NYS Homes & Community Renewal Announces New Program to Help Stabilize Neighborhoods Hit Hard by Foreclosure

SONYMA Own it, Fix it New York! Home Mortgage Allows Homebuyers to Purchase and Renovate with One Low-Interest, Fixed-Rate Mortgage

NEW YORK, NY (03/14/2011)(readMedia)-- NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) which includes all the integrated housing and community renewal agencies of New York, today announced a new State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) program for low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers called the Own it, Fix it New York! Home Mortgage, developed by New York State HCR to help stabilize neighborhoods and property values by improving the quality of New York's housing stock.

The program is available to qualified homebuyers for the purchase and repair of homes that have been foreclosed or sold as a "short sale" and have not been renovated and/or maintained due to owner hardship. SONYMA offers very competitive interest rates. Lenders will begin accepting applications on April 1, 2011.

Brian Lawlor, Commissioner/CEO of HCR, said, "The foreclosure crisis has devastated families and left behind abandoned properties and blight that erodes the quality of entire communities. We need innovative tools like the Own it, Fix it New York! Home Mortgage to stabilize neighborhoods, ease the far-reaching effects of foreclosure, and help families achieve the dream of a safe, affordable home. Governor Cuomo's Urban Agenda lays out a plan for New York to lead the way in preventing foreclosures and reclaiming our neighborhoods, and this new low-cost mortgage program is a step in the right direction."

Own it, Fix it New York! Home Mortgage was proposed by the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) Advisory Council, which is comprised of representatives from a variety of participating lenders as well as professionals from the mortgage insurance, realtor, not-for-profit and builder communities. SONYMA is one of the housing and community renewal agencies integrated last year under HCR.

Duncan MacKenzie, Chief Executive Officer of the New York State Association of Realtors and member of the SONYMA Advisory Council said, "HCR is to be congratulated for the willingness to evolve products to meet new challenges to homeownership. The Own it, Fix it New York! Home Mortgage product gives new life to individual properties and whole communities devastated by foreclosure and the all too often neglect that befalls these homes. This two-pronged approach is a 'can't miss' plan and I look forward to promoting it to the more than 50,000 REALTORS across New York State."

Christine Nothnagle, President of Nothnagle Home Securities Corporation and member of the SONYMA Advisory Council said, "I commend HCR for recognizing the challenges we face in the current lending arena. The Own it, Fix it New York! Home Mortgage will allow borrowers to purchase a property which has deferred maintenance due to our current economic climate. Many buyers may have the funds necessary to purchase and close on the home, but lack the additional savings to bring the home to an updated condition. This program gives our applicants an opportunity to take advantage of the low interest rates of today and finance the necessary and desired improvements. This will help our overall economy by returning a neglected property into a pride of ownership home for the entire neighborhood."

Main features of the Own it, Fix it New York! Home Mortgage:

• Below-market interest rate financing up to the lower of 97% of the "after-improved" appraised value of the property or the home purchase price plus repairs

• Availability of down payment assistance (higher of $3,000 or 3% of the home purchase price, not to exceed $10,000)

• Eligible repairs allowed up to the lower of 20% of the "after-improved" appraised value or $25,000

• Eligible properties are existing one- and two-family homes, Planned Unit Developments and condominiums. Any property in need of repair is eligible.

Here is an example of how the program might work for the average SONYMA borrower with an income of $60,000 who purchases a $215,000 home. If this home needs $20,000 in repairs, the applicant could qualify for financing up to 97% of the lesser of: 1) the purchase price of the home plus renovation costs, or 2) the appraised value of the property after the proposed repairs have been made. If the after-renovation appraised value is $235,000, for example, the borrower could finance up to $227,950 (97% of $235,000). In this example, the borrower could qualify for $6,450 in down payment assistance from SONYMA and would need to have $3,200, plus closing costs, at the time of the transaction.

Sales Price $215,000
Cost of Repairs plus other related expenses 22,600
Total Funds Needed $237,600
Less: Maximum SONYMA financing 227,950
Down payment assistance 6,450
Borrower cash required $3,200

Borrowers may utilize the Low Interest Rate Program or Achieving the Dream Mortgage Program (including the Homes for Veterans Program) for this product, maximizing the effectiveness of these programs. The program selected will depend on factors including specific income and purchase price limit requirements as determined by the program.

Complete details are available at http://www.nyshcr.org/SONYMA/OwnitFixitNewYork.htm. Applicants may apply through a SONYMA participating lender located across the state.


New York State Homes and Community Renewal consists of all the State's major housing and community renewal agencies, including, The Affordable Housing Corporation, The Division of Housing and Community Renewal, Housing Finance Agency, State of New York Mortgage Agency, Housing Trust Fund Corporation and others. Organizing these agencies under a single leadership and management structure has created new efficiencies and allowed for better coordination of the state's resources. Similar and complimentary programs are now aligned and working together, reducing costs, red tape and duplicative efforts while increasing the effectiveness of the state's housing and community renewal programs.

SONYMA provides safe, low interest fixed-rate mortgages, down payment assistance and other programs specifically designed to help low- and moderate-income families become homeowners.