Hi Nick...the City of NY has a great program for first time homebuyers if you purchase in one of the burroughs. It's through a city governement agency called NYC HPD. You can't make more than a certain amount based on household size. But they will help you pay for a downpayment in wither a forgivable loan or grant (free $ essentially). They do require everyone that uses the program to take a homebuyer education class though. Here's the website: http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/buyers/downpayment.shtml
there is also more information on this website as far as the classes, where they are located and homebuyer tips. The classes fill up quickly I am told.
Also the state of NY has a great program through SONYMA (state of NY mortgage agency) that works all over the state of NY including NYC. That's what I got when I bought my first home...I am not in NYC. I practiced real estate for 8 years in NY so I like to think a know at least a little about this. Here's SONYMA's website: www.nyhomes.org. They also have income requirements depending on household size and where you are. They don't require a class. Also make sure you work with a GOOD real estate agent and mortgage person. Most of the major banks use the state and city programs like HSBC, Chase, WAMU, M & T etc. It's a buyer's market so you can really negotiate your price but the mortgage market still sucks. CHeck your credit reports/scores on your own to make sure there aren't any erroros or if there are any outstanding items that you should be taking care of. This can greatly affect your interest rate. The Federal government has made it harder these days to get a good loan. YOu can thank the shady lenders out there for this one. Try to stay away from subprime loans like 80/20's, interest only or ARMS...another reason why our mortgage market stinks so badly in the US. Go with a fixed rate, preferrably without PMI (private mortgage insurance) however these are more common if you use a state program. But then again, you do have a good amount of $ to put down and may not even need to use a first time homebuyer program. My area of NY is much different than yours however. $500k is average for a teeny apartment where here I can buy a huge luxury home with land! :) Check with your banks and make sure to ask them about any first time homebuyer programs that they offer. Many banks often offer their programs as well! Be careful how many times your credit is checked as well. Some banks will run it several times...even if you are just shopping. I hate that!
I hope this helps! DW