Georgia’s rising rent may have you thinking that buying a home might be the cheaper option. A mortgage might be cheaper than your current monthly rent, especially if you feel confident that you can keep up with the other costs of homeownership, like property taxes and insurance.
There’s just one problem: you need enough money to come up with a down payment and other initial costs, and your low income simply doesn’t allow it.
It’s not easy for low-income earners to buy a home, and not just because of the mortgage payment. Things like higher utilities, home repairs and maintenance, and moving expenses also add to the cost, which your dreams even farther out of reach.
But if you live in Georgia, you’ll be glad to know there are a number of helpful programs, mortgage options, and grants designed specifically for low-income earners that can help you overcome some of these financial boundaries.
Best Georgia Loans & Grants for Low-Income Home Buyers
Georgia offers several loan options and grants specifically for Georgia home buyers, many of which are also suited for first-time home buyers. Here are a few of the most common ones:
Georgia Standard Down Payment Assistance
The down payment on a home can be thousands of dollars, which might take you years to save up. The Georgia Standard Down Payment Assistance program offers up to $5,000 in assistance, or up to $7,500 if you qualify for the PEN or Choice programs. The assistance must be repaid when you sell, refinance, or no longer use the home for your primary residence.
If you or a family member that will be living with you is disabled, you may qualify for up to $7,500 in down payment assistance with the Georgia CHOICE program.
The Georgia PEN program is decided for active duty military or veterans, health care providers, educators, and public protectors. If you qualify, you can receive up to $7,500 in the form of a no-interest loan that must be repaid if you sell the home or refinance.
Learn More: Everything You Need to Know About Low-Income Home Loans
Best Federal Mortgage Options for Low-Income Buyers
There are many federal options that can also help to lessen your financial obligations. Take a look at some of the most popular ones:
Veterans, active military, and their surviving spouses could qualify for a VA loan. This loan requires no down payment or mortgage insurance, and interest rates are competitive.
If you’re moving to a rural area, which most of Georgia is, you could qualify for a USDA loan. This loan is attractive because it doesn’t require a down payment, which is a solid answer for low-income home buyers.
If you have decent credit, an FHA loan might be your best option. You only need to put down 3.5% with a credit score of 580. They also consider credit scores as low as 500, but you’ll need to put down 10%.
Learn More: The Complete Guide to FHA Loans By State
Best Private Lender Programs in Georgia for Low-Income Home Buyers
A private lender may provide some of the best cost-saving benefits. Here are a couple of options worth exploring:
Fannie Mae HomeReady
Fannie Mae’s HomeReady mortgage was designed for low or moderate income households. Regardless of whether you’re a first-time or repeat buyer, you may qualify for this option with a credit score of 620 or higher (680 will get better rates). And once you reach 20% equity in your home, you have the option to cancel your mortgage insurance.
Freddie Mac HomeOne and Home Possible
Freddie Mac’s HomeOne mortgage requires just 3% down. Only first-time home buyers are eligible for this mortgage, but only one of the buyers must be a first-time buyer. The Home Possible mortgage is designed for low to moderate income households and also has a low down payment requirement.
Get a Georgia Home Buyer Rebate to Lower Your Costs!
Every home buyer should evaluate their financial options before moving forward with a home purchase. Take time to find the best program that will help you save on your home so that you can say goodbye to rent and hello to home ownership!
The first step is to connect with a top-rated local real estate agent for guidance, both in terms of choosing a reputable lender and mortgage type and with the home-buying process at large. In addition, your agent can also help you to uncover additional cost savings by timing the market, negotiating with sellers, and their own professional network. Since the seller usually pays the agent commissions, you’re getting these services essentially for free.
Working with a Clever Partner Agent gives you savings right off the bat in the form of a $1,000 Home Buyer Rebate! You can use this money to help with the down payment, cover closing costs, or even moving expenses.
Learn More: How to Get a Home Buyer Rebate
Connect with Clever today for a no-obligation consultation and start looking for your new Georgia home!