OSWEGO COUNTY – Money and help are available for first-time home buyers across the county, and Tina Washburn, housing counselor for Oswego Housing Development Council, Inc., is here to help to get it.
Perhaps nothing stands in the way of owning your own home more than the difficulty of providing the required down payment. You may already be paying as much or more than your monthly mortgage payment would cost, but you may not have several thousand dollars sitting in a savings account waiting for your dream home to appear. You may be like the majority of the population who live paycheck to paycheck with little money to spare. Enter Tina Washburn.
His agency can provide you with up to $15,000 for that down payment.
“But it depends on family income,” she said. “It depends on the size of the family. We follow HUD income guidelines, so it’s different with every client.
The money is intended for low to moderate income applicants.
“You can’t exceed a certain amount of income,” Washburn said.
A benefit offered by Oswego Housing Development Council, Inc. (OHDC)?
“The great thing about us is that it’s the whole county. You can buy in town. You can buy rural. You can use our grant from the USDA (US Department of Agriculture), which is for most of Oswego County, because the USDA is rural. But with us, you can shop anywhere in Oswego County.
The applicant must be a first-time home buyer, although a person can be considered as such in several ways.
“What HUD does and what we do at New York State Homes,” Washburn said, “is if it’s been three years since you owned a home, you would be considered a homebuyer again. a first home.”
However, the applicant must qualify for a regular mortgage.
“With our grant,” Washburn said, “we can work alongside it, like if somebody went to a bank and they have a first homeowner grant in the bank, they can use our money with that money .”
OHDC can not only help with the down payment, but also with closing costs, Washburn said.
Government grant money takes a long time to get to the OHDC, but it does get there eventually. They received a new grant about a month ago, but, Washburn said, “we haven’t received the money yet. I am still working on the grant that was given to us in 2019. Due to COVID, it took us a while to get the money. So we had it last year. So I still work with clients of this grant. »
Nevertheless, people can start applying even before they (OHDC) get the money. Tina has a waiting list.
You do not need to choose a house before applying.
“I start with the very first steps,” Washburn said, “people who haven’t even started looking at houses, because we have this whole process that they have to go through before they buy a house or start to look for. We do counseling here, homebuyer counseling, and they have to have a certificate. They have to complete eight hours of housing advice with us before they can buy a house. So I start working with them even before they start looking.
When people want more information:
“They can call,” Washburn said. “They can email me. I can send information. People come if they want. We have done rehabilitation in the past. We just don’t at the moment.
They have a Facebook page: look for Oswego Housing Development.
“We’re trying to update that,” Tina said. “We put grant information there, anything that’s going on in the county to help people, anything that goes through HUD that HUD has going on, we’re trying to update our Facebook page to let people know. “
OHDC also received a grant for the furnace replacement and is also part of the future Selkirk Landing project in Pulaski.
Washburn said she “welcomes anyone to call or email me with questions about our first homebuyer grant. Applications can be printed from our webpage, mailed electronically or sent by regular mail.
“With each grant given, I am able to help 10 clients. There is a waiting list of about 45 people, but I go through it regularly, updating and removing people who purchased without our grant or who did not respond to follow-up letters or phone calls. People can also see the HUD income limits on our webpage.
There is no charge to use their service.
Their office is located at 805 W. Broadway St., Fulton NY 13069.
Their hours are: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.