I’m A First-Time Homebuyer

Buying your first home can be stressful, but it can also be very exciting. You may feel a little overwhelmed at first with all the information you need to gather together, but we can help you with that – no worries!

We offer:

  • Low, competitive rates
  • Fast and responsive service
  • A streamlined process with timely updates
  • A variety of loan programs with several geared to first-time homebuyers
  • Online loan application and tracking of loan status

Or, maybe you want some solid advice on what type of loan is best for you? We can help you with that too. Our Mortgage Experts are very knowledgeable and will guide you through the process one step at a time.

  • Products
  • FAQs

If you’re looking for a safe and reputable loan product to help you buy your first home, we can help. We have the ability to offer special loan programs geared toward the first-time homebuyer. Plus, you receive the time and attention that comes from working with a community bank. Here are just a few of our loan products to get you started in the right direction.

That’s not all… once you decide what product interests you, or if you need help making a decision, a friendly Mortgage Expert can guide you through each step!

GreatStart HomeLoan™

A simple and straightforward loan for first time homebuyers, GreatStart HomeLoanTM offers two options:

  • A 30-year term with fixed interest rate. This ensures your payments will never increase over the life of the loan. It is a great option for borrowers who intend to remain in their home for over 10 years and want the certainty of a fixed payment throughout the life of the loan.
  • A 30-year term with a 10/1 Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM). This mortgage has a 30 year payback period. For the first 10 years, the interest rate is locked in at a lower rate. After that, the rate is variable for the remainder of the term. According to a National Association of Realtors (NAR) report*, the median length of first-time homebuyers age 33 and younger expect to own their home is 10 years, so this option, which comes at a reduced interest rate and payments, makes homeownership even more affordable for our customers.

Both options have no private mortgage insurance (PMI) and qualified borrowers can purchase a home with as little as 3% down. The seller may pay closing costs up to 6% of the sales price and all but 1% of the down payment may come from a gift or approved grant program. The GreatStart HomeLoan is designed to help low to moderate income borrowers purchase the home of their dreams. Certain income limits and other restrictions apply.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans

Typically referred to as a “traditional mortgage,” this is the most common mortgage used for purchasing a home. The interest rate and payment stay the same for the life of your loan. It is a great option for borrowers who desire predictability.

  •  15, 20 and 30-year term options available
  •  Down payment options as low as 5%
  •  3% minimum down payment available for first-time homebuyers
  •  Local underwriting on all mortgage loans
  •  Also available for land purchases

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage loans have interest rates that change during the life of the loan. ENB offers ARMs with an initial interest rate that is fixed for a period of 3, 5 or 7 years. Borrowers benefit as this rate is typically lower than a fixed-rate mortgage. After the fixed-rate period expires, the interest rate adjusts annually. For example our 5/1 ARM will have a fixed rate for the first 5 years. It will then adjust annually for the remaining 25 years of the mortgage.

  • 3/1, 5/1, and 7/1 options available
  • Down payment options as low as 5%
  • Local underwriting on select mortgage loans

Home Construction & Renovation Loans

ENB has a variety of programs to help you build or renovate the home of your dreams: Construction-To-Permanent Mortgage, Construction Renovation Loan, Construction-Only Loan, Lot Loan, Fast Move Loan. We’ll help you choose the best program – or combination of programs – and options based on your specific situation. Learn more.

FHA – Federal Housing Administration Guaranteed Home Loans

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) allows buyers to get a mortgage with a down payment as low as 3.5 percent. The underwriting and credit score requirements to qualify for an FHA loan generally are less stringent than for conventional loans. The seller is also permitted to contribute to the buyers closing costs and ENB can offer a lender credit towards closing costs. FHA also permits refinance options including cash-out.

VA – Veterans Administration Guaranteed Home Loans

The Veterans Administration (VA) offers three home loan guarantee programs for Active Duty Service members, Veterans, National Guard members, Reserve members, and certain surviving spouses. The three loan types are: Purchase Loans, Streamline Refinance Loans (IRRRL), and Cash–Out Refinance Loans. Eligible borrowers may obtain up to 100% financing. In order to qualify for a VA backed loan you must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from VA that verifies you or your spouse’s military service. The easiest way for you to obtain a COE is through www.ebenefits.va.gov or a Mortgage Expert at ENB can help you obtain this and explain your options. The program also allows for seller assistance for closing costs, so it is possible for a Veteran to purchase a primary residence for as little as $500 under this program.

USDA / Guaranteed Rural Housing

The Rural Housing Loan Program is designed to serve borrowers living in a rural area and meet specific income requirements. Guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture, eligible borrowers may obtain up to 100% financing. The program also allows for seller assistance for closing costs, so it is possible to purchase a primary residence in a qualified rural area with as little as $500 under this program.

*Source:  2014 National Association of Realtors Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends


Need some questions answered before moving forward with buying a home? We can relieve your stress by providing you the facts you need, in order to keep the excitement of buying a home going.

Q: Does ENB Mortgage charge an application fee?
A: At ENB Mortgage, we do not charge an application fee. We do, however, collect the fee for the appraisal at time of application. This fee will depend on the type of loan you are applying for.

Q: Can I apply at any ENB branch office?
A: Yes, a Mortgage Expert is happy to meet with you at any of our branch offices. You can also apply online.

Q: How much mortgage can I afford to borrow?
A: It depends. Your income, credit history, the size of your down payment, and your employment and residence history all factor into how much you can borrow. There are circumstances where it’s possible that the amount you can borrow may exceed the amount you can comfortably afford — so it pays to borrow cautiously. ENB Mortgage offers pre-qualifications and pre-approvals at no charge.

Q: How can I establish credit?
A: It’s best to start small and build a good credit history by making payments on time. Ephrata National Bank offers a secured credit card, which is geared toward helping customers build credit.

Q: What types of mortgages does ENB offer?
A: We offer a wide variety of products, including conventional, adjustable rate, construction, Rural Housing, FHA and VA loans. We also offer a number of non-conforming mortgages which are loan programs that focus on the unique needs in the local real estate market which may fall outside of nationwide agency guidelines.

Q: Do I need to escrow for taxes & insurance?
A: It depends on the amount of your mortgage loan relative to the value of the home you are purchasing. If your loan amount is less than 80% of the home’s value, you do not have to escrow for these items. However, there is typically a fee if you choose not to escrow. In addition, new federal laws mandate that when flood insurance is required for a property, it must be escrowed.

Q: Can I get a loan if I don’t have a credit score but pay my bills on time?
A: If you have sufficient assets, ENB has loan programs available for customers who don’t have traditional credit.

Q: What are mortgage points?
A: A point is equal to 1% of your mortgage amount (ie. $1,000 for every $100,000). You’re essentially paying some interest up front in exchange for a lower interest rate over the life of your loan. The general rule is that the longer you plan to own the home, the more you could benefit from paying points because you would realize more interest savings over the life of the loan.

Q: When can I lock in my interest rate?
A: You are permitted to lock in your interest rate at the time of application, but it is not required. However, you must lock your interest rate in no later than 14 days prior to your scheduled settlement. It’s important to be aware that rate-lock periods are limited for a specific time period. When locking your interest rate, be sure to select a lock period that’s long enough to get you to your settlement date. ENB Mortgage offers rate-lock periods as short as 30 days and as long as 12 months.

Q: Will ENB Mortgage service my mortgage or sell it to someone else?
A: ENB Mortgage keeps some conventional mortgages and sells others. The majority of sold mortgage loans continue to be serviced by us, so you will typically make your payments directly to ENB. We also offer a convenient automatic payment option where payments can be debited directly from your checking or savings account. We do not service mortgages we offer in partnership with government entities such as FHA, VA or USDA.

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