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Baltimore County Settlement Expense Loan Program (SELP)

by Charlie Maykrantz 22. January 2015

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 cmaykrantz@1stmarinerbank.com 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.

Debt-to-Income Ratio: Who cares? You Should and Here’s Why

by Andrew Schreiber 21. January 2015


What is your debt-to-income ratio? Don't know? Don’t care? Do you plan on buying a car and getting a loan to do so? Do you plan on buying a house? If the answer is yes, you should definitely care what your debt-to-income ratio is.

Why is your debt-to-income ratio an important factor when looking to borrow money?

Before a lender approves you for a loan, they calculate your debt to income ratio. This gives the lender an idea of your ability to pay your monthly debts and take on a new loan. Lenders prefer to see lower debt to income ratios because it shows that you have a good balance between debt and income. If your debt to income ratio is too high, you may not be approved for the loan amount that you applied for. Generally speaking, a good goal is to keep your debt to income ratio at or below 36%.

How do you calculate a debt-to-income ratio?

Simply add up all of your monsthly debts and divide that by your gross monthly income (your income before taxes and other deductions have been taken out) to get your debt to income ratio. The formula looks like this:

Total Monthly Debts / Gross Monthly Income

Here’s an example. Let’s say you pay $400 a month for your car loan, $300 for your student loans and $300 for the rest of your monthly debts. This totals $1,000 a month in debt payments. If your gross income per month is $3,000, your debt to income ratio would be calculated as follows:

$1,000 / $3,000 = 0.33 = 33%

Your monthly debt to income ratio is 33%.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

Debt to Income Ratio: What It Is and How It Helps (or Hurts) Your Chances of Getting a Loan

What You Need to Know about Buying Your First Car

Is It Good Debt or Bad Debt?

Anne Arundel County Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP)

by Charlie Maykrantz 14. January 2015

Housing Assistance

Are you looking to purchase a home in Anne Arundel County, but short on funds for a down payment or closing costs? 1st Mariner Bank offers a program called, “The Mortgage Assistance Program” (MAP) that can provide up to $20,000 in assistance for the purchase of an owner occupied home anywhere in Anne Arundel County, including the city of Annapolis.

The maximum sales price allowed for an existing home is $242,000 while a new construction sales price limit is $295,000. These funds are a loan; however, no payments are required and are loaned at a zero percent interest rate. The dollar amount of the loan is determined by the lender and Arundel Community Development Services (ACDS). MAP funds are repaid when you sell the home, transfer the title, or in 30 years, whichever occurs first. Also, the loan is due and payable if the home is no longer the borrower’s primary residence or in some cases a refinance of the first mortgage. All homes must pass a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection, which means it cannot violate any health or safety codes.

To be eligible for the Mortgage Assistance Program you must meet the following qualifications:
  • Be a first time homebuyer, which means you have not owned property in the last three years preceding the date of your mortgage application including mobile homes, raw land, a building, principle residence, vacation home, rental property, inherited property, commercial property, any jointly held property, or a cooperative.
  • Be a graduate of the Arundel Community Development Services (ACDS) Homeownership Counseling Program.
  • Meet the household income limits as set for by the program administrator.

Once the applicant graduates from the Homeownership Counseling Program they will be provided a Mortgage Assistance Program application along with their Homeownership Counseling Graduation Certificate.

In all cases, the borrower must contribute at least 1% of the sales price to the transaction. At the time of settlement a borrower cannot have savings in excess of three months of mortgage payments.

For more information please contact Charlie Maykrantz at cmaykrantz@1stmarinerbank.com or 410-735-2068.

The above program ie 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 this program without the approval of the program administrator. All applicants must be qualified to purchase and participate in this program per underwriting guidelines of both 1st Mariner and the program administrator.

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