By Jim Donovan: I have good news to report for some Garden State residents that may be looking to buy a home. The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) have announced a new, fixed interest rate mortgage of 3.75 percent (est. APR 3.86 percent) with a 30-year term and no points for qualified first-time homebuyers and Urban Target Area borrowers. The new interest rate is the lowest rate ever offered by the HMFA. The Agency has $170 million to lend at this historically low interest rate, which will fund approximately 1,000 conventional mortgages.

In addition to the 3.75 percent Home Buyer Program interest rate (est. APR 3.86 percent), the HMFA is also offering a low interest rate mortgage program for members of the New Jersey Police and Firemen’s Retirement System who have a minimum of one year of creditable service. The current interest rate is fixed at 2.88 percent (est. APR 2.95 percent) for a 30-year term with a maximum mortgage amount of $417,000. This financing can be used to buy an owner-occupied principal residence.

To determine if an address is located within an Urban Target Area or Smart Growth area, people can visit the Site Evaluator at on the HMFA website and follow the instructions for how to find census information.

Since its inception in 1983, the HMFA has provided low-cost homeownership financing to approximately 97,000 New Jersey families and aims to continue to offer the best possible mortgage products to consumers purchasing a home. HMFA offers a variety of mortgage loan products. Rates are subject to change. Prospective borrowers should contact their local lenders for more details. A list of participating HMFA lenders is available on the Agency’s Web site at