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First Time
Homebuyer

Making Your Big Purchase Easier

Buying a home can be one of the most important and intimidating purchases a person can make in their life. We know starting the homebuying process for the first time can seem impossible; that’s why Bellwether created our first time homebuyer programs to help make your dream of owning a home a reality. Our mortgage team will work with you every step of the way to help keep your mind at ease. Bellwether has been bringing our members home for over 100 years; let us bring you home too.

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First Time Homebuyer Programs

  • Easy Start Mortgage

    (Easy Start Rate)*

    Bellwether's Easy Start Mortgage program was designed to make your home buying process easy, fun, and budget-friendly. Our quality rates and excellent service make our Easy Start Mortgage one of the best options for first time homebuyer programs in New Hampshire and Essex/Middlesex Counties, Massachusetts.

    • Down payment as low as 3%
    • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is not required
    • Purchases transaction only
    • Owner-occupied properties only

     

    *The Easy Start 5/5 ARM offers a fixed rate for five years and adjusts to a 5-year ARM after that period. The interest rate and monthly payment may adjust every five years based on the 5-year U.S. Treasury, plus a margin of 2.50 percentage points. Caps are 2% initial, 2% annual, and 5% for the lifetime cap.

    Caps
    5/5 ARM CMT = 2/2/5

    Index: 5-year U.S. Treasury Bill. As of 11/11/2022: 4.23, Margin: 2.50%, Your rate will be rounded up to the nearest eighth. This applies to the 5/5 and Easy Start products.

  • HomeReady® Mortgage

    home-ready-mortgage-logo 1

    The HomeReady® mortgage is a program offered by Fannie Mae that can help responsible homebuyers with limited down payment funds or unique circumstances, such as extended households, buy a home. Households are changing, and living arrangements that include roommates, boarders, extended family, or others sharing a home are common. HomeReady® is an affordable mortgage option designed to help homeowners sustain their mortgage payments for the long run.

    • Extended households can help you qualify
    • Co-borrowers don't need to live in the home
    • Down payments as low as 3%*
    • Homeownership education to help you succeed

    For more information on the HomeReady® mortgage program, visit Fannie Mae's site by clicking here.

    You can see how HomeReady® mortgage features compare to Fannie Mae standard mortgage loans by clicking here.

    *Subject to credit approval

  • FHA Mortgages

    A Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured mortgage is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. FHA offers low down payment options, eligibility with less than perfect credit, a loan at a reasonable cost, and provides a trusted and consistent source of funding for many borrowers.

    • FHA requires their appraisers to be FHA approved and verify the home meets "HUD Minimum Standards"

    • FHA adopted the industry appraisal standards permitting the use of the Fannie Mae appraisal forms with no additional specialized documentation

    • FHA allows the seller to contribute up to 6% of the sales prices towards the borrowers’ closing costs and pre-paid items

    • Debt to Income ratios are more flexible for certain FHA mortgages than most conventional mortgages

    • FHA does not require a minimum credit score, but most lenders do! Check with a Bellwether Mortgage Loan Officer for more details

    • Buyers are only required to contribute 3.5% towards the transaction, of which all can be a gift, down payment assistance, or their own funds (restrictions can apply)

    • There are no prepayment penalties on FHA-insured mortgages

    • U.S. citizenship is not required, but for those who are not citizens, they must be lawful permanent or non-permanent resident aliens with a valid Social Security Number

     

    To be eligible for an FHA-insured mortgage, a borrower must:

    • Occupy the property as the principal residence

    • Possess a valid Social Security Number

    • Have a two-year employment history

      • School and military service count towards this two-year requirement

    • Not be delinquent on any Federal debt such as a student loan or other FHA-insured mortgage

    • Meet flexible credit requirements

Easy Start Mortgage

(Easy Start Rate)*

Bellwether's Easy Start Mortgage program was designed to make your home buying process easy, fun, and budget-friendly. Our quality rates and excellent service make our Easy Start Mortgage one of the best options for first time homebuyer programs in New Hampshire and Essex/Middlesex Counties, Massachusetts.

  • Down payment as low as 3%
  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is not required
  • Purchases transaction only
  • Owner-occupied properties only

 

*The Easy Start 5/5 ARM offers a fixed rate for five years and adjusts to a 5-year ARM after that period. The interest rate and monthly payment may adjust every five years based on the 5-year U.S. Treasury, plus a margin of 2.50 percentage points. Caps are 2% initial, 2% annual, and 5% for the lifetime cap.

Caps
5/5 ARM CMT = 2/2/5

Index: 5-year U.S. Treasury Bill. As of 11/11/2022: 4.23, Margin: 2.50%, Your rate will be rounded up to the nearest eighth. This applies to the 5/5 and Easy Start products.

HomeReady® Mortgage

home-ready-mortgage-logo 1

The HomeReady® mortgage is a program offered by Fannie Mae that can help responsible homebuyers with limited down payment funds or unique circumstances, such as extended households, buy a home. Households are changing, and living arrangements that include roommates, boarders, extended family, or others sharing a home are common. HomeReady® is an affordable mortgage option designed to help homeowners sustain their mortgage payments for the long run.

  • Extended households can help you qualify
  • Co-borrowers don't need to live in the home
  • Down payments as low as 3%*
  • Homeownership education to help you succeed

For more information on the HomeReady® mortgage program, visit Fannie Mae's site by clicking here.

You can see how HomeReady® mortgage features compare to Fannie Mae standard mortgage loans by clicking here.

*Subject to credit approval

FHA Mortgages

A Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured mortgage is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. FHA offers low down payment options, eligibility with less than perfect credit, a loan at a reasonable cost, and provides a trusted and consistent source of funding for many borrowers.

  • FHA requires their appraisers to be FHA approved and verify the home meets "HUD Minimum Standards"

  • FHA adopted the industry appraisal standards permitting the use of the Fannie Mae appraisal forms with no additional specialized documentation

  • FHA allows the seller to contribute up to 6% of the sales prices towards the borrowers’ closing costs and pre-paid items

  • Debt to Income ratios are more flexible for certain FHA mortgages than most conventional mortgages

  • FHA does not require a minimum credit score, but most lenders do! Check with a Bellwether Mortgage Loan Officer for more details

  • Buyers are only required to contribute 3.5% towards the transaction, of which all can be a gift, down payment assistance, or their own funds (restrictions can apply)

  • There are no prepayment penalties on FHA-insured mortgages

  • U.S. citizenship is not required, but for those who are not citizens, they must be lawful permanent or non-permanent resident aliens with a valid Social Security Number

 

To be eligible for an FHA-insured mortgage, a borrower must:

  • Occupy the property as the principal residence

  • Possess a valid Social Security Number

  • Have a two-year employment history

    • School and military service count towards this two-year requirement

  • Not be delinquent on any Federal debt such as a student loan or other FHA-insured mortgage

  • Meet flexible credit requirements

Get Up to $750 Off Your First Time Homebuyer Mortgage Closing Costs

*To qualify for the maximum $750 closing cost credit, before closing documents are prepared, you must (1) have or open the Bellwether MyMoney or Live Free checking account and (2) finish your direct deposit set up through ClickSWITCH. Direct deposit of a minimum of $1,000 monthly is required. Offer valid for applications dated until 12/31/2022 (“promotional period”) but may be discontinued at any time. Offer is valid for new purchases only and not valid on refinances. Excludes No Closing Cost loan products. Mortgage approval is based on credit qualifications. Cannot be combined with any other mortgage discount or offer. Terms and conditions apply. 

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FAQs

What does my credit score have to be to get a mortgage?

Officially, there's no minimum score, but most lenders prefer you have a credit score of at least 620 to qualify for a mortgage. It's always best to monitor your credit, as the better your score, the better terms you can get, rather than aiming for only the recommended 620. The higher your credit score, the better your chance for a low rate.

Can I use gifted funds as a down payment?

Yes, certain funds you've received as a gift from a relative, a grant, or other sources can be used toward your down payment and closing costs.

Is a HomeReady® Mortgage only for first time buyers?

No, HomeReady® mortgage is available to those buying their first home and to home buyers who have previously owned homes.

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