First-Time Buyers Offered 100% Financing

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Eastern Financial Florida Credit Union has expanded its mortgage loan options to now include a 100% financing product for first-time homebuyers.

The offer on loans up to $333,700-up from its previous cap of $225,000-has an added lure -no Personal Mortgage Insurance.

"That's what makes this an unbeatable deal," said Mark Holmes, VP of Marketing at EFFCU. "PMI could cost $100 to $120 a month alone."

He said the increased loan limit was also a big plus. "We've had this first-time home buyers program for awhile," he said. "But the previous purchase price limitation made it hard for some people to find property here."

Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp.'s annual Home Price Comparison Index showed the average price of a 2,200-square foot home in 18 Florida markets was $308,749.

To qualify for the full loan amount, borrowers must have a combined income of about $80,000 with a reasonable debt load and good credit. The interest rate is fixed for the first five years. At press time, it was priced at 5.625%, Holmes said. After the first five years, the rate is adjustable annually.

"We think a lot of them will refinance before the five years is up, so it's not a big risk for them," he said.

Borrowers with less than perfect credit are offered loans at slightly higher interest rates, but still without the PMI. And, Holmes pointed out, members don't have to borrow the full amount.

The $1.8-billion EFFCU has 20 branches in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties and more than 192,000 members.

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