By Mike Dougherty

NEW JERSEY (CBS) — A new program in New Jersey puts owning a home within reach for many first time buyers.

The New Jersey Housing Mortgage Finance Agency is offering mortgage rates of 3.75 percent for qualified first time home buyers, and 2.88 percent for police and fire fighters.

HMFA Chairman Richard Constable hopes the program appeals to renters and those who think owning a home is out of their monthly budget.

“For a house that’s approximately $250,000, a home owner could get into it with interest for less than $1,500. And now you’re owning the home and can build equity,” Constable says.

And he also says that, unlike traditional mortgages which require a 20 percent down payment, this program allows buyers to finance the entire mortgage — with zero money down.

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