By David Pendered
Potential homebuyers who plan to use one of Georgia’s down payment assistance programs can earn their qualifying credits at an all-day event Saturday in Atlanta.
These buyers would be locking in prices that are far below their pre-recession peak. Some prices are relative bargains – a quarter of homes sold in the past 12 months were prices at less than $50,000, according to a report this month by Smart Numbers.
Saturday’s event qualifies those who complete it for a certificate now required by the state’s housing agency, the Department of Community Affairs, to apply for housing assistance. The event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Jean Childs Young Middle School, located at 3116 Benjamin E Mays Drive S.W.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Free lunch and free parking will be provided. The site is accessible on MARTA’s bus route No. 66, according to MARTA’s trip planner.
DCA now requires applicants to complete credit counseling if their low middle credit score is less than 660. Borrowers with scores of 660 or greater may choose to attend individual credit counseling, but it is not required, according to the DCA.
More than 33,000 families across Georgia have been able to purchase a home with help from DCA, according to the department’s website.
Saturday’s event is sponsored by Atlanta City Councilmember H. Lamar Willis, in partnership with the Urban League of Greater Atlanta and State Farm Insurance Co.
The Urban League is listed on DCA’s site as an accredited provider of home buyer counseling. The one other entity in Atlanta that’s cited by DCA is Summech Community Development Corp., on Pryor Street in Atlanta.
Those who attend will be able to talk with representatives of several organizations that can provide assistance to potential home buyers. The list of participating agencies includes:
The event will also offer the opportunity for you to meet and speak with representatives from:
- HUD Approved Housing Counselors who will schedule your follow-up one-on-one pre-purchase counseling session;
- The Georgia Department of Community Affairs featuring information related to Georgia Dream Programs;
- ANDP, which administers the Neighborhood Stabilization Programs (NSP) in Fulton, DeKalb, Douglas, and Atlanta, and offers properties using NSP down payment assistance funds up to $25,000;
- Invest Atlanta, The Atlanta BeltLine, Metro Fair Housing, and the City of Atlanta Housing Department;
- State Farm Insurance, and Allstate Insurance and Prudential;
- Safe and Sound Home Inspections and Piece By Peace Home Inspections;
- Chase, BB&T, First Citizens, Brand Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Citizens Trust Bank, and Wells Fargo, to discuss mortgage loan products and other retail banking services;
- Brinkley Realty Group, HUD and NSP property specialist;
- South Owens Realty;
- Kim Kline and Mel Burrows, who are lawyers;
- Other first time homebuyer industry groups and resource representatives.