Monday, April 14, 2014

Gwinnett County Down Payment Assistance Program Changes Announced

Gwinnett County announced a few changes to their HOMEStretch Down Payment Assistance program last week.  Most notable among them is the change in the maximum purchase price allowed for the purchase of existing properties.  Credit and income-eligible first time home buyers (those who have not owned a property over the past three years) may now be able to use the HOMEStretch program to obtain an interest and monthly payment-free loan of $7500 for the down payment and closing costs toward their purchase of a resale property in Gwinnett County for owner-occupancy priced up to $128,250, an increase of over $4700.  As of this writing, 152 existing single-family properties and 105 attached existing properties showed as available at TheAtlantaHomePages.com.*

The maximum purchase price for new construction properties under the HOMEStretch Program remains at $195,614.  As of this writing, 44 attached new-construction properties and 36 single-family new construction properties were displayed as available for purchase in Gwinnett County at TheAtlantaHomePages.com.*

The county asks that the buyer already be under contract before their required one-on-one meeting with the county and other changes also apply.  Buyers with interests in the use of this program should trust their search to an informed, experienced agent.  Call or write today for more information on the Gwinnett County HOMEStretch Down Payment Assistance Program or other Metro Atlanta Down Payment Assistance Programs.  Like the Metro Atlanta Down Payment Assistance Facebook Page to stay informed of changes in Metro Atlanta Down Payment Assistance Programs.

Solomon Greene
Georgia Real Estate Brokers Associate
REALTOR® Certified Affordable Housing Counselor
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners
http://www.AtlantaDownPaymentAssistance.com
(678) 775-2677

*This IDX solution combines both FMLS and Georgia MLS into one display and, therefore, may show the same property multiple times.  For availability please cal Solomon today.

Monday, March 10, 2014

More 100% Financing Options for US Veterans

Several home ownership opportunities are available to armed forces personnel.  One program offers specific properties that have been purchased, restored, and returned to market exclusively for honorably discharged military veterans accompanied by thousands of dollars in down payment assistance funds.  Another one through the State of Georgia offers $7,500 in down payment assistance to help those who proudly serve or served acquire their first property for owner occupancy.  And of course, many veterans know about the 100% financing program available through VA.

A new down payment assistance program has recently become available to veterans that helps with their down payment, closing costs, even repairs on a property being purchased for owner-occupancy.  Credit and income-eligible vets or their surviving spouse may now qualify for an interest and monthly-payment free loan of up to $10,000 that helps them with closing costs, repairs and / or the down payment.  They needn’t be first-time home buyers and the eligible properties include…

• One – two four family properties
• Townhomes
• Condominiums
• Manufactured properties
• Mobile homes
• New construction properties

If the VA Mortgage or other programs are not the best options at this time, please call (678) 775-2677 today for more information on this down payment assistance program.  Stay informed of changes in Down Payment Assistance by liking Metro Atlanta Downpayment Assistance on Facebook.

Solomon Greene
Georgia Real Estate Brokers Associate
REALTOR®, Certified Affordable Housing Counselor
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners
http://www.AtlantaDownpaymentAssistance.com
(678) 775-2677

Monday, February 3, 2014

Down Payment Assistance for Non First-time Home Buyers

Credit and income-eligible buyers employed in law-enforcement, education, healthcare, fire and/or emergency in Metro Atlanta may qualify for an interest and monthly payment-free loan of up to $7,500 toward the purchase of a home priced up to $320,850.  Proceeds from the Community Partners Program may be used for the down payment and closing costs toward their purchase of a new or existing, single or (a unit of a) multiple family property anywhere in Metro Atlanta by matching the borrower’s contribution up to $1,875. 

Like the Federal First-time Home Buyer program, the loan is forgiven over the first five-year period of continued occupancy provided the borrower does not refinance.  Unlike the first-time home buyer program, however, this mortgage is open to those who have owned a home within the past three years.

Household income limits apply:

1-person:  $36,050
2-person:  $41,200
3-person:  $46,350
4-person:  $51,500

Please call (678) 775-2677 about income limits for families with members greater than four or for questions about buying a home in Metro Atlanta.  Also stay informed of updates in local down payment assistance programs by liking Metro Atlanta Down Payment Assistance on Facebook.  Search for your next new home at TheAtlantaHomePages.com.

Solomon Greene
Georgia Real Estate Brokers Associate
REALTOR®, Certified Affordable Housing Counselor
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners
http://www.AtlantaDownPaymentAssistance.com
(678) 775-2677 

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year, New Down Payment Assistance Income Limits

Happy 2014 to one and all! 

Multiple local down payment assistance administrators have advised of changes in the maximum household incomes allowed for participation in their programs in 2014.

80% of the Area Median Income


• Federal Down Payment Assistance Program – FHLB
• Invest Atlanta – Atlanta Affordable Homeownership Program (AAHOP)
• Gwinnett County – HOMEStretch
• Dekalb County First-Time Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance Program
• Fulton County – Home Ownership Program (HOP)

Household Members Maximum Household Income
Single-person:
$ 36,050
Two-person:
$ 41,200
Three-person:
$ 46,350
Four-person:
$ 51,500

115% of the Area Median Income

• Invest Atlanta - Neighborhood Lift with FHA Mortgages (while available)

Household Members Maximum Household Income
Single-person:
$ 51,850
Two-person:
$ 59,250
Three-person:
$ 66,650
Four-person:
$ 74,050

120% of the Area Median Income

• Local Neighborhood Stabilization Programs
• Invest Atlanta - Neighborhood Lift with Conventional Mortgage

Household Members Maximum Household Income
Single-person:
$ 54,150
Two-person:
$ 61,850
Three-person:
$ 69,600
Four-person:
$ 77,300

 

140% of the Area Median Income

• Home Atlanta 4.0

Household Members Maximum Household Income
Single-person:
$ 63,100
Two-person:
$ 72,100
Three-person:
$ 81,100
Four-person:
$ 90,100

Please call (678) 775-2677 today for more information, including income limits for larger households.  Stay informed of these and other changes by liking Metro Atlanta Down Payment Assistance on Facebook.

Solomon Greene
Georgia Real Estate Brokers Associate
REALTOR®, REALTIST®
Certified Affordable Housing Counselor
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners
http://www.AtlantaDownpaymentAssistance.com
(678) 775-2677
 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Make an Impression on the Mortgage Lender Right from the Start

Callers have advised repeatedly that their loan officers became aloof, disengaged and somewhat annoyed after having declined their application for a mortgage.  Many loan officers are prohibited from coaching a borrower on the actions needed in order for a mortgage application to be approved, so loan officers often avoid further interactions with the borrower rather than risk violating that rule.  Attendance at a home buying class can help potential home buyers make their best impression on the lender right from the start and provide some badly needed peace-of-mind about the process too.

 

Subjects Typically Covered


Fair Housing – Practitioners in the housing market must comply with rules set forth in the Fair Housing Act.  Know what actions and words are prohibited under this act, where to file a claim in Metro Atlanta and more in this informative session.

Budgeting and Money Management – In addition to the monthly mortgage payment, the homeowner’s budget often includes allowances for homeowner’s association dues, maintenance, utilities and more.  Learn how to plan for these expenses, when they may apply and more.

Credit and Credit Reports – Make the best impression on the lender right from the start.  Learn how to obtain one’s credit reports, how they are evaluated, how to correct errors and avoid scams.

Mortgage Loan Process from App to Closing – Hear directly from a loan officer about the documents required to apply for a mortgage, the loan products available, typical timelines and down payment assistance programs.  In addition, find out about escrow accounts and how to arrive at an estimated monthly mortgage payment that includes homeowner’s insurance and property taxes

Working with Real Estate Agents – The agent’s roles in the home buying process are often quite different from those in the mind of the home buyer.  Hear about the value that an experienced agent adds to the home buying process, the required disclosures and Metro Atlanta-specific home search strategies directly from a licensed local real estate agent.   

Home buying classes are required for those with interests in the use of down payment assistance or 100% financing through USDA Mortgages.  The transaction must usually close within one year of the class completion date, but some Invest Atlanta programs require that settlements occur within six months.  The classes are available online for some of the programs and at venues throughout Metro Atlanta at fees ranging from $35 to $60.

 

In Summary


From reductions in FHA loan limits to new mortgage insurance premium requirements, change is clearly the one constant in Metro Atlanta’s housing market.  Savvy first-time home buyers and previous owners alike often prepare themselves for the uncertainty ahead by investing in a home buying class.  Call (678) 775-2677 to find out more about HUD-certified housing counseling agencies today.  Stay informed of changes in Metro Atlanta Down Payment Assistance Programs by liking the Facebook Page.

Solomon Greene
Georgia Real Estate Brokers Associate
Certified Affordable Housing Counselor
REALTOR®, REALTIST®
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners
http://www.AtlantaDownpaymentAssistance.com
(678) 775-2677

Friday, November 15, 2013

Preparing to Buy After the First of the Year

Several callers have advised this week of their intention to buy after the first of the year, and wisely sought guidance early in the start of that process.  In so doing, they gained valuable insight into the development of a reasonable action plan to achieve their goal of homeownership and some of peace of mind that they were on track to achieve that goal within a given timeframe.  So what was involved in those discussions?  What can prospective home buyers be doing now to ease their path to homeownership in 2014?  Some of the most important discussion points are covered below.

 

Check the Credit Reports


Patients often put more focus and effort behind brushing, flossing and rinsing just before their dental appointments so that their teeth make the best presentation at that time.  Likewise, buyers who plan to use a mortgage in their property purchase should take action to insure that their credit histories make the most favorable impression when the time arrives to apply for a mortgage.  Consider reviewing the consumer credit reports available with the three reporting agencies for accuracy while there’s time and dispute any errors right away.  Please remember to close those disputes before applying for a mortgage.

 

Gather Tax Returns


Lenders may request all pages of signed tax returns for up to three years back in order to fully underwrite the mortgage.  Further, if the loan application is presented in February 2014, the signed 2013 tax return will also likely be requested.  These tax returns will be within reach for many.  For others, however, it might be best to request tax transcripts for the missing years directly from the IRS and that process could take a few weeks.

 

Gift Funds


Borrowers, including those who are interested in the use of down payment assistance programs, will be asked to contribute funds toward the transaction and should expect the lender to review up to three months of financial statements to confirm that they are available.  If these funds are being borrowed, gifted or obtained from a source other than regular income or savings, it may be in the borrower’s best interest to have those funds showing as available in their personal accounts at least 91 days prior to making mortgage application.  While obtaining gift funds for the down payment is often permitted within the 90-day window, the process can be intrusive for both the borrower and giver. 

 

Home Buying Class


HUD-certified home buying classes available throughout Metro Atlanta are often required of those who plan to obtain down payment assistance.  Some of them require that the certificate be obtained within six months of closing while others are recognized for up to one year.  At any rate, classes tend to fill in quickly, so consider registering to attend an eight-hour class early and have the certificate ready to take full advantage of the various local programs.

 

In Summary


Planning ahead can help limit surprises and ease the path to home ownership in Metro Atlanta.  Please call (678) 775-2677 or write today for more information on home buying classes, down payment assistance or other ways to prepare for home ownership in 2014.  Stay informed of changes in local down payment assistance programs by liking Metro Atlanta Down Payment Assistance on Facebook.  Search for your next Metro Atlanta Home at Metro Atlanta MLS.

Monday, October 7, 2013

For Those Who Want to Buy, but Haven't Enough for the Down Payment

“I am so tired of renting.” 


So read the subject lines of messages that frequently arrive through email. Most of these individuals have a decent credit history and a little money saved, but not enough for the down payment and closing costs required to buy a property. Fortunately, many of them provide legitimate telephone numbers, answer their phones and learn of real alternatives to dealing with unresponsive apartment management teams and inconsiderate neighbors.

 

Here’s what they learn. 


Funds are available in Metro Atlanta to help first-time home buyers with incomes at up to 140% of the Metro Atlanta area median with their down payment and closing costs. That means that a qualified single-person household earning up to $64,974 may be eligible for up to $17,312 in down payment assistance to purchase a property inside the Atlanta City Limits under contract at up to $346,250, the maximum mortgage limit available in the metro area. A qualified single-person household earning up to 149% of the area median income ($69,000) may be eligible for up to $7,500 in down payment assistance to purchase a Metro Atlanta property outside the Atlanta City Limits under contract for up to $252,000.

 

What it Means


The down payment typically required of most borrowers on an FHA mortgage is 3.5% of the agreed-upon sales price and additional funds will be required for an appraisal, earnest money deposits, inspections and other closing costs. But most qualified Metro Atlanta borrowers buying outside the Atlanta City Limits are eligible for assistance through an interest and monthly payment-free second mortgage of around $5,000, which represents a significant portion of the required down payment on a contract price of around $145K. In addition, the right agent will work with the property owner to reduce the closing costs paid by the buyer, making the transaction more affordable over all.

These two scenarios are among many available in the area to help qualified, responsible home buyers achieve their dream of home ownership. Write or call (678) 775-2677 today to learn about down payment assistance options available for larger households, protectors, the many eligible properties and more. Stay informed of changes in down payment assistance by liking Metro Atlanta Down Payment Assistance on Facebook and search for homes through both Metro Atlanta MLS online services at http://www.TheAtlantaHomePages.com.

Solomon Greene REALTOR®, REALTIST®
Certified Affordable Housing Counselor
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners
http://www.AtlantaDownpaymentAssistance.com
(678) 775-2677