One of the biggest hurdles to homeownership is the down payment: The average New Yorker needs $48,000 to $100,000 for a 20% downpayment to buy an affordable home, based on a purchase price of $240,000 to $500,000. That’s unaffordable for a large number of New Yorkers.

However, there are a number of programs available to assist homeowners with their down payments. While eligibility criteria varies, most programs require you to complete a homebuyer education course, as well as have some savings to contribute to the down payment. One program in particular, the City’s HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program, offers qualified New Yorkers up to $25,000 toward a downpayment on a one-to-four family home. The money can also be used for closing costs, which can be another hurdle for homebuyers. This document lists other programs that have varying eligibility requirements. Make sure to check the specific program’s website for the most up to date information.

With some lenders, you may have the option to “buy down” your interest rate with your down payment. An interest rate reduction may be worth more over time than a down payment lump sum. Be sure to ask your lender about whether they offer this option.

To learn more about down payment or closing cost assistance, contact the Center’s Homeowner Hub by clicking the link or by calling 646-786-0888.