Not really. I work with mostly first time home-buyers. Today it's all Conventional & FHA loans. For the most part, you can get into a house with as little as 3.5% down payment with an FHA loan, or 5% with a Conventional loan. If you are looking to purchase a co-op, for example, you are subject to the co-op board's minimum down payment requirements, which can be 20%. If you're looking to buy a single family property in East Islip, or somewhere else in Suffolk or Nassau, you'd have the option of putting as little as 3.5% (this doesn't mean it's your best option).
The right and most efficient way to approach this is to meet face-to-face with a licensed & experienced Loan Officer. You guys can talk about what and where it is you're looking to buy, and go over your credit, 2010 & 2011 tax returns, recent pay stubs & bank statements. This will allow him/her to not only give you a full explanation on the loan programs that are available to you, but which one fits you best and why. This is the only way you will find out what you qualify for, and if there is something that prevents you from qualifying, you'll learn what you can do about it, if anything.
If you do not know a Loan Officer, I would be happy to set a time we can meet at my office in Woodbury. Good luck!
Senior Loan Officer
Sterling National Bank