AUGUSTA – The Maine State Housing Authority has increased the price of homes eligible for financing under the agency’s first-time homebuyer program.

The changes make more Maine homes eligible for financing under the program, which provides reduced interest rate mortgages to help low and moderate income families purchase their first homes, said authority Director Michael Finnegan.

“Under federal regulations we can establish the maximum home prices for our first-time homebuyer program at 90 percent of the average home price for the metropolitan area or county,” Finnegan said. “The new home prices we established for 15 regions this month reflect the higher cost of homes in the state.

“By increasing these limits we allow more homes to qualify for our financing, and we can help more Maine people buy their first home. “

The new maximum home prices range from 2 to 14 percent over the old price limits, depending on the region. In a few regions the price limits will remain the same because home prices have not increased.

Areas with the largest percentage gain for existing homes include Androscoggin County (up 14 percent to $125,700); Greater Bangor ( up 14 percent to $118,400); Greater Kittery (up 13 percent to $247,700); and Franklin County (up 12 percent to $105,900).

More than 90 percent of the homes financed through the program are existing single-family homes. The program also can be used to finance new homes and two-, three- and four-unit homes if the owner lives in one of the units. New prices limits have been established for these types of housing.

The program continues to offer low interest rate loans – 4.875 percent for the standard First Home program, and 3.95 percent for the Great Rate option that is limited to lower income borrowers.

Loans are available through a network of 45 Maine banks, mortgage companies, credit unions and other lenders. For more information visit www.mainehousing.org.


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