Fulton Savings Bank First Time Home Buyers
Frequently Asked Questions
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Why Join First Home Club?
If you are exploring the possibility of buying your first home, then enrolling in the First Home Club may be a good opportunity for you to access additional money to help with your down payment and/or closing costs. This may reduce your out of pocket expenditure significantly.
The First Home Club (“FHC”) is designed to assist income eligible first-time home buyers in the purchase of a home. Fulton Savings Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of NY work together to provide assistance in the form of matching funds. This grant is based on the home buyer’s systematic savings in a dedicated savings account. Up to $7,500 is available based on a 4:1 match of your household’s savings. The matching funds may be used toward the down payment and/or closing costs for the purchase of a home.
Potential Homebuyers may enroll in Fulton Savings Bank’s First Home Club (FHC) at any time. The Homebuyer must participate in the program for a minimum of 10 months and purchase their home within 24 months. In order to participate and enroll in the FHC, the potential homebuyer must meet the following preliminary qualifications:
- Meet the definition of a first-time homebuyer in the Program Guidelines
- Reside and purchase your home within Fulton Savings Bank’s service area
- Gross household income is 80% or less of the area median income, as defined in the Program Guidelines. For all counties in NY, follow the tables for your household size, county, and 80% in the Household Income Guidelines
- Open a dedicated FSB savings account and save systematically on a monthly basis for a minimum of 10 months
- Complete a homebuyer counseling program
- Execute the FHC Enrollment Terms & Conditions Agreement (FHC-104)
- Apply for mortgage financing with Fulton Savings Bank
- At closing, execute a subordinate mortgage for subsidy funds for a 5-year term
Frequently Asked Questions about the First Home Club
How Your Savings Work for You (Your Money Multiplies)
Dedicated Savings Accounts
Your dedicated savings account must evidence continuous and consistent monthly deposits as agreed upon at enrollment. Achieving the equity goal cannot be accelerated by making additional and/or lump-sum deposits. The minimum timeframe to meet the equity goal is 10 months.
Any withdrawals from the dedicated savings account must be evidenced by supporting documentation (i.e. copy of check, invoice or Fees Worksheet), verifying the withdrawal is directly related to the purchase of the home under the FHC Program.
Matching funds are based on a ratio of up to 4:1 in matching a household’s savings. For every $1 saved and deposited into the dedicated account with Fulton Savings Bank under a systematic schedule of savings, the FHLBNY will match with $4, not to exceed $7,500 in matching funds per Household.
Automatic direct deposits from checking accounts and direct deposits into the dedicated savings account from payroll deductions are acceptable. Funds deposited into the dedicated account that are not the result of systematic savings, will not be included in determining the matching funds. Funds deposited in other savings accounts including accounts with other institutions will not be matched.
I’m not quite ready to buy a house yet. Can I participate?
Absolutely! Your timing might be perfect- contact us today to apply. First Home Club gives you the opportunity to save and get yourself Mortgage Ready. The idea is that when you are ready to purchase your first home you will have your credit and funds in place for closing- heightening your home buying experience.
What if I don’t buy a house within 24 months?
If you do not purchase a home within 24 months, discontinue your systematic savings, or withdraw from the program you may reapply. If you are eligible you may reenter the FHC Program. Of course, any monies in your savings account remain yours to use however you please.
What paperwork do I* need to get started?
Last 2 years W2’s and Federal Tax Returns; Last 5 weeks of Paystubs; Proof of any other income; Alimony, Child Support, Bankruptcy info, if applicable.
*Qualification for FHC is based on Household Income. Please supply information for each member of your Household.
What if I move, sell or refinance my house within 5 years?
If an owner-occupant decides to sell or refinance, or if there is an Event of Non-Compliance within 5 years of purchase, (“the Recapture Period”) a pro rata portion of the FHC grant may need to be repaid to the FHLBNY. Please refer to FHC Program Guidelines for more details.
Can I also use other Grant funds?
Yes, FHC funds may be used in conjunction with other grant programs. Consult with your Mortgage Originator for details.