Maine Mortgage and Refinance Rates
As of Wednesday, August 4, 2021, current rates in Maine are 3.00% for a 30-year fixed, and 2.25% for a 15-year fixed.
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Maine mortgage overview
By Zach Wichter
Maine, with about 3,500 miles of rocky coastline and over 3,000 islands, has plenty to offer homebuyers who love nature and lots of space. One of the nation’s least-populated states, The Pine Tree State averages 43 people per square mile, according to Census estimates. Home prices in Maine have crept up over the past decade, but remain relatively affordable. The median sale price was $225,000 in 2019, up 4.7 percent from the year before, according to the Maine Association of Realtors.
First-time homebuyer programs in Maine
Maine Housing, the state’s housing authority, offers a variety of programs that can help you get an affordable mortgage with a low or no down payment. Here’s a closer look:
First Home Loan Program
If you’re a first-time homebuyer or haven’t owned a home in the past three years, you may qualify for a low-interest, fixed-rate mortgage through Maine Housing. (Veterans, retired military or active-duty service members don’t need to be first-time buyers to qualify.) Maine Housing mortgages have low- or no-down payment options. Eligible properties include single-family homes, condos, owner-occupied apartments with two to four units and some mobile homes.
Household income limits apply (although most Maine residents don’t exceed them), and a minimum credit score of 640 is required.
Advantage Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance
The Advantage program can be combined with a Maine Housing mortgage to provide $3,500 for your down payment or closing costs. You must contribute at least 1 percent of the loan amount from your own funds to qualify, and a homebuyer education class is required.
Purchase Plus Improvement Program
If the home you’re buying requires renovation, the Purchase Plus Improvement program through Maine Housing, a single mortgage that finances both the purchase and renovation, may help. The program provides $500 to $35,000 for home improvements, depending on who is completing the work, with the amount rolled into the mortgage so you can pay it off over time.
To qualify, the total cost of the home and the project must fall within purchase price limits. A fee of 6 percent of the construction costs applies, and the only certain projects are eligible, such as adding a garage, making energy efficiency improvements or increasing the accessibility of the home. Upgrades such as installing a deck or swimming pool do not qualify.
Mobile Home Self-Insured Program
The Mobile Home Self-Insured program through Maine Housing offers mortgages for mobile homes costing up to $175,000. No private mortgage insurance is required, even if you’re putting down less than 20 percent. Instead, you’ll be charged a slightly higher interest rate.
You do need to put down 5 percent for a down payment, with at least 3 percent coming out of your own funds. The maximum debt-to-income ratio is 43 percent and the minimum credit score required is 640, although alternative credit may be considered. You may also be able to combine the program with the Advantage assistance or Purchase Plus Improvement loan.
You’re eligible if one of the following applies:
- You’re a first-time homebuyer or haven’t owned a home in three years.
- You owned an unattached mobile home on leased land.
- You’re a veteran or active-duty military member who sold a home prior to closing on your Maine Housing mortgage.
Maine mortgage refinancing
With interest rates at record lows, Maine borrowers may be interested in refinancing their mortgage into a new one with a lower rate. Use Bankrate’s mortgage refinance calculator to see how much you can save by lowering your rate.
Maine Housing does not currently offer any refinance programs, but homeowners with a mortgage through the agency who are having difficulty making payments due to COVID-19 may be eligible for assistance. If you’ve lost your job, ask about the Maine HOPE (HomeOwnership Protection for unEmployment) program, which may assist you with up to four mortgage payments. Other potential options include forbearance, payment plans or loan modifications.