There’s a lot of steps to take with the purchase of your first home. The best start is with a local housing advisor who can answer your questions. Find a counselor in your area here.

1. For a comprehensive review of the homebuying process, take a convenient on-line Homebuyer Education Class through eHome America.

2. Before you meet with a lender or start searching for homes, make sure you will

    credit qualify

. Meet with your housing advisor or for more information on credit scores, visit MyFico.com or visit

3. When you’re financially ready, meet with a

    mortgage lender

to become preapproved for a loan. Each lender will offer a variety of loan programs targeted to first time homebuyers. Each loan product will have different credit and income qualifying guidelines, closing costs, and mortgage insurance requirements.
Ask about loan products, including: SONYMA, FHA, VA, and USDA Rural Development.

4. Learn if you are eligible for any

    down payment assistance

programs in your area from your Homeownership Advisor. A popular program is the FHLBNY’s First Home Club Program.

5. Work with a Realtor, specifically a

    Buyer’s Agent

who will work for you to find you a home that meets your needs. Find a Realtor near you: http://www.nysar.com/ViewMap/for-consumers

6. Once under contract, you’ll want to hire a

    licensed home inspector

and a

    real estate attorney

. Your Housing Advisor can provide referrals.

Sound like a lot? There’s definitely a lot to know about buying a home. Start with a certified home advisor who can help you on your way to homeownership.

Additional Resources

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers additional background information on buying a home and understanding your mortgage loan options.

Down Payment Resource – Check your eligibility for down payment assistance programs in your area.

Internal Revenue Service – Tax forms and resources

PowerPay –  Free tool for developing a personalized, self-directed debt elimination plan by the Utah State University Extension.

Avoiding Predatory Loans and Loan Scams – The NYS Department of Financial Services has a guide to identifying and avoiding predatory loans and loan scams.

AnnualCreditReport.com – The only source for free credit reports. You are entitled to receive one free credit report every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies through this service.

LawHelpNY.org –  Legal information for New Yorkers who cannot afford an attorney. Resources on housing and consumer finance legal help, and more.