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While a prospective homebuyer may be able to afford a monthly mortgage payment, the upfront costs of homeownership can be a challenge. In fact, 69 percent of prospective homeowners say the biggest barrier to homeownership is saving enough money for a down payment and closing costs, according to Bank of America’s 2019 Homebuyer Insights Report.

Now, BofA is helping prospective homeowners get over this hurdle by bringing a new down payment grant program to Boston, part of a $5 billion push to help more than 20,000 individuals and families around the country buy a home.

“Our commitment to affordable and responsible homeownership is greater than ever, with half of our loans going to low- to moderate-income or multicultural families and communities,” Steve Boland, head of consumer lending at BofA, said in a statement when the bank rolled out the program nationwide in April. “We know many of our clients want the power to own their first home, which can sometimes be challenging. One of the ways we’re helping is through our suite of affordable homeownership solutions and professional resources, which aid them in overcoming barriers and put sustainable homeownership within reach.”

Through the down payment grant program, the bank will give eligible homebuyers 3 percent of the home purchase price or up to $10,000 to be used for a down payment. The grant program is limited to one specific mortgage product.

In Massachusetts, the year to date median single-family home sale price is up 5.4 percent year-over-year to $385,000; the year to date median condominium price is $370,000, according to data from The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman. A 5 percent down payment at those prices would be $19,250 and $18,500, respectively; a 20 percent down payment would be $77,000 and $74,000, respectively.

Qualified homebuyers may also be eligible for the bank’s closing cost grant program, a lender credit through which they could receive up to $7,500 toward non-recurring closing costs or, in some instances, to buy down their interest rate. Through Oct. 31, the bank is also waiving the lender origination fee on Freddie Mac Home Possible FHA, VA or Affordable Loan Solution loans, which could mean a savings of approximately $1,000, depending on an individual buyer’s situation. Eligible homebuyers in Boston could receive as much as $17,500 to help them purchase a home.

Bank of America Brings Down Payment Assistance Program to Boston

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 1 min