Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases a consumer will ever make. Although buying and owning a home may seem daunting, prospective Massachusetts homeowners have a wealth of resources to prepare themselves.
HUD-approved housing counseling agencies and Community Development Corporations around Massachusetts provide a variety of information for landlords, tenants, homeowners, and prospective homebuyers. First-time homebuyers can enroll in courses to better prepare for the responsibilities that come with owning a home. Lessons provided through these courses include information about home inspections and maintenance, understanding and obtaining a mortgage, credit and finances, and more.
Staff from the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations has partnered with the Asian Community Development Corporation in Boston to teach first-time homebuyers about understanding credit. In these courses, prospective homebuyers learn how to read a credit report, how to use credit cards wisely, and how to take charge of their finances to prepare for this major purchase.
In June 2013, the Patrick Administration announced the Massachusetts Homeownership Compact that created a goal to provide 10,000 mortgages to first-time homebuyers. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts partnered with banks, credit unions, and other lenders to offer mortgage products that require less money down and provide lower interest rates to first-time homebuyers. One of these mortgage products is offered under the ONE Mortgage Program through the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, and other special mortgage products are offered through MassHousing. Many of these mortgage assistance organizations require prospective homeowners to complete a first-time homebuyer course to be eligible for their programs.
Prospective homeowners should take advantage of these free or very low-cost classes around the Commonwealth to become a savvy first-time homebuyer. For more information about where to find first-time homebuyer courses and low-cost mortgage products, visit the Office of Housing and Economic Development’s First Time Homebuyer page.
Turning up the heat on utility scams posted on Nov 30
As the weather gets colder scams targeting utility customers may increase as consumers balance the costs of heating their homes with the need for warmth. Some scammers pretend to represent a major energy provider and claim that they will cut your electrical power, assess …Continue Reading Turning up the heat on utility scams
Holiday Shopping Tips: Bait and Switch posted on Nov 30
Most consumers have heard of the term “bait and switch,” but may not be aware when it happens to them. A sales representative may try to convince you to buy a different item than the one you came for, which may simply seem like a …Continue Reading Holiday Shopping Tips: Bait and Switch
Holiday Shopping Series: Cyber Monday posted on Nov 25
The Holiday Season is upon us. Over the next few weeks as the holiday music plays and decorations are put up, consumers will be flocking to malls and websites hoping to purchase the perfect gift for their family member or friend. “Cyber Monday” refers to …Continue Reading Holiday Shopping Series: Cyber Monday