Rochester, NY

Popular Rochester NY First Time Home Buyer Grants


There are many costs and fees associated with buying a home, which can be a challenge for first-time buyers who may not have a lot of money saved up. However, there are national, state, and local programs and grants available to help with the cost of purchasing a home.

There are a number of first time home buyer programs in Rochester NY available that can help cover closing costs or allow for a higher percentage of the loan to be financed.

First-time home buyers in Rochester have a number of options and mortgages available to them.

These programs provide financial assistance and other benefits to help make homeownership more affordable. Keep in mind that even if a specific program is not currently available, it's never too early to start planning your first home purchase.
Rochester NY First Time Home Buyer Programs & GrantsKyle Hiscock

National First Time Home Buyer Programs

There are many federal programs available to first-time home buyers that can help with the cost of purchasing a home. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers a number of programs that can help with down payments, closing costs, and other financial assistance.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) also offers loan programs that can help first-time buyers get into a home.

USDA Rural Development Program

The USDA has partnered with lenders across the country to allow 100% financing on eligible properties for low to moderate income rural first time home buyers (also available to a non first time home buyer).

The housing costs cannot exceed 29% and total debt cannot exceed 41%. Eligible repairs and improvements may be included in the loan.

The USDA rural development program is a great option for first time home buyers who are looking to purchase a home in a rural area. This program provides low interest loans, making it more affordable for those who might otherwise be priced out of the market.

New York State First Time Home Buyer Programs

There are a number of first time home buyer programs in New York State available. These programs provide financial assistance and other benefits to help make homeownership more affordable.

Homebuyer Dream Program

The Homebuyer Dream Program debuted in July 2019. The program was a success, helping many first time home buyers in the state.

The grant program was quickly successful, with all of the grant money being accounted for within three weeks of the launch.

The Homebuyer Dream Program offers grants of up to $10,000 to eligible first-time homebuyers towards down payment and closing cost assistance when purchasing a home through an approved community-based, member lender.

The Homebuyer Dream Program has many advantages, one of which is that there is no required savings period. This is in contrast to the First Home Club grant that no longer exists, which required a minimum 10-month savings program.

SONYMA Programs

SONYMA, which is short for State of New York Mortgage Agency, offers mortgage programs to a first time home buyer. There are several options offered by SONYMA.

Achieving The Dream Program

The Achieving the Dream is designed to maximize the amount you can afford with minimal down payment required. It is the lowest interest rate program offered by SONYMA. Below are the majority of requirements for first time home buyers to qualify for this program.

  • To be eligible for this program, you must be a first-time home buyer.
  • To qualify for a mortgage, you will need to have good credit score and a steady job. You must also be able to make mortgage payments while still meeting your other debt obligations.
  • You must occupy the property as your primary residence.
  • For most property purchases, you will need either 1% or 3% of the purchase price in verifiable cash, savings or other assets.

Low Interest Rate Program

The SONYMA low interest rate program offers qualified buyers lower down payment requirements and competitive interest rates. This program allows for the purchase of 1-4 family homes, condominiums, cooperatives, and manufactured homes.

The requirements for the low interest rate program are identical to those of the Achieving the Dream Program.

Rochester NY First Time Home Buyer Programs

There are a number of programs available to first time home buyers in Rochester, NY area. If you're moving to Rochester NY and are a first time home buyer, you'll want to check out some of the programs below!

Like many of the National and State Programs, these programs also can help first time home buyers cover their closing costs for their home purchase.

HPAP - City of Rochester Properties

If you're thinking about buying a home in Rochester, the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP), might be a great option for you!

The City of Rochester offers a grant of up to $3,000 to first-time home buyers who meet the HPAP requirements. The property that the first-time home buyer is purchasing must be located within the city limits and must be a one or two-family home.

The buyer must contribute $1,500 of their own funds and remain in the home for 5 years. In addition the first time home buyer must attend pre and post-purchase home buying training.

EAHI Grant

EAHI, which stands for Employer Assisted Housing Initiative, is a great option for First Time Home Buyers (or non first time home buyers) looking to purchase in the City of Rochester.

This program encourages employees of certain employers to purchase homes within city limits. The program provides a match of up to $3,000 for eligible buyers.

The EAHI Grant program requires that buyers be able to obtain a conventional mortgage, contribute up to $1,500 of their own money, live in the property for 5 years, and work for certain employers.

Here are some of the most popular Rochester NY area employers who participate in the Grant Program;

  • City of Rochester
  • Highland Hospital
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Unity Health System
  • University of Rochester
  • Visiting Nurse Services
  • XEROX Corporation
  • Rochester Management, Inc.
  • Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.
  • Rochester City School District

Final Thoughts

If you're looking to purchase your first home in Rochester, there are plenty of options available. The most popular home buying programs in the area include the above, but there are many others to choose from. It's highly recommended that you hire an experienced buyers agent to find the best program for you.

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Born & Raised in Rochester NY, Sport Fanatic, Traveling Aficionado, & Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, REALTOR, e-Pro |

Rochester, NY

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