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Buying a home is part of the American dream, and plenty of people living in and around Atlanta hope to purchase a home of their own someday. That day could be closer than you think, if you take advantage of one of the many programs available to help with the down payment.

Coming up with a substantial chunk of money for the down payment is one of the biggest hurdles for most potential buyers, but state, federal, private and sometimes even county government programs can make this step much easier. If you’re a would-be homeowner who could use a little help with a down payment, check out these programs:

  • Georgia Dream Homeownership Program. Georgia residents can get anywhere from $5000 to $15000 to help with down payment and closing costs, depending on their family situation, financial needs and the county in which they want to buy. The program is only available to those with low to moderate incomes who have not owned a home within the last three years, and you’ll need to come up with a minimum of $1000 of your own funds as well as completing a homebuyers’ education class. It’s a great deal for those who qualify.
  • DeKalb First-time Buyers Program. In DeKalb County, first-time buyers can get help to purchase affordable housing through the Community Development Department. Buyers can receive up to $8000 in deferred payment loans, with the loans forgiven if the purchaser stays in the home for at least five years after buying. There are income limits as well as guidelines for the price and condition of the property.
  • Other county and city programs. If you’re interested in purchasing a home in a different county, there’s probably a local program that can help. You can find links to programs that assist with down payment in different counties and cities here, or contact your local government to inquire about what might be available.
  • Federal programs. Uncle Sam wants to help you buy a home, and is willing to help you qualify for a loan. The USDA Rural Development program guarantees low-down payment mortgages in many places across the country, helping you get into the home you’ve been dreaming of.
  • Other assistance. Buying your own home is possible, although you may need to dig a little to find the right program for you. Habitat for Humanity, industry-funded programs and down payment assistance plans for those in certain jobs are just a few of the options.

If you’re serious about buying a home, help is available. Start looking for programs that can help and soon you’ll be looking at homes – and buying one!

Scarlet Oak Financial Services can be reached at 800.871.1219 or contact us here.  Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter with the latest economic news.