NHSNYC Home Programs & Services First-Time Homebuyer Program
First Time Homebuyer Program PDF Print E-mail

Congratulations for taking the first step towards successful homeownership by visiting our website!  Our first-time homebuyer program will prepare you for the responsibilities of homeownership, empower you to make smart decisions throughout the home buying process, and connect you to the most affordable mortgage products, including any downpayment and/or closing cost assistance programs for which you may qualify.  The First-Time Homebuyer program includes classroom or online education and one-on-one counseling.  NHS is certified by HUD and NeighborWorks America.

To get started now, please download and complete the intake form below and submit it to an NHS near you along with the required documents listed here.  If you are not sure if you are ready to begin the home buying process or want to learn more about our programs, attend one of our Free Homebuyer Orientations.

 pdf English Home Purchase Intake Form.pdf

pdf Spanish Home Purchase Intake Form.pdf

One-on-One Counseling

One of our NeighborWorks® certified homeownership counselors will serve as your homeownership coach throughout your home purchase process and will provide you with:

  1. A personalized Credit and Budget Analysis – The counselor assesses your financial profile - including your employment history, credit history and assets - to determine which steps you need to take to be ready to begin the home buying process.
  2. A personalized Affordability Analysis – Considering your stable income, your assets and your financial obligations, your counselor will determine how much home you can afford so you can begin shopping for your home; and
  3. A personalized Action Plan – This will serve as your step by step guide to successful homeownership. Your NHS counselor will work with you every step of the way.

When you are ready to shop for a mortgage, your counselor will help you access the most competitive quotes, compare the mortgage offers and apply for downpayment and closing costs assistance for which you may be eligible.

Once you have completed your action plan and graduated from the Homebuyer Education course, your counselor will certify you as a "mortgage ready" borrower. This certificate will qualify you for downpayment and closing costs assistance (for which you are eligible) through NHS, as well as the best mortgage deals from our partner banks.  

Homebuyer Education Course

This course provides you with the information that all first-time homebuyers should know in order to make well informed decisions and become an empowered and educated consumer. The course consists five two-hour sessions (or two five-hour sessions), covering the following topics:

  • Are You Ready to Buy a Home?
  • Budget and Credit
  • Getting a Mortgage Loan
  • Shopping for a Home
  • Keeping your Home  & Managing your Finances

The on-site course is taught by NeighborWorks® certified educators.

The Homebuyer Education course is now available online! This will provide you with the convenience of taking the course at your own pace, whenever it is convenient to you. This course takes approximately 8-10 hours and once you enroll, you may stop and start at any time. This online course is also a great way to become familiar with the home buying process even if you are not yet ready to get started. At the end of the course you will have to take a test, you will need to pass the test in order to graduate. Please click here to register and enroll in the online course.

Free Homebuyer Orientation

Our free Home Buyers’ Orientations are designed to inform you about NHS’ services, the steps to homeownership, and the resources available to you. This informational session will help you answer the question, “Is Homeownership right for me?” At the end of the session you may complete the application for one-on-one counseling.

Financial Fitness Program

If you need to work on repairing your credit or building your savings, your counselor will recommend the Financial Fitness course. This is a five-week educational course that will change how you manage your money and credit. The course covers such topics as:

  • Assessing Your Financial Health
  • Setting and Achieving Financial Goals
  • Making Wise Consumer Decisions
  • Managing Your Taxes
  • Protecting Yourself and Your Family with Insurance

Landlord Training

NHS’s Landlord Training class is a two-hour seminar covering the basics of life as a landlord in New York City.  Many people these days purchase a multi-unit house thinking that the rental income will help pay the mortgage.  All too often, however, these buyers fail to consider the complications of being a landlord, such as: choosing the right tenants; and planning for your legal, financial and maintenance obligations.  The NHS Landlord Training class covers all that and more.


Fast Track Homebuyer Program

This is a one-day accelerated program for first-time homebuyers who already have a purchase contract and a loan commitment from a bank. This program includes an accelerated version of the Homebuyer Education course as well as a review of your loan documents. The purpose of the Loan Document Review is to ensure that you understand the terms of your mortgage and to check for any red flags that could indicate a potential abuse of consumer protection laws and mortgage regulations. Classes are held by appointment only. For more information, find an NHS near you.

Down Payment and Closing Costs Assistance

In order to eliminate obstacles to achieving the dream of homeownership, NHS offers down payment and closing cost assistance with its GAP & HAP Loans. These programs are available for qualified first time homebuyers so that they can borrow part of their down payment and/or closing costs. As a part of your one-on-one counseling session, your counselor will determine which types of downpayment assistance you qualify for, if applicable.

HomeFirst Downpayment Assistance Program

Many New Yorkers want to buy a home but don't have enough money saved for their down payment and closing costs. As part of Mayor Bloomberg's "New Housing Marketplace Plan," the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) created the HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance program. It  provides qualified homebuyers with up to 6% of a home's purchase price toward the down payment or closing costs on a 1-4 family home, a condominium, or a cooperative in one of the five boroughs of New York City.

To qualify for the loan, a prospective homebuyer must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a first-time homebuyer
  • Complete a homebuyer counseling and education program with NHS or another HPD-approved counseling agency
  • Have his/her own savings to contribute to the down payment or closing costs
  • Meet program income eligibility requirements (click here for income requirements)
  • Purchase a 1-4 family home, a condominium, or a cooperative for owner-occupancy in one of the five boroughs of New York City

Other criteria apply. HomeFirst applications are submitted by the homeownership counselors after the one-on-one counseling session is completed.

Homebuyer Grants

HOME Grants of up to $25,000 are available to eligible first-time homebuyers to assist with making home buying affordable. These monies are provided at the time of closing to purchasers of cooperatives, condominiums, single-or two-family homes. You must meet the eligibility criteria of being a low-income and a first time homebuyer who will occupy the property. Other eligibility criteria and restrictions may apply. Please call NHS Northern Queens, NHS Staten Island or NHS North Bronx for further information.