Massachusetts Mortgage and Refinance Rates
As of Friday, July 30, 2021, current rates in Massachusetts are 3.01% for a 30-year fixed, 2.35% for a 15-year fixed, and 2.57% for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).
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Massachusetts mortgage overview
By Zach Wichter
A state of nearly 7 million people, the median value for a single-family home in Massachusetts is $480,000. More than double the national average of $226,800 (which includes other kinds of residential properties), so buying a home in many parts of Massachusetts a relatively expensive proposition.
First-time homebuyer programs in Massachusetts
The Bay State has developed a number of education and mortgage programs specifically for first-time homebuyers, designed to help make homeownership more attainable.
- MassHousing Mortgage: Created in 1966, MassHousing is a quasi-public agency with a mission of providing financing for affordable housing in Massachusetts. The agency offers the MassHousing Mortgage, which offers lower interest rates that are fixed for the life of the loan and lower than normal down payments for qualifying buyers.
- MassHousing Down Payment Assistance: Separate from its mortgage program, MassHousing also operates a down payment assistance program that provides eligible borrowers up to 5 percent of the purchase price or $15,000, whichever is less. The income limit for program participants is up to 135 percent of the area median income. Assistance is available for those buying a home in Boston and 26 other cities in the state, and can be used to purchase single-family homes, condominiums or two-, three- or four-family homes.
- Purchase and Renovation Loan: For those interested in buying a fixer-upper home, MassHousing offers the Purchase and Renovation mortgage program. Though not specifically created for first-time homebuyers, this program provides another affordable route to homeownership. It offers financing for both buying the home and renovations, which are combined into one single monthly mortgage payment. Income limits for the program vary by city.
- The Workforce Advantage Program: Yet another program from MassHousing, the Workforce Advantage option targets first-time homebuyers whose income is as much as 80 percent of the area median income where they hope to purchase a home. The program can be used to purchase condominiums and single-family homes in Boston or one of 26 other cities. It offers a fixed interest rate and down payment assistance of up to 5 percent of the purchase price or $25,000 in Boston, or up to $15,000 in the rest of the state.
- Operation Welcome Home: Specifically designed to provide military borrowers with affordable financing, the Operation Welcome Home program is available to active duty military, veterans, Gold Star families and those in the National Guard and Reserves. It provides closing assistance of as much as $2,500, money that can be combined with a down payment assistance program. Only first-time homebuyers are eligible unless the home is being purchased in certain cites. Applicants must meet income limits.
- One Mortgage: Aimed at low- to moderate-income homebuyers, One Mortgage is a program from the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, a nonprofit organization. Highlights of the program include a low, fixed interest rate; down payments as low as 3 percent; and elimination of the private mortgage insurance (PMI) requirement, which cuts the cost of your monthly mortgage payment.
Massachusetts mortgage refinancing
When it comes time to refinance in Massachusetts, private lenders are an option, as is MassHousing, which doesn’t just assist with new mortgages. MassHousing offers refinancing programs designed to help Bay State homeowners save money. Its refinance options include fixed interest rates for the life of the loan and mortgage insurance that provides mortgage payment protection, which safeguards against such things as job loss.
Key points to keep in mind when you’re seeking to refinance is that you’re not required to work with the same lender you obtained the original mortgage from. In addition, you should do your research, shop around and make sure you’re getting the best possible rate and terms on a new mortgage.