The Downside of Down Payment Assistance

In this time of skyrocketing inflation, buyers are looking for any help they can find — and there is help out there. Sort of. Let me explain.

You may have seen ads or read articles on Down Payment Assistance (DPA). These programs are designed to provide loans or grants to buyers struggling with coming up with a typical 20% down payment.

While this sounds like a great opportunity, many DPA programs just don’t work. Often there are restrictions related to location, credit, and income.

Here’s the problem: Let’s say houses in your area average $400K. In order to qualify, your income will need to be low enough for the application to be approved. But the income restriction can be so low that you can only afford a $300K home and that means you’ve been priced out of your area before you even start to look.

Even if you did qualify to buy a home in your area, you may not stand a chance with a DPA loan when your competition is ready to put down 20% cash down (or more).

Sometimes the answer is simply to wait until you’ve saved your 20% down payment. But variables exist and there are sometimes ways to get you into a new home faster. That’s how I help. Contact me to review your credit and finances, and I’ll give you an honest opinion on your best path to a new home.

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If you’d like to chat about mortgage options, please call me at 617-965-1236. If you’re planning to buy this year, let’s talk soon. I look forward to speaking with you.

Ready to buy a new home or refinance the one you own? Please get in touch and I’ll be happy to answer your questions and help guide you through the process. I look forward to speaking with you.

Celebrating May

Suddenly, it’s almost May. How did that happen? May starts on Sunday and we thought it would be fun to take a look at some very random events that occurred on May 1 through the years.

  • 1931: The Empire State Building opens in Manhattan.
  • 1941: Citizen Kane, considered by many to be the greatest film ever made, premieres.
  • 1956: Dr. Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine is made available to the public.
  • 1961: Harper Lee wins the Pulitzer Prize for To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • 1971: Amtrak begins railway operations.
  • 1991: Rickey Henderson steals the 939th base of his career, surpassing Lou Brock’s MLB record.

Home Improver: Let It Go: Declutter Your Home

Take Elsa’s advice and Let it Go. It’s time to declutter your home. As shown in the photo above, there are several things you can do with unwanted items: keep, donate, trash, sell, recycle. Let’s focus today on donating and selling.

Donate items to Ukrainian refugees. Many people fled their homes and came here with little money and only the clothes on their backs. Be careful of scammers, and seek out reputable nonprofits willing to accept your donations.

Sell online. Want to make a few bucks on that iPad you used for a month or those boots you forgot to return? You have several options:

  1. eBay. The most popular online marketplace for used items. If you own it, someone on eBay is probably willing to buy it.
  2. Let Go/Offer Up. These companies merged midway through the pandemic. Think eBay, but local. That means in addition to shippable items, you can list your old snowblower or that exercise bike you never use, and your buyer can come pick them up.
  3. Savers. Feeling overwhelmed and just want everything out of the house? Box it up and drive it to the nearest Savers. They may not take everything, but they’ll take most of your stuff to resell.
  4. PangoBooks. Have unwanted stacks of books? Set up a PangoBooks account and sell your books online. It only takes a few minutes to set up and start adding books to your online store.