Athens resident finds perfect home to accommodate needs, pets

Our Georgia Dream program provides down payment assistance for first-time home buyers. In our Keys to Success series, we’ve asked residents from all across Georgia share how they were able to accomplish their goal of securing the keys to their success and becoming homeowners!

Maria Marino was renting a house in Athens-Clarke County where she lived with her pets. However, her landlord wanted to sell which meant she would have to find a new residence.

“Moving was going to be costly and hard to find a place that allowed more than three pets,” she said. “I have Rheumatoid arthritis, and it is hard to just pick up and move.”

Marino had an idea: To buy the house she was renting. Needing assistance, she searched online for programs for homebuyers and discovered Georgia Dream.

“It gave me the opportunity to own the house I was living in and not have to move,” she said. “It’s easy to complete the program and buy your own house.”

She received $5,000 in assistance and said homeownership provided her stability. Her mortgage was also more affordable than her rent.

Marino said, “Georgia Dream was great!”