The tax credits are over for first time homebuyers, but the good news is there is still stimulus money available to savvy buyers. As of July 13 2010, The Gwinnett Homestrech I program still has funds for first time homebuyers in Gwinnett County Georgia. This program funded by the Gwinnett Housing Authority provides $7,500 down payment assistance for first time homebuyers.
The Gwinnett Homestretch I program provides loans of $7500 at 0% interest to qualified first time homebuyers who purchase homes in Gwinnett County. The funds from the Gwinnett Homestretch I program can be used for downpayment and/or closing costs. If the buyer occupies the property and it is their primary residence for 5 years the loan is satisfied and no repayment is required.
What are the requirements?
- Be a first time homebuyer
- Attend a Pre-Purchase 8 hour Buyer Counseling Course by HUD approved housing counseling agency
- Must be a home in Gwinnett County
- Must be single detached homes, townhomes, or condominiums constructed after 1977
- Maximum purchase price is $200,000
- Income guidelines below:
Family Size Maximum Income
Many first time homebuyers have great credit scores, but are challenged by the inability of having enough funds to purchase a home. There are many costs associated with the purchase, some of the largest costs include down payment (3.5% of the purchase price/FHA Loan) and closing costs.
As a buyers agent, I can usually negotiate with the seller to pay for all or the majority of the closing costs associated with the purchase. Sellers cannot provide down payment assistance anymore for the buyers so this a major cost involved in a purchase. For this reason, this makes the Gwinnett Homestretch I such a great program for buyers who think they will have to wait in order to have enough funds to purchase a home.
This program is only available for first time home buyers that are purchasing properties in Gwinnett County. The process will take about 45 days. You’ll need to speak with your lender and fill out an application; then you will be required to attend an 8 hour buyer counseling class before the funds will be released.
WHAT TYPES OF PROPERTIES ARE ELIGIBLE?
Single family detached homes, townhouses, and condominiums constructed after 1977 are eligible. To qualify for a Gwinnett County HOMEStretch Homebuyers Downpayment Assistance Loan, the applicant must purchase a home in Gwinnett County.
WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM PURCHASE PRICE?
The purchase price of the home cannot exceed $200,000; however, what each applicant may afford will vary based on income, mortgage interest rates and other variables at the time of purchase.
HOW DO I APPLY?
This is a two-step process:
(1) the pre-application review and (2) the formal application to determine income eligibility
A. Complete an Eight Hour (8) Pre-Purchase Mortgage Counseling class from a HUD approved housing counseling agency. Be sure to obtain a Certificate of Class Completion stating this was an 8-hour class.
Click this link for a complete list of HUD approved housing counseling agencies http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm?webListAction=search&searchstate=ga
B. Meet with a mortgage lender of your choice. Before you can apply you need a Loan Commitment Letter from your mortgage company showing the designated amount of mortgage and fixed-interest rate terms to be financed. (Home mortgage must be a fixed rate 30-year mortgage). Ask your mortgage lender to also provide you with the single page from your credit report showing the credit bureaus with your credit scores.
This document is required as a support document.
C. Complete and sign the attached Pre-application Check List.
D. Now FAX a copy of your Certificate of Class Completion, your Loan Commitment Letter, three bureau Credit Report score sheet, and the completed signed Pre-Application Check List to Gwinnett County Community Development –770-822-5193 –Attention: HOMEStretch Program.
OR If you would prefer, you can scan and attach the documents to a single e-mail and send this to firstname.lastname@example.org
After review you will be contacted to set up an appointment to make a formal application. This meeting will take place in the Gwinnett County Community Development office and take about 1 hour. We take applications by appointment only, usually between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM, Monday – Friday. You will be required at that time to provide documents we need to determine your income eligibility for the downpayment assistance. We schedule appointments on a first-come, first-served basis after we have received notice from the homebuyer that all the need documents have been accumulated.
NOTE: Any bankruptcies must have been discharged for at least two years. If a bankruptcy discharge has taken place, please submit a copy of the discharge document at the time of application.
Gwinnett County HOMEStretch Downpayment Assistance Program, Funded by the Gwinnett County Home Program
Pre-Application Checklist (This form is for pre-qualification)
Pre-Application Instructions: Please read the questions carefully below and answer each question by placing your initials in the space provided for the appropriate response. Return signed and completed pre-application checklist to:
HOMESTRETCH Downpayment Assistance Program, 575 Old Norcross Rd, Suite A, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046
Fax 770-822-5193, ATTN: Doris Tarver, Program Specialist E-mail: email@example.com
APPLICANT(S) NAME: _______________________________________________________________________________________
1. Are you a first time homebuyer or have not owned a home in 3 yrs? Yes _____No ____
2. Have you filed bankruptcy within the last two years? Yes _____No ____
NOTE: Any bankruptcies must have been discharged for at least two years.
3. Have you completed an 8-hour pre-purchase mortgage counseling class conducted by a Yes _____No ____
HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency?
4. Does your annual total household income fall within one of the following categories? Yes _____No ____
Please answer questions below regarding income tables.
Family Size Maximum Income
5. Number of ALL persons living in your household? ________
6. How many persons (age 18 & over) earn income in your family? ________
7. State Yearly total household income (include all person age 18 & over) ________
8. Do you understand that you must apply for a loan to purchase your new home from a Mortgage lender and be approved for loan; and if said loan is not approved by the mortgage lender, your assistance under the Gwinnett County HOMEStretch Down Payment Assistance Program will not be approved? Yes _____No ____
9. Do you have a loan Commitment letter and 3-bureau Credit Score Report? Yes _____No ____
10. Do you have an executed real estate sales contract located in Gwinnett County? [Not required to apply] Yes ____ No ____
Applicant’s Signature: _______________________________________________________________ Date: _________________
PRINT NAME: ___________________________________________________________________________________________
Co-applicant’s Signature: ____________________________________________________________ Date: _________________
PRINT NAME: ___________________________________________________________________________________________
Your Current Address: _____________________________________________________________________________
E-MAIL ADDRESS: ______________________________________________________________________________
Home Phone No.: ________________ Day Time Phone No.: ______________Cell Phone No.: ___________________
TO BE COMPLETED BY HOMESTRETCH DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Eligible ( ) Ineligible ( )
APPROVED BY: ___________________________________________________________________________________________
ATTENTION FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS!
*** PRE-PURCHASE COUNSELING IS REQUIRED PRIOR TO APPROVAL OF GWINNETT COUNTY HOMESTRETCH DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE***
CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION IS REQUIRED IN ORDER TO APPLY FOR THIS PROGRAM.
Complete list of HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies can be seen at hud.gov web site.
We accept Certificate from any of agencies on this list. Pre-purchase mortgage counseling class.
These courses will prepare you to make an informed choice when you purchase your home. Be an informed Homebuyer – Enroll Today!
COURSE HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
Understanding Home Mortgages and Underwriting Criteria
Planning for Homeownership Responsibilities
Evaluating Your Ability to Afford a Home
Presentations by Housing Professionals
Types of Financing Available
Down Payment Assistance
Budgeting and Credit
Course times and locations will vary, so call now, and be sure to enroll in an EIGHT (8) HOUR class.
You can see a complete list Of HUD approved agencies at http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm?webListAction=search&searchstate=GA
Here are just a few of the Metro Counseling Agencies
The Impact Group (678)-808-4477 www.theimpactgroup.org
DeKalb Metro Housing Counseling Center (404) 508-0922 www.dekalbmetrohousing.org
Housing Authority of the County of DeKalb (404) 270-2600 www.dekalbhousing.org
Home Development Resources, Gainesville, GA Email: homedevelopmentresources.org
The Urban League (404) 659-2616 www.columbusurbanleague.org
Georgia Housing & Finance Authority (404) 679-0624 www.dca.state.ga.us
*** D & E Education has a Tucker, GA class once per month
FORMAL APPLICATION INFORMATION
An application will be taken to verify your income and assets to determine income eligibility to participate in
our down payment assistance program. At the time of application you will be required to supply the following items. It will speed the process considerably if you arrive with copies made for us. Do not fax or email these documents to us. You will bring them to your appointment.
- Photo ID, Social Security Cards and, if applicable, documentation to verify immigration status.
Ø the information is needed from each applicant if co-applicants
Ø Please also provide copy of social security card for children.
Ø If a permanent resident card or employment verification card documentation is submitted we need
a clear copy of this document – back and front – and all information written to the left or right of the card. We especially need the category, as it is unreadable from a copy. We also need the nine digit imprinted number on the back of card. Please write this out to the side of the copy.
Ø If you are a naturalized citizen, we request a copy of this certificate of citizenship.
- Name, address, contact person, e-mail address and fax number for each employer for verification of
- Proof of income for each adult (18 and over) household occupant (including tenants)(examples
of proof of income are: SSI benefits statement, current Social Security award letter, current pension or disability statement), child support, divorce decrees, self-employment.
- Paycheck Stubs [most recent 8 weeks]
- W-2’s & Federal Tax Returns [previous 3 years]
- Checking Account Statements [most recent six months] for each checking account and for each household member age 18 and over.
- Savings Account Statement [most recent one month]
- Other asset documentation (real estate, pensions, 401K, collections [jewelry, art, coins, etc.], stocks)
Ø a statement within last 90 days is needed for each asset for each person age 18 and over
- Any bankruptcies must have been discharged for at least two years. If a bankruptcy discharge has taken place, please submit a copy of the discharge document at the time of application.
NOTE: OUR PROGRAM IS BASED ON HOUSEHOLD INCOME SO THE SAME IDENTIFICATION AND FINANCIAL DOCUMENTATION WILL BE REQUIRED FOR EACH PERSON IN THE HOUSEHOLD WITH INCOME EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT PARTIES TO THE LOAN.
GENERAL PROGRAM TIMELINE
(The time frame for our process (application to closing) is approximately 30-40 days. This might vary case by case)
* Pre-application checklist is completed and signed.
* Certificate of Completion for an 8-hour Pre-purchasing Mortgage Counseling Program is obtained.
* Pre-approval letter from mortgage lender with or TOTAL Scorecard from chosen mortgage lender with a cover
letter showing mortgage lender information and loan officer is obtained.
* Credit bureau credit scores are obtained.
* Submit documents to get on waiting list for HOMEStretch DPA Program.
* Application is completed in our office. Please make sure you have all documentation requested (see FORMAL
* Income eligibility verification and approval is completed. (BASED ON TOTAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME).
* COPE (Certificate of Program Eligibility) is issued. This will be presented to potential mortgage lender.
* A house is chosen.
* A home sales contract is obtained, fully executed and submitted, along with a Good Faith Estimate for the first
mortgage and an appraisal for the property.
* A Displacement Agreement (attached) must be executed by seller and buyer and faxed to our office.
* Formal mortgage approval is completed. Please notify our office when completed.
* The HOMEStretch Program Home Inspection is ordered and completed. Your house MUST pass this
inspection before you can close and receive down payment assistance funds (see Inspection Checklist).
* HOMEStretch Loan approval is completed.
* Mortgage Loan and HOMEStretch Loan Closing takes place with local closing attorney. (A hard check from
Gwinnett County is presented at the closing by HOMEStretch personnel who will attend the closing and bring
the HOMEStretch Program closing documents for execution (see Closing Facts and Frequently Asked
Directions to Gwinnett County Community Development Office (HOMEStretch Program)
1. I-85 North from Atlanta or from I-285
2. Exit to S.R. 316 toward Athens
3. Exit from S.R. 316 at Riverside Parkway
4. Turn right from the exit ramp onto Riverside Parkway
5. Continue on Riverside Parkway until reaching a dead end into Old Norcross Road
6. Left on Old Norcross Road
7. Continue on Old Norcross Road until you reach railroad track…continue across the railroad track
8. Turn left at 2nd driveway after railroad track with a Maroon and White Sign [Pike Center at 316 Office Park]
9. Gwinnett County Community Development Office is in Building 575, Suite A – the far end of the 575 Building
10. Call 770-822-5190 if you get lost…this is the main telephone number at our office.
IF I HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS, WHOM DO I CONTACT?
Doris Tarver, Program Specialist E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Megaro, Housing Programs Coordinator E-mail: Bill.Megaro@gwinnettcounty.com
Gwinnett County HOMEStretch Downpayment Assistance Program
575 Old Norcross Road, Suite A
Lawrenceville, GA 30045
Gwinnett Homestretch II New Construction Program
program details coming soon
Mark services the following Northeast Atlanta cities: Alpharetta, Roswell, Milton, Woodstock, Dunwoody, Suwanee, Buford, Duluth, Dacula, Grayson and Lawrenceville Georgia.
Copyright © By Mark Mitchell 2010 *Gwinnett Homestretch I Down Payment Assistance For First Time Homebuyers*
Mark Mitchell, Realtor