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Even if you don’t have a lot — or any — money saved, you may still be able to buy a home. There are many home purchase programs, most aimed at helping first-time buyers and individuals uncertain about their financial ability to purchase a house. Following are descriptions, eligibility requirements and contact information for several of these programs.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Eligibility: First-time and low- to moderate-income homebuyers.
Services: A range of loan programs as well as HUD-owned homes for sale at attractive prices.
Contact: (800) 569-4287, or

Federal Housing Administration (FHA)

Eligibility: People who may not qualify for more conventional loans because of income level or not-so-perfect credit.
Services: Requires only a 3 percent down payment.
Contact: (800) 569-4287, or

Officer Next Door

Eligibility: Full-time law enforcement officers employed by a federal, state, county or municipal government.
Services: HUD-owned homes offered at a 50 percent discount. HUD also reduces the down payment to a mere $100.
Requirements: The officer occupies the home as his or her sole residence for at least three years.
Contact: (800) 217-6970. House listings can be obtained from HUD or from participating realtors.

Teacher Next Door

Eligibility: Candidates must be employed as a teacher, counselor, advisor or administrator.
Services: HUD-owned houses offered at a 50 percent discount. HUD also reduces the down payment to $100.
Requirements: The home must be in the school district jurisdiction in which the individual works. Participating areas in Schenectady County include those with the zip codes 12303, 12306 and 12307.
Contact: (800) 217-6970. House listings can be obtained from HUD or from participating realtors.

Section 203k

Eligibility: One- to four-family dwellings, at least a year old and with rehabilitation costs of at least $5,000.
Services: Helps people purchase homes in need of rehabilitation by allowing buyers to purchase and rehabilitate a home with one mortgage.
Contact: (800) 569-4287 or

Loans for Veterans

Eligibility: Veterans and military service personnel.
Services: Low interest, no down payment loans. Up to 100 percent financing is available for the purchase of a home or condominium, or to build a home.
Contact: (603) 666-7502.

State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA)

Eligibility: Low- to moderate-income first-time homebuyers financing a one- to four-family home.
Services: Financing of up to 97 percent of the property value and a fixed interest rate that is lower than conventional fixed rate loans.
Contact: (800) 382-HOME.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Eligibility: Low- to middle-income homebuyers.
Services: Low down payments, lower qualifying income, closing cost assistance and acceptance of nontraditional credit history. The companies don’t lend money directly to consumers, but rather work with lenders.
Contact: Talk to your lender or go to or

Better Neighborhoods, Inc.

Eligibility: Low- to moderate-income residents in Schenectady County. Services: Free counseling and assistance for first-time homebuyers in Schenectady County; building and renovation programs; and zero percent interest loans for repairs. Contact: (518) 372-6469.

The Affordable Housing Partnership

Eligibility: Low- and moderate-income residents in the Capital Region.
Services: Counseling and education, down payment assistance and loans.
Contact: (518) 434-1730.

Schenectady Housing Development Fund Corporation

Eligibility: Low- to moderate- income homebuyers.
Services: Low interest loans for down payment or closing costs. Half of the loan is deferred and forgiven after 15 years. The other half is repaid over 15 years at 4 percent interest.
Contact: (518) 382-5147.

Hill and Vale Affordable Housing

Eligibility: Low- and moderate-income residents.
Services: Acquires and rehabilitates homes in Schenectady’s Hill and Vale neighborhoods. Often works with homebuyers on a lease-to-own basis.
Contact: (518)372-7616.


The Chamber of Schenectady County
306 State St. Schenectady, NY 12305
Ph: 518.372.5656 800.962.8007 Fx: 518.370.3217
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