Being a homeowner is an exciting achievement, but it comes with a huge amount of responsibility. Maintaining a house not only takes up a lot of time, but it can also take up a lot of money, especially if there are areas of your home that require repair.
The problem is, there is always the possibility that you may not be able to afford to make important repairs to your home, so what do you do then? Some repairs can be held off until you have the money, but others are crucial to ensure that you are living comfortably.
Fortunately, there are options available to you if you are struggling to find the money you need to repair your home in Massachusetts, whether that be a grant or a loan.
All grant and loan programs available for free or low-cost home repair in Massachusetts will be slightly different, with varying eligibility requirements. These types of programs are principally offered to low-income families, low-income single parents, disabled people, and veterans.
There are a couple of grants available for home repairs in Massachusetts:
- The NeighborWorks of Southern Mass offers a Small Project Grant to low-income residents of Quincy and Brockton. You could qualify for a grant of up to $3,000 for small emergency repairs.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers a Single Family Housing Repair Grant of up to $10,000. To qualify for this grant you need to live in a rural area and meet several other requirements. Bear in mind that, if you sell your property within 3 years of receiving the grant, you will be required to pay the grant back.
- The Weatherization Assistance Program helps low-income households with assistance getting their home weatherized.
- If you are in Boston and need to remove lead from your home, the city offers $10,000 to help you do so.
If you are in a particularly poor situation, you may want to think about reaching out to charities that may be able to help you, including:
- Habitat for Humanity utilizes volunteers to build houses for families who are most in need, but you could take advantage of their ReStores to find discounted surplus and used building materials to help you carry out your home repairs at a much lower cost.
- Rebuilding Together, Inc. helps low-income, disabled, and elderly homeowners to afford home repairs and update safety features in their home.
If you are unable to qualify for a grant or have higher costing repairs, there are a number of low-cost home repair loan programs available to you. In Massachusetts, these include:
- The NeighborWorks of Southern Mass offer low-interest Home Improvement Loans to Quincy and Brockton with loan amounts up to $25,000.
- MassHousing offers a Home Improvement Loan Program for non-luxury home improvements. As long as you meet their requirements, and have good credit, you can receive a loan from an approved lender, with amounts ranging from $7,500 to $50,000 and a fixed interest rate of 5%. Repayment terms can range anywhere from 5 to 15 years. MassHousing also offers a Lead-Based Paint Removal Loan and a Septic Repair Loan for more specific home repairs.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers the 504 Repair Loan Program to help low-income rural single-family homeowners repair or modernize their homes. You could receive up to $40,000 with a fixed interest rate of only 1% and repayment terms of 20 years.
- The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) offers a home repair/modification loan for people living with a disability.
- The Veterans Affairs Regional Loan Center offers both loans and grants for veterans to modify their homes to meet their needs.
- If you’re in Boston, you may be eligible for the HomeWorks Home Equity Loan Program. This provides you with an interest-free loan of $10,000-$30,000.
- If you’re in Boston and are a senior, you can also look into the Senior Home Repair Loan Program (another 0% interest option) or, if you need new heating, the Seniors Save Program is another good option.
- Cambridge offers its own Home Improvement Programs.
- There are a range of options provided by the city if you’re in Fall River.
If you are unable to qualify for a loan or grant and are unable to receive help from a charity, there are other options available to you, which include:
- Refinance: You could think about refinancing your mortgage to give you the cash you need to make your home repairs. This can be very expensive, however, so you may only want to consider this if your house repairs are critical and immediate.
- Check if you’re eligible for tax relief: There are tax relief programs available in Massachusetts for the elderly, veterans, the blind, and widows of veterans or first-responders which can help you save some money which you can then put toward the necessary repairs and/or improvements. You can find information for tax relief for the elderly here, the blind here, veterans here, and surviving spouses here.
- Country-wide options: You could also look towards other grant and loan programs not specific to Massachusetts as there are many organizations out there working to help homeowners in need of financial aid.
- Sell your home: Your other option would be to sell your home and find a property that is newer or has been better maintained. This may not be your ideal choice, but it could be the best decision if your home is falling into disrepair and you don’t want to cover them or don’t have the money to do so.
Start Moving Forward
There are several options to obtain the money you need to repair your home at no- or low cost to you, it is simply a case of doing your research into which programs will be available to you and doing the tedious work of applying.
If you are finding the process overwhelming, we can help you move on with your life. If you decide that selling your home is the best option for you, we can offer you a no-obligation cash offer for your home so you can move on and purchase a property that better suits your needs. This is a particularly good option for those who need to renovate their home for their current needs, but don’t have the funds to do so.