As your credit union, Reliant is ready to offer the competitive rates that you need to make your new home affordable.
You’re an individual. Our mortgage offerings are tailored to suit. Talk to us about your needs, and let’s see what we can do.
Are you a first-time homebuyer? We can connect you with a variety of programs to help you buy a home.
Reliant’s Mortgage Team was nothing short of amazing. They were there every step of the way.
service to see you through
Buying a home is a major decision. Anyone (especially a first-time homebuyer!) is sure to have questions.
- How much home can I afford?
- What mortgages are available?
- Which mortgage is best for me?
- What are my out-of-pocket costs?
- What if I have problems with credit?
Our team has the expertise to walk you through these questions and more. We’ll start by getting to know you and introducing you to your team — the people who will be helping you move forward, step by step. Then we’ll get you preapproved, so you know how much house you can afford.
getting ready to buy a home
Here are some helpful steps to get you started on the road to home ownership. Reliant offers several solutions for first-time homebuyers, including SONYMA and HomeReadyTM by Fannie Mae. Scroll down for additional information about mortgage programs and to connect with a Reliant mortgage originator.
1. Get Preapproved for Your Loan
The first step in the homebuying process is getting preapproved. It’s free, and it’s a great way to get a handle on what you truly can afford.
Once you know how much you can borrow, you’ll know what price point to shop for and how much you’ll want to save. Having a preapproval in hand also gives you greater negotiating power.
2. Save for Your Down Payment
Most homebuyers can expect to put down 5-20% of the purchase price — but at Reliant, we have programs that require as little as 0-3%.
Not sure how to save? Here are few paths to consider.
- Grants for first-time homebuyers. Many offer matching funds, where you deposit a sum and the grant matches it for you, sometimes as much as four times the amount!
- Tax refunds. The average tax refund is $2,815, nearly 3% of the purchase price of a typical first home in our member area. By saving this and adding to it systematically, you may meet your goals more quickly than you’d expect!
- Gift money. You’re allowed to use funding gifted to you from an eligible relative for your entire down payment and closing costs.
- Other sources. A first-time homebuyer can withdraw from an IRA without penalty to purchase a home. There may be income tax on the withdrawal depending on the IRA, so please consult with your tax advisor.
3. Get Your Free Annual Credit Report
Mortgage underwriters don’t look only at your income, assets, and down payment when making lending decisions. They also look at all of your current liabilities and obligations, such as auto loans, credit card debt, child support, and more. Those variables, along with the mortgage program you select, will determine how much you can borrow.
One of the most important items on that list is your credit score, which doesn’t just influence your ability to get a loan, but can also affect your interest rates and fees, credit card approvals, homeowners’ insurance rates, and even job applications. The higher your score, the better your terms will be.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to know where you stand right now. You have the right to a free credit report from each credit reporting agency every 12 months. Once you know where you stand, you’ll have the information you need to set meaningful goals and achieve them.
4. Build Your Credit
Credit scores range from 300 to 850. The national average is 725, so ideally you want to be as good or better. With scores below that mark, it’s still possible to get a loan, but you won’t have as many options to choose from.
Your credit score is based on your payment history, the debt you owe, how long you’ve been using your credit, how you’ve managed it, and more. Even if your score is lower than you’d like, there may be simple things you can do now to help raise it before you need to apply for a mortgage.
If you’re a credit-worthy, low- to moderate-income borrower — especially if you’re shopping for a home in one of our designated communities — this Fannie Mae program may be a fit.
With low, fixed rates and loan terms up to 30 years, HomeReady (offered through Reliant) can be combined with community grants through many municipalities to make buying your first home an achievable goal.
- Low down payment. Finance up to 97% of your purchase price with many borrower flexibilities.
- Flexible funding sources. With no minimum contribution from the homebuyer, this program has the flexibility to help you afford your first home.
- Home-ownership education. Ready for the responsibilities of home-ownership? We can help with that. Get an easy-to-use, affordable online course provided by Framework to help you get ready to own your home.
State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) offers low-interest mortgage loans and programs to help qualified buyers purchase their first homes. If you haven’t owned a home within the past three years, or if you’re a US veteran, this may be an option for you.
- Owner-occupied purchases only
- Minimum 3% down payment
- Purchase price and income limits apply
- Down payment assistance may be available
The conventional loan comes with either a fixed or adjustable rate and is not guaranteed by the U.S. Government, unlike VA, FHA, and USDA loans. A few additional details:
- Also known as Conforming Loans, conventional mortgages conform to guidelines set forth by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, rather than by the lender.
- Reliant will continue to service your loan (i.e. to collect payments and pay escrows) even after Fannie Mae acquires it.
- If you put down less than 20% on the purchase price, you’ll need to purchase Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), which will increase your monthly payment somewhat.
- The maximum mortgage amount for a single-family home is $417,000.
Qualifying for a conventional mortgage can be more challenging, but the rewards are worth it! Let’s take a look at the benefits of a fixed-rate conventional loan.
- Lower overall monthly mortgage payment than FHA options
- Flexible sources of funds for closing
- Eligibility for primary residences as well as vacation and investment homes
- Down payments as low as 3%
- Mortgage term options from 10–30 years
- Most borrowers are able to cancel PMI in time
Wondering about the benefits of an adjustable-rate conventional mortgage?
- Lower interest rates during the initial, fixed-rate period translate to lower mortgage payments starting out
- Payment of additional funds to reduce the balance will lower the payment after the initial period
- Least expensive option for shorter-term ownership, such as designed relocations
An FHA mortgage loan is insured by the Federal Housing Administration, which is part of the Department of Housing & Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Housing.
This insurance protects lenders against a portion of the loss if homeowners ever default on their loans. To pay for this protection, the borrower has to pay a Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) at the time of closing and monthly, generally for the life of the loan.
Even with the extra cost of insurance, however, there are many benefits to an FHA loan.
- Less stringent debt-to-income ratio as compared to a Conventional Mortgage
- Down payments as low as 3.5% on owner-occupied residences
- Lower down payment options for two-, three-, and four-family properties
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) helps servicemembers, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses to become homeowners, providing a home loan guaranty of a portion of the loan to an approved lender. Thanks to this, we can offer more favorable terms than we might be able to offer otherwise.
- No down payment for purchases up to $417,000
- No Private Mortgage Insurance (or PMI) required
- Flexible underwriting available
- Reduced closing costs
- Competitive 30-year fixed-rate program
To qualify, you’ll need approved credit, sufficient income, and a Certificate of Eligibility.
Are you a low- or moderate-income household? Would you like to own a single-family home in a less populated area? The USDA Rural Development Mortgage (RD Loan), sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture, is designed to promote homeownership in less-densely populated communities across the U.S.
But don’t let the name fool you! It’s not just for places far-removed from suburban or urban areas. There are many approved areas in Wayne and Ontario counties, as well as several other communities we serve.
- No down payment required
- Reduced mortgage insurance as compared to other programs
- No limit on seller-paid closing costs
- More lenient credit score requirements
- Competitive 30-year fixed-rate program
When a borrower takes out more than one loan at the same time to purchase or refinance a property, the additional loans are known as Piggyback Mortgages.
Sometimes they’re also called 80-10-10 mortgages. The first mortgage represents 80% of the property’s value, the second mortgage represents 10% of the total value, and the other 10% is the cash investment (or equity) of the person who’s buying or refinancing it.
This structured transaction offers several benefits:
- Lower interest rate on the first mortgage when total financing exceeds $417,000
- The additional cost of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is not required, even with a down payment of less than 20%
- The ability to lower monthly payments by paying off one of the structured mortgages in advance of the other
- Structured cash-out with better terms on the first mortgage
Contact a Reliant Mortgage Originator to see how structured financing can save you money!
Need greater flexibility in unique underwriting situations? Not a veteran? Don’t qualify for an FHA, VA, or Conventional Mortgage? You may want to consider a Portfolio Mortgage instead.
Simply put, this mortgage is a loan offered with the intention of holding it in its own portfolio, rather than allowing another entity to acquire it. Portfolio loans utilize Conventional guidelines, but offer more flexibility in the lending process. Choose from a Fixed or Adjustable rate, with or without Private Mortgage Insurance, and know that your mortgage will continue to be serviced by Reliant through the entire life of your loan.
Holli DowlingMortgage Originator, NMLS #883841
Email: [email protected]
Office: 10 Benton Place, Sodus, NY 14551
Mail to: 10 Benton Place, PO Box 40, Sodus NY, 14551
Office: 800-724-9282 x3422
“There is nothing more gratifying than guiding buyers smoothly through the mortgage process and seeing the joy on their faces on closing day!”
Holli has had the privilege of assisting hundreds of families through the mortgage process, enabling them to realize their dreams of home ownership. Her experiences as a mortgage processor, a mortgage underwriter and a manager over a processing and underwriting team have shaped her into a knowledgeable and experienced mortgage loan originator.
Dawn SargentMortgage Originator, NMLS #785556
Email: [email protected]
Office: 870 Holt Road, Webster, NY 14580
Mail to: 10 Benton Place, PO Box 40, Sodus NY, 14551
Office: 800-724-9282 x3420
“I look forward to working with our members one-on-one and preparing them to meet their home ownership goals!”
Dawn is ready to work with you to help you find the right mortgage solution for your situation—whether you are a first-time homebuyer just starting out, you’re looking for a forever home, or you’re looking to refinance the home you’ve been in for years!
Reliant offers a variety of mortgage products to match your specific needs. We offer SONYMA, Conventional, FHA, USDA, VA, Piggyback and Portfolio mortgages. For additional information about mortgage programs, call our Member Service Center at 800-724-9282.
Reliant offers several first-time homebuyer solutions, including SONYMA, HomeReady™ by Fannie Mae. For additional information about mortgage programs, visit our mortgage programs page or call our Member Service Center at 800-724-9282.
You can get started on the pre-approval process by filling out a form on our mortgage pre-approval page. A mortgage originator will get back to you within one business day to complete the process. You can also schedule an appointment to meet with a mortgage originator by calling our Member Service Center at 800-724-9282.
You can submit an application online or with one of our expert mortgage originators. To schedule an appointment, please call our Member Service Center at 800-724-9282.