First Time Home Buyer Georgia: Incentives Programs And Grants
Buying your first home is an exhilarating and exciting experience. There are many benefits and incentives that can be found for first time home buyers in Georgia. Before setting out to make a purchase, be sure to take a look at some of these popular programs so you can get the most out of your experience. In many cases, you can find additional assistance and even save a lot of money by using these programs.
As a first time home buyer, you should utilize the incentives that the FHA has to offer. The FHA is in business strictly to help people purchase their first home. By using this program, first time home buyers can take advantage of lower interest rates, lower down payments, easier credit qualifying, and even lower closing costs. In fact, through this program, your down payment can be as low as 3.5 percent of the purchase price of the home. All of these incentives will save you money up front as well as in the long run. You can find more about the government program here.
Georgia Dream Home-Ownership Plan
VA Loan Program
American Dream Down-payment Assistance Initiative
U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Housing and Community Facilities Program
Tax Credits in Georgia
The Homebuyercom Forgivable Mortgage
The Homebuyer.com forgivable mortgage is a mortgage that behaves like a housing grant. Approved buyers receive cash for a down payment of up to 5% of their purchase price with no interest charged and repayment required.
Not everyone is eligible for the Homebuyer.com forgivable mortgage. At a minimum, recipients must have average credit ratings, qualify for an FHA loan, and agree to accept a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Buyers may also be required to attend a 1-hour online educational seminar.
Check your eligibility for the forgivable mortgage here.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage today.
The $25000 Downpayment Toward Equity Program Expected In 2022
In 2021, Congress introduced a bill titled The Downpayment Toward Equity Act, a home buyer grant for first-generation home buyers with extra grant money available to renters with socially or economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
The Downpayment Toward Equity Act awards up to $25,000 so renters can buy their first home. Grant monies can be used to make a down payment, pay for closing costs, lower your mortgage rate by using discount points, and cover other expenses, too.
Check your eligibility for the $25,000 Grant.
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State And Local Government Grants
Some state and local governments sponsor housing grants for qualified first-time buyers. Grant sizes start at $500. Monies can be applied toward closing costs, mortgage rate reduction, or a down payment.
Many local housing grants require buyers to meet minimum credit standards and earn a household income within a specific, lower-income range.
To qualify for a state or local housing grant, find your municipalitys public-facing website, search for housing assistance or housing grants, and review your local program requirements.
See if you qualify here.
Georgia Assistance Eligibility Requirements
In addition to being a first-time homebuyermeaning you havent owned a home in at least the past three yearsthese are some of the qualifications you must meet to receive homebuyer assistance in Georgia:
- Your income must not exceed set limits, which vary by county and size of household.
- Youll need a of 640 in most cases.
- You cant have a debt-to-income ratio above 50%.
- Your liquid assets must not exceed more than $20,000 or 20% of the houses sales pricewhichever is greater.
- Your homes sales price must not exceed the limit stated by the county.
- You must complete a homeowner education workshop, individual housing counseling session, or online homebuyer education course to land a mortgage or receive down payment assistance.
- You must choose a participating lender from the programs list.
- Youll need to contribute a minimum of $1,000 of your money to the purchase transaction.
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The Georgia Dream Pen Down Payment Loan
The Georgia Dream PEN down payment loan also offers a 0% interest, no down payment second mortgage. It provides $7,500 if you work in an eligible profession. As with the standard down payment loan, it needs to be repaid when you sell or refinance your home or if you no longer live there.
- You must work in 1 of the following professions:
- Protectors. Police department and correctional employees, firefighters , EMS, DMV employees, service members and civil servants working for a military base.
- Educators. School employees, including bus drivers.
- Nurses and other healthcare workers. Hospital employees, dental and medical office employees, lab and pharmacy technicians, home healthcare workers, assisted living employees, Red Cross employees, public health workers and others in similar professions.
The Georgia Dream Hardest Hit Fund
The Georgia Dream Hardest Hit Fund helps 1st-time home buyers purchase homes in areas that have experienced economic challenges. It offers $15,000 per household as a forgivable loan with no interest and no monthly payments. The loan is forgiven after 5 years and the funds can be used for down payments and closing costs.
- You must buy an existing home in one of the following counties:
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What To Know About Buying A House In Georgia
As a Georgia first-time home buyer, you have lots of great resources available to you. The Peach State offers some assistance in the form of home buyer education courses and counseling. And, better yet, you could be in line for cash assistance to help cover your down payment and closing cost needs.
Heres how to get started.
In this article
Georgia Dream Homeownership Program Protectors Educators And Nurses Loan
While the Georgia Dream Homeownership Program is the standard program, the PEN Loan provides help to homebuyers in specific occupations. This program is offered to public protectors, including military servicemen, policemen and firefighters educators, like teachers and childcare providers and health care personnel from nurses to doctors. A bonus: You dont have to be a first-time homebuyer to apply.
In this case, homebuyers may qualify for up to $7,500 in down payment assistance in a 0% interest second mortgage loan. You wont have to pay this funding back until you sell or finance your property.
Check out more about the Georgia Dream PEN Program.
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Statewide Homeownership Assistance Programs
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs offers a series of statewide assistance programs that are worth exploring for first-time homeowners.
The programs differ but there are overarching requirements, specifically being from a low- to moderate income household and purchasing a home within price limits. Additionally, the property must be your principal residence.
These programs are available across all Georgia counties. Individuals must complete a homebuyers education course or individual counseling sessions for approval.
Gwinnett County Georgia Homestretch Down Payment Assistance
- 5-year Forgivable grant of $7500.00 for homes in very good condition in Gwinnett County.
- Must live in home for 5 full years for the grant to be forgiven. Every year the Owner Occupant lives in the home, the $7500 is reduced by 20% per year.
- Must Register with Gwinnett County Community Development Program AFTER being pre-approved with a Gwinnett County Homestretch Lender. Applicant must bring a Pre-Approval letter to Gwinnett Homestretch One Justice Square, 446 West Crogan St, Suite 275, Lawrenceville GA 30046 to begin the process.
- Income below 80% of area average
- Maximum Household Income for 1-person = $41,900, 2-person = $47,900, 3-person = $53,900, 4-person = $59,850, 5-person = $64,650, 6-person = $69,450, 7-person = $74,250, 8-person = $79,050
- For First time home buyer only. (Anyone who has NOT owned a home for the most recent 3-years.
- Allowable loan programs are Conventional, FHA and VA.
- Fixed rate only, NO adjustable rates are allowed on any loan programs.
- No Renovation loans allowed.
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Who Qualifies As A First
The definition for a first-time homeowner in Georgia is as straightforward as it gets: Any family or individual who has never owned a home.
However, youre also considered a first-time homebuyer if you havent owned a home in the last three years, according to some programs. If youre close to the three-year mark, it may be worth waiting so you can take advantage of these programs to help you with your home purchase.
As always, when doing your research, read the fine print and refer to limitations listed below.
The Georgia Dream Standard Down Payment Loan
The Georgia Dream Standard down payment loan offers a second mortgage you can use for your down payment and closing costs. The standard loan amount is $5,000. Its a 0% loan with no monthly payment. It doesnt have to be repaid until you sell or refinance the property or no longer use it as a primary residence.
- You must get a mortgage through the Georgia Dream Homeownership Program and meet all of the programs requirements.
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Why You Can Trust Bankrate
Founded in 1976, Bankrate has a long track record of helping people make smart financial choices. Weve maintained this reputation for over four decades by demystifying the financial decision-making process and giving people confidence in which actions to take next.
Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that were putting your interests first. All of our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts, who ensure everything we publish is objective, accurate and trustworthy.
Our mortgage reporters and editors focus on the points consumers care about most the latest rates, the best lenders, navigating the homebuying process, refinancing your mortgage and more so you can feel confident when you make decisions as a homebuyer and a homeowner.
Within Reach Fha Down Payment Assistance Grant For All Georgia Counties
- Provides up to 4% in down payment assistance in ALL Georgia Counties for FHA Loans.
- Down Payment Assistance grant of 3% or 4% is forgiven after 36 months of on-time mortgage payments.
- Buyer does not need to be first time Home Buyer.
- Origination fee 2% for FHA and USDA. 1% Origination fee for VA Loans.
- Must be primary residence, no Investors.
- 1003 Income for Borrower only. Household income not required for 140% HUD Median Income for County if loan is approved for individual Borrower limit is based on qualifying income used for the transaction not Household income.
- Stick built homes or manufactured homes allowed for Government Agency loans .
- 1-4 Units allowed, SFR, Double Wide Mobile Homes, Duplexes, Triplexes, Quadraplexes.
- Buyer may own other properties in some cases.
- Non-Owner Occupant Co-Borrowers ARE allowed.
- 30-year fixed term.
- Borrower may have an ownership interest in other under certain conditions. .
- Home Buyer Education required before Closing.
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Closing Cost Assistance Programs For Home Buyers
Closing cost assistance programs are home buyer stimulus plans that pay up to 100% of a buyers purchase closing costs, including title expenses, transfer taxes, and mortgage fees.
Typically, home buyers apply for closing cost assistance through their local housing agency, separate from their lender. You can look up your states housing agency on the National Council of State Housing Agencies website. The buyer and the home must meet the agencys minimum quality standards.
Closing cost assistance programs target lower-income home buyers with average credit scores, at least.
The first step towards getting closing cost assistance is getting pre-approved.
Georgia Dream Program Highlights And Eligibility Requirements
A wide range of mortgage options exist for first-time home buyers through the Georgia Dream program, including 30-year fixed-rate Federal Housing Administration , Veterans Affairs and U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development loans with low down payment requirements, or conventional home loans with a 20% down payment. There are several ways to qualify for down payment assistance.
Prepared borrowers usually close in about 60 days.
Most first-time home buyers receive down payment assistance.
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Homebuyer Programs By Location In Georgia
While statewide programs can give you a leg up as you get onto the property ladder, there are plenty of local homebuyer assistance programs across Georgia that are worth researching.
The programs are a mixed bag the majority are exclusively for first-time homebuyers or anyone who hasnt owned a home in the past three years, while a few shift the focus to any homebuyers who are from a lower-income bracket. Read more for our full rundown of local programs.
Home Price Trends In Georgias Major Areas
Home prices in Georgia have risen significantly over the past year, up more than 10% in most counties in the Atlanta area, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. In Fulton County, home to the capital city of Atlanta, home prices have risen 11.2% over the past year, with the median home value hitting $414,909. That translates to an average mortgage payment of $1,574, up from $1,457 year over year. In Muscogee County, home to Georgias second-largest city of Columbus, median home prices are up 7.4% year over year, to $155,447. This translates to a monthly mortgage payment of $590, up from $566 a year ago.
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Making The Georgia Homeownership Dream A Reality
As a first-time homebuyer, youre in a very special position. The state gives you access to unique programs that arent available to other homebuyers. This extra boost can help you clear financial obstacles that wouldve made homeownership impossible.
So whats the best starting point? Research! Keep reading about the available options, learn the qualifications for each program, and master the basics of home financing. The more you know, the sooner youll find yourself in your Georgia dream home.
Ready To Buy A Home In Georgia
Whether youre shopping for a home in Atlanta or scoping out properties in Macon, there is no shortage of housing options in the sunny Peach State. Georgias real estate market is thriving with every kind of housing option you can think of from manufactured homes to waterfront houses, golf course communities, new condos and family-friendly townhomes.
And wherever you decide to put down roots in Georgia, there are multiple programs to help you secure your home purchase.
Check out more listings across the state of Georgia and follow us on social media for more home shopping tips and tricks!
The links on this site were researched by NewHomeSource. This is as cohesive a list as possible. Individual homebuyers should contact entities to fully understand requirements and processes.
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We Dekalb Down Payment Assistance Program
Approved Homebuyers will receive a 30-year fixed rate mortgage and a Non-repayable down payment grant equal to 3% or 4% FHA / VA – 4% or 5% for Conventional of the initial principle balance of the mortgage. The amount of assistance depends on the selected mortgage rate. The grant can be used for down payment and/or the closing costs.
- Maximum Qualifying Income $81,900 and $95,600
- Eligible types of loans are Freddie Mac Advantage, FHA, VA and FHA 203K Streamline Renovation Loan .
- No maximum loan amount overlay. Standard Agency guidelines apply.
- Maximum Household 1003 for 1-2-person households = $81,000, 3 or more HHLD income = $94,500
- 5% of total Loan Amount forgiven at Closing table
- Minimum FICO score is 660 for FHA and 640 for Conventional financing.
- Maximum Debt-to-Income ratio is 44.9%
- No First Time Buyer requirement
- Owner Occupied only-No Investment properties
- Property must be located within West Dekalb County
- New or Existing 1-4 units detached or attached SFR, condo’s, townhouses.
- No prepayment penalty.
- Construction to Perm NOT permitted
Consumer Credit Counseling Service First Time Home Buyer Workshop
Georgia’s Consumer Credit Counseling Service helps first-time homebuyers by providing free, one-on-one homebuying counseling sessions that explain the mortgage process and what goes into owning a home.
First-time homebuyer assistance programs and/or grants were researched by the team at FHA.com. Please note that all programs listed on this website may involve a second mortgage with payments that are forgiven, deferred, or subsidized in some manner until resale of the mortgaged property.
FHA.com’s compilation is not a complete list, but it can serve as a starting point in your search for the down payment assistance program or grant for your situation. It is up to the consumer to contact these entities and find out the specifics of each program.
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Down Payment Assistance Mortgages
Down payment assistance mortgages are loans that replace a home buyers typical cash down payment with borrowed money at favorable terms.
Access to down payment money at below-market mortgage rates is one form of down payment assistance. Instead of making a down payment using cash from a bank account, home buyers borrow money from a bank at 1 percent with ten years to pay it back.
Deferred mortgages are another form of home buyer down payment assistance.
A deferred mortgage is a loan that requires no repayment while you still live in the house that you bought. You repay the deferred mortgage only when you sell your home or refinance it.
For example, lets say you borrow $25,000 for a down payment using a deferred mortgage and choose to sell in five years because your homes value doubled. After your closing, you pay the $25,000 back to the lender and keep the rest of the profit for yourself.
Typically, down payment assistance mortgages are available through local foundations and municipal governments only. Theyre often limited to first-time buyers whose income falls below area averages and whose credit history shows a decent record of on-time payments. Learn more about down payment assistance programs.
Find out if youre eligible here.