Home Loan Options

Whether you are purchasing or refinancing, our team of experienced mortgage professionals will help determine the best home loan options. With local decision making, you’ll get prompt approvals and our team is here for you throughout the process.

We have a number of Traditional Lending options and First-time Home Buyer Grants and Programs designed to help a wide range of homebuyers purchase or refinance a home.

Not sure what the numbers may look like for you? Try our Home Mortgage Calculator or Mortgage Refi Calculator to start preparing.

Ready to take the next step toward home ownership?  Contact us via email or call 585.427.9200.

Grants for First-time Home Buyers

GRB participates in a number of special promotions and lending programs designed to make the dream of owning a home more accessible.

Father and sons in front of home SOLD sign
Young woman surrounded by moving boxes in her new home.

Mother, father and two children moving in to a new home.

Single mom and daughter relaxing after moving into a new home.

Homebuyer Dream Program* (HDP)

All of GRB’s allotted spaces for the Homebuyer Dream Program 2021 have been filled. We are unsure if further allotments will be made available by the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY). Check back for updates.

GRB and the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY) work together to provide grant assistance to qualified first-time homebuyers. The Homebuyer Dream ProgramTM provides grants of up to $10,000 towards the purchase of a home in New York.

The FHLBNY is returning to an allotment program this year, providing lenders with a set amount of funding they can access through the program.

For more information on the Homebuyer Dream Program, Contact Us.

Eligibility requirements

home buyer dream program logo
  • Must be first-time homebuyers (have not owned a home individually or with a spouse in the last three years)
  • Reside and purchase a home in New York
  • Have a household income at or below 80% of area median income (i.e., in Monroe and Onondaga county, 1 or 2 person households, up to $68,080. 3-person households up to $78,292)
  • Complete an accredited homeownership course
  • Meet the income and credit requirements for the program
  • Have the minimum equity contribution of $1,000 toward purchase of the home
  • Remain in the home for five years or repay a portion of the grant funds back to FHLBNY

Important information:

  • Up to $9,500 in grant funding is available to be applied to down payment and closing costs
  • Up to $500 in grant funding is available to offset the cost of the homeownership course

 *  The Homebuyer Dream Program is a registered trademark of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.  Additional program details will be forthcoming.  Please work with your GRB Mortgage Loan Originator to discuss your specific situation.

University of Rochester – University Home Ownership Incentive Program

university of rochester logo

GRB is a proud participant in the University Home Ownership Incentive Program for University of Rochester employees.  The program provides funds to University of Rochester employees purchasing homes near the university’s River Campus and Medical Center.  This unique program could provide up to $9,000 toward the purchase of a home. 

Read more about the University Home Ownership Incentive program on the GRBblog

Use the map to the right to help determine whether or not a specific property qualifies for the program. Specific street addresses can be located by clicking on the upper lefthand corner of the map (highlighted in yellow below) and then selecting the appropriate neighborhood:

Before putting in a purchase offer for any property, buyers must verify property eligibility and program eligibility through the university’s Benefits Office at 585-275-0476 and complete a grant application through the City of Rochester. 

Traditional Loan Programs


As rates rise and fall, the option to refinance a residential home mortgage can be an important tool for homeowners. Refinancing a higher-rate loan can reduce the monthly payment, free up cash for other purposes, or shorten the term of the loan. It’s important to keep an eye on interest rates long after you close on your home. Currently, the market is looking quite favorable for refinancing.

Contact our mortgage professionals for a free assessment. It takes just minutes to find out if a refinance could work for you!

Conventional Loans

The standard of mortgage lending, conventional mortgages are best suited for buyers with high credit scores, and typically, higher amounts available for a down payment. Fixed rate mortgages are best if you are planning to stay in your home for the long term. Various terms are available, including 30-year mortgages, 15-year mortgages and others in between. For the lowest possible initial rate, or if you are planning to move or refinance in a few years, an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) is a better option.

  • For primary homes or investment properties (1-4 units)
  • Cash out refinance available
  • Various loan terms available
  • Down payments can be as low as 5%
  • Seller’s concessions are dependent on down payment

Conventional Plus

With low down payment requirements, help with closing costs, and flexibility with credit scores, a Conventional Plus mortgage is a good option for first-time homebuyers.

  • Down payments as low as 3% for a single family home
  • Down payments as low as 5% for a 2-4 family home
  • 3% seller’s concessions allowed to help pay your closing costs
  • Down Payment Assistance Loan of up to 3% of the home’s purchase price or $3,000, whichever is less

FHA Loans

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are federally insured and their low down payment requirements allow greater flexibility for buyers who may not meet conventional loan guidelines.

  • Fixed and adjustable rate options
  • FHA loans in Central and Western New York are available for up to $356,362
  • Minimum down payment of 3.5%
  • Up to 6% seller’s concessions to help pay your closing costs
  • Allows gift funds to cover down payment and closing costs
  • Primary residence only for FHA loans, but multi-family homes are eligible
  • Streamlined refinance available


The HomeReady program offers an affordable option to both first time and repeat buyers, thanks to low down payments, flexible fund sources, and cancellable mortgage insurance.

home ready mortgage
  • Down payment as low as 3%
  • Income limits based on geographic location
  • Flexible source of funds for down payment and closing costs
  • No minimum contribution required from borrower’s own funds
  • Cancellable mortgage insurance (some restrictions apply)
  • Homeownership education courses required

VA Loans

Available to active duty and retired servicemen and women, U. S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans are federally insured, giving borrowers access to favorable terms.

  • No down payment financing available for eligible veterans
  • Low or no down payment
  • VA loans can only be used for a primary residence only
  • Fixed or adjustable rate options
  • Sellers can pay up to 100% of closing costs for a VA loan
  • VA loans do not require Mortgage Insurance premiums

Follow this link to pay for a VA appraisal online with GRB.

USDA Loans

If your house is in a designated rural area and your income falls within certain limits, a U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan can help your family purchase a home.

  • No down payment financing for qualified applicants
  • Up to 6% seller’s concessions to help pay closing costs on USDA loans
  • Lower Mortgage Insurance requirements than Conventional or FHA loans
  • USDA loans are available for a primary residence only

Jumbo Loans

If you are planning to purchase a larger, more expensive home, you’ll want to consider this special mortgage. Buyers must have strong credit scores and be able to afford larger down payments.

  • Financing for loans of more than $548,250
  • Fixed and adjustable rate options
  • 20% down payment required


In addition to a broad range of government-backed loans, conventional and jumbo loan programs, GRB provides a number of flexible home mortgage options through its portfolio lending program. As a community bank, we understand the limitations of traditional loans and guidelines. Every home buying need is different. At GRB, our portfolio loans provide individual solutions for unique situations.

  • Fixed and Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs)
  • Purchase, refinance and cash-out refinance programs
  • Primary residence, jumbo mortgages, second homes and investment properties
  • Construction draw loans for 13 months
  • Other specialty lending programs

Construction Loans

If you are building a home and need financing throughout the construction process, we can help.

  • Customizable draw schedule
  • Long-term rate lock available
  • End loan can be FHA, VA, Conventional, or Jumbo
  • Fast turnaround

Contact Us

For more information on any of these home loan programs, Contact Us.