In July 2018, the Boston condo median home prices had once again posted month-over-month increases, a trend that has been largely driven by sales of condo units and lofts in the downtown districts of Boston. Market conditions continue to favor sellers as multiple bids have become common. While the median price may raise some eyebrows, it has not reached the levels of 2005 when adjusted for inflation, which means this market still has room to grow.
Credit Score, History, and Qualifications
The better your credit score, the less you need to worry about being stuck with high mortgage interest rates and fees, but you may also be allowed to borrow more than you can afford. If you don’t have enough down payment to qualify for a conventional loan, a high credit score will allow you to buy a more expensive condo, but this does not mean you should do it unless you can realistically afford it.
Home Affordability Scenarios
If your mortgage broker or loan officer plays by the rules and guidelines established by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the wake of the 2008 subprime mortgage meltdown, he or she will have you complete a home affordability worksheet. If not, you should demand it. Calculating how much you can borrow should be determined by your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio and not by the loan amount or the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio.
DTI Versus LTV
Mortgage lenders set their business by LTV ratios. For example, the 80/20 ratio of a conventional mortgage loan on a $500,000 condo means you could borrow up to $400,000 at a competitive rate, but this does not mean you would be able to afford monthly payments. The DTI ratio will determine how much you can borrow based on your income and debt obligations. This ratio should be between 36 and 45 percent, and it should include your condo association fees as well as utilities and private mortgage insurance if applicable.
Condo Association Fees
Mortgage lenders will always take monthly condo association fees into consideration when reviewing your loan application, and this can work to your advantage when calculating home affordability. Since insurance and maintenance of the structure and common areas are typically included in association fees, your monthly debt obligations will be lower. Something else to consider might be your access to amenities such as a swimming pool and fitness center, which means you no longer have to worry about monthly health club memberships.
Knowing how much can afford to borrow is just one of the many things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about buying Boston condo for sale. Reach out to the trusted agents at Ford Realty 617-595-3712.
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Condos around Boston to rent:
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Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs
In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.
For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.
Charles River Park
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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114
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