By Anessa Cohen

Helping the Homebuyer

As prices of housing keep going up, new would-be buyers are finding it harder to keep up as they try to shop for a house and put aside funds for their future down payment.

First-time homebuyers typically have a little more on their plate preparing for their first home purchase than existing homeowners who are selling the house they live in and then “buying up” into a larger house.

Whereas the first-time home buyer must come up with a sizeable down payment fund to get his venture into homeownership started, an existing homeowner usually has a sizeable amount of equity in his existing home; when sold, the funds will be available to assist him in his next home purchase.

As such, first-time homebuyers need to be a little more creative scrounging for the funds to finance their down payment, unless they already have substantial savings available.

One of the more common practices used by first-time homebuyers is to seek a gift of funds from a family member wanting to help them get their new start in homeownership. This option can be utilized by anyone looking to purchase a house, but the reason I am mentioning this for first-time homebuyers is simply because someone jumping into the homeownership pool for the first time usually needs an extra monetary boost.

On a mortgage application, a gift from a family member is an allowable vehicle towards a home purchase, and is utilized quite often by many looking to purchase a home.

Obviously, this is only one of many different ways of assisting new homebuyers, especially here in the New York real estate market. If you are thinking of going this route, you should prepare the numbers and speak with the person gifting you the funds before shopping for a home. This way you will know in advance how much will be available to you towards your new purchase, and you can shop for a new house knowing what you can afford.

Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real estate broker (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and a licensed N.Y.S. loan officer (FM Home Loans) with over 20 years of experience offering full service residential, commercial, and management real estate services as well as mortgage services. She can be reached at (516) 569-5007 or via her website, Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to



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