FHA Mortgages For First-Time Homebuyers


As a first-time homebuyer, it can be overwhelming to navigate the world of mortgages and loans. When you’re dealing with purchasing in a high priced market like Martha’s Vineyard the challenges of being a first time homebuyer can seem overwhelming.  While the entry level home here is estimated at roughly $1,000,000 saving for a down payment, closing costs and possible repairs may seem like too much. We are hoping to be of service for those first time homebuyers and offer some much needed guidance and understanding of the process as well as some assistance in where to start for financing.  Keep an eye on our blogs for future first-time homebuyer tips.  For today we’re going to discuss the FHA loan.  This program is one that you may want to consider as a first-time home buyer. FHA loans are designed to make homeownership more accessible, particularly for those who may not have a large down payment or a perfect credit score. In this blog post, we will discuss what an FHA loan is, its loan terms, local lenders on Martha's Vineyard, and the advantages of this program.

What is an FHA loan?

An FHA loan is a mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration. This means that if you default on your loan, the FHA will cover some or all of the lender's losses. Because the FHA is backing your loan, lenders are more willing to lend to you, even if you have a lower credit score or less money saved for a down payment.

Loan Terms

The loan terms for an FHA loan are often more favorable than those of a traditional mortgage. Some of the key terms include:

Down payment: FHA loans require a down payment of at least 3.5% of the purchase price of the home.

Credit score: Borrowers with a credit score of 580 or higher can qualify for an FHA loan with a down payment of 3.5%. Borrowers with a credit score between 500 and 579 will need to put down at least 10%.

Mortgage insurance: All FHA loans require mortgage insurance. The upfront mortgage insurance premium is 1.75% of the loan amount, and the annual mortgage insurance premium is 0.45% to 1.05% of the loan amount.

Loan limits: FHA loan limits vary by location. In most areas, the maximum loan amount is $356,362. In high-cost areas, the maximum loan amount can be as high as $822,375 in most areas. However, Martha's Vineyard in Dukes County fortunately has higher limits. 

The maximum loan amount for FHA loans with 3.5% down is higher for Dukes County: 

FHA Guidelines

DUKES County











If you're interested in an FHA loan, there are a variety of resources available to help you navigate the process. Some resources to consider include:

HUD.gov: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website provides information on FHA loans, as well as a variety of other resources for homebuyers.

FHA.com: This website provides information on FHA loans and can connect you with lenders in your area.

Mortgage calculators: There are a variety of mortgage calculators available online that can help you estimate your monthly payments and determine how much home you can afford.

Local Lenders on Martha's Vineyard:

If you're looking for a local lender on Martha's Vineyard, there are several options to consider. Some local lenders who offer FHA loans include:

Martha's Vineyard Bank: This bank offers a variety of mortgage options, including FHA loans.

Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank: This bank also offers FHA loans and has several branches on Martha's Vineyard.

Rockland Trust: This bank offers FHA loans and has a branch in Vineyard Haven.

Advantages of FHA Loans:

There are several advantages to choosing an FHA loan, particularly if you're a first-time homebuyer. Some of the key advantages include:

Lower down payment: FHA loans require a lower down payment than many other types of mortgages, making homeownership more accessible for those with less cash on hand.

Lower credit score requirements: If you have a lower credit score, an FHA loan may be a good option for you, as you may be able to qualify for a loan with a credit score as low as 500.

Lower closing costs: Because FHA loans are backed by the government, lenders may be more willing to negotiate on closing costs, potentially saving you money upfront.

More flexible income requirements: FHA loans have more flexible income requirements than many other types of mortgages, making it easier for those with non-traditional income sources.

Several local banks also offer no PMI with 10% down.  This is a great program if you do have some funds saved as it can make a big impact on your monthly payments.

Please reach out today if you are curious about home ownership.  We are here and happy to answer any questions you may have about real estate! 



As a team, we work in harmony for the benefit of our clients. We handle multiple transactions at once and are able to execute a complex marketing strategy by leveraging team resources. We can be in several physical locations at once to ensure showings are always possible for our buyers and sellers. Our clients benefit from the combined experience of our agents and administrative staff.

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