Spring is a popular time for people to start thinking about purchasing a new home in Massachusetts and around the country. Alongside the anticipation that comes with this endeavor are many questions: Can I afford this? Am I really ready? How do I find and finance the perfect home?
Once you’ve finished saving for your purchase, use this important information and advice to make the big buy a successful one.
Know Your Credit Score
Having a good credit score makes buying a home and acquiring a lower mortgage easier because it reflects how well you manage your debt. You are entitled to one free credit report every 12 months from each of the three national consumer reporting companies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Take advantage of these resources to better understand how you can strengthen your credit as a potential home buyer as well as track any discrepancies that need correcting before you start applying for a mortgage.
Take the Time to Find the Best Mortgage for You
Take the time to shop for the best mortgage possible. While first-time home buyers in Massachusetts aren’t eligible for direct mortgages from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), there are many state and federal mortgage resources available:
- The One Mortgage Program and the Soft Second Loan Program work to increase home ownership opportunities for first-time buyers with low to moderate incomes.
- MassHousing is a not-for-profit public agency that offers various types of home-buying support, from providing lists of approved lenders to giving information on loan limits.
- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both provide information on different types of mortgages and tips on buying a home.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers loan assistance for rural development opportunities.
Find Any Additional First-Time Home Buyer Resources
After choosing your mortgage, you’ll need to figure out a few other important things such as how to confirm a mortgage lender or broker’s license and deciding whether or not to lock in your mortgage rate. To make these decisions easier, take advantage of the many first-time buyer resources available, including:
- The Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHPA) offers home-buying counseling online and hosts in-person workshops for prospective home buyers.
- MassHousing provides a list of home buying counseling opportunities in the Commonwealth.
- The Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance offers home ownership classes that explain important terms, tools, and methods related to buying your first home.
- The Massachusetts Housing Consumer Education Centers has a large list of educational resources for home buyers such as local courses, step-by-step guides to buying a home, and a glossary of home buying terms. For more home buying assistance tips and tools, visit Mass.gov.
Have you already started your home buying process? What are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us, @MassGov.
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