Gov-Relations Logo

New York First-Time Home Buying Grants And Programs

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

Buying a home can be stressful and hard, especially if it's your first time doing it. Despite the steadily increasing rate of homeownership, many people find the process challenging. The good news is that there are many first-time home buyer programs available that you may consider.

With the upward trend in the NY housing market, it presents numerous opportunities for first time home buyers. The state has a high appreciation rate of 5.25% more than the national average. However, despite New York's exciting real estate opportunities, many still struggle with making payments.

The article will outline what you need to know about buying a home, along with first time home buyer grants NY.

New York City Buyer Stats You Should Know

The New York real estate market can be complicated for first time home buyers. Here's what you need to know:

  • Rental housing makes up 76.75% of New York's housing stock
  • Majority of housing units in NYC are one- and two-bedroom apartments
  • Buyers have more leverage to bargain in neighborhoods with a median home price of $700,000 to $1 million
  • One of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city is Tribeca, with a median listing price of $3.9 million
  • The median listing price in Riverdale is $360K, making it the most affordable neighborhood

What Can I Do To Finance A Home In New York?

What Can I Do To Finance A Home In New York?

If you plan to purchase a house or apartment, you should be aware of your financial options before making the leap. The state of New York offers lots of help to homebuyers. Here are the first time home buyer grants NY available to you:

Down Payment Assistance Loans (DPALs)

SONYMA administers Down Payment Assistance Loans, which are second mortgages that provide interest-free assistance with down payments. As long as the borrower lives in the home used to obtain the loan, the money won't have to be repaid. The loan can range from $1000 to $3000.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must contribute 1% of the property value
  • Must only be used with a SONYMA mortgage


A limited down payment assistance program is available through SONYMA for low-income New Yorkers. As part of the program, you'll receive assistance with closing costs as well as single-premium mortgage insurance. 

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be owner-occupants
  • Must be veterans and first time home buyers

HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program

Through the HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program, qualified homeowners can obtain forgivable loans up to $40,000 to cover down payments and closing costs for privately owned family homes in New York City's five boroughs.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must take a homebuyer education course
  • Must make a minimum deposit of 3% toward the price
  • Must reside in the home for:
    • 10 years for loans less than or equal to $40,000
    • 15 years for loans over $40,000
  • Must have an income up to 80% AMI

State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA)

SONYMA is a mortgage agency based in New York, offering the following programs to first-time homebuyers in the state. For military veterans purchasing homes in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, the first-time buyer requirement is usually waived.  

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must have 45% or less debt-to-income
  • Borrowers over 95% LTV must contribute 1%
  • The purchase price and household income must meet SONYMA limits
  • Must have three timely-paid credit lines
  • Single-family homes can have a maximum LTV of 97%

Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)

The Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) program is a multifaceted program that provides affordable housing for rent across the five boroughs. Low-, moderate-, and middle-income individuals and families can afford these apartments thanks to city subsidies and other financing tools.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for HPD, you:

  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Must have a household income within a certain range
  • Must meet asset limitations and tenant selection criteria

Frequently Asked Questions

To better understand first time home buyer grants NY, here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about them:

Do you have to pay the first home grant back?

Usually, you get money in exchange for agreeing to keep, maintain, and live in your primary residence for a certain amount of time. If you adhere to the grant terms, you are generally not required to repay the grant.

How much money should I save before buying a house in New York?

It is recommended to save a minimum of 10% of the home's price towards the closing costs and down payment. Ideally, you should have 20% saved so that you can lower your mortgage payment every month.

Who is considered a first-time home buyer in New York?

You are a first-time buyer if you have never purchased a home before. If you own commercial property or have previously owned one, you can apply as a first-time buyer as long as the property doesn't include a residential portion.

These first time home buyer grants NY can help address affordability concerns. The right one could help homebuyers achieve their dream of becoming homeowners. 

Venturing beyond the Empire State? Dive into our article on Pennsylvania's first-time homebuyer programs. Expand your horizons and explore more homeownership options!

If you're looking to buy a home in Illinois, check out this Gov Relations article highlighting first-time homebuyer grants in Illinois.

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.

Comments are closed.

Gov-Relations Logo
Gov-Relations is where people may seek information on funding opportunities. With our help, we hope our readers are reducing paperwork and simplifying their grant application procedure. We provide data quality reviews, assistance, and informative articles to assist applicants in their journey to completing and submitting grant applications.
(949) 695-8823
17595 Harvard Ave. C2480-B Irvine, CA 92614
© 2024 Gov-Relations. All Rights Reserved.