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The Fontaines

A photo of the Fontaine family; Photo by Mike Ritter

In 2017, Meghan and Peter Fontaine closed on their MassHousing mortgage loan, and opened a new chapter of their lives as homeowners.

Their journey began months earlier, when Meghan took a first-time homebuyer course at Community Teamwork in Salem. That's where she met Patty Gabriel, a loan officer with Mortgage Financial in Danvers - a MassHousing approved lender. Meghan did not know it at the time, but she and Peter would eventually get their MassHousing loan through Patty.

Meghan and Peter ended up purchasing a home in Beverly that had been foreclosed on previously. While not a common occurrence, purchasing a foreclosed home can have some advantages. For example, the Fontaine's were able to buy the home for below asking price.

Having previously rented an apartment, Meghan says one of the things they like best is "we can make it our own." They painted the rooms the colors they liked, refinished the floors and installed new appliances.

Meghan also credits the homebuyer counseling course with helping them achieve their homeownership goal.

"The counseling classes were really helpful; I thought they might be boring but they were actually very interesting," she said. "By the time we closed on our loan, I felt empowered because I was well informed about the homebuying process and terminology used on the mortgage documents."

The Fontaine's loan came with MassHousing's mortgage insurance with MIPlus™ mortgage payment protection, which makes principal and interest payments on the loan in the event of job loss.

"I would recommend taking homebuyer counseling, finding a lender that you really like and are comfortable with, and asking for a MassHousing loan," said Meghan.