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Looking for a mortgage? Here are 3 important features to consider

Sponsored by MassHousing


Interest rates and APRs. Points and downpayments. Mortgage terms can be complicated to the savviest among us. But if you want to buy a home, a mortgage is something to become familiar with. Here are three key things to consider when shopping for a mortgage:

Find the Right Rate

Basically, this is the cost of borrowing money, usually expressed as a percent. Generally, lower is better, but watch out for other fees that may not be factored into the rate. Look for a rate that’s fixed (always the same) not adjustable (resets every so often) so your monthly mortgage payment remains consistent.

Down Payment

A down payment is the amount the homebuyer pays at the time of purchase. Most commonly, you’ll need to put down at least 5% of a home’s purchase price in order to secure a mortgage. For a $300,000 home, a 5% down payment is $15,000. Any discussion of down payment should also cover…

Mortgage Insurance

If you’re making a downpayment of less than 20% of a home’s purchase price, your lender may require you to obtain private mortgage insurance, or PMI. PMI protects the lender in case you’re unable to repay your loan. It’s the cost of getting a mortgage without making a big down payment.


The bank where you obtain your mortgage isn’t always the company that will take your monthly payment, pay your real estate taxes and homeowners’ insurance and handle other aspects of your mortgage. Lenders often ‘sell’ the servicing of your loan to another company. Remember, your mortgage is a long-term deal, usually 30 years. If you ever have a question or fall on hard times, will you know who to call? Will they be someone you can trust?

Finding the right loan

So where can you find a quality mortgage that features an affordable interest rate, requires a low down payment and has a servicer you can count on? MassHousing, the state’s affordable housing bank, has helped thousands of families buy a home in Massachusetts. MassHousing loans

• Feature competitive, fixed interest rates

• Require downpayments as low as 3%; veterans can qualify for loans with no money down

• Offer mortgage insurance options: low-downpayment loans with no MI, MI paid by the borrower or the lender, plus a unique benefit the helps pay your mortgage if you lose your job

• Are serviced in our Boston office

You’ll find more information about MassHousing’s affordable mortgage products and the homebuying process at