Resources for rental and homebuying needs

What is Homebuyer Education? Where can it be found?


The process of buying a home is very involved and at times a complicated process. Homebuyer training can help the first time homebuyer understand the process, learn how to avoid mistakes, and ultimately make sure your first home purchase is a more educated experience. If you receive down payment support or other subsidy to help you afford a home, you may be required to attend both pre-purchase homebuyer training as well has post-purchase counseling. Even if you aren’t required to participate in homebuyer training, it is highly recommended. It is also recommended that you participate in training that is recognized and approved by a government agency. To find a list of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, click here or here.




What is involved in the home buying process?


The homebuying process has many steps and can be confusing to the first-time homebuyer. Check out these homebuying tips from NeighborWorks America.




Where can I find information about homes/apartments for rent?


Checkout this excellent resource from Georgia Department of Community Affairs: http://www.georgiahousingsearch.org/




How much home can I afford?


There is a general rule that a family, in order to remain financially healthy, should spend no more than 30% of their monthly household income on housing. Housing advocates, including those associated with this website, ask you to consider your transportation cost as well. The general rule for housing and transportation is spend no more than 50% of your monthly income on housing + transportation. You may want to use an online mortgage calculator to help. But beware, many online calculators have yet to place emphasis on the “housing + transportation” expense issue.




What is a mortgage calculator and where can I find one?


A mortgage calculator is an online tool used to estimate a monthly mortgage payment, determine how much home you can afford, or both. Keep in mind the general rule of thumb, no more than one-third of your household income on housing, and no more than half of your household income on housing and transportation combined. There are many mortgage calculators online. Be sure to use one from a noteworthy or reliable website. Example: https://www.zillow.com/mortgage-calculator/




Where can I search for a home that’s in my price range and meets my other needs?


The most commonly used search sites are those that offer “multiple listing services.” That is to say, the search engine results include homes for sale from a wide variety of sellers – not just one company. Example: www.georgiamls.com We also recommend taking the time to identify a real estate professional. Here's a helpful guide from the National Association of Realtors. https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/designations-understand




Where can I find information about down payment assistance?


Down payment assistance is most often offered by local governments, the state or federal agencies. Your first call should be to your county or city government's department that deals with housing matters to inquire about what is available locally. Then consider reseraching programs available through Georgia. Check out this website for more information about Georgia programs. Lastly, we also recommend using www.downpaymentresource.com. They compile down payment assisance programs from a variety of sources.





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