New York State programs help buyers afford Westchester County property

Real estate in Westchester County, New York, is pricey. According to new census estimates, Westchester is the first county in the United States to surpass the $10,000 median property-tax mark. The estimates from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey found that Westchester's median property-tax bill rose to $10,000 from $8,890 in 2008. In addition, surrounding counties such as Rockland and Putnam were also toward the top of the list, with Rockland at number three and Putnam at number 12.

For first-time homebuyers, it can be difficult to purchase a home in Westchester because of the escalating property taxes, high home values and unavoidable down payments. In fact, people just starting out on their own might not be able to invest in Westchester property at all, unless they take advantage of a few programs from the state of New York.

Recently, MSN Real Estate published an article outlining the 10 best states for first-time homebuyers, and New York made the cut. The source notes New York has several programs that offer fixed-rate mortgage financing at competitive rates. Additionally, prospective buyers can take advantage of down payment assistance if necessary. Below are two programs that first-time buyers should consider when searching for properties in Westchester County.

Achieving The Dream Program
This program targets low-income first-time buyers and offers them assistance. The goal of the program is to provide loans with very low fixed rates and up to 97 percent financing on one-and two-family homes. The program requires borrowers to contribute at least 1 percent of the property's value or 3 percent for co-ops.

Low Interest Rate Program
The low interest rate program helps buyers acquire competitive fixed-rate mortgages at competitive rates. This program assists first-time buyers in purchasing one-to four-family properties, and allows them to maintain the property while they pay the loan off. Without this program, buyers couldn't afford homes in every New York county.

Homebuyers who want to move to Westchester County should look into the programs available in New York. In most cases, low-income buyers can benefit from unique initiatives that assist them in purchasing their dream homes, instead of renting property from landlords. Westchester County offers a lot of great benefits to residents, but the hardest part is often saving enough money to enter the neighborhood.