Mortgage Tips and FAQs

Mortgages can be so confusing these days. What should I know before I begin to shop around?

It can be overwhelming. Many different types of lenders, many different mortgage products. There are three types of lenders - banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies. There are also mortgage brokers that work with one or more lenders and can give you quotes from a variety of lenders. Beware though because mortgage brokers do not have to direct you to the best deal - often they use lenders that offer the best compensation to them as a broker.

At MAHA, we generally encourage most buyers to get a 30 year, fixed rate mortgage. Some situations may call for buyers to look at standard, adjustable rate mortgages but the vast majority of buyers will not go wrong with a 30 year fixed rate loan. In our classes, we have a lender come in to answer all of your questions about mortgages.

MAHA used to talk about a SoftSecond loan program but now I'm hearing about something called ONE Mortgage?

The SoftSecond loan program, administered by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, has been the most affordable mortgage in the state since 1991. It has been redesigned as a simpler, but still affordable, single mortgage product. With the new ONE Mortgage, you will get ONE stable, low-interest rate mortgage loan that will help you afford your monthly payments - better than any other mortgage in the state.

What is MHP's role in the ONE Mortgage Program?

The Massachusetts Housing Partnership administers the ONE Mortgage Program. You can read more about MHP and its role at

What lenders participate in the ONE Mortgage program?

You can find a complete list here ( MAHA has agreements with some of the key lenders in the program - Blue Hills Bank, Citizens, Eastern, and Santander - which generally offer the best rates and terms on ONE loans.

Once I find an affordable mortgage that is right for me, how can I find an affordable home?

MAHA offers one-stop shopping for affordable homes for sale at You can search for homes within a certain distance from where you live or work and you can sign up to receive alerts when new homes in your area are listed.


Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance
1803 Dorchester Avenue
Dorchester, MA 02124
By email:
By phone: 617-822-9100
By fax: 617-265-7503