Things most Boston real estate brokers won’t tell you


They won’t think to show you the AMI (area medium income)  designated properties unless you ask. There once was a a high school on a hill in Jamaica Plain. Its been converted to apartment condo homes  and they are nice, very  nice. A 2br is for sale for approximately $195,000 if you can get it.  Its on Elm Street.   There are 75 units there.    Ask your real estate broker ( note: most apartment rental agents will not tell you about this ) for a list of choices that meet AMI home-buyer guidelines and you could find yourself sitting in front of a deal that’s hard to refuse because its cheaper than renting and you can own. AMI labeled properties are cheaper to rent too.


house for sale
buy me


Here’s why.

1) These homes are every bit as good as non-AMI designated homes. An AMI-designated home means the developer and the financing providers got together under government tax reduction policy when the construction deal was going down. They went to market selling enough units at regular price to be able to offer a few of the units at “income-adjusted” prices and they decided that any owner of those units can NEVER sellout for more than 5% over what they paid for it and they have to hold on to it for at least five years, no flipping!!

2) These house are for families and first time home buyers including single people. They are not for people who want to profit when real estate pricing in the neighborhood increases.

boston house for sale
any suburban town Boston

3) There are not a lot of AMI designated housing stock. To get one you must first participate in an official First Time Home Buyers Program and pass it. Your credit score must not suck. You need to make and show you made at least $38,000 last year. Your bills have to be low enough. Your income has to be ready enough. You should not make more than $38,000 if single and more if there are two W2 wage earners in the household. And in some cases, especially for brand new properties, you have to be a lucky winner among people like your financial situation is of the “pool” of potential buyers for the few reduced priced market rate units in that development.

And every development has different rules that ultimately can affect how much it cost to be there. There’s a list of all the Community Development Housing Corporations serving Boston on the web site and its got phone numbers you can call there too.

4) Here’s what’s no so great about these AMI designated units. Well, you have to do the math. When major facility damage occurs, you will be assessed a flat rate amount over and above mortgage, taxes and condo fees, that you have no control over and so will everybody else with a unit in the development. This is because in some cases, the cost of repairing major damage to a building such as replacing its roof or rebuilding a damaged unit will be spread among the haves and the have not in that development.

house for sale - Boston suburb
shot from across the street


MORE INFO like this is on the Affordable Homes and Rentals web site page.

EVERY Boston First Time Home Buyer approved to purchase an AMI income priced home is likely to run into  Jeffrey Atkins, Program Manager of the  Homeowner / Homebuyer Services at the  Boston Home Center,  City of Boston.  (617) 635-4663