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Home Ownership
Get Down Payment Assistance

Attention first-time homebuyers in Gwinnett County! Starting from July 1, 2023, an exciting Down Payment Assistance program is available, offering up to $7,500 to help make your homeownership dreams a reality. This financial support is accessible for both new homes, with a maximum price of $346,000, and existing homes, with a price cap of $323,000.

Discover Your Path to Affordable Homeownership

Are you a first-time homebuyer looking to make your homeownership dreams come true? Exciting news awaits you! As of July 1, 2023, the Gwinnett County area offers a generous Down Payment Assistance program, providing you with up to $7,500 in financial support for homes. The program extends its help to both previously constructed homes, with a maximum price of $323,000, and new construction homes, up to $346,000. This assistance is made available as a 0% interest, zero payments, five-year deferred payment loan. In simpler terms, if you stay as the primary resident until the maturity date of the security deed, the lien is canceled, and no payments are required. Plus, it gets even better – starting on the first anniversary of the security deed, the principal will decrease by 20% each year.


Your Path to Homeownership

To be eligible for this fantastic opportunity, you need to meet some simple criteria. First-time applicants, defined as individuals who haven’t owned property in the past three years, qualify. This loan qualifies as a Soft Second Mortgage and can be applied to any regular fixed-rate loan, including FHA, VA, or Conventional loans. However, please note that this program does not participate with any form of 203k, Repair, or Escrow type loans. If you plan to purchase a HUD home, it’s crucial to understand that it must pass our Uniform Physical Condition Standards program inspection before approval.

Your Application Process

To embark on your journey to homeownership, you’ll need to submit a pre-application package. This package includes the following essential documents:

Pre-Application Package Homeownership Checklist

This checklist will guide you through the necessary steps.

Three Bureau Credit Score Report

You’ll need at least one credit score of 640 or higher.

Eight-Hour Applicant Pre-Purchase Class Certificate

This certificate must be obtained from a HUD-approved agency.

Pre-Approval Letter

You’ll need this from your Mortgage Lender.

Executed Purchase and Sale Agreement

You’ll need this document if you already have an eligible property in mind.

Once you’ve gathered these documents, you’ll receive an Appointment Checklist Form, outlining the required documentation to determine your program eligibility. Be prepared to have copies of all necessary documents ready for your appointment.

Determining Your Eligibility

Once you’ve completed your pre-application package and met the basic requirements, the Community Development office will assess your eligibility. They will consider factors such as your household size, income, and at least one current credit score of 640 or higher. Additionally, your debt-to-income ratio should be less than 43%, based on a comparison of your income and minimum monthly debt.

Moving Closer to Your Dream Home

Upon confirming your eligibility, you’ll receive a Preliminary Certificate of Program Eligibility. This certificate is your ticket to receiving down payment assistance at the time of closing and is valid for 180 days from the application date.

Ensuring Your Home Meets Standards

After securing an eligible property, the Community Development office will conduct an environmental review and authorize a UPCS program inspection. The initial inspection is paid for by the Homestretch program. If your property requires a reinspection, you’ll be responsible for the expenses. Ensure that utilities in the home are turned on and ready for the home inspection. The property must pass the program inspection to receive Homestretch funding.

Additional Considerations

  • In cases where the home doesn’t pass inspection, you, as the seller or applicant, have the option to pay for necessary repairs. However, any inspections following the initial program inspection will not be covered by the Homestretch program.
  • Once the home passes inspection and an appraisal is completed, the Community Development office will perform a final underwriting based on the final 10-03, provided by the Mortgage lender.

What the Assistance Covers

The down payment assistance can be used to cover the following costs:

  • Down payment
  • Closing costs
  • Courier fees
  • Homeowners Association fees
  • Filing fees
  • Intangible taxes
  • Pre-paid items

Additionally, applicants are required to purchase Owner’s Title Insurance. It’s important to note that you cannot cash out at closing, and you must contribute up to $1,000 towards the closing.

Required Documentation

The Mortgage Lender will be responsible for providing the Housing and Community Development Division with the First Mortgage Loan Estimate and Itemized Origination Fees Worksheet. The Base Origination Fee cannot exceed 1% of the First Mortgage.

Ensuring a Smooth Closing

The Community Development office will need the Copy of Appraisal and the Declaration Page for Homeowners Insurance. Ensure that Gwinnett County is listed as the second lender on the Homeowner Insurance Declaration Page.

Please submit an Attorney First Mortgage Title Commitment to our office.

Final Steps To Homeownership

Before closing, the Preliminary and Final Closing Disclosure, along with closing documents, must be reviewed and approved by a Housing Specialist. Upon document approval, the Housing Specialist will authorize the release of the down payment assistance.

Income Limits For The Homeownership Program

Here are the maximum income limits for households as of June 2023:

  • 1 person: $57,200
  • 2 people: $65,350
  • 3 people: $73,500
  • 4 people: $81,650
  • 5 people: $88,200
  • 6 people: $94,750
  • 7 people: $101,250
  • 8 people: $107,800

Program Timeline For Homeownership

Here’s a rough estimate of the timeline:

  • 30-45 days for document submission, including the checklist, class certificate, pre-approval letter, and credit scores.
  • An appointment request form will be sent once all required pre-application documentation is received.
  • You can set up an appointment after securing an eligible property under contract.
  • After that, formal application submission with all required documentation is needed. You’ll also be notified of any missing documents.
  • Once your file is complete, your eligibility will be certified, and an approval certification will be issued. The program will also authorize a property inspection.
  • The program participant is entered into the reporting system, and a payment request is created for review.
  • The payment request is processed by the Department of Financial Services.
  • After that, you’ll be notified when the assistance check is available, and the closing will be scheduled.
  • All required legal documents will be sent to the closing attorney for review.

Please note that estimated timelines are contingent upon receiving all required documentation promptly.

Contact Information

If you have any questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our dedicated team:

About Post Author


I'm the host of the Good Morning Gwinnett show which is all about business and technology. I'm also the editor of the Good Morning Gwinnett website.
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