Although buying a home is an exciting step, it can be really challenging to navigate the housing market and align your finances. The purchasing and offer process varies state to state, which is why it’s important to work with a mortgage lender that has experience across multiple states. Here are some of the differences to be aware of when shopping for a home in Massachusetts.
Property Types Vary Greatly
Larger cities like Boston and Worcester offer everything from luxury condominiums to classic New England “triple-decker” apartment buildings, while multimillion-dollar single family homes can be found up and down the coast. The further west you travel in Massachusetts, you’ll find more rural, single family housing; USDA and VA loans are more common in Western and Central MA than in more populous areas.
Banks vs. Mortgage Brokers
Metro Boston is teeming with mortgage brokers, many of whom cater to working professionals such as doctors, attorneys and engineers in search of a higher-end product. On the other hand, mortgage lenders are harder to find west of Boston, where banks handle the majority of residents’ mortgage needs.
Know Massachusetts Tax Rules
The Massachusetts property tax rate averages 1.17%, higher than the 1.07% national average. The seller is responsible for paying this transfer tax.
Attorney Involvement is Required for Real Estate Transactions
Unlike many other states, a Massachusetts real estate transaction requires the involvement of an attorney. The attorney fees are also typically higher than in other states, with Boston-based real estate attorneys charging a flat fee between $1,500 and $3,000, rather than an hourly rate.
Two-Step Purchase Contract Process
In Massachusetts, the initial offer is drafted on a shorter form, typically either the Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) Contract to Purchase Real Estate (with contingencies), or the Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB) Offer to Purchase Real Estate. That offer needs to have contingencies in place that must be met, including the home inspection. Once the inspection is complete, the Purchase and Sale Agreement (P&S) becomes the final contract. Keep in mind, the initial offer is a binding contract, so you’ll want to include financing and sale contingencies in that initial offer.
No Need for a Disclosure Form
Massachusetts sellers are not required to complete a disclosure form with property defects. The only disclosure they’re required to make is for lead paint in homes built prior to 1978.
In Massachusetts, the real estate agent can represent both the buyer and seller simultaneously.
Interested in talking through the home buying process in greater detail? Let’s chat.
Why a Massachusetts Mortgage Broker Is Your Best Real Estate Investment
When it comes to savvy, lasting real estate investments, a Bay State home backed by a Massachusetts mortgage could be the best choice for you.
A state steeped in history, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has played a significant historical and cultural role in American folklore. As one of the original 13 colonies, Massachusetts boasts such historic places as Plymouth Rock, the landing place of the pilgrims, as well as Harvard University, the nation’s oldest institution of higher learning.As the most populous state in New England, the Bay State is a hotbed of politics, culture and higher education.
With roughly 80 colleges and universities spread throughout the commonwealth, it’s no wonder why so many young professionals choose to start families in Massachusetts. While Boston is its epicenter of life, Massachusetts also offers living opportunities both in a dense urban and open rural setting. Depending upon where you live in the Commonwealth, you can be only a few T-stops away from Fenway Park and the Prudential Center, or within a short ride to the vast expanse of the Appalachian Trail or Berkshires. People buy homes in Massachusetts because of the solid education system and the fact that it is a job seekers paradise.
If you do plan on enlisting a Massachusetts mortgage to affordably live in the Commonwealth, be sure to capitalize on the many unique, state-specific homeownership benefits. State leaders have developed a resource page for homebuyers that provides information on first time home buyer assistance. There are also many programs, such as tax credits, that make it even more affordable to get a Massachusetts mortgage. And when you do decide to move to the Bay State, you’ll have access to free, state-created resource courses and online tools designed to help homeowners purchase and maintain their residence; such as how to navigate a home inspection; considerations for insurance coverage; crime and safety advice, budgeting; and how to reduce your overall home costs and utility bills via smarter energy efficiencies.
Fixed Rate – Fixed Rate mortgage loans are predictable payments because they maintain a fixed interest rate for the entire life of the loan, as opposed to loans where the interest rate may be adjusted.
Refinancing – When homeowners take out a new home loan to replace their existing one (to help reduce monthly payments and gain long-term savings), the new loan pays off the initial loan.
First Time Home Buyers – We’re happy to help guide you through a transparent and predictable mortgage process.
Conventional Mortgage Loans in MA – Conventional loans are most common, private-sector loans that are not government-backed but follow guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Non-Conventional – These loans cater to borrowers who may have been rejected for a conventional loan due to self-employment, bankruptcy or unsteady employment history.
Adjustable Rate – This mortgage has an adjustable interest rate, which might allow a buyer to start with a lower monthly payment.
Low Down Payment – These government-backed loans only require a 3.5% down payment, even for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit.
FHA – These loans are more forgiving for people with lower credit scores – and are designed to help borrowers who might not qualify for conventional loans.
FHA 203K – This government loan is flexible for fixing up homes with deferred maintenance.
VA – Veterans mortgages are like a conventional loan, but with specific benefits for veterans such as no down payment, no cash reserves and no application fee.
USDA – These rural home loans have low rates, no down payment and are designed for borrowers who purchase homes in communities of less than 20,000 people.
Home Loans for Bad Credit – Clear lingering credit history issues and discover a mortgage option that suits your financial situation.
Jumbo – A Jumbo loan is a mortgage exceeding the conforming lending limit of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which in most areas is $417,000.
Non-Owner Occupied – If you are purchasing a property that will not be your primary residence with between one and four units, you may face more red tape since it has a higher risk of default.
HELOC – A home equity line of credit, often thought of as a second mortgage, allows the dispersal of the loaned funds at any time the borrower chooses, instead of all at once like a traditional mortgage.
Home Improvement – Whether you’re looking to renovate, remodel or increase the value of your home, this program can help get the job done.
Police & Firefighters – Serving as a first responder in the community can help secure optimal terms on a home mortgage loan.
Roger worked with me on an extremely complicated deal, and his knowledge, persistence and excellence helped to pull everythin…
My experience with Blue Water Mortgage was wonderful. As a first time home buyer, I had many questions and concerns. Laura pa…
Laura was great to work with! She took the time to answer all my questions, kept me updated on the process, and helped to mak…
We have worked with Blue Water Mortgage group several times over the years, they helped with our home purchase, sale and refi…
We had a fantastic experience with Blue Water Mortgage. We were referred to them by two of our friends, we would definitely r…
My wife and I just completed a closing with Blue Water and our experience was phenomenal. We had a very quick turnaround from…
Hiccups are always to be expected with an FHA and a first time home buyer. I would recommend the organization and effort with…
Blue Water Mortgage was recommended to us by our realtor and we are so glad she did! This is our third time buying a home and…
My husband and I recently went through Blue Water Mortgage as first time home buyers with the assistance of Derek and Jay, wh…
I have worked with at least a dozen loan officers at different mortgage companies over the past several decades and Lee is by…
We were referred to BlueWater Mortgage through our bank, The Provident and it was a great experience. From the start our cont…
Roger worked with me on an extremely complicated deal, and his knowledge, persistence and excellence helped to pull everything together. He invested the time and effort needed to make the deal happen. I had other mortgage companies that would not take on this challenge, but Roger stepped up to the plate and made it happen. I also did another deal with Roger that went extremely quickly and efficiently. Roger would not rush through his calls with me, but take his time to outline all the steps needed. After working with Roger I don’t think that I could work with another loan officer again. I would highly recommend Roger to anyone who is in need or a mortgage.
My experience with Blue Water Mortgage was wonderful. As a first time home buyer, I had many questions and concerns. Laura patiently guided me through the process, explaining what was happening each step of the way. My home purchase was on the complicated side, but Laura took every bump in stride, and went the extra mile (several times) to make sure that my closing went smoothly and happened on time. I would highly recommend Blue Water Mortgage to anyone purchasing a home.
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We have worked with Blue Water Mortgage group several times over the years, they helped with our home purchase, sale and refinancing. Kristina Young especially made the process easy and everyone we worked with was very responsive, worked diligently and happily answer questions along the way.
I would definitely use Blue Water Mortgage again in the future and would highly recommend.
We had a fantastic experience with Blue Water Mortgage. We were referred to them by two of our friends, we would definitely refer anyone looking to purchase a home to work with them. As a first time home buyer we had no idea how to start the mortgage process and what to expect. John Riley explained everything to us. Whenever we had a question, which I had many he always picked up his phone or called us right back. He always wanted to make sure we understood what he was saying. Everyone at Blue Water was great they all worked together to help us close. I would recommend anyone looking to buy a house to use Blue Water Mortgage you will have a great experience just like we did. Everyone who is a part of Blue Water is very helpful and caring. They are the best!!!
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Hiccups are always to be expected with an FHA and a first time home buyer. I would recommend the organization and effort with a 10. They worked through a ton of grey area to get to the nuts and bolts of a few last minute road blocks. I really felt like they were putting in the extra effort for me. I would absolutely recommend Blue Water to any first time home buyer. Great job!
Blue Water Mortgage was recommended to us by our realtor and we are so glad she did! This is our third time buying a home and Blue Water helped to make the home buying process a breeze for us. We were able to get pre-qualified for a mortgage within 2 hours of contacting Roger at Blue Mortgage! Every email or phone call was returned promptly. Roger and his staff made sure everything went smoothly. I highly recommend Blue Water Mortgage to anyone who is buying a new home. I know our memories of the process is filled with good ones!
My husband and I recently went through Blue Water Mortgage as first time home buyers with the assistance of Derek and Jay, whom made the process painless. They both made themselves readily available to answer any questions or concerns throughout the entire process. They were extremely attentive and answered with timely responses. They completed the bulk of the paper work, asking for bits and pieces along the way. I was impressed with their level of knowledge and ability to be flexible. Our realtor was also impressed with how easy they were to work with. We would highly recommend using Blue Water Mortgage. Derek and his team ROCK!
I have worked with at least a dozen loan officers at different mortgage companies over the past several decades and Lee is by FAR the best that I have ever dealt with. Lee is extremely helpful, insightful (knows the industry top to bottom), is creative and offers exceptional customer service. While Lee is a true professional, she is also understanding, has a great sense of humor and just knows how to get things done quickly and on or ahead of schedule. I would HIGHLY recommend Lee to those that want only the very best – Lee is a true professional!
We were referred to BlueWater Mortgage through our bank, The Provident and it was a great experience. From the start our contact, Scott, was always attentive, informative and professional. He worked out a great rate, helped us get all of our paperwork in order and answered all questions whenever needed. All of this came together to ensure a smooth and easy closing. I would certainly recommend Blue Water Mortgage to anyone shopping for a mortgage or refinance.