New Maryland initiative aims to help millennials become home owners

- FREDERICK, Md. - Through the Maryland Mortgage Program, the "You've Earned It!" Initiative enables entry level home-buyers to purchase their first home with lower interest, a better down payment and longer mortgage (on average) for those who have significant student debt.

The initiative is offering a 2.75 percent fixed rate, 30-year mortgage and $10,000 down payment assistance to qualified home buyers with more than $25,000 in student debt.

One Maryland loan officer with the Presidential Mortgage Program, Trish Croker, said this is a very good deal.

"You can get into a home with no money out of your pocket through this program, if you don't have any savings and you're trying to pay back your student loans, your income that you're earning will go more towards repaying your student loans than paying mortgage payment," Croker said. 

Croker said it mainly lessens the burdens for buyers with student loan debt.

Gov. Larry Hogan and Secretary Kenneth Holt first announced that $20 million will go towards this initiative on Monday, May 4.

On Thursday, May 7, Secretary Holt told the Maryland Mortgage Bankers Association, "expanding the capacity of the Maryland Mortgage Program through innovative approaches such as 'You've Earned It!' is one of the new administration's three housing and community development goals."

Owner of Mackintosh Realtor, Stephen "Buzz" Mackintosh, said it's not only for first time home buyers, but also for those who previously owned and sold property. 

"If the person is going to be paying a mortgage, why pay your landlords mortgage, you can pay your own mortgage," Mackintosh said.  "It's for savings where you're building some equity, instead of paying rent and throwing your money away."

This program is only being offered for a limited time in downtown communities throughout the state, and is seeking to revitalize the 82 participating places.

"It's good for the neighborhood, it's good for the real estate industry and it's perfect for the buyers," Croker said "It gives them $10,000 to get in that they might not have because they're overburdened with their student loan debt."

There is at least one designated sustainable community in each of Maryland's 23 counties.

In order to go through the program, you must complete a first home buyers course and go through an approved lender.

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