According to the National Association of Realtors first time buyers made up 33% of all 2018 home buyers, a 1% decrease from the previous year and a downward trend of the historical 40% mark. Now is the time to buy! Interest rates are low and if you are a teacher anywhere in CT teaching in a State-Identified Subject Matter Shortage Areas, you can take advantage of even lower rates.
In Mansfield, there is one minute census tract, 8812, which consists of just under a mile in the heart of the UConn campus designated as a Target Area by the federal government. A borrower buying a house in that census tract would get a .25% reduction in the interest rate on a CHFA mortgage. In addition, the first-time homebuyer requirement would be waived, and the income limits would be waived as long as the borrower did not apply for a down payment assistance (DAP) loan. You can view the map with target areas, income & sales price limits and other information here: https://www.chfa.org/homebuyers/chfa-resource-map-target-areas/. The challenge will be finding a property within that .9 mile area. I tried a MLS search using the drawing tool and found zero properties for sale.
Windham is designated as a priority of transitional district by the state, so a certified teacher in the Windham School System who buys a house anywhere in Windham is eligible for a .0125% interest rate discount on a CHFA loan (as long as they met income/sales price criteria). In addition, there is no asset test for DAP which means the buyer can have over $10,000 in liquid assets and still be eligible for DAP. This program requires you teach in the town where you purchase. Details on the discount for teachers here.
A teacher certified in any of the State-Identified Subject Matter Shortage Areas,
- Bilingual Education, PK-12
- Comprehensive Special Education, K-12
- Mathematics, 7-12
- Occupational Subject, Vocational Tech High School
- School Library Media Specialist Science, 7-12
- Speech and Language Pathology
- Technology Education, PK-12
- TESOL, PK-12
- World Languages, 7-12
is eligible for the .0125% interest rate discount on a CHFA loan when they purchase a home anywhere in the state. Any teacher certified in any of these subjects are not required to buy in the town where they teach. The list of districts and subjects is updated annually in June so the current list expires June 2020.
Don’t meet any of the above criteria but want great rates? Improve your credit score. The lower your FICO score the more you’ll pay for your mortgage. For example: On a $250,000 mortgage a buyer with a FICO score of 620-629 (the lowest) would pay $1,491 per month on the loan. A buyer with a FICO score of 760-850 (the highest) would pay $1,247 per month for the same loan. That is $244 per month or $3,000 per year.
Your credit score will also impact the price you pay for insurance and other financing that you made need in the future for home repairs or appliances. Your agent should be able to recommend a local lender who can best advise you on how to increase your FICO score to obtain the best rates and the best financing options for you tailored to your income, employment status and credit worthiness.
Looking for a lender referral or a buyer consultation? Contact us and we can get you on the road to mortgage pre-qualification and a specific property search based on your personal preferences and criteria. Be sure to check out our Coming Soon listings for an advance look at new properties coming on to the market.