New York Mortgage & Refinancing

Last Updated on June 5, 2017 by Taylor Welshe

With New York having both the country’s biggest city and state park, it’s easy to see why both locals and tourists alike can’t get enough of it. And it doesn’t just feature pure urbanity; there’s plenty of natural wonders here, too. Add to this the quaint towns as well as charming cities, and there’s no longer a need to wonder why a lot of home buyers choose to invest here. (Source:

Some of the best areas to live in include New York City, which draws much of the tourist crowd but still great to be a resident of, as well as Syracuse and Albany.

Real estate cost

The Empire State has a higher cost of living than many other places in the country. This is the primary reason why real estate here is also more expensive than the national average. The median value of homes here is $280,600, as opposed to the countrywide median of $195,300.  (Source: Zillow)

It’s important for home buyers to note though that home pricing still depends on the specific type of building they will purchase. For those looking for the least expensive option, a single-family home is the way to go. These residential properties are valued on average at $242,037.55. Next are PUD homes at $268,184.88, and then townhomes at $334,720.25. The most expensive type of dwelling are the condominiums, with these averaging at $519,543.19.

Conforming loan and FHA limits

Most counties in the state follow the standard conforming loan limit of $417,000, although consumers will also find some exceeding this, including all of the major counties: Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond among several others. These, as well as several others, also have FHA limits higher than the standard $271,050.

All shoppers should also note that NY is a “caveat emptor (buyer beware)” state. This means that they need to practice extreme caution when dealing with property sellers, especially when it comes to information about the house. Information disclosure laws aren’t that rigorous or strict, so buyers should make sure the property they will purchase doesn’t have any hidden problem.

Mortgage rate averages

The two most commonly-applied for housing loans in the state are the fixed-rate, specifically the 30-year fixed-rate, and the adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). 30-year fixed-rate mortgage interest rates average at 4.38%, while ARMs are at 3.62%. Some lending institutions also offer jumbo loans, with these having an average interest rate of 4.06%.

Refinancing for current mortgage holders

Home owners still have several tactics they can do to avoid unnecessary expenses while also cutting back on their overall mortgage-related expenses. One of these is to switch from an ARM to a fixed-rate mortgage (or vice versa) when it makes sense to do so, and through refinancing.

For instance, qualified borrowers with an ARM can refinance their existing loan to secure a new fixed-rate mortgage if the introductory rate of their current one will soon expire and enter the “adjustable” phase. On the other hand, fixed-rate mortgage holders may want to switch to an ARM if they suddenly have to move out in the near future.

Availability of home buying assistance programs

Since purchasing a home in the state costs more than a lot of other places in the country, some buyers may have difficulties securing a mortgage. The good news is, there are several ways to increase one’s chances of qualifying for a home loan.

One of these is to seek the assistance of certain organizations in New York aimed to help home buyers during the process as well as throughout their mortgage term. There is the State of New York Mortgage Agency, which offers not just competitive interest rates but also down payment assistance. The New York State Association of REALTORS as well as The Community Foundation are two other sources of help, with these organizations offering home-buying grants to both individuals and families.


The State of New York Mortgage Agency

The New York State Association of REALTORS

The Community Foundation