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Down Payment Assistance Programs

We want to make your homeownership dreams a reality. Ameris Bank partners with other organizations within our communities to offer a variety of down payment assistance programs for customers who qualify.*

 

Ameris Bank is proud to offer products and programs that may help modest-income and first-time homebuyers achieve their dreams of homeownership. Contact us today to determine if you’re eligible for any of these programs or any additional programs that may be available from agencies in your state or local area. This information is not a complete description of all eligibility requirements. Additional program restrictions may apply.

Income and sales price limits are subject to change. Individual program availability is subject to funding and not at the discretion of Ameris.

Assistance To Support Home Ownership

  • Up to 100% financing of the appraised value available for eligible first-time homebuyers 
  • Mortgage insurance not required 
  • Owner-occupied, primary residence only 
  • Borrower required to contribute a minimum of $500 
  • Gifted funds permitted 
  • Income and location restrictions apply 
  • As little as 3% down payment (all can be gifted)
  • Mortgage insurance required
  • One-unit primary residence

FHLB Grants and Assistance 
This program offers funds for the purchase of an existing unit by a first-time homebuyer (have not owned a home in the last 3 years).  

Program Highlights:  

  • Must be primary residence with forgivable loan options after 5 years 
  • Homebuyer counseling required 
  • Grant funds can be used for down payment and closing costs 
  • Household income limits may apply 

FHLB Community Partners 
We offer a unique financial opportunity for current or retired law enforcement officers, educators, health care workers, firefighters and other first responders who are purchasing a home. 

Program Highlights: 

  • Maximum assistance is $10,000, homebuyer must contribute at least $1,000 
  • Eligible homebuyers include veterans and active-duty military, or their surviving spouse, essential workers, law enforcement officers, educators, healthcare workers, firefighters or any other first responders 
  • Eligible for primary residence purchases 
  • Income limits apply 
  • Homebuyer education course required 

FHA Loan 
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) leads the way in affordable home financing with low down payment options and flexible qualifying guidelines. 

Program Highlights: 

  • As little as 3.5% of the appraised value for down payment 
  • Gift funds may be used for down payment assistance 
  • Fixed-rate mortgage
  • Seller can pay closing cost up to 6% 

FHA Construction-to-Permanent Loan 
This loan program combines the purchases of your lot, construction costs and permanent mortgage financing into a single loan-ensuring you have the funds to build your dream home in one closing.  

Program Highlights: 

  • Down payments as little as 3.5% of the appraised value 
  • Maximum loan amount based on county loan limits set by Federal Housing Administration (FHA) 
  • Maximum debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 50% allowed 
  • Required reserves of at least two months of principal, interest, taxes, insurance and association dues 
  • 12-month construction phase 
  • Available for primary residences only 

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans are a popular option for many first-time homebuyers who may not meet the traditional 5-20% down payment requirement. 

Program Highlights: 

  • No down payment required 
  • Up to 100% financing of the appraised home value available 
  • One-time guarantee fee may be rolled into the loan amount 
  • Restrictions based on income and location may apply 
  • Eligibility restrictions apply 
  • Mortgage insurance required 

We are proud to serve those who have served our country. Through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), we offer a special financing option for our veterans, available with little to no down payment. 

Program Highlights: 

  • Loan amounts up to $1,250,000 for eligible borrowers 
  • Up to 100% financing of the appraised home value available for qualified borrowers; based on entitlement remaining for the veteran 
  • No monthly mortgage insurance 
  • Funding fee may be financing into the loan 
  • Closing costs can be paid with gift funds, with available grants, or by seller 
  • Seller concessions allowed up to 4% 

State Specific Programs

Alabama Housing Finance Authority (AHFA) 
AHFA’s programs offer a variety of options for buyers such as down payment assistance, closing cost assistance and mortgage credit certificates, which reduce the amount of federal income tax homebuyers must pay. Visit the AHFA website to learn more. 

Salute Our Soldiers Military Loan Program 
Administered by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, The Salute our Soldiers Military Loan Program offers military service personnel and veterans 30-year, fixed-rate first mortgage loans with several down payment assistance options. This program is available in all 67 counties throughout the State of Florida to borrowers who are purchasing a primary residence, meet income and purchase price limits, can qualify for a first mortgage loan, and successfully complete a homebuyer education course. 

Jacksonville Head Start to HOME Ownership (H2H) Program 
The H2H program provides financial aid in the form of down payment and closing cost assistance to eligible families and/or individuals in Duval County. Families and/or individuals who do not currently own a house, who will reside in the home as their primary residence and who meet household income criteria will be eligible for assistance pending funding availability. 

Florida Housing’s First-Time Homebuyer (FTHB) Program 
This program offers 30-year fixed-rate loans to first-time homebuyers through participating lenders and lending institutions across the state of Florida. Eligible borrowers may also participate in one of Florida Housing’s second mortgage programs to assist borrowers with down payment assistance and closing costs. Click here for more information. 

Georgia Dream 
GA Dream offers a way for qualified homebuyers to obtain affordable first mortgage financing and down payment assistance to purchase a home. 

GA Dream First Mortgage Loan 

  • Borrower must be a first-time homebuyer, must not have owned a home in the past three years or must purchase a home in a targeted area. 
  • Local lender approval for FHA, USDA or VA mortgage loans. 

GA Dream Down Payment Assistance Loans1  

  • Borrower may use this deferred repayment2 loan for the down payment, closing costs, prepaid expenses or principal reduction; must be used in conjunction with a Georgia Dream First Mortgage. 
  • The standard loan provides $7,500 for eligible homebuyers. 
  • The Providers, Educators and Nurses (PEN) loan provides $10,000 for eligible public protectors, educators, health care professionals and active military. 
  • The Consumer Home Ownership and Independence Choices for Everyone (CHOICE) loan provides $10,000 for eligible homebuyers with disabilities or those who have a disabled dependent as a household member. 

Housing Authority of Cobb County 
The Authority works to help finance the cost of providing an adequate supply of housing for residents of Cobb County.  Qualified applicants may be able to receive a down payment grant of 2, 3, or up to 4%* towards purchasing or refinancing a home in Cobb County, Georgia based on the type of loan selected. 

DeKalb County Workforce Enhancement (WE DeKalb) 
The WE DeKalb program provides a down payment grant of 3, 4, or 5% to qualified applicants interested in purchasing or refinancing a home in DeKalb County, Georgia, based on the type of loan selected. The program is especially ideal for those who may exceed earning limits to qualify for affordable housing subsidies, but need help with down payment and closing costs. Visit the WE DeKalb website to learn more. 

Invest Atlanta 
Invest Atlanta offers multiple assistance programs and incentives to help make the dream of homeownership possible within the City of Atlanta. Incentives can be used toward down payment and closing costs. Click here to visit the Invest Atlanta website

Anne-Arundel County Mortgage Assistance Program 
This program provides financial assistance to eligible homebuyers in Anne-Arundel County, Maryland.  

Program Highlights:  

  • Up to $20,000 in assistance  
  • Borrower must be first-time homebuyer 
  • Eligible property must be located within Anne Arundel County, MD 
  • Maximum sales price for existing properties is $349,000 
  • Maximum sales price for new construction properties is $411,000 

Frederick County Homebuyer Assistance Program  
The Frederick County Homebuyer Assistance Program provides down payment or closing cost assistance to homebuyers purchasing their first home in Frederick County, Maryland. 

Program Highlights:  

  • Eligible for first-time homebuyers who live or work in Frederick County, Maryland 
  • Up to $8,000 in assistance available based on Area Median Income 
  • Minimum borrower contribution of $500 required 
  • Income limits apply 
  • Primary residence only 

Maryland Mortgage Program 
The Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) offers a wide range of mortgage programs to make homeownership an achievable goal. 

Program Highlights: 

  • Fixed-rate loan programs include Conventional, FHA, VA and USDA mortgage products 
  • Down payment assistance programs available  
  • MMP is designed for first-time homebuyers who have not owned a home for at least 3 years 
  • First-time homebuyer status not required for those purchasing homes in a MMP Targeted Area or a Veteran using their exemption for the first time 
  • Homebuyer education class required 

North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) Home Advantage programs 
The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) offers several Home Advantage programs to help homebuyers secure mortgages and down payment assistance. Program incentives are available for eligible first-time homebuyers, move-up homebuyers and military veterans. Click here to visit the NCHFA website

Community Partners Loan Pool (CPLP) 
Another option from the NCHFA, the Community Partners Loan Pool offers no-interest deferred second mortgages for up to 20 percent of the sales price, not to exceed $30,000 when used in conjunction with the NC Home Advantage Mortgage™, or up to 10 percent when combined with a USDA Section 502 loan. CPLP may be combined with other down payment assistance programs, including the NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment.  Click here to visit the CPLP website

Forsyth Affordable Homeownership Opportunity Program - HOME (AHOP HOME) 
The Affordable Homeownership Opportunity Program provides funds to assist with the down payment and closing costs associated with the purchase of a home by a first-time homebuyer with low or moderate income in Forsyth County. 

Winston-Salem Home Ownership Assistance Program 
Administered by the Community Development Department of the City of Winston-Salem, the Home Ownership Assistance Program provides financial and technical assistance to first-time homebuyers with incomes less than 80% of area median, adjusted by household size. The goal of the program is to facilitate the attainment of home ownership by individuals and families who have the income to afford a mortgage, but may have cash or other barriers to ownership. 

SC Housing Programs 
SC Housing offers competitive mortgage loans and down payment assistance (DPA) to help families and individuals become homeowners. They offer competitive fixed rate mortgage loans combined with money to help cover down payment and closing costs. 

Palmetto Home Advantage: 

  • Offers DPA in the amount of 0%, 4% or 5% of first mortgage loan amount 
  • Funding is available to first-time homebuyers and experienced homebuyers 
  • Income limits may apply

Homebuyer Program: 

  • Offers up to $7,000 in down payment assistance 
  • Single-parent households, veterans and households with disabled family members often qualify as first-time homebuyers, regardless of previous homeownership. 
  • Counts household income of all adults 18 years and older 
  • Income and purchase price limits vary by county and are based on SC Housing limits chart 
  • The SC Housing Homebuyer Program offers competitive rates 

Palmetto Heroes Program:  
Through this program, all community service personnel in the fields of law enforcement, firefighting, emergency medical services, licensed medical professionals, teachers, Active Duty and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and Active SC National Guard members may be eligible for affordable mortgage financing and down payment assistance. 

Program Highlights: 

  • Up to $12,000 in forgivable down payment assistance* 
  • Available on new construction or existing construction 
  • FHA, VA, USDA and Conventional loan products available 
  • Funds are limited and available on a first come, first serve basis  
  • Sales price and income limits apply 
  • Other eligibility and program requirements may apply 

*The borrower must occupy the subject property for the applicable occupancy period of the lien for the assistance to be fully forgiven. 

Tennessee Housing Development Agency 
The Great Choice Home Loan program is designed to make homeownership available and affordable for Tennesseans of middle/moderate income. Homebuyers who qualify for the Great Choice Home Loan can also apply for down payment assistance in the form of a Great Choice Plus second loan to help with your down payment and/or closing costs. Great Choice Plus is a second mortgage loan on your home, that is paid in monthly payments over 15 years at an interest rate that is the same as the first mortgage rate. Additional financing incentives are available for military members through the Homeownership for the Brave Program. Visit the THDA website for details. 

The Housing Fund 
The Housing Fund, a private non-profit organization, offers loans up to $35,000 for down payment, prepaids and closing costs to individuals and families. Click here for criteria 

VHDA Down Payment Assistance Grant 
With Virginia Housing Development Authority’s (VHDA) Down Payment Assistance Grant, qualified first-time homebuyers may receive a percentage of the purchase price to help with the down payment. 

Program Highlights: 

  • Grant provides up to 2.5% of the purchase price in down payment assistance with no repayment required. 
  • This grant may be combined with other down payment assistance programs available through other organizations. Some restrictions apply. 
  • All borrowers receiving this grant are eligible for a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)1. 
  • Buyers must have household incomes at or below program limits. 

VHDA Community Heroes  
Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) and Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) offer a unique opportunity for eligible community heroes such as law enforcement officers, public school educators, firefighters, and other first responders. 

Program Highlights:  

  • Must be first-time homebuyer 
  • Available for eligible public school educators, firefighters and other first responders 
  • Property must be a primary residence in Virginia 
  • VHDA Homebuyer Education is required 

DC Opens Doors  
DC Open Doors provides several mortgage programs and down payment assistance options that help make homeownership more accessible and affordable in Washington, D.C. 

Program Highlights: 

  • Both the FHA and HFA program may be combined with DCHFA’s down payment assistance loan 
  • FHA Plus loans offer 3.5% of the sales price as a down payment assistance 
  • HFA Preferred/Advantage loans offer 3% of the sales prices as a down payment assistance and Refinance options 
  • Down payment assistance loan bears no interest and may be forgivable in 5 years unless the borrower sells, refinances, or moves out of the house in the first 5 years 

DHCD Employer-Assisted Housing Program  
Ameris Bank and the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) are committed to easing the process of homebuying for DC residents. The Employer-Assisted Housing Program (EAHP) provides assistance to District government employees who are first-time homebuyers in the DC area. 

  • Eligible employees can receive matching down payment funds up to $5,000 and a deferred loan of up to $20,000. 
  • Eligible borrowers include employees at all District government agencies, including DC public and charter schools. 
  • First responders including police officers, corrections officers, firefighters and paramedics may be eligible for additional assistance if certain program criteria are met. 
  • Borrower must be employed in good standing for one year. However, first-responders and public and charter school teachers are eligible at the time of appointment or acceptance of an employment offer. 
  • Borrower must have no ownership interest in a primary residence in the District in the prior three years. 

DHCD Home Purchase Assistance Program 
Ameris Bank proudly offers the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) in partnership with the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). This program offers interest-free loans and closing cost assistance to qualified low-to-moderate income residents of the DC area. Eligible DC borrowers may receive up to $84,000 in total assistance.  

Program Highlights: 

  • Maximum financial assistance amount is $80,000, based on household income, need and fund availability.  
  • Closing cost assistance is provided separately and is calculated at 4 percent of the home purchase price or $4,000, whichever is less.  
  • Borrower must be a low-to-moderate income resident, based on DHCD standards.  
  • Borrower must be a first-time homebuyer and head of the household.  
  • Home must be purchased as a primary residence. 

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*All loans are subject to credit approval and eligibility requirements may apply.

Ameris Bank is a full-service financial institution serving customers in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, with locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.