A shot at homeownership is an important part of the American dream way of life. Nevertheless, putting together a down payment can be a challenge. Sometimes, though, all it takes for a family to get on the first step is a little boost. In Georgia, the government and various other organizations support home buyers in their endeavor through plans called down payment assistance programs (or DPA) and home grants.
Understandably, a Georgia home grant isn’t open to anyone who comes asking. Only those in the low- to mid-income levels are eligible. Those who make any more wouldn’t need the grant, and aren’t included in these programs.
Georgia home grants and DPA programs work with limited funds
Grants and assistance programs aren’t single-point arrangements. They are run by different organizations that aim their efforts at different kinds of borrowers. Applying to each one requires a separate process. In general, these grants mainly go out to those attempting to buy their first home. While most have no rule that explicitly states that second-home buyers do not qualify, it does usually work out that way in practice; applicants cannot be homeowners in Georgia or elsewhere.
It’s also important to keep in mind that these grants aren’t unlike scholarships — they have limited endowments to work with, which means that only a few borrowers get picked each year. Once you decide on the grants and assistance programs to apply to, you need to act quickly.
Where do you go to apply?
While there are many separate programs, there are some that are very well known: the Opportunity Down Payment Program, the Beltline Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the Affordable Downtown Condos Program, the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, and the Mortgage Assistance Program are all popular are. With a combination of these grants, it’s possible to put together money not only for the down payment on a home, but for close to the entire purchase price. Individual borrowers have collected as much as $90,000.
Do you always have to repay?
Some of these grants are non-repayable, which means that they are actually free money for those on low to medium income levels. Once you find a home that you need to buy, you need to supply 5% or so of the asking price yourself. You can then apply to one of the non-repayable grants.
Once the deal goes through and you have the home to your name, the organizations that the grants came from take out a second mortgage on your home. It isn’t the responsibility of the homeowner to do anything about this second mortgage; it is up to the lender to repay it. The lender will, as long as you continue to stay in the house. Should you ever decide to move out of the house, though, it will fall upon you to begin paying the mortgage back.