Buying a home for the first time can be a daunting, yet rewarding experience. Fortunately, there are existing first-time home buyer programs that provide financial assistance for various needs and circumstances.
Whether you are looking for a loan, down payment assistance, or building from the ground up, there are many federal, state and local agencies that have programs in place that specifically help and are designed for first-time homebuyers.
Federal Programs for First-Time Homebuyers
FHA loans are property loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (as part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – HUD), for low-income borrowers or those with credit scores as low as 580.
With FHA loans, a down payment on a home can be as low as 3.5% of the final purchase price. FHA loans also commonly have a lower interest rates, and could possibly be structured to assist you with closing costs, however, there are often caps on how much you can borrow, and the guidelines are often more strict than other available assistance programs. In addition, The Zero Down Payment Act protects qualified FHA insured families from having to provide a down payment on their first homes as well.
Habitat for Humanity
A non-profit, Christian (nondenominational) organization, Habitat for Humanity, assists low-income families and/or individuals with purchasing and building homes. Recipients are chosen according to their need, their ability to work for Habitat for Humanity in the future, and their capability to repay their no-profit, no-interest mortgage. Mortgages of varying lengths are available for first-time homebuyers, as well.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Guaranty Service is a long-term assistance program specifically designed for military veterans, active members of U.S. armed services, and widows or widowers of veterans. This is a widely used form of private-lending for first-time homeowners assistance, and, in some instances, qualifies the borrower for a zero percent down payment.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Housing & Community Facilities Program
Farmers or first-time buyers looking for homes in rural areas can gain financial assistance with this program. The program can provide as much as a 90% loan guarantee to lenders, and even includes repairs and home rehabilitation, refinancing, energy efficiency incentives, and property management assistance.
Georgia First-Time Homebuyers Programs
Georgia Dream Homeownership Program
This state sponsored program offers qualifying first-time homebuyers down payment assistance. There are price caps on qualifying homes, and all borrowers must meet certain income criteria.
HOME Atlanta 4.0
HOME Atlanta 4.0 offers a long-term fixed interest rate with a forgivable 5% grant which in turn helps with both the down payment and closing costs for first-time home buyers. After closing, the grant is forgiven. This program requires a sturdy credit score of 640, a 45% debt-to-income ratio, and a partial ($1500) payment on closing costs.
Atlanta Affordable Homeownership Program (AAHOP)
The Atlanta Affordable Homeownership Program (AAHOP) gives home buyers two options. The first option allows for $10,000 towards the down payment and/or closing cost. After five years of living in the home, the money is fully forgivable. The second option doubles the price to $20,000, which is forgivable after ten years of living in the home.
Those looking to see which Atlanta-based first-time homebuyer assistance programs they qualify for can visit AtlantaDownPaymentAssistance.com today.
If you'd like more information on buying your first home and the programs available to first-time home buyers, contact The Atlanta Homes. We have years of experience helping first-time buyers just like yourself!