Georgia Down Payment Assistance

Georgia is known for pecans, vidalia onions, and, of course, peaches. It's no wonder that many people want to live in this beautiful state. Rising house prices can make home ownership in Georgia difficult, however. Luckily, local and national programs exist that offer down payment assistance and grants to qualified applicants. The Department of Community Affairs is one organization that offers such programs.

If you're thinking about purchasing a home in Georgia, you may have options to help with the down payment or closing costs. Click on any program below to learn more and see if it can help with your home purchase!

Georgia Dream Homeownership Program

The Georgia Dream Homeownership Program is offered by the Department of Community Affairs and provides down payment assistance, mortgage loans, and homebuying education. Eligible applicants can receive as much as $5,000 in down payment assistance. Other applicants may be able to receive as much as $7,500 if they qualify for the PEN or CHOICE programs.

This is a loan that must be paid back when the property is sold, refinanced, transferred, or is no longer the applicant’s primary residence.

Borrowers must be first-time homebuyers who are buying a house in one of the target areas. They also have to be able to provide at least $1,000 towards the purchase from their own funds.

Household income and purchase price limits depend on location. As of 2020, these limits are as follows:

For Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Heard, Henry, Jasper, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Rockdale, Spalding, or Walton counties:

Purchase Price Limit: $250,000

Total Household Income Limits:

1-2 people: $69,000

3+ people: $79,500

For other areas:

Purchase Price Limit: $200,000

Total Household Income Limits:

1-2 people: $59,500

3+ people: $68,500

PEN

PEN is offered by the Department of Community Affairs and provides down payment assistance, mortgage loans, and homebuying education. Eligible applicants can receive as much as $7,500 in down payment assistance. Other applicants may be able to receive as much as $5,000.

This is a loan that must be paid back when the property is sold, refinanced, transferred, or is no longer the applicant’s primary residence.

Borrowers must be first-time homebuyers who are buying a house in one of the target areas. They also have to be able to provide at least $1,000 towards the purchase from their own funds. In order to qualify for the PEN program, the applicant must be a public protector, educator, health care worker, active military service member, or a member of the National Guard. This includes police, sheriff’s, highway patrol, probation, EMS, correctional or fire department employees, including volunteer firefighters; school employees; and state-licensed health facility employees, including hospitals, health departments, doctors’ offices, dentists’ offices, or nursing homes.

Household income and purchase price limits depend on location. As of 2020, these limits are as follows:

For Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Heard, Henry, Jasper, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Rockdale, Spalding, or Walton counties:

Purchase Price Limit: $250,000

Total Household Income Limits:

1-2 people: $69,000

3+ people: $79,500

For other areas:

Purchase Price Limit: $200,000

Total Household Income Limits:

1-2 people: $59,500

3+ people: $68,500

CHOICE

CHOICE is offered by the Department of Community Affairs and provides down payment assistance, mortgage loans, and homebuying education. Eligible applicants can receive as much as $7,500 in down payment assistance. Other applicants may be able to receive as much as $5,000.

This is a loan that must be paid back when the property is sold, refinanced, transferred, or is no longer the applicant’s primary residence.

Borrowers must be first-time homebuyers who are buying a house in one of the target areas. They also have to be able to provide at least $1,000 towards the purchase from their own funds. In order to qualify for the CHOICE program, the applicant must be disabled or have a disabled family member who is a part of their household.

Household income and purchase price limits depend on location. As of 2020, these limits are as follows:

For Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Heard, Henry, Jasper, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Rockdale, Spalding, or Walton counties:

Purchase Price Limit: $250,000

Total Household Income Limits:

1-2 people: $69,000

3+ people: $79,500

For other areas:

Purchase Price Limit: $200,000

Total Household Income Limits:

1-2 people: $59,500

3+ people: $68,500

Homestretch Down Payment Assistance Program

Created by the Gwinnett County Government, the Homestretch Down Payment Assistance Program offers up to $7,500 to qualified borrowers. This is a deferred-payment loan with 0% interest and a five-year term. The principal of this loan is reduced 20% every year.

In order to qualify, a borrower must be a first-time homebuyer, have a minimum credit score of 640, and have a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 43%. Borrowers must also complete 8 hours of approved homebuyer education.

Eligible properties must be located in Gwinnet County and be the borrower’s primary residence. They must also be a single-family detached house or townhouse.

Purchase price limits for 2020 are as follows:

Existing home: $165,000

New construction: $228,000

The house must undergo an inspection. If it does not pass, either the seller or the buyer can offer to pay for the repairs.

As of 2020, the total annual household income limits are:

1 person household: $39,050
2 person household: $44,600
3 person household: $50,200
4 person household: $55,750
5 person household: $60,250
6 person household: $64,700
7 person household: $69,150
8 person household: $73,600

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