Message from the President

by Dawn Brown

The Myth of the Mortgage Down Payment

The Myth of the Mortgage Down Payment

Did you know that the median down payment for first-time buyers has been 6 percent for three straight years?  If you answered no to this question, you are likely not alone. According to the National Association of Realtors Aspiring Home Buyer Profile, 87 percent of non-homeowners indicated that a mortgage down payment of 10 percent or more is necessary.

The Profile also finds that eight out of 10 non-owners indicated that owning a home is part of their American Dream. Yet, the confusion about down payment requirements is keeping aspiring home buyers from breaking in to the real estate market.

Every prospective buyer is different, but consumers should talk to lenders about their qualifications before throwing in the towel on their homeownership dreams.

Those interested in buying their first home in 2017 should gather their financial paperwork, sit down with a lender to discuss their qualifications, and talk to family and friends for recommendations about a Realtor who can help them get started on their home search.

For those renters out there who are ready to join the majority who buy a home with less than a 20 percent down payment, follow these tips to help get you get started:


1.     Review your financial situation and personal savings to determine how much you can comfortably use for a down payment.

2.     Visit a few lenders and seek a mortgage preapproval to determine how much money you are actually qualified to borrow.

3.     Find a Realtor and discuss your budget and needs. This will help a Realtor hone in your search and only show you available homes in your price range. 

4.     Rely on professional help from the experts. This includes a Realtor and your lender. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also has a state-by-state resource guide of homeownership and home buying assistance programs in your state.

Buying a home can sometimes be a challenging process, but with a little work and a Realtor - a member of the National Association of Realtors  -  at your side, 2017 may be a good time to start looking.

REALTOR Magazine Good Neighbor Awards
Are you or do you know a Realtor in your office who make an extraordinary impact on their communities through volunteer work?  It would great to see one of our members win a prestigious award from the National Association of REALTORS.  Five Good Neighbor Awards winners will receive $10,000 grants and five honorable mentions will receive $2,500 grants for their charitable projects. For more information and an entry form, use this link.  Entries must be postmarked by Friday, May 12, 2017.

Got Time to Spare?  Kids Escaping Drugs Bowl-A-Thon
Join the 6th Annual Kids Escaping Drugs Bowl-A-Thon  on Sunday, April 2, 2017 at Strikers Bowling Alley, 50 Michael Road, West Seneca, NY.  The cost is $200 for a team of five and includes two games of bowling, shoe rental, pizza, pop and an event t-shirt. Pre-registration a must – contact Christina Kruzer,  Kids Escaping Drugs… helping adolescents and their families in WNY suffering from alcohol and drug dependency/addiction.  Sponsorships also welcome.

BNAR Presents Economic and Real Estate Outlook
Sign up today for our Economic and Real Estate Outlook featuring Lawrence Yun, National Association of REALTORS  Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research will be speaking on the current and future housing market in Western New York.  The date is Wednesday, April 27 at the Millennium Hotel, 2040 Walden Avenue.  Registration begins at 8:30 am with breakfast starting at 9:00 am.  Register through Member Services through your MLS Portal.

BNAR Collecting Aluminum Pull Tabs and Old Keys for the Ronald McDonald House
BNAR, in conjunction with NYSAR, is collecting aluminum pull tabs to donate to the Ronald McDonald House.  Bring in pull tabs from soda, soup, pet food, tennis ball cans or anything else with a pull tab!  Found old keys, or suitcase keys…drop them off as well.  The Ronald McDonald House recycles the aluminum and one hundred percent of the dollars raised are put into their direct operations. Every tab counts towards making a heartfelt impact on the critically ill children and families partaking in their services.

RPAC Dollars are working for You?  The return on RPAC investments means savings for REALTORS and consumers. Did you know that $13,698 per REALTOR in additional income was generated through the homebuyer tax credit?  That is just one of our returns on RPAC investments.  Continue to invest in your business.  Give your Fair Share of $25.00.

New York State Real Estate Education Foundation Scholarships 

Any individual who has at least one year experience in real estate sales, are licensed and actively practicing in New York State and who hold primary REALTOR membership in New York State is eligible to receive a scholarship to one of the NAR Designation/Certification course.  Application must be completed and postmarked by July 31, 2017.  Here is the link to the list of scholarships, rules and application.

West Herr Benefits
Key Communicator Kickoff