First Georgia Residence Purchaser: Applications and Grants for 2021

What You Should Know About Buying a Home in Georgia

If this is your first time buying a Georgia home, you are probably nervous. And that's fine. First time buyers often find the experience daunting.

But the state of Peach offers serious support in the form of training and advice for homebuyers. And better yet, you might be able to get cash to meet your down payment and closing costs needs.

Ready to start?

Confirm your authorization to buy a house in GA. Start here (09/10/2021)

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Georgia Home Buyer Summary

The average home purchase price in Georgia rose 18% between mid-2020 and mid-2021, according to the Georgia Association of Realtors.

This can be challenging for first-time Georgia home buyers as the gap between their savings and their down payment needs grows rather than narrow. If you find yourself in this predicament, read on to discover grants and loans that can help you fill that void.

If eligible, you may be moving into your first home sooner than you dreamed of.

Georgia Home Buyer Summary

Average house sale price in GA
$ 365,900

Minimum advance payment in GA travelcard (3%)
$ 10,980

20% down payment in GA
$ 73,190

Average Credit Score in GA1

Maximum GA Grant for Home Buyers2
$ 14,000 loan, five-year loan (Atlanta)

Down payment amounts are based on the last available average home sale price in the state. A “minimum” down payment is assumed to be 3% less than a conventional mortgage with a minimum credit rating of 620.

If you are eligible for a VA loan (supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs) or a USDA loan (supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture), you may not require a down payment at all.

Confirm your authorization to buy a house in GA. Start here (09/10/2021)

Initial Loans For Home Buyers In Georgia

If this is your first time buying a home in Georgia with a 20% down payment, you can get a conventional loan with a low interest rate. And you never have to pay for personal mortgage insurance (PMI).

Of course, only a few first-time buyers have saved enough for 20 percent. But the good news is you don't need that much. By far not.

Borrowers can often move into a new home as little as 3% or even 0% with one of these low down payment mortgage programs:

Conventional 97 – From Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. 3% down payment and at least 620 credits. You can usually stop paying mortgage insurance after a few years
FHA loans – Supported by the Federal Housing Administration. Down 3.5% and a credit score of at least 580. But you're usually on the hook for mortgage insurance until you refinance, move to another type of mortgage, or pay off your loan
VA loan – For veterans, active service members, reservists and National Guard only. A zero deposit is required. The minimum credit score varies by lender, but is often 620. No ongoing mortgage insurance upon completion. These are arguably the best mortgages available. So apply when you are eligible
USDA loan – For low to middle income people who shop in designated rural areas. Zero deposit required. The creditworthiness requirements vary depending on the lender, but often 640. Low mortgage insurance rates
Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) – May include competitive interest rates and can be used with down payment assistance. More information below

Note that most of these programs require you to purchase a primary residence. This is a home that you will live in full time, not a vacation home or investment.

Depending on the mortgage loan you choose, you may be able to get into your new home with minimal cash out of your pocket.

With these programs, you can even use free cash or Down Payment Assistance (DPA) to help cover down payment and closing costs.

If you are unsure which program to choose for your first mortgage loan, your lender can help you find the right deal based on your finances and your home purchase goals.

Find the best first-time buyer loan for you (10 September 2021)

First-time home buyer programs in Georgia

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) operates nationwide. And it has a list of approved homebuyer education agencies. However, if you want a purely online course, you need to use eHome America's service.

Of course, not all first-time buyers need to receive homeowner training. However, it is mandatory if you wish to take out a mortgage or receive down payment assistance through the DCA. You will also need to select a participating lender from the program's list.

These lenders will connect you with a Georgia Dream loan. This can be a conventional mortgage (one that is not government sponsored) or an FHA, VA, or USDA loan (see above).

First-time grants for home purchases in Georgia

There are a variety of down payment and graduation aid programs in every federal state. There may be opportunities near you, so check with your real estate agent or loan officer if you are hoping for a homebuyer grant.

If you take advantage of the Georgia Dream home loan program, you may also be eligible for a down payment loan.

This is not a grant. But it is an interest free loan with no monthly payments. You pay it back in full when you sell, refinance, or move the home.

There are household income limits and purchase price limits that vary by county. So download a PDF of the Georgia Dream brochure to see if you're eligible. This is available in English and Spanish.

The current standard assistance is $ 7,500 and is available to all eligible applicants across the country. However, this increases to $ 10,000 if your household includes a disabled person or a person who is a Protector, Educator, or Nurse (PEN). That the PEN also includes those who work in these “industries” as well as those who work in the military

DCA says it sometimes runs other programs, so ask for details about current programs in case they offer you a better deal.

Confirm your authorization to buy a house in GA. Start here (09/10/2021)

Buy a house in the main cities of Georgia

Unusually, home price inflation was lower in Georgia's three largest cities than the rest of the state. But it's still high, especially in Atlanta. So if your savings need an extra boost, take a look at the home ownership programs listed below.

First time home buyer in Atlanta

The average list price in Atlanta was $ 394,900 as of July 2021, according to That was 13.8% more than in the previous year.

If you want to buy a home at this average price, your down payment options can be between the following options:

$ 11,850 for 3% deposit$ 78,980 for 20% deposit

Atlanta has a dazzling array of down payment assistance programs, many of which are more attractive than the DCA's nationwide offerings. These include:

START Atlanta 4.0 – A whopping 3.5% subsidy (never has to be paid back) on FHA or VA mortgagesAtlanta Affordable Home Ownership Program – "Home buyers receive up to $ 14,000 for down payment and / or closing costs, which are waived in full after 5 years in the home"

There are also programs that cover specific neighborhoods, including Vine City and Intown. Click the link for full details, including terms and conditions and terms and conditions.

Augusta first time home buyer

The average list price in Augusta was $ 169,900 as of July 2021, according to That was 9.7% more than in the previous year.

If you want to buy a home at this average price, your down payment options can be between the following options:

$ 5,100 for 3% deposit$ 33,980 for 20% deposit

You can receive down payment assistance of $ 500-5,000 when buying a single-family home in Augusta-Richmond County. Although it is an interest-free loan, it is given in equal parts over five years. So if you stay in your place of residence and don't sell or refinance, you shouldn't owe anything at the end of the fifth year.

As with all of these programs, there are many terms, conditions, and eligibility criteria. So, download the 10-page Augusta How-To Guide for Down Payment Aid (PDF) to find out the facts.

Columbus first time home buyer

The average list price in Columbus in July 2021 was $ 169,900, according to That was 6.9% more than in the previous year.

If you want to buy a home at this average price, your down payment options can be between the following options:

$ 5,100 for 3% deposit$ 33,980 for 20% deposit

The Columbus Homebuyer Assistance Down Payment Assistance Program offers up to $ 10,000 but cannot exceed 5% of the sale price. And you can't use that money on closing costs.

It comes in the form of an interest free loan. But it's not clear whether that will ultimately be forgiven or require repayment.

If you are interested, call the Columbus Community Reinvestment Department at (706) 225-3916 and request more information.

Where can I find help buying a house in Georgia

All of the organizations listed above should provide free advice to any first time home buyer in Georgia or its vicinity.

In addition to our selections, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers some lists for statewide, regional, and local resources.

The Georgia Dream Homeownership Program is the premier national program for homebuyers. But check out the HUD website for first-time home buyers in Georgia to see programs at the county and city levels.

Note that HUD offers two forms of funding, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the HOME Investment Partnerships program. And you could be eligible for either. So take a look at the ones you are in so you can choose the better one.

What are the mortgage rates in Georgia today?

Here you can see the latest live mortgage rates in Georgia.

When you're ready to start buying your home, make sure you get personalized interest rate quotes from at least three mortgage lenders.

Don't just look at the advertised prices online; Indeed, apply for pre-approval and compare the interest rates and fees that are offered to you. This is the only way you can be sure that you are getting the best possible offer for your new home loan.

Confirm your new plan (September 10, 2021)

1 Source: 2021 study on 2020 data

2Based on a review of available state DPA grants at the time of this writing

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