We will be first time home buyers this summer. Need help with Georgia Dream home ownership program PEN for EMS / Fire/ Police/ educators

Asked by Samanthaa52, Port Saint Lucie, FL Sun Nov 18, 2012

Hi, We would love to stop throwing away our money in rent. Our lease ends this July 2013. We would love to buy our first starter home, for about 125,000 dollars. We would need assistance with Down payment and closing costs . I found the GA dream ownership program that helps with 7500 dollars in down payments for EMS/Fire ect workers. My husband is a First responder Paramedic. He makes 55,000 a year, so we figured 125 G mortage would be well within our means. Does anyone have Info on this loan or program?? We are serious about buying and would love a great realtor who can answer all our questions! :) We would like to buy in Buford area. Close to the interstate to get to Gainesville state and Atlanta.

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Lynel Adams’ answer
Lynel Adams, , Gainesville, GA
Mon Nov 19, 2012
Dear Samantha:

The Georgia Dream PEN program is a good program for EMS/fire. The program for those that can not come up with the 3.5% down on your own/gift and want to be homeowners, I take my hat off to you. The program is a little paper intense, but no hill for a climber. DCA/GA Dream has their own UW dept after the file is DE/in-house UW as well. The time factor is a little longer than those that have a gift/own dp..so patience will be needed. Just giving you the pros and cons on the program..I have been working hthe Georgia Dream program for years. The comments below are correct on getting pre-qualified first. If your husband is moving here from FL and he has a transfer in employment, one thing to be sure, he is not on any probationary period with his work place. that will have to be done and over with.

If I can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to call me..Thank you for the question and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family~

Lynel Adams
Sr Mortgage Loan Officer
Silverton Mortgage
0 votes
Solomon Gree…, Agent, Duluth, GA
Mon Nov 19, 2012
Not all mortgage lenders participate in all programs. In addition, your husband's mortgage application could be denied by a lender who pulled your credit, leaving you with a hard credit inquiry when a soft pull by you would have easily revealed issues that needed to be addressed early in the process without hindering your ability to later qualify for a mortgage.

Finally, your inquiry was in reference to Georgia Dream down payment assistance. While Georgia Dream's first mortgage is available to those who are looking to qualify using a VA mortgage, the Georgia Dream Downpayment Assistance component is not and no local DPA programs are available to home buyers with credit scores below 620, regardless of whether the lender allows lower credit scores or not.

Please consider taking advantage of the local home buying classes that are presented by HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agencies where you'll get objective information by parties who's only agenda is information sharing to help you safely acquire and keep your property. They'll often provide information on reputable local lenders and experienced real estate agents. The Impact Group ( http://theimpactgroup.org/ ) serves Gwinnett County, but there are others.

Solomon Greene
Associate Broker, REALTOR®, Certified Affordable Housing Counselor, Certified Distressed Property Expert
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners
(678) 775-2677
1 vote
Solomon Gree…, Agent, Duluth, GA
Mon Nov 19, 2012
Hello Samantha,

Believe it or not, July 2013 is not terribly far away for those who are looking to move into the Metro Atlanta area with the help of downpayment assistance programs. The timeline to achieve your goal of home ownership here in Buford (where my family and I have lived for several years now), however, is completely manageable. Obtaining the required eight-hour home buying class certificate should be high on your husband's list of priorities early in the process since it is typically good for one year. Next, you may want to start gathering all of the other lender-required documentation and placing it all in one safe place before the moving circus begins. Finally (for now), please be sure to check both your credit reports and credit scores to be sure that they are within acceptable ranges, yes even if you already know that they are.

Please know that underwriting your husband's loan can take up to 60 days when downpayment assistance is involved, so plan to be under contract to purchase a property by no later than mid April 2013 in order to close by July (to allow time for short sale purchases). Therefore, your husband should plan to get pre-approved so that you can start the search process by the first of March.

That's a lot of info, but you deserve to have solid planning information to use along your journey here. If you need information on other downpayment assistance programs available in Buford, local HUD-approved home buying classes, the items typically requested by a lender or how to obtain both your credit reports and credit scores or anything else real estate related, will you please call me? I'd welcome the opportunity to serve you.

Solomon Greene
Associate Broker, REALTOR®, Certified Affordable Housing Counselor, Certified Distressed Property Expert
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners
(678) 775-2677
1 vote
Amanda Blant…, Agent, Buford, GA
Mon Nov 19, 2012
The GA Dream program is a solid one, but it is not the only one. And, depending on your specific situation, it may not be the best one.

Don't pigeon hold yourself into one program. There are many home loan programs that are designed to help first time home buyers bring as little as possible to the closing table. And, they each have pluses and minuses.

A good agent should be able to sketch out the different programs for you. However, the key really is whether that agent has good loan officers that they work with to find the very best program that you qualify for.

Don't look to the agent to be the expert you seek out for mortgage questions. That is setting you up for a problem. There are many misconceptions by agents. The reality is that just because something was one way a year ago doesn't make it that way today. And, even though I sold loans and I have a good understanding of the process, I know the key is to direct you to qualified people who do mortgages everyday.

As with just about everyone who responded, I would love to help you get into a great home. I have a broad base of experience. I originated mortgages for two years. I was a certified residential appraiser with nearly 15 years of experience. Currently, I am a full time real estate agent.

I have awesome loan officers that I work with and I have one in particular that really knows the ins and outs of several different programs that you may be interested in.

One point of caution, many of these programs take a little longer to close than a standard FHA or Conventional mortgage. So, start looking three months out. If inventory is still down, like it is now, you will need to be on top of the market. Homes that are in good shape and are priced right go under contract pretty quickly in this market.

Whether you choose me or another agent, make sure that you have access to good updated property search tools. You want the most up to date information. And, also, make sure the agent makes themselves available and is committed to helping you find the right home, not just a home.

I work in the Buford office. I am just south of New Friendship Road off of Buford Hwy.

Best of luck in your real estate endeavors.


David C. Blanton

1 vote
, ,
Mon Nov 19, 2012
A Pre-Qualification should be your very first step. For your mortgage questions, it would actually be your loan officer and not your real estate agent who would address those for you. Once you have been Pre-Qualified to determine your financing options, at that point, you would begin the home search with your real estate agent.

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, Geiorgia 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.

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 http://www.rodneymason.com.

Rodney Mason, NMLS #151088
Sr Loan Officer
Prospect Mortgage
825 Juniper St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
Office: (404) 591-2453
Apply Online at http://www.rodneymason.com
Licensed in Alabama & Georgia

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
Dan Hannon, Agent, Lawrenceville, GA
Sun Nov 18, 2012
Hi Samantha,

What a great goal you have! I frequently remind renters that when they pay rent they are buying someone else a home; so why not make a good descision to spend that same money, or less, to buy yourself a home.
Samantha there are several lender products available for buyers today depending on their ability to qualify for them. Some are income specific, some are 100% financing and some will allow up to 3% seller paid closing costs and then there is also the HUD $100 down home purchase plan that also allows the buyer 3% of the purchase price to go to seller paid closing costs. The best way to go is to discuss all of your options with a knowledgeable REALTOR and gather information on all products available to you from credible lenders and then determine the way to go that works best for you, your family and your pocketbook.
You mentioned that you have until July 2013 on your lease. That gives you plenty of time to get with the right REALTOR that is willing to take the time to walk you through the process, from finance to close, guiding you to the confident position of making a choice that you are comfortable with and that you can live with. I will be happy to take that journey with you and your family. I work successfully with buyers and sellers on a daily basis, guiding them as a trusted advisor helping them to make good ddecisions based on complete information. Please feel free to contatc me whenever you have questions, comments or concerns.

Best Regards,
0 votes
Sharon Kunz, Agent, Snellville, GA
Sun Nov 18, 2012
Please go to my website GeorgiaDream.com you will find the application there
0 votes
Arthur Harris, Agent, Cumming, GA
Sun Nov 18, 2012
I would be happy to help you find your dream home check out my special website below:



Arthur Harris, Realtor
0 votes
Isabel Elses…, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Sun Nov 18, 2012
Isabel Elsesser, Realtor, Agent, Alpharetta, GA I would love to assist you with the entire process.
I enjoy working as a buyers representative.
Please contact me direct.
Rates are very low now!

Free buyers Agent - Full service!

Isabel Elsesser, Realtor
First United Realty
Save Time & Money! http://www.isabelsnewhomes.com http://www.Buford.georgiamls.com
Direct 770-307-8751
Fax 888-799-3184
Over 25 Million SOLD
0 votes
Laura A Koon…, Agent, Duluth, GA
Sun Nov 18, 2012

That is a fantastic program and there is also the HUD Good Neighbor Next Door program that could be of great use to you!

My primary area is Buford and my office is right on Hamilton Mill Rd.

Give me a call and let's get started!

Laura Koons, CDPE
Private Realty LLC
Cell (404) 423-7264
0 votes
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