Buying your first house can be expensive – and daunting – but today we’re breaking down some of the programs available in the Boston area for first-time home buyers.
According to the Greater Boston Association of Realtors, the median sales price in the Boston area for a condo in January 2020 was $577,500. The median sales price in the area for a house was around $605,000. You can see the median sales price by zip code on the Torii Monthly Market report.
While there are benefits to buying vs. renting in the long term, the down payment and financing can be scary to look at. But – good news! – MA has various programs for financing and if you use Torii, we’ll save you money too. If you’re interested in learning more, let us introduce you to one of our lending partners! Just email us firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
7 First-time home buyer programs
MassHousing has a straightforward program to provide qualified borrowers with mortgages that have lower interest rates and require lower down payments than other programs. MassHousing loans carry mortgage payment protection, which is a benefit for the buyer. And the MassHousing agency serves as a point of contact for any pertinent questions or issues related to the loan.
For those looking to get their hands dirty, the MassHousing Rehab loan offers a lending option that provides low- or no-down payments for qualified borrowers. There are some requirements, including that the property must be a fixer-upper of a one- to four-family home, and the minimum rehab amount is $10,000.
Another MassHousing program, qualified buyers can get down payment assistance for up to 5% of the purchase price of a one- to four-family home or condo (or $15,000, whichever is less). The program applies to qualified first-time buyers in Boston and a list of other cities across Massachusetts.
For first-time home buyers who earn up to 80% of the area median income, buyers can get discounted mortgage insurance as well as down payment assistance of up to 3% of the purchase price (or $15,000, whichever is less). This program applies to condos and single-family homes.
Another MassHousing option, Operation Welcome Home is a program for active-duty military personnel, veterans, Gold Star families, and members of the National Guard and Reserves. First-time home buyers or not, Operation Welcome Home is open to many home purchases. It includes up to $2,500 for closing costs and possible down payment assistance as well.
This federal program available through Fannie Mae can provide up to 3% of the closing costs for first-time home buyers who are looking to purchase a foreclosed property. There are eligibility requirements, including an online course that home buyers must first complete.
Eligible borrowers are home buyers looking to purchase a one- to three-family residential property or condo in Boston, are first-time home buyers, and own no more than $75,000 in household assets (excluding retirement, 401k, and IRS savings account savings). There are additional eligibility requirements. This program offers up to 5% of the purchase price toward the down payment and closing costs, plus no interest and deferred payments.