A Guide to First-Time Homebuyer Programs, Loans, and Grants

A Guide to First-Time Homebuyer Programs, Loans, and Grants

Buying your first home can be one of the most monumental experiences of your life. Homeownership provides you with a sense of accomplishment and can set you on the path to long-term wealth and security. Your home is also where you can make many memories for years to come, whether it's birthday parties, holiday celebrations, or even game nights with your friends and family. Buying a home is one of the few investments that can provide so much joy and financial security at the same time.

No matter your reasons for wanting to buy a house, homeownership is the ultimate goal for so many Marietta families. Yet, homeownership can be a difficult thing to achieve for many people. No matter how much you want to be a property owner, finances can be a significant drawback for many. Despite many years of saving, many prospective buyers struggle to save enough money for a down payment on their first home, even with excellent credit and a spotless rental record. Still, homeownership can feel out of reach for so many people if they cannot afford a down payment.

Fortunately, many homebuying programs can assist first-time homebuyers in purchasing their homes. From down payment assistance plans to local buyer programs, here are some of the best first-time homebuyer programs to help you break the cycle of renting forever.

Types of first-time homebuyer programs

Have you always dreamed of buying a home in the Marietta area but never knew how to make it happen? There are many reasons why some people have yet to become homeowners. One of the most prevailing reasons is the inability to save enough money for a down payment. If you have struggled with saving enough money for a down payment, you're not alone. Affordability is considered one of the biggest barriers to homeownership, and one of the greatest challenges is saving enough money for a down payment. Fortunately, there are financial programs that can change all of that. Despite what you have always heard, you don't need a 20% down payment to purchase a new home.

If you are a first-time homebuyer, several down payment assistance programs can help you secure your very own home. Depending on your financial situation, you might qualify for one of these programs. What are some of these down payment assistance programs, and can they really help you get into a new home? Here's what you need to know about some of the different down payment assistance programs out there.

Down payment assistance (DPA)

Need a financial boost to afford your dream home? Down payment assistance (DPA) can help you with that. As the name suggests, DPA programs can help cover the cost of your down payment. DPA programs, including local and state financial programs, can take many forms. Many states, such as Georgia, offer several DPA programs for qualified buyers, where their ultimate goal is to revitalize certain neighborhoods by bringing in new homebuyers. Cities see the value in these DPA programs since they can increase property values in more neighborhoods.

In contrast, DPA programs give prospective residents opportunities they otherwise wouldn't have had to buy a new home. All-in-all, DPA programs are beneficial for everyone. If you are considering buying your first home but can't afford the steep 20% down payment, DPA programs could be the answer you've been looking for.

DPA loans

With many different DPA programs, knowing which option is right for you can be challenging. One approach many homebuyers take is DPA loans. Also known as second mortgage loans, DPA loans are subordinate to the first mortgage and are used to cover the expense of a down payment and the closing costs of your home. This type of loan program can be especially useful for buyers who want to expand their market, giving them more housing options. It can increase the likelihood of you being approved for a home loan since DPA loans cover the expense of a down payment. Depending on the program, the DPA loan amount can even match the first mortgage. Whether or not a DPA loan is right for you can depend on many factors, but one thing to consider is that — unlike grants — DPA loans need to be repaid.

DPA grants

Similar to down payment assistance loans, down payment assistance grants can offer you a way to buy your dream home without worrying about an expensive down payment. Yet, unlike down payment assistance loans, down payment assistance grants are issued with the need to pay them back. In other words, a DPA grant is essentially a gift. For many, DPA grants are the gateway to financial freedom. They can remove the barriers that would prevent otherwise qualified buyers from becoming homeowners. So what are DPA grants, and how do you qualify for them?

In many ways, DPA grants are similar to DPA loans. DPA grants provide homebuyers with enough funds to pay for the down payment and closing costs on a property, opening the doors for prospective buyers to search for more real estate options. Yet, unlike DPA loans, DPA grants are not eligible for repayment, giving buyers even greater financial freedom. Overall, DPA grants can be more difficult to qualify for, yet many local and state programs provide prospective buyers with opportunities to apply for these grants. Choosing a DPA loan or a grant can depend on many factors. Regardless of which approach you take, many different resources can help you find the right DPA program for you.

The bottom line: Help is available for those buying a home for the first time

Beyond DPA programs, there are so many approaches prospective homebuyers can take to afford a new home. Whether you go through local or state programs, many programs out there want to eliminate the barriers that have kept so many people from becoming homeowners. If you have always wanted to be a homeowner but never thought you could afford it, don't give up. Saving 20% for a down payment isn't the only way to achieve your dreams of homeownership. With so many different programs out there, it's only a matter of time before you find the right one for you. Once you have secured financing, you’re one step closer to owning your dream home in beautiful Marietta.

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If you are searching for homes for sale in Marietta, you need an agent you can rely on. Backed by over 12 years of industry experience and local market expertise, Marlene Green is your trusted Marietta real estate agent. Contact Marlene today to begin your house hunt.

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Marlene's goal is to help her clients make the best investment possible when buying homes and to net the most money possible when selling homes. Contact Marlene today!

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