Do you know a disabled military veteran looking to buy a home in this area? The state of Maryland last week announced the creation of a new – and temporary – initiative designed to help such buyers purchase a home using bargain interest rates. Even better, the new mortgage assistance program can be used in conjunction with other state programs that offer down payment and closing cost assistance to veterans. Interest rates for the Maryland Homefront Disabled Veterans Mortgage Program are as low as 3 percent. Up to $5,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance also is available to qualified applicants. Interested homebuyers have to hurry, though. According to information distributed by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, the program is set to expire in two months – May 30, 2014. Program Eligibility The program is open to honorably discharged disabled veterans. By program definition, a disabled veteran is a veteran with a 30 percent or greater disability. Eligible veterans also must qualify for a Maryland Mortgage Program loan, based on such criteria as credit score, income limitations, etc. Before buying their home, eligible veterans must take approved homebuyer education courses and use an approved mortgage lender. Loans under the program typically are limited to first-time homebuyers. However, this requirement can be waived under certain circumstances. Qualification for a Veterans Administration loan is not required. Under the program, the property purchased must be located in the state of Maryland. Jerry Kline is a Realtor with the Odenton, Md., office of Keller Williams Flagship Realty (1216 Annapolis Rd., Odenton.) For more information on the local real estate market, contact him at (443) 924-7418, or visit his blog (www.JerryKlineRealtor.wordpress.com) or website (www.JerryKline.kwrealty.com).