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First Time Homebuyer Atlanta Programs [2024] | 🏠 How to Get Atlanta Down Payment Assistance {data, programs, tips, etc}

Last Updated on: 31st May 2023, 04:23 pm

Getting ready to buy a house in Atlanta? If you are a first time buyer, you can qualify for down payment assistance grants and special loans that make it easier and more affordable to make the dream of homeownership come true. Here are the best first time home buyer programs Atlanta, GA offers along with qualifications and important details you need to know. Don’t forget to check our guide to Georgia first time home buyer programs for statewide programs!

Atlanta Down Payment Assistance – Forgivable Grants, Loans & Mortgages for an Atlanta First Time Home Buyer

You can reduce your out-of-pocket expenses to buy a home and get lower mortgage payments through a first time homebuyer program. Atlanta offers many programs, most of them through Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development authority.

Here are the best first time home buyer programs in Atlanta that offer grants and deferred loans for down payment assistance and more.

Homeownership Down Payment Assistance | Atlanta Housing Authority Down Payment Assistance

Unlike most Atlanta down payment assistance programs which are offered through Invest Atlanta, this program is administered by the Atlanta Housing Authority. The program offers larger down payment assistance loans than most Invest Atlanta programs.

The program offers up to $20,000 down payment assistance or up to $25,000 for military members, veterans, voucher participants and professionals or para-professionals in healthcare, public safety, and education. The assistance is a 0% interest deferred second mortgage with no payments required. The loan must be repaid if the home is sold, transferred, or you move out. The down payment assistance is completely forgiven if you remain in the home for 10 years.

To qualify, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a first time home buyer
  • Purchase a home in the Atlanta city limits with a maximum purchase price of $335,000
  • Have income that does not exceed 80% of the Area Median Income
  • Have liquid assets of no more than $25,000
  • Meet the lender’s credit requirements
  • Show Georgia residency for at least 6 months
  • Complete an 8-hour approved Homebuyer Education class
  • Contribute at least $1,500 of your own funds

You can use the Atlanta Housing Authority down payment assistance to reduce the loan amount, pay closing costs, and/or buy down your interest rate!

HOME Atlanta 4.0 | 3.5% Forgivable Invest Atlanta Grants for Down Payment Assistance & Closing Costs with FHA and VA Loans

The HOME Atlanta 4.0 program is one of the best down payment assistance programs Atlanta offers if you are getting a VA or FHA loan. Through the program, FHA and VA borrowers get a forgivable grant of 3.5% of the purchase price to use toward the down payment and closing costs. At closing, the grant is fully forgiven and never needs to be repaid.

Basic eligibility requirements for HOME Atlanta 4.0 Invest Atlanta down payment assistance:

  • Qualify for a 30-year fixed-rate VA or FHA loan
  • Minimum credit score of 660 and maximum debt-to-income ratio of 45% for a FHA loan (maximum DTI of 50% allowed with a credit score of 680+)
  • Home is in Atlanta city limits with a maximum purchase price of $325,000
  • Meet income guidelines
  • Complete 90-minute Q&A session and homebuyer education class
  • Must be a first time home buyer
  • Must contribute at least $1,500 of your own funds

Atlanta Affordable Homeownership Program (AAHOP) | Atlanta Down Payment Assistance Program with a $20,000 Forgivable Grant

One of the most generous first time home buyer programs Atlanta, GA offers, the AAHOP program offers up to $20,000 as a forgivable grant for closing cost and down payment assistance.

This very flexible program has income limits and purchase price caps, but the credit standards are very loose. You can qualify if you are a first time home buyer or do not have ownership in any home.

Depending on the amount of the assistance, the grant is fully forgiven after you live in your home for 5 to 10 years.

Here are the important qualifications and requirements:

  • Qualify for a 30-year FHA, VA, or conventional loan
  • Less than $10,000 in liquid assets
  • Minimum credit score of 580 with a maximum debt to income ratio of 31% / 43%
  • Home must pass Home Quality Standards and Environmental Review inspections (paid for through the program)
  • Maximum purchase price of $223,000 (Fulton County) or $215,000 (DeKalb County) for existing homes and $238 for new construction
  • Meet income guidelines

Georgia Dream Program | Georgia Dream Loan Combined with Downpayment Assistance (Georgia Wide)

The Georgia Dream Homeownership Program is a state-wide program. One of the best first time home buyer programs Georgia offers, Atlanta residents can qualify for an affordable mortgage combined with down payment assistance. There are special down payment assistance options for healthcare workers, public protectors, educators, active military members, and families with a disabled household member.

To be eligible, you must be a first time home buyer, meet income guidelines, have liquid assets of no more than 20% of the sales price of $20,000, meet mortgage credit requirements, buy a home that does not exceed the county limit, and contribute at least $1,000 toward your home.

Note: the Atlanta Dream sale price is capped at $250,000.

Here is the Georgia Dream down payment assistance you can receive:

  • Standard assistance of $5,000 for all eligible buyers
  • PEN program with $7,500 in assistance for active military, healthcare providers, educators, and public protectors
  • CHOICE program with $7,500 in assistance for families with a disabled household member

ATL Home Renovation Advantage | Home Renovation Loan Combined with Atlanta Down Payment Assistance

Interested in buying a home that needs some renovation? The ATL Home Renovation Advantage program is the first time homebuyer program in Atlanta you’re looking for. Buyers are incentivized to revitalize older homes or homes in need of substantial repair.

A 203k Renovation Loan is combined with up to $10,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance when you buy a home within the Atlanta city limits. Note that the funds are not forgivable. The $10,000 in assistance is a 0% deferred loan that is repaid when you sell the home.

Here are the basic requirements and qualifications:

  • Qualify for a home renovation loan
  • Income guidelines based on household size
  • Attend a special home renovation class
  • Pay $1,200 program fee
  • No more than $10,000 in liquid assets
  • Maximum purchase price of $325,000

Intown Mortgage Assistance Program (IMAP) | Affordable 30-Year Mortgage with $10,000 in Down Payment Assistance in Atlanta

This Invest Atlanta home buying program combines a 30-year conventional, FHA, or VA loan with a fixed rate set by Invest Atlanta with $10,000 in down payment assistance. The IMAP program has no affordability period; you will need to repay the loan when the home is sold.

Basic eligibility guidelines:

  • Attend Invest Atlanta Q&A session and 8-hour approved Homebuyer Education class
  • Contribute at least $1,500 of your own funds
  • No more than $10,000 in liquid assets
  • Minimum credit score of 660 (or 680 for a conventional loan)
  • Pay $1,000 program fee (paid by buyer or seller)
  • Meet income limits

Atlanta Lease to Own Homes | Pathway Homes

Pathway Homes offers a new plan that helps renters become first time home buyers in Atlanta. The program targets renters who are close to being eligible for a mortgage but aren’t there yet.

To qualify, you must have a credit score of at least 600 and $50,000 or more in household income. You will be paired with a licensed agent to start the home search or you can rent from Pathway’s portfolio of move-in ready properties. Pathway Homes will make a cash offer on the home, handle taxes, insurance, closing costs, and major maintenance, and have the home inspected and prepared for move-in. From there, you have time to save up money and build your credit.


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There are two pathways:

  • HomeStart to rent now and buy your home later
  • Saving Match to help you save up a down payment while renting

Program participants pay their first months’ rent plus a deposit to move in. The lease can be renewed each year for up to 5 years or renters can apply for a mortgage at renewal. The program also offers a savings match component.

You will be told upfront what the monthly payments will be for the entire 5-year period to avoid surprising rent hikes.

Vine City Renaissance Initiative (VCRI) | Forgivable Atlanta Down Payment Assistance to Buy a Home in the Vine City Neighborhood

Vine City, Atlanta in the 30314 zip code is just west of downtown Atlanta and it was once home to Martin Luther King, Jr. who protested the neighborhood’s bleak conditions. Located near Atlanta’s historically Black universities and colleges at Atlanta University Center, Vine City has been targeted for revitalization and investments that promote homeownership.

Invest Atlanta’s VCRI program is a trust fund and first time homebuyer program Atlanta offers to provide up to $10,000 toward the purchase of a home in the neighborhood.

The Vine City Renaissance Initiative allows first time homebuyers to receive $10,000 toward closing costs and a down payment. One of the most generous down payment assistance programs Georgia residents can receive, the grant is completely forgiven if you remain in your home for 5 years. You can combine the VCRI grant with a 203k home renovation mortgage loan.

Important requirements and qualifications:

  • Must qualify for an FHA, VA, conventional mortgage loan, or 203k home renovation loan
  • $1,000 program fee to cover costs
  • Must attend special renovation education classes
  • Cannot have more than $10,000 in liquid assets
  • No purchase price cap
  • Must meet income limits

Perry Bolton Mortgage Assistance Program | Forgivable Atlanta Down Payment Assistance in the Targeted District

Home buyers who are interested in buying a home in the Perry Bolton Tax Allocation District in Northwest Atlanta can receive $10,000 or $20,000 in assistance. This program has generous income guidelines: you can qualify for the $20,000 assistance loan if you earn 80% of the Area Median Income or less and buy a home considered “permanently affordable” with $10,000 in assistance for buyers who earn up to 120% of the AMI.

To qualify, you must pay the $1,000 program fee and have no more than $10,000 in liquid assets. The maximum purchase price is $300,000.

Habitat for Humanity Atlanta Homebuyer Program | First Time Homebuyer Atlanta Program with 0% Interest Mortgage & Affordable Home

Habitat for Humanity Georgia offers a path to homeownership for low-income families regardless of credit score. As an Atlanta first time home buyer, you can qualify for a 3- or 4-bedroom new home in select Atlanta neighborhoods and South Fulton County areas with a 0% interest, 30-year mortgage.

The average mortgage payment through Habitat for Humanity is less than $650 per month. This covers principal to pay down your loan, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, termite insurance, and sanitation fees.

Important qualifications to participate in the Habitat for Humanity first time home buyer program in Atlanta:

  • 250+ sweat equity hours completed within 1 year of moving in. Up to 150 hours can be completed by family, friends, or coworkers.
  • Down payment of $800 is required but can be paid in installments
  • Meet income guidelines based on household size
  • Be a first time home buyer
  • Meet credit guidelines that consider overall payment history but not your credit score
  • Monthly debt to income ratio below 41% and annual debt to income ratio below 15%
  • Past-due non-medical debt not exceeding $800 which must be paid off before you choose a home
  • Complete a home visit and interview
  • Attend orientation and Home Smart classes


Do you have to pay back down payment assistance in Atlanta?

There are several first time home buyer grants in Atlanta that are forgiven at closing or if you remain in your home for a specific number of years. Other forms of down payment assistance are deferred loans that must be repaid if you sell the home or move out.

Who is considered a first time home buyer in Atlanta?

An Atlanta first time home buyer is someone who has not owned a home in the last three years. You may be considered a first time buyer if you are a displaced homemaker or you only owned a home with a former spouse and have children.

What programs are available for first time home buyers in Atlanta, GA?

Atlanta offers down payment assistance for first time buyers who meet income guidelines. This assistance can be paired with affordable loans for first-time buyers or home renovation loans. There are also programs with boosted assistance if you buy a home in targeted neighborhoods.

Are you ready to make the dream of homeownership a reality? As you can see, Atlanta first time home buyer programs can make it easier than you imagined to afford your own home with assistance that can be used toward your down payment, closing costs, buying down your interest rate, and more!

Once you’ve started the homebuying process, give us a call at Wirks Moving & Storage to start the next exciting phase: moving into your new home! We’ll give you a free, affordable moving estimate and take over all the hard work of moving day.

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