Buying a home can be a confusing and sometimes scary process, even for those who have been through it before. For first-time home buyers, the worry about doing the “right” thing is amplified.

Nearly 40 percent of buyers said the most difficult steps of buying a house were the paperwork and the overall process involved in the purchase, according to a recent survey. For people (buying a home in Georgia), however, there is assistance that helps to make the process a little easier.

Before you get started on your home search, take the time to find an experienced realtor who will put your needs first, inform you of all the (first-time home buyer home programs in Georgia) and take the guesswork out of your buying experience.

Here are some (first-time home buyer tips) and answers to the most common questions:

Who is a (first-time home buyer in Georgia)?

This may seem like a simple question, but the answer does have some nuances. Of course, if this is your first time ever buying a home, then you qualify for some of the programs that can help you save money in the process. However, if you haven’t owned a home in the last three years, you are also considered a first-time buyer and are eligible for certain programs.

What home buying programs are available?

If you’re ready to get started with buying a home, there are a few traditional programs available to help you save some money:

  • Conventional mortgage: A standard loan may give you the opportunity for down payments as low as 3 percent. If you can make a 20 percent down payment, you won’t need mortgage insurance.
  • FHA loans: These loans are sponsored by the Federal Housing Association. These loans are easier to qualify for, with those who have credit scores of 500 being eligible with a 10 percent down payment. Higher credit scores qualify for lower down payments.
  • VA/USDA loans: These are specialized loans. VA loans are for active service members or veterans. If you qualify (credit score of 600 or higher), there are good rates with no down payment. USDA loans are available in designated suburban or rural areas but you don’t have to be in agriculture to qualify.

What about (home buying programs in Georgia)?

There are several state-specific programs, making (how to buy a house in Georgia) a little easier for those without experience:

  • Georgia Dream program: This collection of mortgage offerings is designed to help those with low or moderate incomes achieve homeownership. You will only need a 3.5 percent down payment and a solid credit score to qualify. But the program is limited to certain counties within the state.
  • Georgia PEN: This loan is available to first-time home buyers who qualify as “protectors, educators and nurses” and are applying for a mortgage. There are no monthly payments or interest with this type of mortgage and they come with money to put toward closing costs.

While (first-time home buyer loans in Georgia) are important, there are also some other aspects to consider when looking to purchase your first home. These are less geared to financial aspects and more to practical considerations.

Become an Educated Buyer

House hunters have more weapons in their arsenal than ever before. Doing a lot of the legwork in advance will make finding the right house much easier in the long run.

  • Utilize the internet: Search the entire MLS for all available properties and their past sale prices.
  • Stay updated: Sign up to receive daily emails of new and updated listings within your desired parameters.
  • Read up: Take advantage of full listing sheets that show amenities, lot sizes, beds, baths, room dimensions and more.
  • Get the scoop: Check out schools and community information for homes that you like, plus calculate property taxes and learn more about utilities in the area.

Take Your Time

Many first-time buyers want to rush into owning a home. And while the notion of putting down roots can be exciting, you want to make sure there are no regrets. Make a wish list to figure out what things you need, want and don’t want to have in your new home. That way, you know what is necessary, what would be a nice extra or deal breakers when embarking on your search. Take that list to your experienced real estate professional and get started on your journey!