Baltimore County Settlement Expense Loan Program (SELP)

  • 22 Jan 2015
  • Posted by estarr

Mortgage Assistance

If you are looking to purchase a home in the Baltimore County area, but need help with down payment and closing costs, then 1st Mariner Bank has just the answer: the “Baltimore County Settlement Expense Loan Program” (SELP) as offered through the Department of Planning and Housing Opportunities of Baltimore County. This program is an effort to encourage first time homebuyers to consider home ownership in existing residential communities in Baltimore County. Located within the Community Conservation Area of the county, it excludes the growth areas of White Marsh and Owings Mills. Loans up to $10,000 are available to families whose income is at or below 80% of the area median income, adjusted for household size.

Here are some of the eligibility requirements:

  1. Buyer must complete the Homebuyer Education Curriculum before signing a real estate contract.
  2. All borrowers must meet income qualifications and be first time buyers that have not owned property in the last three years. Exceptions can be granted for separation, divorce, death of a spouse or prior ownership of documented substandard housing.
  3. Buyer must qualify for a fixed rate mortgage.
  4. Borrower’s post-purchase assets cannot exceed 25% of gross annual household income.
  5. Borrower minimum cash contribution in the transaction is equal to 5% of gross household income.
  6. Buyers proposed housing and debt expense must meet guidelines as stated per Baltimore County and cannot exceed said limits.

Existing property must be owner occupied, occupied by borrower, or vacant. New construction is excluded in this program. The home must have a satisfactory home inspection and meet the federal Housing Quality Standards (HQS) using an inspection firm from the pre-qualified county list.

The SELP loan amount has a minimum of $1,000 and maximum of $10,000. The terms of the loan state that the loan is deferred for (15) years (affordability period). Thereafter, the loan is forgiven after 15 years, unless sale, transfer of title, or default occurs before the end of the (affordability period) 15 years.

For more information on these programs or any of our other products at 1st Mariner Bank please feel free to contact Charlie Maykrantz at [email protected] or 410-735-2068.

The above programs are subject to change at any time and this does not constitute a guarantee on the part of 1st Mariner Bank as an obligation to offer these programs without the approval of the program administrator. All applicants must be qualified to purchase and participate in these programs per underwriting guidelines of both 1st Mariner and the program administrator.

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Best Loans for First Time Homebuyers

  • 07 Oct 2014
  • Posted by estarr

First Time Homebuyer

You've decided to purchase your first house - congratulations! You’ve hired a real estate agent and a few weeks later you find your dream home. Now you need to get the loan process started, so you research and choose a lender and before you know it you are in their office filling out papers and talking numbers.

This is the part where you will likely have numerous choices on which loan program works for you. Some programs have mortgage insurance, while others do not. Some programs require greater down payments, while others require less money down. How do you decide which program fits your needs as a first time homebuyer? Read below to sort through three of the most popular home loans.

1) Conventional

A conventional loan is what is sometimes known as a “traditional” loan. It is not guaranteed or insured by any government agency. Conventional loans do require a down payment, typically 5 percent or more. These home loans are often insured by private mortgage insurance if the down payment is less than 20 percent of the value of the property being financed. However, PMI (private mortgage insurance) can “drop off” when the loan balance is scheduled to reach 78 percent of the original value of the home. So PMI won’t have to be with the borrower forever with a conventional loan.

2) FHA

An FHA 203(b) home loan is a very popular first time home buyer loan option. This type of loan is insured by the Federal Government, and lenders are able to provide a borrower with competitive interest rates as a result. Credit score and credit requirements are generally more lenient than they are for a conventional loan. An FHA loan only requires a 3.5 percent down payment, which is the smallest amount down of any loan program, except a VA loan. However, FHA loans also require mortgage insurance, which will never drop off unless you refinance out of an FHA loan.

3) VA

In 1944, the U.S. government created a military loan guaranty program to initially help returning service members purchase homes. Since then, the program has helped more than 20 million veterans and their families with an affordable home financing situation. The VA loan has distinct advantages over traditional mortgages, such as requiring no down payment, competitive interest rates, and no mortgage insurance. However, you must meet eligibility requirements to qualify for a VA home loan. If you are active military or veteran, a VA home loan may be the right solution for your first time home buying needs.

As you can see, there are a variety of loan choices to consider when purchasing your first home. It is important to speak with your loan specialist about all of your potential options and find a loan program that fits your particular situation the best.

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