Updated May 2020:

(s 2020 your year to buy a home a Boston condo for sale? Making the leap from Beacon Hill apartment renter to homeowner is possible even if you don’t have the traditional 20% down payment. From below-market interest rates to help from private investors, there is plenty assistance available for all first time Boston real estate buyers. Read on for our updated list for 2020.

First, some Boston real estate definitions:

First time home buyer: Any individual who has not owned and occupied a primary residence in at least three years.

Cash assistance: A sum of money that you don’t have to pay back, that goes toward the down payment on the home. This is sometimes also referred to as a grant.

FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan: A loan backed by the federal government, administered through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Many homeowners are grateful this year that they financed their homes through one of these institutions; they offered immediate coronavirus relief for mortgage payments.

PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance): An insurance policy you take out to provide security to the mortgage lender if you default on your loan. It’s often required for low-interest or low-down payment loans.

Original Boston Real Estate Blog Post

One thing helping homeowners right now is price appreciation, especially in the entry-level market. In the latest Home Price Insights report, CoreLogic reveals how home prices increased by 4% year-over-year and projects prices will rise 5.2% by December 2020. Good news for homeowners not so much for first time home buyers.

Why is this good news for the homeowners?

When prices appreciate, homeowners gain equity. In addition, those planning to sell this year, especially in the entry-level market, can potentially earn a substantial profit.

Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, says:

“Moderately priced homes are in high demand and short supply, pushing up values…Homes that sold for 25% or more below the local median price experienced a 5.9% price gain in 2019, compared with a 3.7% gain for homes that sold for 25% or more above the median.”

As Dr. Nothaft indicates, the lack of inventory continues to drive home price growth. This means there’s a high demand for homes in this tier of the market, making it a great time to consider using your equity to move up to a bigger or more premium home.

When you upgrade your home, you may be able to find the amenities or features you’ve dreamed of – such as a yard to plant or garden in with your family this spring, or more outdoor space for entertaining this summer. Maybe it’s the master bath you’ve always hoped for, or a garage to finally park your car inside.

Whatever you choose, if you’re moving out of an entry-level house, you’re likely going to be in the driver’s seat as a seller.

Bottom Line

If you’d like to own a bigger home, let’s get together to discuss your situation. You may be surprised by the current value of your home and the equity you’ve gained.

With virtually all mortgages today requiring a down payment, how is it that single men and women continue to account for nearly one-third of all home sales?

Original Boston real estate post 

According to a recent Coldwell Banker survey, singles first topped 30 percent of the market in 2003 when no-down loans were common. However, the demise of no-down payment ARMs and the subsequent tightening of lending standards that today make 10 – 20 percent the typical down payment for a fixed-rate conventional loan, hasn’t dropped singles’ market share by even one point.

The new survey of single homeowners by Coldwell Banker reveals what many suspect: parents make it possible. Faced with the problem of coming up with as much as 20 percent of the cost of a starter home as well as closing costs, many first-time single buyers are turning to mom and dad, who in turn are getting some equity out of the deal. The survey found that of the single homeowners who own their home jointly with another party, almost half (49 percent) made the purchase with their parents.

Parents are not the predominant source of help for most singles, however, Among all buyers last year, only 18 percent of single women and 12 percent of single men relied on a gift from a relative or friend. Fifty-four percent of single women and 63 percent of single men relied upon savings, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The CB study also found that two-thirds of singles are buying below their borrowing limits. Sixty-eight percent of single homeowners purchased a home priced below what they could afford.

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