Boston First-time Home Buyer

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Are you about to become a Boston first-time home buyer? Now that you've made the decision to buy, you have a great many other decisions to make. A choice of neighborhoods is important, and your choice is wide. From the triple-deckers of South Boston, to the gracious if somewhat proper Victorians of Dorchester, to the urban Fenway Kenmore, to the tree-lined streets of West Roxbury, you're bound to find an affordable neighborhood especially well suited to be your first home.

The city's residential development program was written with people like you in mind. You might already be aware of it if you saw the feature on PBS's This Old House some time back. You might also have seen throughout the city the green street sign indicating program construction and renovation under way.

Its goal is to make buying and rehabilitating a one- to three-family property affordable for a Boston first-time home buyer. What you get is a full renovated house for which you choose the final interior and exterior finishes--from cabinets to flooring to paint.

Qualifying as a Boston First-Time Home Buyer

To qualify for the program and get a MassHousing-funded loan you will, as a Boston first-time home buyer, need to meet several criteria. First, you must have a total income of between $47,500 and $59,350. Second, you will need to have available in your savings or checking account at least $5,000 for the down payment. Third, your credit history for the previous year must be clean and good. Fourth, your total projected monthly mortgage cannot exceed 36 percent of your monthly income.

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