certain circumstances), such as real estate agent, lender, title attorney, insurance provider, etc.

Your next step will be to choose a real estate agent. It is recommended to interview several agents before choosing as your agent will be your trusted guide through the home buying process. A good buyer agent is not only a good negotiator, but does their best to protect your interests.

For more information, please contact me or complete the form below: