My most important piece of advice is to seek out the grant programs first BEFORE you choose a mortgage lender or broker. My grant program was very specific as to which lender I could use as well as the contact person. If you do not meet every piece of their criteria, you will be denied assistance.
My other piece of advice is to do your homework. Keep asking questions, research online, make tons of phone calls, don't give up. Most realtors won't lead you towards grant funds because they extend the closing of the sale and they want their commission quick, quick, quick. Most mortgage lenders won 't offer you information on grants either because they may reduce your actual mortgage, thus reducing their commissions. Get real with the fact that your agents are not working for your best interest, they are in it for themselves. You are your own best advocate.
I have to honestly say that my first time homebuying experience was pretty spectacular. Everyone I dealt with was fantastic, especially with Erie County and Belmont Shelter Group. I think it helped that I came to play the game armed and educated.
GOOD LUCk and post again if you have anymore questions.
Hope this helps
Erie County Program for Home Ownership
Contact Erie County
First Time HomeBuyer Program
Erie County Environment and Planning
Edward A. Rath County Office Building
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo, NY 14202
Belmont Shelter Corporation
1195 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14209
Phone: 884-7791 Hamburg Office: 312-8075
Housing & Urban Development http://www.hud.gov
New York State Home Page http://www.state.ny.us
NYS Division of Housing & Community Renewal (DHCR) http://www.dhcr.state.ny.us
Erie County Home Page http://www.gov/index.html
1. Town of Tonawanda 871-8850 (Kenmore is part of Tonawanda)
2. FIRST TIME HOMEBUYERS PROGRAM For Erie County Residents 858-8390
3. Additionally there are down payment assistance programs with mortgage lenders to help you with closing costs.
I hope this is helpful. Good Luck, Cynthia