Choose Albany

The City of Albany has launched Choose Albany, a new homebuyer program to boost the real estate in Albany, NY. The biggest barriers for first time homebuyers are the downpayment and closing costs. Typically, if you’re buying a $140,000 home and securing a FHA mortgage, you’ll need 3.5% of the sale price ($4,900) for a downpayment plus an additional $6,000 to $10,000 for closing costs, reimbursements, and escrow payments.* For some, this can be an overwhelming barrier, which impacts houses for sale in Albany, NY. Fortunately many local banks, as well as the City of Albany, offer programs to support homebuyers looking to buy houses for sale in Albany, NY.

If you’re interested in the Choose Albany program, click here for the guidelines and application. According to the city of Albany’s website: If you are purchasing a home for sale in Albany, NY, you may be eligible for a 10-year (or a 5-year term), 0% interest loan for 8% of the purchase price, up to $15,000, to be used towards the purchase of your new Albany home. There are no income restrictions and no geographic restrictions within the City of  Albany. This loan can only be used for closing costs and down payment assistance. The purchase price of the real estate in Albany, NY can not exceed $200,000.

To utilize Choose Albany, you’ll need to take two steps immediately: 1.) get a prequalification letter from a local bank (Monticello will assist in finding a reliable and experienced mortgage banker); and 2.) register for the Homebuyer 101 course offered by the Affordable Housing Partnership (255 Orange St. Albany NY 12210, 518-434-1730, Both of these steps must be taken before being qualified for the Choose Albany loan.

UPDATE: As of March 17, 2012 the City of Albany had exhausted its Choose Albany funds. But according to the City Department of Development and Planning, the City hopes to have more Choose Albany funds available. An attempt to allocate funds in 2015 was unsuccessful.

* Reimbursements will be for taxes and water bills already paid by the seller and prorated for the remaining year or quarter. Escrow payments will be for property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. Often the buyer will be required to pay 120% of the annual tax bill at closing, which will be placed in an escrow account and paid once the bills are due. Additionally, some banks require a full year of homeowner’s insurance at the closing. These are on going expenses you’ll pay on a yearly basis, but for the first year you’ll pay them at the closing.