Home Buying in East Harlem>Question Details

Ladyrose, Home Buyer in East Harlem, New York,...

HELLO, I am a 27 year old single mother of two. I was born and raised in East Harlem, and I am truly interested in buying property of my own. The

Asked by Ladyrose, East Harlem, New York, NY Mon Oct 26, 2009

truth is I do not have much money, so what options are available for someone like me.

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Let's get back to basics and move past the fighting. I am an owner of a condo in West Harlem (Hamilton Heights) and while I am not an expert in East Harlem- I might be better able to comment on the local scene than others (and I am not a broker- so I have nothing to sell- unbiased- just want to help). First off, Ladyrose, I congratulate you on wanting to educate yourself. The readers of this post need a lot more info in order to address specifics that weren't provided here. Housing options in the neighborhood include brownstones (not a likely option for you since you said you don't have much money), co-op's and condo's. Co-op's are the most common form of ownership in Manhattan- and are generally at a discounted price to condo's (co-op's are not the same as owning real property- you own shares in a corporation instead and each apartment is allocated a certain number of shares). There are some condo's in the neighborhood- mostly new construction (and in my opinion massively overpriced). First off, you need to determine what you can afford. If you google "Mortgage Calculator" - it will give you an idea of how much you can afford based on your income and down payment amount. That is not the only cost factor-most have a monthly maintenance (co-ops) or common charges + taxes(condo) on top of the mortgage. Since you state you don't have much money- I will assume your probably more likely to look at co-ops. Not all monthly maintenance's are created equal. The maintenance goes to pay hallway lights, repairs to common areas, maintenance staff, elevator maintenance (if applicable), property tax, mortgage on the common structure, etc. So buildings like to budget for a reserve fund while others prefer to assess owners as major maintenance projects occur.

You also need to figure out your credit score- and how it will affect your ability to get a loan and at what rate. You also want to make you that you have left yourself with a safety net of savings after the down payment and closing costs- so in the event you were to lose income, that you are not in jeopardy of losing your home. As others have mentioned there are programs that can help with closing costs as well including Harlem local programs- some require you to take free homeownership classes, others are grant based.

Once you have figured these aspects out you can now look online and/or meet with real estate professionals to discuss properties available on the market that meet your needs and desires.

Again going back to the fact that you said you don't have much money- there are affordable co-op housing options known as HDFC's that are both income restricted and many also expect some sweat equity since they are self managed buildings and are kept affordable. I have seen HDFC's in Harlem as low as $22,000. Harlem has many, many HDFC buildings and may be a possible option for you. There are also lottery programs available. In fact, the new construction townhouse next door to me was sold via housing lottery- $650,000 for a 3 unit townhouse with a one car garage and a backyard (only a lucky few get a private garage in Manhattan). I would imagine full market value for this home would be over $1 million.

Harlem has a wide range of ownership options- from affordable HDFC co-ops to multimillion $ condos, to million dollar brownstones.

I hope this helps as a decent start.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
May I step in with a point? I agree that one should not bite off more than they can chew just for the sake of homeownership. That is the point of homebuyer education, which includes individual budgeting and looking at the costs of ownership beyond one's mortgage payment. And for a single mother trying to better her situation so that her children will have, perhaps, more opportunity that she did - this purchase will not be an "event" - it will be a journey. Thank God we have some more rational lending guidelines in place that will prevent a greedy lender, or real estate person from handing her keys to a house she can't afford. It was never 100% financing or low down payment financing that created the mortgage crisis - it was stated income, and loans being originated without any documentation that prove that the borrower can afford the payment. Period.

I have worked in affordable housing extensively. One program in particular, which has been set aside due to budget issues in California called HomeChoice was a program with a reduced interest rate and very low down payment specifically for clients with disabilities in the home. This program has the lowest default rate, perhaps, of any loan on record. Why? Because education is mandatory...ratios are in line with guidelines and not negotiable. The typical income is fixed and predictable. It's a safe product because it is designed to be safe. It is designed to give stability, a sense of accomplishment and the ability to participate in the American Dream for those who are otherwise excluded.

And it isn't easy. There is a certain natural balance to these things. When one has 20% down, one can waltz into a bank and get a loan. It's relatively simple. And perhaps justifiably so, because presumably one came to have savings for some reason - hopefully - learned some lessons on the path to accumulating those savings. For a first time homebuyer working with special programs there are many obstacles. There are many disappointments and frustrations. Along the way, one learns to do a better job of keeping records. One learns what priorities one must have if they want to succeed and build a credit score....One learns to fight, perservere and be pursuasive by the time they are finished.

So this is a self-eliminating process - a good, solid endeavor that builds the spirit and is the backbone of our economy and society. For Ms. Ladyrose, I would say that the most important lesson she can give her children is her willingness to strive, to plan, to seek betterment - whether or not it results in a house. It is her willingness to keep trying when naysayers tell her she shouldn't even bother. This is the spirit that takes children out of poverty...this is the spirit that raises simple people up to participate in government, in business and as role models for the next generation.

This has nothing to do with selling homes - or not - it's a matter of endeavor.

On a practical note - Ladyrose - also check into an IDEA account. Many affordable housing non-profits team up with banks - Citibank did this for a while in my area - and provide matching fund savings accounts specifically for low income borrowers to use on a home purchase. With a 3-1 match, if you were to save $4,000 with the program, it would total $16,000 for down payment. It also helps you to establish a pattern and habit of savings.

Stay the course, and don't let the nay-sayers get you down!

Jeri Creson
TotalAccess Realty Advisors
(818) 448-1298
http://www.realestate-enabled.com
jericreson@yahoo.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
Daniel, if someone has $3000 per month of income, they could possibly be approved for a $1500 per month payment, if they have absolutely no other debt, which is not that likely. One of the things that lenders are starting to do now is lower the cap on debt to income ratio to 45%. You also seem to think that FHA is such a major problem. The biggest problem with FHA loans is that people are able to get co-signers, who will not necessarily make any payments towards the loan, and most likely actually will not.
However, I still think that you are making a very big assumption when lumping Ladyrose into the category of those people who are in foreclosure situations now. If she is paying rent now, and can find something that will ultimately cost her a similar amount, then she should think about exploring the options available to her. To just write her off as you have is unfair to her.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
LadyRose,
Aside from searching out any down payment assistance programs that you could be elligible for, or checking out prices of condos in your area, which would be the better option for you because of the low down payment required, you should speak to an experience loan officer who will give you advice about what you can afford, and let you know how much your payments will be, discuss how they compare to the rent you are now paying, and help you to decide if this is the right thing for you. From your post, I am assuming that you are looking to invest in your community, which is a great thing. If you would like some advice on this, please give me a call.
On another note, Daniel, I think you have a lot of nerve to rant like this, because what you are doing is suggesting that Ladyrose is not worthy of purchasing a home, and will fall into the same trap as others have. One of the things that we don't see about the foreclosure statistics is any kind of breakdown. Are there more investment properties than primary residences and second homes? What about those who took out no income check loans as apposed to full doc? 100% financing with 600 credit scores and a 55% back-end ratio? There certainly are people who fell on hard times, became unemployed, divorced, etc., but there are also many people who managed to get loans with payments that, if they would have thought about it, should have known that they could not afford. If someone is living with family and has saved no money, how can they afford to make a $5000 per month mortgage payment? Ladyrose has said nothing that would lead me to believe this is her intention.
Robin Silverberg
516-972-1687
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
Anoir, I apologize for posting this much and going on a rant as well. Simply concerned with these issues (likely too much sometimes.) Keep up the good work.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
Homeownership EDUCATION is a large portion of the programs that have been presented to Ladyrose. Who am I to tell her what she can or can not successfully do?

"Of course we all have our limits, but how can you possibly find your boundaries unless you explore as far and as wide as you possibly can? I would rather fail in an attempt at something new and uncharted than safely succeed in a repeat of something I have done." ~ A.E. Hotchner

Habitat for Humanity, USDA, HUD, NACA and others are supportive of programs designed to address Low-Income Housing. Many people, including myself, believe EVERYONE deserves a descent place to live. Developers receive grants for offering a % of their units as Low-Income Housing so this is rant for rant.

Poor people didn't criple the economy...GREEDY people did.

No question is a dumb question, she wants to know IS IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO GET A HOME and the answer is YES! Everyone is entitled to the pursuit of happiness.

The key is to turn your dreams into GOALS... your goals into PLANS... and your PLANS into specific ACTIONS.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
Dear Ladyrose,

How are you? I hope life is treating you well!

There are several programs in New York that are geared to help first-time homebuyers, that are in a certain income-bracket, enjoy home ownership! depending on your personal circumstances, they can help you with services that range from a significant grant for a down-payment to helping you with mortgage services.

Here are some sites that you can go to for the first time home-buyers grants: (I'm assuming your a first-time home buyer?)

http://first-time-home-buyer-s.com/first_time_home_buyer_gra…

http://www.hud.gov/offices/adm/grants/fundsavail.cfm

http://www.grants.gov/

Please let me know what you think and if you decide to go through with the application, then please let me know about your experiences? If you do obtain a grant , then please contact me and I'll help you finding your next place for you and your family!

Best regards and good luck!

Anoir Redouane
Professional Real Estate Consultant
Halstead Property LLc
212-381-4209
ARedouane@Halstead.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 26, 2009
Good for you Ladyrose! As a single mom myself, I get it. There are legitimate down payment assistance programs that can help you. I'm in California, so I cannot speak to which of your local agencies would be best - however you may try this link:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/buyers/downpayment.shtml

Most programs will require you to attend first time homebuyer education. It's a very good class. Not every agent will work with special programs. It's going to have to be up to you to be tenacious, ask the right questions and don't take no for an answer. If you meet an agent who tries to steer you away from down payment assistance programs - move on. Get some recommendations from the agencies or search the term "down payment assistance NY" and find some agents who are devoted to helping you.

Good luck - and keep trying until you get that home - it's worth it.

Jeri Creson, Broker
TotalAccess Realty Advisors
(818) 448-1298
jericreson@yahoo.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 26, 2009
That all depends on your financial situation and your credit history. If your credit is up to par there are many programs available to help first time homebuyers get into a home. If your credit is not up to par there are ways to clean up your credit and get you on the road to homeownership. There are many personal details that have to be considered in order to fully answer your question so if you would like a consultation please feel free to call me at 917-771-0673.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 13, 2012
How Much House Can You Afford?
Debt-to-Income Ratios
To determine your maximum mortgage amount, lenders use guidelines called debt-to-income ratios. This is simply the percentage of your monthly gross income (before taxes) that is used to pay your monthly debts. Because there are two calculations, there is a "front" ratio and a "back" ratio and they are generally written in the following format: 33/38.

The front ratio is the percentage of your monthly gross income (before taxes) that is used to pay your housing costs, including principal, interest, taxes, insurance, mortgage insurance (when applicable) and homeowners association fees (when applicable). The back ratio is the same thing, only it also includes your monthly consumer debt. Consumer debt can be car payments, credit card debt, installment loans, and similar related expenses. Auto or life insurance is not considered a debt.

A common guideline for debt-to-income ratios is 33/38. A borrower's housing costs consume thirty-three percent of their monthly income. Add their monthly consumer debt to the housing costs, and it should take no more than thirty-eight percent of their monthly income to meet those obligations.

The guidelines are just guidelines and they are flexible. If you make a small down payment, the guidelines are more rigid. If you have marginal credit, the guidelines are more rigid. If you make a larger down payment or have sterling credit, the guidelines are less rigid. The guidelines also vary according to loan program. FHA guidelines state that a 29/41 qualifying ratio is acceptable. VA guidelines do not have a front ratio at all, but the guideline for the back ratio is 41.

Example: If you make $5000 a month, with 33/38 qualifying ratio guidelines, your maximum monthly housing cost should be around $1650. Including your consumer debt, your monthly housing and credit expenditures should be around $1900 as a maximum

Talk Soon

Billy Briggs
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Prudential Douglas Elliman RE
1995 Broadway New York, NY 10023
(646) 312-9873 (cell)
billy.briggs@elliman.com
http://twitter.com/BillyBriggsDE
http://billybriggselliman.blogspot.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 3, 2011
Dear Ladyrose,

You've got to love it! hopefully you got more info than you can handle...
It's great that you're getting feedback from both sides of the isle, this should ultimately benefit you, whatever your decision will be.

One thing that I got out of this online debate is that I'm happy to see that there are professionals out there that are willing to share their information passionately!

Daniel - Thanks and you keep up the good work as well - it must be hard to see home-owners in problems day- in day- out!

Jeri - I LOVED your post - very inspirational!

Robin - Great input!

Ladyrose - Goodluck!!!

Best regards,

Anoir Redouane
Professional Real Estate Consultant
Halstead Property LLC
212-381-4209
ARedouane@Halstead.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 29, 2009
Daniel, just because they didn't mention it, that doesn't mean that it is not one of the problems. There are various other problems with FHA loans as well. They allowed a 6% seller's concession, and they were always done in a way that allowed loan officers to make more on them than on any other type of loan. It's one thing for RESPA guidelines to allow a total commissions of 5% on a $50,000 loan, but when people make that kind of money on a $400,000 loan, it should be criminal, but it's not. Our government has allowed people to do this kind of thing.
We could debate the problems in the mortgage industry all night. Just because someone leaves something out of a Wall Street Journal article doesn't mean that they know any more about the situation than I do.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
I have unequivocaly stated that this has very little if anything to do with LadyRose. I dont know how many times I have to say it. The biggest problem with FHA is NOT a cosignor requirement. The biggest problem with FHA loans is that the requirements and creditworthiness or more lax and the downpayment required is only 3.5%, which is one of the reasons that the FHA is running out of money and the delinquency rates surrounding FHA's are soaring.

I'm not making this up here. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/09/business/09fha.html Thats the NY Times. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121400275096293203.html?mod=… Thats the Wall Street Journal. http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/10/more-on-problems-a… Thats the Calculated Risk Blog.

No one is writing her off but please at least be cognizant of the above. In no articles do they even mention this co-signor issue
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
Robin:

I have nerve?? LadyRose has stated nothing about her credit, employment, savings, etc., and you say that LadyRose has not mentioned her intention. She hasn't said anything about her availability to purchase a home so how are you prepared to say she can in fact afford a home and should explore it. And to your $5000 a month point: What do you say to a family with two kids who makes $3000 a month but their mortgage is $1500 a month. They thought they could afford it, but what do you think happens when they have a roof that needs repair, a broken boiler, a hike in property taxes. Certainly as an experienced Mortgage Broker you should know that its dangerous to have 50% of your net salary invested in a property. And there are stats surrounding foreclosures from objective third party sources. Please let me know and I'd be happy to send them over.

Look in no way is my opinion about LadyRose, its about the unabating desire to think of the purchase of a home as an American dream that should be explored at all costs. My core and simple point is that this dream is not the same dream it was some time ago, when people saved and saved and saved and then bought and still had some money left aside for emergencies. The emergence of no doc loans, the popularity of FHA loans, the "Great time to buy" mentality (where no one can really answer exactly why this is a great time to buy) is what got us into this mess and the only way to get out of it is to sometimes express the harsh opinion that perhaps buying isn't correct. This has absolutely nothing to do with LadyRose. She could have perfect credit and her "not much money" could be $80,000 for all any of us know. But it seems rather odd to suggest that its absolutely insane to suggest that people should not explore the purchase a home if they don't have money, but not insane to suggest they SHOULD speak to a loan officer if they don't have much mony.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
Dear Daniel,

On a serious note. I agree with the fact that we need to be responsible! And I also share with you the concern of the high LTV that have been handed out before like if they were hot pancakes. I don't think that we told Ladyrose to jump in blindly, we just gave her several avenues to find out what her options are. Banks have cleaned up a lot where they are now following their strict guidelines as to try to prevent what has happened before as you know banks got burned themselves as well. I just felt that your reaction was out of proportion with the advice that we have given Ladyrose. Pretending that we knew all about her financial situation and told her to make the wrong decision. On the contrary we don't know much about her situation and told her to find out what the right decision is!

Good luck!

Anoir Redouane
Professional Real Estate Consultant
Halstead Property LLC
212-381-4209
ARedouane@Halstead.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
Its illegal to state that in my opinion its more difficult to for a single bread winner (not person) pay for a home and all the expenses than two people? As always, I ask you to back this up, but clearly....well lets just say the answers are showing a pattern.

Just because I give a different viewpoint from most(Yes! Absolutely! Great time to buy!) doesn't mean its tainted in any way by my (Bankruptcy work...and by the way, also being a Real Estate attorney). This isn't my profession so I don't have to pitch a client. I can actually give my opinion.

LadyRose good luck to you. In no way am I saying you'll end up in a bad place. I just think that there should be more questions asked before someone hints that its a "Great time to buy"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
Well done Katina - One should at least give it a try!

As for the general response, Dr. Doom, I don't know enough about Ladyrose's "specific' situation like you do, for me to answer her question specifically, so I'm giving her several avenues to explore. It seems that your generalising Ladyrose too much, by comparing her to the X amount of foreclosures - The lady doesn't even own a home yet, so at least give her an opportunity to see if she can or cannot!! She might even be able to buy one of the foreclusres that you're dealing with and that will fit perfectly within her means or even buy a short sale and help another homeowner from dealing with a person that does BANKRUPTCY work. Please don't tell Ladyrose that she shouldn't try, because she's single (that actually might be illegal), because there are numerous of couples that lost both their jobs, unfortunately, which you should know since you're in the business. I actually have a designation to help owners prevent foreclsoures, so I do share your pain of dealing with clients that have faced foreclosures! This should not, however determine Ladyrose eligibility to explore her options. People with properties worth millions of dollars have faced short sales,foreclosures and bankruptcy procedures as well as people who "do not have much money". I do believe that if ladyrose tries to find out that she'll get an answer on her own, without the input of a Professional that deals in Bankruptcies : )

Now have a good day, because I'm going help people with little or a lot of money find a little or a lot of home!!

Best regards,

Anoir Redouane
Professional Real Estate Consultant
Halstead Property LLC
212-381-4209
ARedouane@Halstead.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
With all due respect no one said that I don't agree with the fact that everyone deserves a decent place to live, as obviously I do. I just don't think everyone DESERVES to buy a home if they can't afford on. There is a monstrous difference here. FHA delinquiences (usually FHA loans are done for people who don't have money to purchase a home traditionally (i.e. with money set aside like people did years ago) are through the roof in the past few years. This is coupled with increased lending by the FHA to people who don't have the necessary money to own a home. I can't figure out what I am saying here which seems so offbase.

And I'd like you to define for me what GREEDY people mean? Who are these people? Its not the supremely wealthy who kept flipping. It was regular people like everyone else who decided they're going to jump in without having the required funds necessary to do so. The people who refinanced their own homes to tap out some equity were not greedy, nor were the people who were first time homebuyers who bought because everyone else did and were told "Don't worry, you dont need any money to purchase this. 100% financing" Is it really all that different if someone is saying 96.5% financing and "dont worry follow your dreams". Again, there has to be a sense of responsibility here. Im not saying she can never own a home. Far from it. All I am saying is that we have a responsibility to find out her complete financial picture before we tell her to jump on in and buy a home because its a great time to buy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
Dr. Doom does Real Estate & Bankruptcy work so Dr. Doom sees many of these people who are given "general advice" about their so called dream homes turn into foreclosures. Dr. Doom also isnt making up the statistics of millions of foreclosures in the past few years, depreciating property values, or the the 10% of the US population (30,000,000) people who are behind in their mortgage payment. I can't talk about myself (not that Im Dr. Doom in the third person anymore).

The people who are the most vulnerable in situations like this are single bread winners who don't have money put aside. Its not conjecture, its fact, and if you're unwilling/unable to see that then my rant can't begin to solve your issues. I'm ranting because general advice isnt what that question was asking see "someone like me" as you seem to have read the title in some detail. You're totally right, this rant is publicity and its about me. Clearly it makes sense for me to tell someone not to buy. Because that puts money in my pocket.

There are tons of people who can buy in this market and fulfill their dream of home ownership, I just think someone who does not have "much money" is one of them right now. I didn't say the world is collapsing.

You can make all the personal attacks you like, but facts are facts. This implosion of the market didn't happen because people with money set aside decided to purchases homes they could afford. It happened because people with little or no money got deals that required little or no money. If you'd like to compare objective stats, I'd be happy to.

I have a dream of buying an island. Just because there is government program out there to help me doesn't mean its a good idea. And, by the way, you're on a Q and A board where someone is asking specific questions, why in the world are you giving general answers?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
Dear Ladyrose,

Please ignore Dr. Doom's rant; I believe that we have given you a general response with the information that we did know, apparently Dr. Doom knows all about your situation and he suggests that you should never find something suitable, even if you have little money - little money to some might mean lot to others and vice-versa, so again please ignore Dr. Doom's advice and take it upon yourself to find out if this is or isn't a great time to buy. For starters talk to a mortgage banker and a financial advisor and they will help you on the way to finding out wether you should or shoudn't. I trust that you have enough intelligence to make an educated decision after speaking with these other PROFESSIONALS.

Again..Good luck and I hope you can fulfill your true interest of buying a property of your own (BTW - Dr. Doom that was also in the headline - so stop showing off or pretend that you care about home buyers! Your rant was more about you than about people like Ladyrose - who have a dream to fulfill)

Best regards,

Anoir Redouane
Professional Real Estate Consultant
Halstead Property LLC
212-381-4209
ARedouane@Halstead.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
I love these questions because I get to be the contrarian view to counter what I legitimately think is madness to some degree, especially given the nature of the question. This woman has stated that she is a mother of two, is young, and has very little money, but she wants to buy property. Does this not remind you of a time way back when, oh perhaps 2006. Why in the world is this a GREAT time to be buying a home for someone like this. Well lets see. Prices have fallen from their height in 2006 and 2007 but there is absolutely no marker stating that they are (a) affordable now and/or (b) have VALUE now. In other words, there is no guarantee these prices keep falling. Mortgage rates are at their lowest in years, which is nice, but doesnt say much for how much it would cost to maintain a home, pay property taxes (which usually go up--alot sometimes), and (c) you get an $8,000 credit on your purchase. Amazing. $8,000 towards a home that you'll be paying off over 30 years. Amazing.

Can I just say something here. She stated that she has very little money and has two children. Did anyone bother to, before stating that this a great time to buy a home, ask how much money was set aside for a down payment? Did anyone bother to ask if she is employed? Did anyone bother to ask if she has money set aside for carrying costs of the home? Did anyone bother to ask if she itemizes her taxes or takes standard deductions? Did anyone bother to ask which area, in the most expensive city in the US to buy property, she is looking in? No. And thats absurd.

This is perhaps my 5th "rant" (I know I get carried away but its amazing to see this) on this topic. My answer to your question Ma'am is that if you have very little money then you should not be buying a home and there are no options, specifically if you are the sole provider of two children. Yes you can get an FHA loan and pay 3.5% down, but what will happen in a year if you get laid off, fall ill, or aren't making enough to pay the water bill? What will happen if your child needs money for an illness or you need a sitter to get a second job to make the mortgage payment.

As an industry, lawyers included, we have to stop using this platform as a way of telling people, blindly, that now is a great time to buy and start giving real and accurate advice based on the persons individual situation. This is a great time for a person to buy who has had steady income for a few years, who has money for a downpayment (I know, nuts), who has money put aside in case a boiler breaks or a tax bill comes due, and the seller is in distress and needs to move his/her property. Thats the person who should buy. Im amazed that people have not learned anything over these last few years.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
Dear Ladyrose,

It's me again, Anoir!

Another avenue that you should try is talk to a mortgage banker and inquire about FHA mortgages which apply to FHA approved buildings. In general this is a mortgage product that requires less of a down-payment and I've heard even a little as 3.5% as a downpayment of the purchase price. I'm not sure about your credit situation, but FHA mortgages are more lenient towards less-than-stellar credit as well.

Since you've mentioned that you were born and raised in East Harlem, I've done a search for you in both zipcodes there, namely 10029 and 10035 and found two FHA approved buildings there.

Fifth on the Park Condominiums (10035)
The Conrad Condominiums (10029)

By no means does this search mean that I think that you should only look in East Harlem, so I've included the link in this email, so you can search any neighborhood that fits your needs.

https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/condlook.cfm

Here is the link to read more on FHA:

http://www.fha.com/

Please call me or email me if you'd like any referrals to a reputable mortgage banker.

Good luck!

Anoir Redouane
Professional Real Estate Consultant
Halstead Property LLC
ARedouane@Halstead.com
212-381-4209
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
Greetings,
Money is an issue...your credit is an even bigger issue. The lending guidelines have changed dramatically over the course of the past 18 months. You could begin by making a mortgage application and finding out where you stand based on your credit alone.

Hopefully your lender will be able to point you in the direction of possible grant programs in your area that may help you.

* NACA * https://www.naca.com/about_naca/nacaOverview.jsp?language=null
This is an excellent oppourtunity for you to become enlightened about the home buying process and get a pretty nice mortgage product. If they are offering workshops in your area this is a group that you need to work with.

Good Luck to you...this is the PERFECT time to buy a house! Get in where you can fit in :-)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 26, 2009
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