Up until now, you’ve been a renter your whole adult life. But maybe you’re tired of paying the rent with nothing to show for it, or just got married, or are expecting your first child, or realize that homeownership is the number one way to build wealth in America. Whatever your reason, you’ve decided it’s time to put down roots and buy your first home. Congratulations! 

But before buying your first home, you realize you’ve got to get a down payment together. And, if you follow the conventional advice, you think you need to somehow find 20% of the cost of whatever home you want to buy in the bank. 

However, if you don’t think you can afford that, don’t lose hope.  

If you’re a first-time home buyer in Massachusetts, help is available through federal, state, or local housing down payment assistance programs. Typically these have specific guidelines regarding who qualifies, and they’re worth looking into if a cash shortage impedes buying your first home. 

Housing down payment assistance programs are designed to help home buyers who might otherwise not be able to purchase a home. Anyone who has already been preapproved for a mortgage can qualify for aid. During the preapproval process, the lender will review your income, expenses, and credit history.  

Generally speaking, housing down payment assistance programs can be administered by a local or state housing authority, a nonprofit organization, or directly through your lender. They make available a set amount of money to qualified home buyers. Home buyers can use the money to cover their down payment or closing costs. 

If you’re looking to buy a home in Massachusetts, keep reading to discover the first-time home buyer benefits you might be eligible for. 

Federal Assistance Programs 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers several homeownership programs, including assistance with down payment and closing costs. These are normally accessible to people who meet particular income or location requirements. HUD programs, while national in scope, are administered through individual states. Click here to find the applicable page for information about your area of Massachusetts. 

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) also has programs to help veterans realize the dream of homeownership. The VA offers home purchase loans for Veterans, active duty service members, navy and National Guard members, and surviving spouses. The VA loan includes such advantages as no down payment and no private mortgage insurance. 

If you’re looking to buy in a rural community, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Housing offers a 100% financing program that might be for you. 

Massachusetts State Assistance Programs 

On a statewide level, there are three housing down payment assistance programs available to help Massachusetts home buyers.  

Through the MassHousing Down Payment Assistance Program, you may be qualified for down payment assistance of up to 5% of a home’s purchase price or up to $25,000, along with a number of other benefits. 

MassHousing offers affordable mortgage options to low, and moderate, income buyers, closing cost assistance to military borrowers, and even a no-mortgage-insurance-required program, among other benefits. 

The Massachusetts Housing Partnership offers the ONE Mortgage Program for first-time home buyers, which gives you peace of mind knowing that your mortgage is financially sustainable. 

Boston Specific 

If you’re looking to purchase a home in Boston, the One+Boston Program combines City of Boston funds with the affordable features of the ONE Mortgage Program to increase the buying power for income-eligible, first-time Boston home buyers purchasing a home within the City. 

Local/Regional Assistance Programs 

Many localities offer access to housing down payment assistance grants and loans. To learn more about a specific city or town, we suggest you contact that town’s Housing Authority for direction. 

North Shore Area 

If you think that a town like Newburyport, Malden, Medford, or Melrose is where you want to live, you may qualify for a Down Payment Assistance Loan, a 0% interest, no monthly payment, five-year forgivable loan provided by The North Suburban Consortium. For more specific information, we advise contacting the local Housing Authority in the town you’re looking to buy a home. 

South Shore Area 

If you want to buy a home in towns like Braintree, Quincy, Weymouth, or Holbrook, the South Shore HOME Consortium’s First Time Homebuyer Program provides 0% interest, deferred payment loans to qualifying households that are purchasing a single-family home, condominium, or townhouse. Again, we recommend contacting the local Housing Authority for more details. 

Home mortgage 411 Resource Center is Here to Help 

When you’re ready to buy your first home, it makes sense to explore all your options, including determining if you qualify for first-time home buyer benefits. Owning a home is a huge financial decision, and many housing down payment assistance programs exist to help you achieve the American Dream. These include low- to no-down payment programs, closing cost assistance, grants and tax credits, and more.  

Buying a home means much more than just purchasing a place to reside. By owning a home, you are actively building wealth and investing in your financial future. As you pay down your mortgage, you are increasing the equity in your home – and equity means wealth.  

As Loan Officers, we understand that securing a home loan is a big deal, and we want to ensure you get it right! We understand the importance of having someone on your side who can answer all the questions you may have about homeownership. We’re here to help you find the right program to get you into your new home. So, if you’re ready to buy and need help, let’s talk