Buying a Home in Charlestown

Buying a Home in Charlestown

Wondering if you should buy a home in Charlestown? Charlestown is considered the oldest neighborhood in the city of Boston. Here is everything you should know about the benefits of buying Charlestown real estate, median home prices, and more.

Why should you buy a house in Charlestown?

The architecture in Charlestown is incredible

The original city planner for Charlestown was the engineer Charles Grave in the 1600s, and the neighborhood’s architecture has evolved over the past few centuries, but the foundational roots stay today. The neighborhood is home to some beautiful brick-faced buildings and historic charm on broad streets. Three-story clapboard-style homes are also plentiful in Charlestown.

There’s room to work from home

There’s plenty of room to work from home in a Charlestown apartment or home. The average size of an apartment in Charlestown is about 800 square feet, while the living space in a house in Charlestown is over 1,100 square feet.

Customize your space

When you purchase a home in Charlestown, you have the freedom to customize your own space. Make the place your own by adding personalized details, remodeling any or all of the rooms, and working on home improvements.

What to know about buying a house in Charlestown

Median house price

The median home price in Charlestown is about $891,000. The median home price in Charlestown has increased about 6.9% year over year. Nearby neighborhoods to Charlestown include the West End, the North End, East Cambridge, East Somerville, Assembly Square, and Beacon Hill.

Closing costs

In addition to the home price, you need to consider the closing costs when you’re purchasing a home in Charlestown, Massachusetts, including the attorney fee, filing fees, survey and plot plan, property appraisal, bank charges, courier and mailing, and title insurance.

The attorney fee will cost about $800 to $2,000, while the filing fees will cost about $365, including $125 for the deed, $65 for the municipal lien certificate, and $175 for the mortgage. The survey and plot plan will cost about $150, the property appraisal will cost about $400 to $600, and the bank charges will cost about $75. The courier and mailing will cost about $50, and the title insurance will cost about $3,500.

Property taxes

The current tax rate for the Boston area is about $10.88 per thousand dollars of your home’s value. This translates to about $9,700 for the median home price of $891,000 in Charlestown.

Requirements for buying a house in Charlestown

Conventional loans

First-time homebuyers can get a conventional loan with a down payment as low as 3%, but the down payment required varies based on the kind of loan you’re getting and your personal situation. Typically, you can use a mortgage calculator to determine how your down payment amount will impact your monthly payments.

Private mortgage insurance is typically required if you put down less than 30% on your conventional loan. The cost you pay for private mortgage insurance varies based on the kind of loan, the amount of your down payment, and your credit score.

You usually need a credit score of at least 620 to qualify for a conventional loan. Your debt-to-income ratio, which represents which amount of your regular income goes to your debt, usually needs to be about 50% or lower for most conventional loans.

FHA loans

The FHA, an abbreviation for the Federal Housing Administration, offers mortgage insurance on home loans that are made by lenders approved by the FHA. The Federal Housing Administration is the world’s biggest insurer of residential mortgages.

You need a credit score of at least 580 if you want to make a down payment of only 3.5% and 500 to 579 if you want to make a down payment of 10%. Your debt-to-income ratio needs to be 43% or lower.

VA loans

You meet the baseline active-duty service requirements to receive a VA home loan, issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, if you served for at least 24 continuous months or at least 181 days if you were called to active duty.

Money-saving tips for buying a home in Charlestown

Find the best mortgage rate

There are several ways you can ensure that you can get the best and lowest interest rate on your mortgage, including saving up for a full down payment of at least 20%, improving your credit score, building a steady record of employment, understanding your debt-to-income ratio, considering alternative kinds or terms of your loans, and comparison-shopping among multiple different lenders.

Use a bigger down payment to keep monthly payments down

Paying a larger down payment on your home will keep your monthly payments as low as possible. Mortgage lenders like to see bigger down payments since it reduces the risk you pose to them as your lender. The bigger your home down payment, the less you need to pay per month in both the principal and the interest costs. Consider your home down payment as an interest-free way to get a head start on paying off your home.

Increase your credit score

Improving your credit score is another great way to save money on buying a home in Charlestown. You can quickly increase your credit score by disputing any errors you can see in your credit report, adding utility and phone bills to your credit report, avoiding late bill payments, and keeping your credit utilization ratio low.

Your credit utilization ratio is the percentage of your total available credit that you actually use. You should keep the amount of credit you have used at 30% of your total credit line.

Work with a trusted real estate agent

Ready to learn more about buying a home in Charlestown? Contact the trusted Charlestown real estate agents at Tracy Shea for guidance.

*Header photo courtesy of Tracy Shea Real Estate Team

Work With Us

Tracy, Sophie and John are dedicated to helping you find your dream home and assisting with any selling needs you may have. Contact them today to start your home-searching journey!

Follow Me on Instagram