For Immediate Release - July 28, 2009

GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES NEW ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE HOMEOWNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Lenders statewide approved to provide first-time homebuyers with up to $8,000 from MassHousing in advance of federal tax credit

SPRINGFIELD - Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state's economic future, Governor Deval Patrick today announced the initial group of approved lenders for the MassHousing First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Loan Program. The program, unveiled in Boston earlier this month, will allow first-time homebuyers to borrow up to $8,000 in advance of their federal tax credit for homes purchased with a MassHousing loan before December 1, 2009.

"It's a great time to buy,'' said Governor Patrick. "And we now have a network of lenders in place to help homebuyers put their federal tax credit to work now to buy their first home.''

"As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, which helped draft the Recovery Act, I strongly support these tax credits which will give qualified families in Massachusetts the opportunity to purchase their first home. I am confident the citizens of the Pioneer Valley will take advantage of this important program, and that it will help grow the local economy and create new jobs," said Congressman Richard E. Neal.

The First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Loan will allow Massachusetts homebuyers to use the $8,000 tax credit from the federal Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008 as a funding source at the time of closing to help purchase the home. Under HERA, the maximum available credit is $8,000 and is claimed when homebuyers file their 2009 federal tax return.

Homebuyers who take advantage of the program will have the principal and interest payments on the tax credit loan deferred from the time of closing until the loan due date of June 1, 2010. If the loan is not repaid in full by June 1, 2010, the loan will be amortized for 10 years at the same interest rate as their first mortgage loan.

"With today's low home prices and low interest rates, it is a great time to buy a home and we would encourage first-time homebuyers thinking about getting into the market to use the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Loan as a catalyst to make that first home purchase," said MassHousing Executive Director Thomas R. Gleason.

"We continue to believe that the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit is a unique opportunity for Massachusetts residents to purchase their first home,'' said Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® 2009 President-elect Kevin Sears, broker-owner of Sears Real Estate in Springfield. "MassHousing is really increasing the power of the tax credit through this new loan program by giving first-time homebuyers the chance to use the tax credit toward their down payment and other home buying costs.''

Qualifications for the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Loan include:

  • Applicants must be first-time homebuyers using a MassHousing mortgage through a MassHousing-approved lender.
  • Homebuyers must use the home as a principal residence for a minimum of three years (the Tax Credit Loan cannot be used for investor properties).
  • Homebuyers must purchase a one, two, three or four-family home from a seller unrelated to the buyer by December 1, 2009.

MassHousing's home loans feature safe and affordable fixed rates and include unique benefits such as MassHousing's MI Plus™ mortgage insurance, which will help pay the borrower's monthly principal and interest payments for up to six months in the event of a job loss. MassHousing mortgages offer competitive interest rates, low- and no down payment options and discounted rates for lower-income borrowers.

MassHousing-approved lenders participating in the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Loan Program as of July 28, 2009 include:

Bank of Canton

Bristol County Savings Bank

Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank

Eastern Bank

Fall River Five Cents Savings Bank

Fidelity Bank

First Eastern Mortgage

Greater Springfield Credit Union

Greenfield Cooperative Bank

Hampden Bank

Holyoke Credit Union

Legacy Banks

Metro Credit Union

Mortgage Financial

NE Moves Mortgage

Rockland Trust

St Anne's Credit Union

Salem Five Cents Savings Bank

SaugusBank

Winter Hill Federal Savings

For more information, please visit www.mass.gov/dhcd/1sttimebuyer or www.masshousing.com

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