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Community Development Housing Assistance Programs /  Tips for the Homebuyer

Tips for the Homebuyer

Do the math before you buy a house. The fact that a lender will lend you money to buy a house doesn't mean you can afford it.

  • Do you know what the taxes are?
  • What happens if the roof needs to be replaced or the waste lines need to be dug up or the furnace blows?
  • Do you know how much the utilities cost?
  • Do you know how much it costs to heat the home?

The answers to these questions are free.


Find out what the seller paid for the house and when by checking with the county clerk records. Check the Assessor's records to find out the current assessed value of the property.

  • If you are offering to pay a great deal more, find out why?
  • What work has been done to the property?
  • Ask for proof as to what was paid for work performed?

The answers to these questions are free.


Don't assume that is makes economic sense to buy a house.

  • If you overpay for a house, you are the loser.
  • If the house you buy falls in value, you are the loser.
  • Get an independent home inspection. An appraisal, even if it correctly establishes the market value, does not vouchsafe the mechanical systems in a house. This should cost approximately $250.00.

If the deal involves the seller holding the mortgage, approach it with great caution. A seller can foreclose on your property easier than a bank or mortgage company.

  • Get a title report paid for by the seller.
  • Get a home inspection.
  • Get your own appraisal.
  • Get a lawyer to represent you. This should cost you approximately $400.00.

Remember, you must watch out for for your best interests.

  • Not the real estate broker.
  • Not the mortgage broker.
  • Not the lender.
  • Not the appraiser.
  • Not the seller.

If you can't afford a home inspection, appraisal or lawyer, then you probably can't afford to buy a home. If you are not sure, think twice. Make sure you have answers to all your question before you proceed.

For an application for the Town of Amherst First-Time Homebuyer Program, please call (716) 631-7082.

About Amherst

The Town of Amherst was established in 1818 and celebrated its 200th Anniversary in 2018. The town has a geographical area of 53.6 square miles and a population of greater than 122,000. Amherst community videos.

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  • Email:
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  • Address:
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  • 5583 Main Street
  • Williamsville, NY 14221