Home loans are not “one size fits all,” because everyone’s needs are different. That’s why SONYMA offers a variety of low-interest mortgage loans for eligible homebuyers. Find the right program to meet your needs.
Down Payment Assistance Loan
One of the biggest financial hurdles faced by potential homeowners is the down payment and closing costs. SONYMA’s Down Payment Assistance Loan (DPAL), which is available for all buyers using a SONYMA mortgage program, can provide the initial funding you need to purchase your first home.
If you are required to carry mortgage insurance, a DPAL can be used to cover all or a portion of your premium, which can reduce your monthly mortgage payment significantly.
Down Payment Assistance Loan Benefits
- 0% interest rate
- No monthly payments
- Forgiven after 10 years
- Minimum loan amount: $1,000
- Maximum loan amount: 3% of the purchase price (up to $15,000) or $3,000, whichever is highest
Other Important Information About DPALs
- A Down Payment Assistance Loan cannot exceed your actual down payment and/or closing costs.
- Interest rates for first-time mortgages with a DPAL attached will be .375% higher than mortgages without. This higher interest rate does not apply to our Graduate to Homeownership, Homes for Veterans, or ENERGY STAR® programs.
- All or a portion of your Down Payment Assistance Loan may be required to be repaid if you sell your home or refinance your mortgage within the first 10 years of purchase. The amount subject to possible repayment will decrease by 1/120 per month each month you live in the property. In the event the proceeds from the sale of your home is not enough to pay any repayable amount, the shortage will be forgiven.
- Regardless of which SONYMA program you apply for, you must make a minimum cash contribution of 1% of the value of the property (3% for cooperatives and 3- and 4-family properties).
- DPALs may only be used in conjunction with a SONYMA mortgage and may be used for any property type eligible under your chosen mortgage program, including cooperatives.
- Cash back at closing is not allowed with a DPAL, except in special circumstances.
- SONYMA will not allow your DPAL to be subordinate to another mortgage.
Please remember that not all participating SONYMA lenders offer DPALs. Contact your preferred lender to be sure. Or, view our list of participating SONYMA lenders to find a lender near you.
DPAL PLUS Pilot Program
In order to ensure funds are available for all who have reserved their loans, SONYMA stopped accepting reservations for the DPAL PLUS effective November 5, 2021. The program is only available currently in Buffalo, NY. We hope to have a new down payment incentive program available in the future, so please be sure to check back with us soon.
Accruing enough assets to close on a new home is one of the largest barriers to homeownership. To address that need, SONYMA is offering a limited, enhanced down payment assistance loan, called DPAL PLUS. This subsidy is designed to help low-income New Yorkers achieve their homeownership dream. Maximum household income of 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI).
DPAL PLUS can be used to pay down payment and closing costs until purchase money mortgage amount is 80% LTV, up to $30,000. Can be used to pay single premium mortgage insurance (MI) for transactions over 80% LTV. When used in combination with other subsidies/grants, DPAL PLUS must be applied after the others. For more information, please see the DPAL PLUS Term Sheet.
Examples of how DPAL PLUS works:
Ex. 1: $100,000 purchase price + $6,000 closing costs (no other subsidies)
DPAL PLUS amount $26,000
($6,000 for closing costs and $20,000 down payment to get to 80% LTV)
Ex. 2: $100,000 purchase price + $6,000 closing costs ($12,000 in other subsidies)
DPAL PLUS amount $14,000
($12,000 other subsidies applied to closing costs and $6,000 down payment THEN $14,000 in DPAL PLUS applied to down payment to get to 80% LTV)
The Program is available state-wide and all SONYMA participating lenders may originate a DPAL PLUS loan. SONYMA participating lenders will begin to accept DPAL PLUS applications starting April 29, 2021. Funds will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis to those who are eligible. When funds are depleted, the program will end, unless indicated otherwise by SONYMA. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at [email protected].
Not every house is perfect. Some need a little TLC, and some need a lot. But paying for those repairs—even minor ones—can add up fast. The SONYMA RemodelNY program provides mortgage financing options that let you purchase a property and pay for repairs to turn that almost-perfect house into your perfect home.
- Available under our Low Interest Rate and Achieving the Dream programs at the same interest rate
- May be combined with the Homes for Veterans enhancement program
Eligible home improvements include
- Structural alterations and reconstruction, like finishing a basement, repairing chimneys, and adding garages
- Remodeling kitchens and bathrooms
- New free-standing appliances
- Eliminating health and safety concerns
- Aesthetic changes, like new siding or paint
- Plumbing updates
- Roofing, gutters, and downspouts
- Energy conservation updates
- Major landscaping and site improvements
- Elevating the home, filling in below grade space or raising mechanicals to lower flood insurance premiums
RemodelNY financing is available for existing 1-4 family homes. Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) and condominiums also are eligible, provided the Homeowners Association approves of the proposed renovations.
Download this pdf to get more details now about the Remodel NY program, loan terms, eligibility requirements, and more.
Homes for Veterans
Homeownership is the American dream. But for those who protect and serve our country, that dream can be difficult to make a reality. At SONYMA, we believe in helping our veterans and active service members achieve that dream through low-interest mortgage products designed to make homeownership easier than ever before.
Homes for Veterans Benefits
- Exclusively for active service members, veterans, and their spouses or co-borrowers
- US Military veterans with an other than dishonorable discharge do not need to be first time homebuyers
- Also applies to active or honorably discharged members of the National Guard and reservists
- Interest rates .375% lower than standard SONYMA interest rates for loans with down payment assistance.
- Down Payment Assistance Loans are available with this program for up to $3,000 or 3% of the purchase price (not to exceed $15,000), whichever is higher.
- Minimum borrower cash contribution is only 1%; the remaining 2% can come from a gift or other acceptable source
- No points
- You must be either a U.S. military veteran or active duty serviceperson and be able to provide the following documentation with your application:
- DD214 – Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty or NGB Form 22 – Report of Separation and Record of Service
- Leave and Earning Statement (required for all active duty U.S. military personnel)
- Military ID Card (required for ALL active duty U.S. military personnel)
- Military Veteran's Eligibility Affidavit (SONYMA Form 243) is required only if an eligible veteran or their spouse or co-borrower is not a first-time homebuyer
To apply for a SONYMA loan, you must work with one of our participating lenders. Have a look at SONYMA's participating lender list to find the one that’s right for you.
Graduate to Homeownership
The time right after graduation from college is exciting, with new opportunities and the rest of your life ahead of you. Now imagine starting that new life with a home of your own. The Graduate to Homeownership program offers recent college graduates low-interest mortgages, down payment assistance, and homebuyer education resources to purchase their first home in certain upstate New York communities.
Graduate to Homeownership Benefits
- Competitive 30-year fixed interest rates
- May be combined with other SONYMA grants and assistance programs, such as:
- Down Payment Assistance Loans to help with your down payment
- Remodel NY for funds to help with repairs and remodeling
- Available for first-time homebuyers who have received an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree within the past 48 months from an academic program recognized by the U.S. Department of Education
- You must have good credit, stable employment, and be able to make monthly mortgage payments
- You must occupy the property as your primary residence
- Regional income limits apply and vary by county
To qualify for the Graduate to Homeownership program, you must buy a house in one of these communities. Use the links below to go directly to individual community pages on www.ny.gov and learn more.
- Capital Region – Albany
- Capital Region - Glens Falls
- Capital Region - Hudson
- Central New York – Auburn
- Central New York - Cortland
- Central New York – Fulton
- Central New York - Oswego
- Finger Lakes - Batavia
- Finger Lakes - Geneva
- Finger Lakes – Penn Yan
- Mid-Hudson - Kingston
- Mid-Hudson - Middletown
- Mid-Hudson – New Rochelle
- Mid- Hudson - Peekskill
- Mohawk Valley – Amsterdam
- Mohawk Valley - Oneonta
- Mohawk Valley - Rome
- North Country - Plattsburgh
- North Country – Saranac Lake
- North Country - Watertown
- Southern Tier - Elmira
- Southern Tier - Watkins Glen
- Western New York - Jamestown
- Western New York - Lockport
- Western New York - Niagara Falls Bridge District
- Western New York - Olean
The Neighborhood Revitalization Program offers incentives to potential buyers who qualify for the SONYMA Achieving the Dream Program and wish to purchase homes in need of repair in New York State. Subsidy available under the program can only be used for "necessary" renovations as determined by the agency. Neighborhoods are at the heart of every vibrant community. Owner occupant buyers will bring economic stability and growth to neighborhoods and improve property values of the surrounding homes. This ultimately restores community pride, and helps drive long-term, sustainable economic growth.
Neighborhood Revitalization Program Benefits
- Up to $20,000 to renovate a home that you purchase
- The ability to seek additional improvement funds through other lenders
- Can be combined with other SONYMA loans and programs
- Applicants must intend to occupy the property as their primary residence
- You must have good credit, stable employment, and be able to make monthly mortgage payments
- Achieving the Dream Income Limits
Available Communities : Statewide ( New !)
Download the pdf now to get more details about SONYMA’s Neighborhood Revitalization program. Or contact one of our regional non-profit partners listed above to learn more.
Give Us Credit
The Give Us Credit program qualifies eligible first-time homebuyers by expanding the criteria used to evaluate responsible financial management, increasing eligibility to families and individuals who rely on non-traditional savings and sources of income, and by offering greater flexibility for potential borrowers who have overcome past financial hardships.
- SONYMA offers competitive, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages with a 120-day rate lock period.
- Down Payment Assistance Loan (DPAL) offers up to 3% of the purchase price (minimum of $7,500 to maximum of $15,000). DPAL is a loan that has no interest rate and no monthly payments and will be forgiven after ten (10) years as long as the borrower keeps the SONYMA financing in place, and continues to owner occupy his, her or their home.
- No cash reserves required, except under certain circumstances such as when purchasing a 2-4 family home or when unable to demonstrate a history of on-time rental payments.
- Additional funding sources can be combined with other grants and subsidies.
- Only 1% borrower contribution required, for most property types.
- Property type options are 1-4 family homes, coops, condos and manufactured homes.
- Borrowers need to occupy the property as their primary residence, however, non-occupant co-borrowers are permitted.
- Allows for non-traditional and fluctuating income sources and financial support from family, friends and community.
- Allows for flexibility on credit review, including, but not limited to:
- Permits no trade-lines on credit reports, under certain circumstances, such as proof of rental payment history.
- Allows for some late payments, under certain circumstances.
- Offers shorter post-foreclosure and post-bankruptcy
Interested in applying for a SONYMA Give Us Credit Loan? Contact one of our Participating Lenders for more information or contact us directly for a referral:
Email: [email protected]
East Buffalo Homeownership Programs
Governor Kathy Hochul has announced a suite of Community Resource programs to assist residents in East Buffalo, including three affordable housing programs described here in more detail. We look forward to working with residents and our program partners to increase, improve and preserve affordable housing in the East Buffalo Community.
Applications will be accepted for all of the programs listed below. To apply, residents must currently reside in one of the following zip codes: 14204 - 14206 - 14208 - 14209 - 14210 - 14211 - 14212 - 14214 - 14215. These are the communities in Buffalo with the highest housing distress indicators and the highest concentrations of homeowners who have historically been subjected to housing discrimination.
- Buffalo East Homeowner Assistance Fund (BEHAF)
- Buffalo East Homeowner Improvement Program (BEHIP)
- East Buffalo Down Payment Assistance Program Plus (DPAL+)
To get connected to any of these programs, please call the East Buffalo Resource Center hotline at 211.
ENERGY STAR® certified homes include energy efficient features that deliver better performance and greater comfort while reducing utility bills by as much as 30% when compared to standard homes. To help you find a more energy efficient home, SONYMA is partnering with the New York State Builders Association (NYSBA), the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) to offer special incentives for purchasing an Energy Star certified home.
- Interest rates .375% lower than standard SONYMA interest rates for loans with down payment assistance
- Available with down payment assistance of $3,000 or 3% of the home purchase price (not to exceed $15,000)
- No points
- Newly constructed single-family homes
- Newly constructed two-family homes located in a designated Target Area
Learn more SONYMA’s ENERGY STAR® program features and requirements now.
Manufactured Home Mortgage Program
The State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) is proud to announce that we now offer the same affordable, fixed-rate mortgages that we have been providing to low- and moderate-income homebuyers since 1970, to existing and prospective manufactured home community residents. SONYMA mortgages are available to residents on leased land in a park community or on land owned or being purchased by the home buyer. Financing for the installation of foundations may be included as well.
Interested in applying for a SONYMA mortgage to purchase a manufactured home or refinance debt on your existing manufactured home? To learn more or apply, contact us by calling 1-800-382-HOME (4663), clicking here, or by emailing [email protected].