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Homes and Community Renewal

Achieving the Dream Program Term Sheet

Program Features:

Eligible Borrowers must:

  • Be a first time homebuyer as defined by SONYMA (This requirement is waived for eligible military veterans and their household members.);

  • Meet SONYMA's credit underwriting standards. Applicants must have:

    • a steady job

    • a good credit history

    • sufficient income to make the mortgage payment and meet other debt payments, and

    • sufficient cash, savings, or other assets for downpayment and closing costs;

  • Meet SONYMA's Household Income Limit requirements (click here to see Household Income Limits for your area);

  • Occupy the SONYMA-financed home as their permanent residence.

Note: If you currently own a residential investment or vacation home and you intend to retain ownership of the home, you will not qualify for SONYMA financing.


Eligible Properties must:

  • Be located in New York State;

  • Have a sales price and appraised value (as determined by a professional real estate appraiser) that does not exceed SONYMA's Purchase Price/Appraised Value limits (click here to see Purchase Price/Appraised Value Limits for your area);

  • Not be used for any business or commercial purpose;

  • Be one of the following property types:

    • Existing or newly constructed one family home (includes condominiums and cooperatives);

    • Existing two family home that is at least five years old as of the SONYMA loan application date and has been used only as a residence during the past five years;

    • Two family home located in a Target Area that is newly constructed or was constructed within the five years prior to the SONYMA loan application date;

  • Be a maximum of 5 acres (exceptions can be made on a case by case basis);

  • Have at least 500 square feet of living space (exceptions can be made on a case by case basis).

Additional Considerations:

  • A SONYMA mortgage may not be used to refinance an existing mortgage and SONYMA mortgages are non assumable;

  • All applicants must complete a homebuyer education course;

  • All loans with less than a 20% downpayment will require private mortgage insurance (PMI);

  • All loans must be approved for pool insurance by SONYMA's mortgage pool insurer;

  • All borrowers are subject to a potential "recapture tax" under Federal law. (Click here for details on recapture tax and how SONYMA will reimburse borrowers who have to pay recapture tax);

  • Funds are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • An applicant who has used more than 15% of their current residence (or a prior residence) for a business or commercial use in the past year, is not eligible for financing. Both of the units in a two-family home must be located in the same building. Properties with units in more than one building are not allowed.

Regarding Coops and Condos:

Borrowers purchasing a condominium or cooperative unit must satisfy certain special requirements. (Click here for special requirements for condominiums and cooperatives.)