First time buyers in Acworth/Kennesaw

Asked by Samanthaa52, Port Saint Lucie, FL Sun Jan 6, 2013

Needing info on home buying in acworth/kennesaw area. We are first time home buyers. We hate throwing away rent money. My husband and I are moving to the acworth/kennesaw are in late july. I was wondering if we should look to buy instead of rent. We know we will be in the area atleast 5 years. He is a Paramedic and I was interested in the Georgia Fire/Ems PEN dream home loan. How does that work? Will we need money down? We were looking for 120,000.00 starter home. Figured it would be cheaper than paying 900 in rent a month... Advice??

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Rebeccatrulia, Renter, United Amigos, Mesa, AZ
Sun Oct 6, 2013
0 votes
Darrell Hess, Agent, Asheville, NC
Tue Jan 8, 2013
Has Hank and others have said before get in touch with some loan officers to see where you stand financially. Once you know what you can afford and which loan program you are going to use the fun of finding and closing on your new home can begin.

I work in the Acworth and Kennesaw area here and have helped hundreds of clients in and around this area. I'd like to talk more about what you are looking for in a house and see if I am able to help you.

Definitely interview several agents to find the one you like the best. Search their credentials and check their references as not all agents are cut from the same cloth. I'd hate to hear about another home buyer that got sold a home instead of consulted.
0 votes
Hank Miller, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Mon Jan 7, 2013
Good start in at least considering the rent vs own option. I would submit that there are two "first things" to do in your situation:

- speak with a lender to get a genuine idea of what you can afford, what's involved in the process, what to expect and ultimately if the math and numbers work for you. Then shop lenders and see which one gives you the best deal.

- interview and select an experienced agent that isn't going to HGTV you with BS and feel good nonsense. Acworth/Kennesaw is far from stable and this is a fluid market - will be through '13. You will be competing against investors and other first time buyers, there are many things to be aware of - mainly the data comes first; you have to know the market inside and out.

It might be worth a look at a popular post of mine that provides a ten minute email-phone list of agent questions. Be direct and only focus on experienced full time agents -…

We're seeing the return of many part time agents, don't fall into that trap. Let me know if you need advice -

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0 votes
, ,
Mon Jan 7, 2013
Good morning Samanthaa52,

Here's my advice based on my 23 years experience as a Mortgage Professional:

Meet with a Local Mortgage Banker to get prequalified for mortgage financing. The Mortgage Banker will review all facets of your loan request to answer your questions with regards to the types of loans and maximum loan amounts you could qualify for.

You'll have detailed information as to the costs, both upfront and monthly payments, so you can make the decision whether renting or buying is best for you. A Local Mortgage Banker can also determine your qualifications for any specialized programs such as Georgia Fire/EMS PEN.

Good luck!

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
Mobile: 516-582-9181
Office: 516-829-2900
Fax: 516-829-2944
PowerHouse Solutions, Inc.
185 Great Neck Rd, Suite 240
Great Neck NY 11021
Licensed Mortgage Banker – NYS Dept. of Financial Services
0 votes
Vicki Daughe…, Agent, Marietta, GA
Mon Jan 7, 2013
Hi Samantha,
My name is Vicki Daugherty, and I am with Coldwell Banker. I own a home in Acworth, I currently live in Kennesaw, and have been in the area for 26 years. I would love to help you get info on the PEN Dream Home Loan. I will do some research and let you know what I find. Homes are a great buy in this area!
Please call if you think of more questions.
Kind regards,
Vicki Daugherty, Coldwell Banker
770-905-6130 (cell)
0 votes
, ,
Sun Jan 6, 2013
Hi Samantha,
When you decide to purchase a home, the very first step in the process is to get Pre-Qualified. For this, you will need to gather your financial documentation including:

• Two most recent years to W-2’s and Federal Income Tax returns
• Two most recent pay stubs
• Two most recent months of bank statements

This will all be reviewed along with your credit report to determine your qualifications. Once you Pre-Qualification request has been competed, you will know more about your purchasing options.

The Georgia Dream program requires that you must contribute $1,000 of your own funds and you must have not owned a home in the last 3 years. The Standard Second Mortgage amount is $5,000. Home buyers employed by entities that provide public protection, health care, or education may qualify for $7,500 under the PEN program.

This Second Mortgage can be used toward your down payment or your closing costs/pre-paids. This is a recorded Second Mortgage and it is due and payable once the property is sold, refinanced, or when it is no longer your primary residence. There is never a time when this second mortgage loan is forgiven. It is always required to be repaid in full.

Home buyer education is required for all Georgia Dream loans.

As one of the largest direct lenders in the country, Prospect Mortgage offers one of the largest selections of loan programs available. In addition to the standard conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, GA Dream, and Jumbo, we also offer a wide range on Renovation loan programs. Our Renovation programs include FHA 203K (Streamline & Consultant), HomePath Renovation, and HomeStyle Renovation. In addition, we also have an FHA 580-639 FICO program for borrower with previous credit issues.

Working with a knowledgeable and seasoned loan officer is critical in today's market. Getting Pre-Qualified is the only way for you to find out your options. To get Pre-Qualified for your purchase, you can submit your request online at

Rodney Mason, NMLS #151088
Sr Loan Officer
Prospect Mortgage
825 Juniper St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
Office: (404) 591-2453
Apply Online at
Licensed in Alabama & Georgia with over a decade of lending experience.

Prospect Mortgage offers a full selection of mortgage programs including:
Conventional | FHA | FHA 580-639 FICO | FHA 203K Renovation (Streamline & Consultant) | HomePath® | HomePath® Renovation | HomeStyle® Renovation | VA | USDA | GA Dream | Jumbo Financing.
0 votes
Debra Dinkins, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Sun Jan 6, 2013
Hello Samantha,
Not all lenders will do that type of loan
I have done several of these and it's not a bad idea if you qualify
Lease contact me anytime if interested in working with me
0 votes
Hi! how does the loan work? We qualify financially, what else does it require? thanks and when would be start to look at homes?
Flag Sun Jan 6, 2013
Fred Yancy, Agent, Woodstock, GA
Sun Jan 6, 2013
Rent vs Own: How Much Mortgage Can I Afford?

Not only does owning a home give you a haven for yourself and your family, it also makes great financial sense because of the tax benefits — which you can’t take advantage of when paying rent.

The following calculation assumes a 28 percent income tax bracket. If your bracket is higher, your savings will be, too. Based on your current rent, use this calculation to figure out how much mortgage you can afford.

Rent: _________________________

Multiplier: x 1.32

Mortgage payment: _________________________

Because of tax deductions, you can make a mortgage payment — including taxes and insurance — that is approximately one-third larger than your current rent payment and end up with the same amount of income.
0 votes
I know mortgage calculators, What I need to know is all the xtra stuff. Like the taxes, insurances, ect. Just because it says "payment 565 dollars" I know that you pay hundreds more. I need that kind of info. Also, down payment assistnace info.
Flag Sun Jan 6, 2013
Solomon Gree…, Agent, Duluth, GA
Sun Jan 6, 2013
Hello Samantha,

Thanks for your message. You'll find a lot of information on Georgia Dream both at and my blog, You should plan to have handy around $2500 of your own money to make Georgia Dream work.

Earnest Money - $1000
Appraisal - $450 (depending on the lender)
Home Inspection - $325 (depending on your choice of home inspector)
Cushion - $725 - because we don't know what we don't know.

Please also be mindful that lenders will charge an origination fee of up to two-percent, so you'll likely still need to negotiate in some seller contribution to closing costs.

Hope that helps.

Solomon Greene
Georgia Real Estate Brokers Associate, REALTOR®, Certified Affordable Housing Counselor, CDPE
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners
(678) 775-2677
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