Some 80 to 90 low- to moderate-income families can buy a first home at reduced rates, thanks to a state infusion of mortgage money for Anne Arundel County.
The Maryland Mortgage Program has given the county $7.5 million to make loans at 7 percent and 7.75 percent, County Executive Robert R. Neall announced last week.
A single person earning less than $28,900 would be eligible for a 30-year loan at 7 percent, while a single person earning $28,901 to $36,080 and a couple earning $45,045 or less could apply for a 7.75 percent loan.
"These programs are not only very important personally to the homebuyer, many of whom couldn't afford to enter the housing market without them, but also important to our local economy," Mr. Neall said. "We need to do what we can to assure that people who work in the county can also afford to live here."
The state-backed mortgages can be used for existing homes priced up to $88,000 or for new homes costing up to $93,500.
Patricia McMillan, a county administrator for the division of Housing and Community Development, said buyers can find homes in that price range in the Jacob's Meadow town house and condominium development in Severn as well as in condominium projects such as Cromwell Fountain in Glen Burnie.
"We're trying to fill a gap that the private lending industry doesn't fill for moderate-income families," Ms. McMillan said. "These are not folks who can get financing in a conventional market."
Almost all mortgage corporations or banks participate in the 15-year-old program, she said.
In March, the county unveiled its own loan program to complement the state's, to help first-time home buyers pay settlement costs.
Under the county's Settlement Expense Loan Program, a buyer can apply for a loan of up to $5,000 to help pay costs such as credit report fees, appraisal fees, transfer and recordation taxes, loan discount points, property tax and hazard insurance escrows. The county has $90,000 available. Loans must be repaid within five to eight years.
Additionally, the county has $170,000 available through its new Construction Loan Program. The program offers low- to moderate-income families no-interest loans to build single-family homes on their own lots.
The county has teamed up with private lenders, Realtors and title companies to offer first-time homebuyer seminars to familiarize buyers with searching for a home, applying for a loan and getting through settlement.
The sessions are scheduled from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Arundel Center North in Glen Burnie; from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Odenton Fire Hall; and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 23 at the South County Senior Center in Edgewater.