Overview of Maine Mortgages
Maine is known for its rocky coastline, charming New England towns, lighthouses and abundant moose. In recent years, Maine mortgage rates have stuck close to the national average. Maine counties' conforming loan limits remain standard while the FHA limits show more variation.
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Maine Mortgage Rates Quick Facts
Historical Mortgage Rates in Maine
From lighthouses and lobster to Blue Hills ocean views and Acadia National Park, the most Northeastern state in the nation is a gold mine of outdoor adventure, scenic landscapes and unique history. Over the past decade, Maine mortgage rates have stayed relatively close to the national average rates. So far for 2016, that trend is continuing.
Maine Historic Mortgage Rates
|Year||Maine Rate||U.S. Rate|
Maine Mortgages Overview
Property in the Pine Tree State is cheaper overall than the nation’s average. The average single-family home is $145,700, which is above the nation’s average of $217,600, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Maine Mortgage Rates
|Percentage of Homes||95.10%|
|Average Property Value||$127,535.72|
|Percentage of Homes||4.40%|
|Average Property Value||$117,403.99|
|Percentage of Homes||0.20%|
|Average Property Value||$161,092.45|
|Percentage of Homes||0.20%|
|Average Property Value||$96,777.19|
The conforming limit for every Maine county is at the standard $417,000. However, the FHA loan limits range from $271,050 to $302,450. The five counties with higher FHA loan limits are Cumberland, Hancock, Knox, Sagadahoc and York.
Conforming and FHA Loan Limits by County
|County||Conforming Limit||FHA Limit|
Maine is also a “deed of trust” state, which means when you take out a mortgage in Maine you’ll most likely get a deed of trust instead of an actual mortgage. Lenders who issue mortgages usually have to go to court to foreclose on homes. But if a trust deed is offered instead, the lender can skip the court process by initiating a “power of sale” foreclosure by hiring a third party to auction the home it wants to foreclose.
Disclosure laws in Maine require that sellers disclose the condition about the water supply system, insulation, heating system, waste disposal system, hazardous materials and any known defects. Regardless, a home inspection is always way to feel secure in a property purchase. A quality home inspection will help you attend your closing with confidence.
30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates in Maine
If you are looking to obtain a mortgage in Maine, chances are you will land on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. This tried-and-true home loan option is especially popular for buyers who plan to remain in their houses for the long term. With a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, not only do you have a long time to pay off the loan (three decades) but your monthly payments will remain constant for the duration of the loan, unless you decide to refinance.
The average Maine mortgage rate for fixed-rate 30-year mortgages is 3.69%.
Maine Jumbo Loan Rates
Maine conforming loan limits are uniform at $417,000. As we mentioned earlier, the FHA loan limits have more variation, with five of the 16 counties going above the average $271,050. If you take out a home loan in Maine that is larger than $417,000, you will have what is considered a “jumbo loan.” Jumbo loans are nonconforming loans that come with higher interest rates to offset the increased risk on the part of lenders who issue them as more money is at stake.
The average jumbo loan rate in Maine is 4%.
Maine ARM Loan Rates
Unlike the dependable fixed-rate mortgage, an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is one in which the interest rate “adjusts” over the period of the loan. For an introductory period of one, three, five, seven or 10 years, an ARM will typically have a lower interest rate than a fixed-rate mortgage. Once that period has ended (the timeframe depends on the loan’s terms), the interest rate can increase or decrease, though it typically goes up.
Now, there are certain checks in place to ensure that you don’t suddenly wake up to an insanely high interest rate. The loan’s terms will specify how often the rate can increase, as well as the maximum possible height that it can reach. If the lower initial interest rate of an ARM is tempting to you, just don’t forget to check and ensure that you can actually pay the highest potential rate.
The average rate for an ARM in Maine is 3.38%.
Maine Mortgage Resources
Do you need assistance with the homebuying process in Maine? There are resources out there to help you in your mortgage process.
The Maine State Housing Authority’s First Home Loan program helps first-time homebuyers afford a home in Maine. Advantage down payment and closing cost assistance can offer up to $3,500 for closing costs. The Purchase Plus Improvement option can help finance the purchase of a home and repairs with one loan - up to $35,000. The programs are open to first-time homebuyers, but household income limits apply.
|Resource||Problem or Issue||Who Qualifies||Website|
|Maine State Housing Authority First Home Loan||Provides low fixed rate mortgages with little or no down payment, closing cost assistance, money for repairs.||Household income limits apply; must be a first-time homebuyer.||http://www.mainehousing.org/programs-services/homebuyer/homebuyerdetail/firsthome|
|USDA Rural Development - Single family loans||Offers payment assistance to increase an applicant’s repayment ability.||Applicants must be without decent, safe and sanitary housing; Be unable to obtain a loan from other resources on terms and conditions that can reasonably be expected to meet; Agree to occupy the property as your primary residence; Have the legal capacity to incur a loan obligation; Meet citizenship or eligible noncitizen requirements; Not be suspended or debarred from participation in federal programs.||http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/all-programs/single-family-housing-programs|
|Home Affordable Refinance Program||Refinancing.||Single family homes and condos that fit within lending loan limits.||http://www.harp.gov/|
The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development offers a program in Maine that helps residents in rural communities secure safe and affordable housing. It’s worth checking to see if you qualify for a USDA rural development loan or grant if you are in the market for a home or plan to repair your current home.
Maine Mortgage Taxes
Maine charges transfer taxes on real estate transactions. The transfer tax is $2.20/$500, or 0.44%. Discuss this tax with your lawyer or accountant before buying. In Maine transactions, the buyer and seller splits this fee.
If you are a homeowner and you itemize your deductions when filing your federal income taxes, you are allowed to deduct the mortgage interest that you’ve paid that year from your taxable income. In Maine, since itemized deductions rules follow the federal rules closely, you can also deduct the mortgage interest from your state income taxes.
Maine Mortgage Refinance
Maine homeowners who want to refinance can look into the Home Affordable Refinance Program of Maine. The Maine HARP accepts single family homes and condos. Qualifying residents can access payment reductions and low closing costs.
See Mortgage Rates in These Other States
Best Places To Get A Mortgage
SmartAsset’s interactive mortgage map highlights the best counties in the country (and in each state) for securing a mortgage. Hover over counties and states to see data points for each region, or use the map’s tabs to view the top counties for each of the factors driving our analysis.
Methodology For many people buying a house means securing a mortgage. To determine the best places in the country to get a mortgage we looked at four factors: overall borrowing costs, ease of securing a mortgage, cheap property taxes and cheap annual mortgage payments.
To calculate the overall borrowing costs, we looked at the expected costs over the first five years of a $200,000 mortgage with a 20% down payment, including closing costs. We calculated the ease of getting a mortgage as the ratio of mortgage applications to actual mortgage originations (secured mortgages) in each county. We based annual mortgage payments on the annual principal and interest payments for a $200,000 loan in that location, using average mortgage rates in each county.
Finally, we ranked locations based on these four factors, and then averaged those rankings, giving equal weight to each factor. The areas with the lowest average rankings are the best places to get a mortgage.
Sources: Mortgage Bankers Association, US Census Bureau 2015 5-Year American Community Survey, Informa, Bankrate, government websites, SmartAsset