First Time Home Buyer Programs

By Alex

Author: Alex Delaney

2nd in our “How to Buy a Home” series

Homeownership is often touted as the American Dream. It is a great way to build wealth for your family. Yet many people think it is just a dream and they will never be able to access this important wealth building tool. But that isn’t necessarily true. You may not be in the position to purchase a home now. But you can set your goal and work toward it. Stay tuned for our on-going series on How to Buy a Home.

One of the quickest ways to put yourself in a position to buy a home is to go through a First Time Home Buyer Program.  Georgia has the Georgia Dream program that allows you to purchase a home even if you don’t have a 20% down payment.

How to Qualify for the Georgia Dream program in Metro Atlanta:

1) Must be a first-time home buyer, or not have owned a home in 3 years, or you must purchase a home in a specific area.

2) Cannot have liquid assets exceeding $20,000, or 20% of the sale price (whichever is greater).

3) Must meet credit requirements for a mortgage loan, generally a 640 minimum credit score.

4) Must be able to invest at least $1,000.

5) Metro counties household limits: 1-2 persons: income cannot exceed $84,000, 3 or more persons: income cannot exceed $96,000. (The limits are slightly lower in other Georgia counties).

6) Metro counties’ purchase price cannot exceed $250,000. Other counties have a $200,000 limit.

What does the Georgia Dream program provide:

1) Down payment assistance, normally $5,000, $7,500 for protectors, educators and nurses, (PEN program) as well as family members living with a disability, (Choice program).

2) Required homebuyer education workshop, or individual housing counseling sessions, or an online homebuyer education course.

3) Affordable mortgage rates.

If you are interested in starting the path to homeownership, visit Georgia Dream.  If your credit score is too low, don’t give up! The Georgia Department of Community Affairs provides education and assistance in how to increase your credit score, how to budget, and other relevant training that will assist you on your road to homeownership. We will also be covering each of these issues. Watch for more installments of this new blog series on our website.