Md. National adds $3.5 million to HOME program Bank aims to help low-income buyers


Maryland National Bank says it cares about low-income, first-time homebuyers. Last week the bank put more of its money where its mouth is.

The subsidiary of MNC Financial Inc. added $3.5 million to its Home Ownership Made Easy (HOME) program, a single-family home mortgage program Maryland National launched in 1989.

Since then, the company has committed more than $20 million in mortgages to the program, which is designed to encourage low- and moderate-income families to buy a first home.

HOME originally was offered in the Baltimore area, but since has spread to Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties, according to Maryland National.

The program offers a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with no money down. The interest rate is 7.75 percent, with one point from the buyer and one point from the seller. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate in the Baltimore area last week was 7.49 percent and 1.83 points, according to HSH Associates of Butler, N.J. But many banks require a down payment of at least 20 percent.

The HOME program also offers free prepurchase housing counseling, and a quarter-point discount for buyers who

complete the counseling.

The program is eligible to two-income families who earn a maximum of $40,950, or single-income families with annual earnings of $32,800 or less. And the price of a new house cannot exceed $85,000, or $80,000 for an existing home.

"The HOME program has helped nearly 200 families become homeowners during the past four years," said Clarence Snuggs, Maryland National's vice president for community development services.

The prepurchase counseling will be provided by one of more than a dozen community organizations. The number to call for more information at Maryland National is (800) 992-1125.

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