New York City Buying Home for the First Time



What you need to know about buying a home in New York

Buying a home in New York can look different depending on where you want to live. For example, a purchase in and around New York will cost much more than a purchase in a remote location in upstate New York.

Regardless of location, first-time homebuyers in New York State can get a lot of help.

This can be educational courses and free consultations, as well as financial assistance with your initial payment and closing expenses. Here’s how to get started.

Proof of Eligibility to Buy a Home in New York (July 8, 2021)

In this article (Go to …)

New York Home Buyers Review

The median home price in New York State was $ 370,000 in April 2021. But it covers a wide range in different locations within the Empire State.

For example, the average price in St. Lawrence County this month was $ 93,500. But in Manhattan, it was $ 1.1 million. This means where you buy may be more important than the state average.

New York Home Buyers Review
Average selling price of a home in New York USD 370,000
Minimum down payment in New York (3%) USD 11,100
20% Down payment in New York USD 74,000
Average credit rating in New Yorkone 718
Maximum New York Home Buyer Grant2 US $ 30,000 Loan Available Statewide under SONYMA DPAL Plus Program

Down payment amounts are based on the latest available average home sales price. The “minimum” down payment assumes a 3% discount on regular mortgages with a minimum credit rating of 620.

If you are eligible for a VA Loan (sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs) or a USDA Loan (sponsored by the USDA), you may not need any upfront payment at all.

Prove Eligibility To Buy A Home In New York (July 8, 2021)

Loans for the first home buyer in New York

If this is your first time buying a home with a 20% down payment, you can get a regular loan with a low interest rate. And you never have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Of course, few newbie shoppers have saved 20%. But the good news is, you don’t need this. Not even close.

Homebuyers in New York can often save money in advance by using one of the following low down payment mortgage programs:

  • Normal 97 – From Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. The down payment is 3% and the minimum credit rating is 620. You can usually stop paying mortgage insurance after a few years.
  • FHA loan – Supported by the Federal Housing Administration. 3.5% down and a minimum credit rating of 580. But you’re on the hook for mortgage insurance until you refinance another type of mortgage, move home, or pay off the loan.
  • VA credit – For veterans and military personnel only. Zero down payment required. The minimum credit rating varies depending on the lender, but is often 620. After closing, mortgage insurance does not exist. These are arguably the best mortgages available, so apply if you are eligible.
  • USDA Loan – For people with low or moderate income who shop in certain rural areas. Zero down payment required. Credit score requirements differ depending on the lender, but often 640. Low mortgage insurance rates
  • SONYMA mortgage – The New York State Mortgage Agency offers qualified borrowers low cost loans and down payment options. More details below

Depending on the mortgage loan you choose, you can potentially get into your new home with minimal out-of-pocket costs.

These programs even allow you to use donated money or assistance in paying the down payment to cover the down payment and closing costs.

If you are not sure which loan program to choose, your loan officer can help you find the right company based on your finances and home buying goals.

Home buying programs in New York for the first time

New York State Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) offers statewide assistance for first-time home buyers in New York City. This includes affordable mortgages as well as down payment assistance.

For example, his Dream Realization program is a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with only a 3% drop. And you only need to pay 1% out of your pocket; the rest can come from help with the down payment (except for the buyers of the cooperative).

There are certain requirements for participation in SONYMA programs, including:

  1. Stable and verifiable income over two years
  2. A “decent” (unspecified) credit rating is probably 580 or 620, depending on the type of loan you want.
  3. Sufficient income to live comfortably and cover homeownership costs
  4. Inside the household income limits and purchase price limits
  5. You will be using the house as your primary residence

SONYMA has a list of approved mortgage lenders; you will need to get a home loan through one of them to fully participate in its programs.

The agency also says it will connect you with “nonprofit housing advisory agencies across New York State to help you navigate the home buying process and prepare for a successful home purchase through one-on-one counseling, training courses, homebuyer workshops, and more. “. “

Find The Best Home Home Loan On Your First Purchase (July 8, 2021)

New York City Newbie Grants

SONYMA has two main areas prepayment aid loans (DPAL), which are available statewide.

Although these are loans and not grants, they come with no monthly payments and no interest is charged. Better yet, they are forgiven after 10 years.

This means that you do not need to return a cent if you stay at home for ten years. If you move, sell, or refinance this home before 10 years have passed, you will have to return 1 / 120th of the amount you borrowed each month, except for 120 months, which is 10 years.

Standard DPAL allows you to borrow 3% of the purchase price (up to $ 15,000) or $ 3,000, whichever is greater.


The DPAL PLUS pilot program only opened on April 29, 2021, and is generally more generous. With this program, you can borrow up to $ 30,000 to cover the down payment and closing costs.

However, the loan amount is limited to 20% of the purchase price of your home. Put in 20% and you get a regular loan with no mortgage insurance payments – never. And this is a huge advantage.

With DPAL Plus, your income cannot exceed 60% of the Region’s Average Income (AMI) where you buy.

Not sure if you qualify? Download this PDF from the SONYMA website for information on maximum eligible income by county.

Please note that DPAL Plus has limited funding. When the money runs out, the program will be suspended until new funds are provided. So, if you want to take advantage of this, download your app shortly.

Other options

SONYMA may well be your best bet to help you pay your down payment. But be sure to check out other home ownership programs in the area where you are looking to buy.

Resources for finding local grants are listed at the end of this article. You can also ask your real estate agent, realtor, or loan officer about down payment assistance programs near you.

Buying a home in major New York cities

Even between the big cities in the Empire State, there are large differences in property prices and mortgage payments. Here’s what to expect.

New York buys home for the first time

According to, the median home price in New York in May 2021 was $ 799,000. This has not changed from year to year.

If you are looking to buy a home at this average price, your down payment options can range between:

  • USD 23,970 with an initial payment of 3%
  • USD 159,800 with 20% down payment

NYC Housing Services, Inc. (NHSNYC) offers 15 year repayment loans to help you bridge the gap between your savings and down payment requirements. But you will have to pay monthly, and interest is charged on the loan amount.

NHSNYC also offers a suite of online homebuyer training courses as well as a free initial consultation.

Buffalo buys home for the first time

According to, the median home price in Buffalo in May 2021 was $ 158,000. This is 21.6% more than last year.

If you are looking to buy a home at this average price, the down payment options can be as follows:

  • USD 4,740 with an initial payment of 3%
  • USD 31,600 with an initial payment of 20%

Belmont Housing Resources offers a variety of advice and training for homeowners in Buffalo. It can also provide financial assistance of up to US $ 5,000 to cover initial fees and closing costs.

However, there is no information on its website on whether it is a repayment loan, a bad loan or a grant. It also does not provide any information or terms of participation. So it’s best to call a Belmont consultant at (716) 884-7791.

Rochester buys home for the first time

According to, the median home price in Rochester was $ 147,000 in May 2021. This is 13.2% more than a year earlier.

If you are looking to buy a home at this average price, the down payment options can be as follows:

  • USD 4,410 with an initial payment of 3%
  • USD 29,400 with 20% down payment

IN Ecumenical Housing of Bishop Sheen the website says it offers assistance with closing costs, as well as a range of advisory services for home buyers. But, again, there are no details on the site. So call (585) 461-4263 for more information.

Where to Find Help Buying a Home in New York

All of the organizations we have listed above are required to advise free of charge anyone who purchases a home in New York State for the first time.

In addition to our selection, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides several listings of state, region, and local government resources:

Resources for New Yorkers by City / Neighborhood:

What are the mortgage rates in New York today?

You can see today’s New York mortgage rates in real time here

When you’re ready to buy, make sure you get interest rate quotes from at least 3-5 lenders. This means that you are actually applying and getting a personalized estimate, rather than just checking the posted rates online.

Mortgage interest rates vary greatly depending on the borrower. Thus, buying a home can easily save hundreds or thousands of dollars on buying a home. And often it only takes a few hours.

Ready to get started?

Confirm New Bid (8 July 2021)

oneSource:, 2021 survey, data for 2020.

2Based on a review of available state DPA grants at the time of writing


Source link