First Home Loan Program

MaineHousing’s First Home Loan Program makes it easier and more affordable to buy a home of your own by providing low fixed interest rate mortgages. There are options with little or no down payment required, and if you still need help with the cash for closing costs, we also offer a down payment and closing cost assistance option called Advantage. 

You must apply for a MaineHousing loan at one of our approved lenders

MaineHousing has prepared 6 steps to simplify the home-buying process and give you the info you’ll need to know on your road to homeownership. Click on the graphic below to read more about each step.


Mortgage Calculator

Estimate monthly payments, the cost of mortgage insurance, what you might need at closing for a down payment and determine if you can afford a home.

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Rent vs Own

Does homeownership make sense at this point in your life? Learn about the relative costs, benefits, and challenges of owning versus renting a home.

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Steps To Homeownership

MaineHousing has prepared 11 steps to simplify the home-buying process and give you the info you’ll need to know on your road to homeownership.

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Click on a title below to expand each section and learn more about the advantages of keeping your mortgage in Maine with a mortgage from MaineHousing. 

Little or No Downpayment

The Advantage option can provide $5,000 toward the cash you need for closing. Applicants choosing Advantage must take a hoMEworks-approved homebuyer education class prior to closing and must make a minimum borrower contribution of 1% of the loan. The cost of the homebuyer education class counts towards the 1% contribution. Advantage Summary Sheet

When a MaineHousing mortgage is combined with a government guaranty (FHA/RD/ VA) or with a MaineHousing approved  private mortgage insurance company, little or no down payment is required.

MaineHousing is currently offering a private mortgage insurance pilot program with Arch MI for one Unit Single Family properties and approved Condominiums located in the cities of Bangor, Lewiston, Auburn, Westbrook, Portland or South Portland only. MaineHousing Quick Guide

Low Fixed Interest Rates

MaineHousing’s low interest rates can save our average homebuyer thousands of dollars over the full term of the loan.

Discount points may be paid at closing to reduce your interest rate. MaineHousing offers both a zero point and a two point mortgage option. Whether payment of points makes financial sense for you may depend on how long you think you’ll stay in your home without refinancing your mortgage. Current Rate Sheet

Payment Protection

First Home Loan mortgages also come with payment protection for unemployment. If you are a MaineHousing borrower in good standing and become unemployed, Maine HOPE – HomeOwnership Protection for unEmployment– may be able to help by advancing up to four of your mortgage payments, including taxes and homeowners insurance. The amount paid becomes a junior mortgage lien, with no interest and no monthly payments, that is repaid when you sell or pay offyour MaineHousing mortgage or stop using the home as your primary residence. It’s a little added protection for you and the investment you’ve made in your home.

Home Improvements Included

The Purchase Plus Improvement option finances the purchase and needed repairs of a home with one loan. If you are eligible, you may include between $500 and $35,000 for home improvements in your mortgage, as long as the cost of the home plus improvements does not exceed program purchase price limits. Purchase Plus Improvement Summary Sheet

Financing Mobile Homes

MaineHousing offers mortgages for single- and double-wide mobile homes located on owned or leased land. With this program option, there is a purchase price limit of $200,000 statewide, interest rates are a little higher, and the term of the loan is based on the age of the mobile home. Mobile Home Self-Insured Summary Sheet

Multi-Unit Advantage

The Multi-Unit Advantage option can provide $5,000 in closing costs and down payment assistance for each residential unit in two to four unit properties. For two units Advantage is $8,000, three units is $11,000, and four units is $14,000. Applicants must complete an approved landlord education course in addition to a hoMEworks-approved homebuyer education class prior to closing and must make a minimum borrower contribution of 1% of the loan as accepted by the mortgage insurer. Multi-Unit Advantage Summary Sheet

First Generation Program

If you have never lived in a home owned by your biological parents, or legal guardians, or have been in foster care at some point in your childhood, then you may qualify for $10,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance through the First Generation Program.

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Military Personnel Discount

If you are an active duty, veteran, or retired military personnel, you may qualify for a .50% discount on our already low First Home Loan 30-year fixed interest rate with the SaluteME program, whether or not you are a first-time home owner.

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Liam Takes Ownership

Meet Liam who became a first-time homeowner and the first in his family to own a home with MaineHousing's First Generation Loan Program.


Catherine Is Home

Meet Catherine, who thought she would never be able to afford a home in this market and had all but given up on ever owning a home until she heard about the First Home Loan Program.


Ronn Finds A Way

Meet Ronn who broke the cycle of housing instability in his family by taking a homebuyer education class and purchasing a home with a MaineHousing First Home Loan Program mortgage.


Renee Puts Down Roots

Discover Reneé and Tiahna’s story of putting down their roots with the help of a Maine hoMEworks Homebuyer Education Class and a MaineHousing First Home Loan.


The Slomas Get Settled

Meet the Slomas who moved from Alaska to Maine with the hope of finding a new home. MaineHousing First Home Loan was able to make that home a reality.



Am I a First Time Homebuyer?

If you have not held an ownership interest in your principal home within the past 3 years, you qualify as a first-time homebuyer.  That means even if you have owned a home before you may still be eligible. 

Can I afford a home?

You must have an acceptable credit history with a minimum credit score of 640 and generally, you should plan to use no more than 30 - 33 percent (30 -33 %) of your income for a monthly mortgage payment. A MaineHousing-approved First Home Lender can help you determine how much home you can afford and identify any credit issues you may need to work on before buying.

Is my income within the limits?

Although household income limits apply, most Maine households are income-eligible for the program. Limits vary depending on how many people live in your household and where in Maine you plan to buy your home. 

Does my potential home qualify?

  • New and existing single family homes.
  • Owner-occupied, 2- to 4-unit apartment buildings.
  • Condominiums.
  • Permanently attached mobile homes built within the last 20 years.
    (Mobile home may be located on owned or leased land.)

While home purchase price limits apply and vary by location and property type, most Maine homes are price eligible.  

If you're still looking for a home consider working with a MaineHousing First Home Finder, real estate professionals who sold three or more houses that were purchased with the First Home Loan in the previous year. 


Find A Participating Lender

MaineHousing First Home Loans are only offered through our participating lenders. Take a step in the right direction by finding a lender near you and getting pre-qualified today.

Get Started

Take A Homebuyer Education Class

A homebuyer education class can help you learn the ins and outs of buying a home. This class is mandatory for MaineHousing borrowers that receive our Advantage downpayment & closing cost assistance.

Find A Class


MaineHousing offers First Home Loan mortgages through a statewide network of banks, credit unions and mortgage companies.  A MaineHousing First Home Lender will help determine what you can afford to pay, what mortgage options are right for you, and help guide you from loan application through closing. 

Apply for a MaineHousing First Home Loan at one of our more than 40 First Home Lenders

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