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 talks about a SoftSecond loan program - I thought soft seconds were things to avoid?
It is true that during the subprime lending crisis, many lenders offered second mortgages on properties that often had extremely high interest rates and onerous points and fees. For now, those products are long gone. What remains is the Massachusetts SoftSecond program that has stood the test of time over 20 years. You do get two mortgages but both are stable, low-interest rate loans that help you afford your monthly payments - as well or better than any other mortgage in the state.
What is MHP's role in the SoftSecond program?
The Massachusetts Housing Partnership administers the SoftSecond loan program. You can read more about MHP and its role at www.mhp.net/homeownership.
What lenders participate in the SoftSecond program?
Currently, about 30 lenders participate in the SoftSecond program. You can find a complete list here ( http://www.mhp.net/homeownership/banks.php). MAHA has agreements with some of the largest lenders in the program - Bank of America, Citizens, Eastern, and Sovereign - which generally offer the best rates and terms on SoftSecond loans.
Once I find an affordable mortgage that is right for me, how can I find an affordable home?
MAHA offers on-stop shopping for affordable homes for sale at www.massaffordablehomes.org. 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.
MAHAMassachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance
1803 Dorchester Avenue
Dorchester, MA 02124
By email: email@example.com
By phone: 617-822-9100
By fax: 617-265-7503