8 Ways to Buy a Home in Atlanta with Little or No Money Down

8 Ways to Buy a Home in Atlanta with Little or No Money Down

By Ameris Bank

Many home buyers still believe that they need to put down at least a 20 percent down payment in order to purchase a home. Whether you are a first-time home buyer or moving up to your next home, there are grants, programs and assistance available for qualified buyers. Get started by learning more about your options.

1. USDA Rural Housing Loans

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development department offers 100 percent financing for homes located in rural areas. This loan requires a one-time guaranteed fee that can be rolled into the loan amount and an annual fee that is added to the monthly payment. There are restrictions based on income and location. To see if you may be eligible for a USDA loan or to find USD-eligible locations, click here.

2. VA Loans

The Veterans Administration offers a 100 percent financing loan for military service members. Eligible members include veterans, reservists, active duty personnel and select family members. This loan features flexible credit requirements, no down payment requirement and no mortgage insurance requirement. It also allows down payment assistance and closing cost funds to come from a gift or grant. For more details, click here.

3. Ameris Dream Loans

Ameris Bank offers the Ameris Dream loan, which provides up to 100 percent financing for first-time home buyers with no mortgage insurance requirement. This loan allows gift funds to assist with a down payment and closing costs, but the borrower must contribute at least $500. Income and location restrictions apply. Contact an Ameris Bank mortgage banker for details.

4. Ameris Medical Professional Loan

Ameris Bank also offers the Ameris Medical Professional loan, which provides up to 100 percent financing with no private mortgage insurance for MDs, osteopaths, physician assistants, dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians, chiropractors, podiatrists and optometrists (including residents and fellows). Because of the unique needs of medical professionals, this loan takes into account the needed flexibility surrounding student loan debt, time on the job and down payment requirement. For more program details, click here.

5. Down Payment Assistance Programs

Ameris Bank is proud to partner with many state and county government agencies that provide down payment assistance in the form of forgivable or repayable grants or forgivable or repayable second mortgages. A forgivable grant or second mortgage means that the down payment assistance funds are forgiven over a pre-determined length of time that you own the home. Repayable grants or second mortgages offer the buyer a chance to borrow the down payment and pay it back over time at an affordable interest rate. The funds can range from a few thousand dollars to several thousand dollars towards down payment and closing cost assistance. The assistance can be used to subsidize the down payment needed for a 97 percent conventional or FHA loan. Many of these programs have income restrictions, so check with your local Ameris Bank mortgage banker or your local state and county government agencies for eligibility requirements.

6. HomeReady or HomePossible Mortgage Loans

These loans are conventional loans that are ideal for borrowers with limited savings. They require only a three percent down payment and allow the down payment and closing costs to be gifted. It also offers reduced rates on the private mortgage insurance required. Unlike FHA loans, private mortgage insurance for conventional loans can be cancelled after the loan balance drops below 80 percent of a home’s appraised value, which can save you money over the length of the loan. For income qualifications and more details, visit HomeReady by Fannie May or HomePossible by Freddie Mac online.

7. FHA (Federal Housing Administration) Loans

FHA loans are one of the most flexible loan programs available because there are no income restrictions, they only require 3.5 percent down (which can be gifted) and allow a co-applicant on the loan to help you qualify for the home even though they may not live in the home with you. This loan charges an upfront fee, which can be rolled into the loan amount and requires mortgage insurance. As stated, mortgage insurance on an FHA loan cannot be removed and remains for the life of the loan. For more information, click here.

8. Ameris Edge

The Ameris Edge was specifically designed to offer those needing big loans a small down payment option. At just five percent down, jumbo buyers can finance up to $850,000. For those buyers with even bigger homeownership dreams, the Ameris Edge can finance up to $3 million with just 30 percent down. This product is available for primary as well as second homes. Mortgage insurance is required for all LTV’s over 80 percent. For more details click here.


The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. For more information about Ameris Bank’s mortgage programs, visit amerisbank.com.