Wooden house with Mass Housing logo and writing that says "Down Payment Assistance" - image accompanies an article about $25,000 down payment assistance for first time home buyers

MassHousing Down Payment Assistance Program Increased!

MassHousing Down Payment Assistance

MassHousing down payment assistance is a life saver for eligible first time homebuyers in Massachusetts. With soaring real estate prices and the financial complexities involved, it’s no wonder that many prospective homeowners feel overwhelmed.

However, there’s good news on the horizon for those looking to take the plunge into homeownership, thanks to significant updates to first-time home buyer programs.

MassHousing A New Era of Assistance

Chad Rankin, a seasoned expert in down payment assistance with MassHousing, sheds light on the latest updates to the first-time home buyer program. Unlike many assistance schemes that are pegged to household income, this program focuses solely on the income of the individual applicant or applicants. This unique approach enables a broader spectrum of buyers to benefit, especially in cases where combining incomes with family members or spouses might otherwise disqualify them.

The Magic Number: $127,700

In Worcester County, for example, the income limit for eligibility is set at $127,700. This clever structuring means that couples who might collectively earn more can still access the program by applying with the income of the lower earner. This flexibility is a game-changer, allowing more families to qualify for assistance and move closer to purchasing their dream homes.

Unprecedented Updates

As of March 18, 2024, the program has undergone its most significant overhaul to date, introducing enhancements that have the potential to transform the home-buying landscape. Previously, the program offered two tracks: a conventional version and an FHA version, each providing up to $15,000 in down payment assistance. However, the latter was discontinued during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Generous Boost to $25,000

In a welcome development, not only has the FHA version been reinstated, but the available down payment assistance has been dramatically increased from $15,000 to $25,000. This increase is not just a numerical boost but a strategic enhancement that broadens the scope of what buyers can achieve with the aid provided.

More Than Just Down Payment

This enhanced assistance means that buyers can now cover both the down payment and closing costs, and potentially even secure a more favorable mortgage rate by buying down the interest. This flexibility is a significant departure from the past when the assistance would cover just the down payment, leaving buyers to scramble for additional funds to cover closing costs or hope for seller concessions.

Need a Second Opinion? Click Here for Help!

A Competitive Edge in a Tough Market

In today’s competitive real estate market, where seller contributions are increasingly rare, this expanded assistance can be a crucial advantage. It can make offers more attractive and increase the chances of acceptance, opening doors for many first-time buyers who might have found the market prohibitive.

Key Takeaways:

  • The first-time home buyer program offers a unique approach by focusing on individual or applicant incomes, broadening eligibility.
  • The income limit in areas like Worcester County is set at $127,700, allowing for strategic application by couples to maximize their qualification potential.
  • Recent updates have increased the available down payment assistance from $15,000 to $25,000, offering unprecedented support to first-time buyers.
  • This increased assistance can cover not just the down payment but also closing costs and potentially secure more favorable mortgage rates, providing a significant advantage in today’s competitive market.

The journey to homeownership is fraught with challenges, but with the right support and assistance, the dream of owning a home is more attainable than ever. For first-time buyers, programs like these not only offer financial aid but also hope and a tangible path to achieving their homeownership goals.

About the Author

Chad Rankin

Hi, I'm a mortgage expert living in Massachusetts. I am also licensed to help with your home loan in several other States across the Country. Do you have mortgage questions? How can I help?

Do You Have Questions About Qualifying?

Have Questions or Comments?