Home Sellers/Home Buyers Informational Workshop

20 Mar

Home Sellers/Home Buyers Informational Workshop

March Saturday Classes

11 Feb

The March Classes are filling up fast! To register call 607-723-0723 or email
Classes will be held 3/8, 3/15, 3/22, 3/29 from 9:00am-1:00pm at:
First Niagara Homeownership Center,
112-122 State Street, Binghamton

Why you need to shop around for a mortgage

11 Feb

Interest rates are at a record low, but many borrowers are still reluctant to shop for the best mortgage loan – a decision that could cost them money.
Looking at data from the November 2012 National Housing Survey, Fannie Mae researchers found that close to half of lower-income mortgage borrowers said they did not obtain more than one quote when signing up for their current mortgage.
Comparatively, three out of four higher-income respondents explored competitive offers and said better deals would definitely have an influence on their decisions.
“Although a home purchase is the largest financial obligation most people will ever make, many borrowers do not fully understand their mortgage products and costs,” said Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan. “As a result, some homeowners in this position may find themselves with unsustainable payments down the road.”
Fannie Mae reported that failing to shop around for a mortgage can end up costing borrowers $1,000 or more in closing costs.
As a housing counselors, it’s our job to educate people on the importance of comparative shopping. We encourage clients to attend first-time homebuyers’ workshops as well as one-on-one pre-purchase and post-purchase counseling.
Education is the best way to avoid paying too much for a mortgage. Want to know more? Sign up for our next series of classes!

Seven Secrets for First-Time Homebuyers

2 Dec

Seven Secrets for First-Time Homebuyers
1. Visit a certified housing counselor at a nonprofit organization.
Housing counselors credentialed through a nonprofit agency provide objective advice and unbiased recommendations.
2. Get your finances in order.
Find out what your credit report and credit score are and correct any inaccuracies. Lenders look at factors called the four Cs of credit: credit history (timely bill paying), capital (money available for a down payment), capacity (income versus debt), and collateral (the value and condition of the house).
3. Look for down-payment and closing-cost assistance programs. Some nonprofit organizations and state or local government agencies can help you with down payment and closing costs through grant money or low-interest loans.
4. Make sure homeownership fits with your lifestyle.
If you will be in a particular community for less than three years, if the local economy is not doing well, if unemployment is rising, or if your future income will not provide you with enough for mortgage payments and other financial responsibilities in owning a home, then renting may provide the better option.
5. Shop around for everything related to your home purchase.
Follow the “rule of threes” by comparing at least three products, professionals or services before making your final selections.
6. Get pre-approved for financing before shopping for a home.
Pre-approval is different from pre-qualification, which refers to when a lender calculates how much mortgage you likely can afford based on unverified information. A preapproval is a guarantee that the lender will loan you a fixed amount of money, as long as the property appraises over the amount for which you are qualified and you buy within a certain time period.
7. Carefully select a location.
Research area schools, property tax rates, insurance rates, and crime statistics. Spend time thinking about things that may be important.

*You can order your credit report and credit score from each of the three major credit reporting agencies: Experian; Equifax; and TransUnion. For more information on credit scoring, visit

2014 Class Schedule

2 Dec

Session One-1/14,1/21,1/28,2/4,2/11 (Tuesdays) 5:30pm-8:30pm
Session Two-3/8,3/15,3/22,3/29 (Saturdays) 9:00am-1:00pm
Session Three-4/8,4/15,4/29,5/6,5/13 (Tuesdays) 5:30pm-8:30pm
Session Four-9/9,9/16,9/23,9/30,10/7 (Tuesdays) 5:30pm-8:30pm
Session Five-10/25,11/1,11/8,11/15 (Saturdays) 9:00am-1:00pm

Light supper or breakfast served at each class!

All TUESDAY EVENING classes held at Metro Interfaith
21 New Street, Binghamton
All SATURDAY MORNING classes held at FirstNiagara Homeownership Center
112-122 State Street, Binghamton

TO REGISTER, Call 722-5415 or 723-0723 or



2 Dec


Housing and Mortgage Industry News

2 Dec

Per the November/December issue of the “New York State REALTOR” magazine, here is a summary of some top economists outlook for 2014….food for thought!

“What is your outlook on the overall economy going into 2014?”

Chief Economist Lawrence Yun stated, “I expect higher mortgage interest rates…the 30-year fixed rate mortgage…should reach 5% by the middle of the year.” However, that’s still not a bad rate, considering that back in the early 80′s, 30-year fixed rate mortgages topped out between 14%-16%!

Syndicated economics columnist Elliot Eisenberg, a former senior economist for the National Association of Home Builders, commented as follows, “Total housing sales will go up and new home construction activity will be better. It won’t be spectacular, but better than it’s been of late.”

“What are your 2014 housing market forecasts for the nation and New York State, in particular?”

Yun states, “The first-time buyer share (of the market) will likely remain…at 30% of all buyers.”

Eisenberg states, “First-time buyers are to some extent missing in action, and this is a bit of problem…I’m seeing vast increases in sizes of new homes because that market is not being weighed down by first-timers…usually tract homes are built for first-timers. Banks will look at first-timers to gain market share.” Good news for first time homebuyers because 2014 will bring “first time homebuyer friendly” mortgage products to the forefront again. The main challenge for our current “first-timers” is high college debt and low to average credit scores. These challenges will have to be overcome in order for the “first-timer’s” to hit their par market share of 40%.

All the more reason for first time homebuyers to look at the benefits of pre-purchase homeownership education and counseling to prepare them for future homeownership and the opportunity to realize the “American Dream” of owning their own home.

Stay tuned!


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