Binghamton Homeownership Academy

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Enhanced Homebuyer Program

 The City of Binghamton

& Binghamton Homeowner Institute

Proudly Announces the availability of the

Enhanced First Time Homebuyer Program

Buy your first home now!

Limited Availability! First Come, First Serve!

$5,000 Closing Cost Assistance

5 Year Forgiven Loan

Repair funds after closing 

$20,000 for single family

$40,000 for two family

(Partially forgiven loan)

Call for eligibility requirements today! 607.723.0582

Income Limits ($) 1 Person in family 36,600 2 Person in family 41,800 3 Person in family 47,050 4 Person in family 52,250 5 Person in family 56,450 6 Person in family 60,650 7 Person in family 64,800 8 Person in family 69,000

First Time Homebuyer Class


Tuesday Night, Obtaining a Mortgage Night!!

March Saturday Classes

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

Seven Secrets for First-Time Homebuyers

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



Housing and Mortgage Industry News

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!

First Time Home Buyer Specialist

The Academy is pleased to partner with NYSAR and First Niagara to offer a new class for local Realtors that will help them become specialists in working with first-time homebuyers.

“First Time Home Buyer Specialist”

This NYSAR approved course offers 9-Hours of Continuing Education Credits, and will be facilitated by
Michele Clark, CRA Residential Lending Specialist for First Niagara Bank.

The class will be held at the Binghamton Homeownership Academy’s new classroom, which is located at 112-122 State Street, Binghamton, and is tentatively scheduled for the first quarter of 2014.

For more information and to be placed on the course wait list, please email Michele Clark, <

Graduates of the 2013 First Time Home Buyer Specialist Course

Class of 2013

The Binghamton Homeownership Academy hosted its first “First Time Homebuyer Specialist: Preferred Provider Program,” in June 2013, certifying nearly 20 local Realtors as First Time Homebuyer Specialists.

The “pilot course” was very well received by the class, and garnered statewide attention. With many more Realtors expressing interest, the Academy will be hosting this class again in the Fall.

Participants receive NYSAR continuing education credits and are eligible for application to the Binghamton Homeownership Academy’s “Preferred Provider” list, which is distributed to Academy homebuyer graduates.

This is just another facet of the Academy’s comprehensive approach to promoting successful homeownership in the City of Binghamton and greater Broome County, and we congratulate our first class of “Specialists” and thank them for their commitment to serving first time homebuyers with excellence.

$30,000 First Time HomeBuyer Loan

The Binghamton Homeownership Academy announces a new product for middle income earners looking to buy a home…

$30,000 First Time Homebuyer Loan

  • No Payments if you maintain ownership!
  • Fully forgiven after 10 years!
  • Apply up to $10,000 for closing costs!
  • Apply the remainder to housing repairs!
  • Targeted specifically for middle income earners!

The Academy has already helped two young professionals with the purchase and repair of their first home, but only THREE of these special loans remain!!

Must purchase home by December 1, 2013. Call the academy customer service line today at (607) 723-0723 to see if you qualify.

Shopping for a Home