It’s wise to take advantage of all the resources and information out there to help you purchase your first home. Money is out there — you just have to go find it, and be willing to do a little work.

OK, maybe a lot of work.

A first-time homebuyer, for the sake of most grant and loan programs, is someone who hasn’t purchased a home within three years.

One of the requirements for homeowner grant and loan programs is a 8-hour workshop. There are several to choose from.

Here is a list of Invest Atlanta approved local providers for homebuyer education courses:

  • Resources for Residents and Communities ** – (404) 525-4130 –
  • SUMMECH CDC, Inc. – (404) 527-5465 –
  • Urban League of Greater Atlanta – (404) 659-1150 –
  • 1st Choice Credit Union – (404) 832-5800, ext. 16 –
  • Center for Pan Asian Services * – (770) 936-0969 –
  • ClearPoint Counseling Solutions * – (404) 527-7630, ext. 4 –
  • D & E Group * – (770) 961-6900 –
  • DeKalb Metro Housing Counseling Program – (404) 508-0922 –
  • HomeFree USA – (404) 969-3053 –
  • Housing Authority of Fulton County – (404)588-4950 –
  • National Investment Division Housing Counseling Agency – (770) 472-3756 –
  • Operation HOPE – (404) 941-2919 –
  • The Center for Working Families, Inc. – (404) 230-7133 –
  • The Homeowners Employment Corporation – (404) 492-6554 –

* Organization offers online homebuyer education course
** Organization offers renovation education class

The topics covered generally include:

  1. Fair Housing Rights
  2. The Mortgage Loan Process
  3. The Closing Process
  4. Credit management and down payment assistance
  5. What to expect from your Real Estate professional
  6. Why you need a home inspection
  7. Why you need home owners insurance

At the conclusion of your workshop, you’ll have a ton of information, and your head will likely be swimming, but you’re starting to gather the resources you need to make the best decision for you.

The certificate you’ll receive following your workshop is good for 12 months. Some workshops will also allow you to repeat parts of the class free of charge if you want more information, a chance to refresh your knowledge or need to renew your certificate. Or if you just need something to do on a Saturday afternoon.

One of the major decisions you’ll have to make, and one which will determine the right loan or grant program for you, is whether you choose a turn-key home or a fixer-upper. There is a lot of appeal to buying a place that you can make uniquely your own. But how much work are you prepared to do?

It’s important not to take on more than you can handle if you decide to go the fixer route. Here are the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans for homes that need repair:

  1. The 203 (k) program. This is the FHA’s primary tool for providing insured mortgages for the purchase of refinance of single family properties in need of major repairs.
  2. The Streamlined (k) program. This program was developed to address the needs of properties needing simple or minor repairs or remodeling, such as a new roof, furnace or appliances, for up to $35,000.

Contact the FHA Resource Center for more 203(k) information.

Correction: According to®, The Streamline 203k was eliminated by HUD in September 2015 and replaced with the Limited 203k.






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