Homeownership spurs empowerment, reaps value

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 to share how they were able to accomplish their goal of securing the keys to their success and becoming homeowners!

Julie Bainbridge was renting but said she realized she could buy a house and pay less each month with a mortgage. A co-worker mentioned Georgia Dream, and Bainbridge went online to learn more.

“It was easy enough to do the research and pass the class,” she said. All eligible Georgia Dream applicants are required to take a homebuyer education class. These are offered in person or online.

Bainbridge said finding a lender was also easy. She received $15,000 in assistance – an amount she said she would not have been able to save otherwise. 

“I was able to buy a home and save money because I’m investing in myself instead of giving it to other people,” she said. “I love that [Georgia Dream] empowers responsible low-income people, stimulates the economy, and fills homes that might otherwise sit empty.”

Although she said the program is “a lot of work,” Bainbridge said it’s worth it: “If you’re willing to put in the time and effort for yourself, it pays off.”