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Hello!

I have not been on VJ in such a long time, it feels good to be back! :content:

My husband and I currently live in CA. He hates it here, it's not his cup of tea- overcrowded, expensive, not "out in the open" enough... I don't blame him. I was born and raised here, but even the overcrowding is getting to me.

So anyway, he lived in GA a while back, and he suggested we look to buy a home out there. I'm actually about to go to GA for the first time this weekend. I'm all for looking for a new place to live [anywhere but here in CA! :no: ].

I know we don't have the 20% down for a home, so we are considering FHA. I have tried to find information regarding this situation that we find ourselves in, but what I have found is not that current.

Is this considered government assistance? I have read it's not, but again, info is not recent. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks! :)



event.png

20 Aug 2012: Got engaged! (L)

K-1 VISA

28 Jan 2013: K-1 sent

07 Feb 2013: NOA1

04 Jun 2013: NOA2

?? Jun 2013: NVC Received

20 Jun 2013: Consulate Received

?? ??? 2013: Packet 3 Requested in CDJ (Never received!)

03 Oct 2013: Interview- Requested Petitioner's presence :(

30 Oct 2013: 2nd interview- Eligible for I-601 waiver

20 Nov 2013: I-601 waiver sent

?? Apr 2014: RFE

21 Jul 2014: RFE mailed

29 Jul 2014: K-1 approved :dancing:

08 Aug 2014: 2nd med required

25 Aug 2014: CEAC status- ISSUED

28 Aug 2014: Visa arrives @ DHL

02 Sep 2014: Visa in hand

03 Sep 2014: POE- LAX

05 Sep 2014: Married! :wub:

AOS

28 Oct 2014: I-485, I-131, I-765 sent

04 Nov 2014: Case #'s for I-485, I-131, I-765 assigned

07 Nov 2014: NOA 1 arrive for I-485, I-131, I-765

12 Nov 2014: Letter for biometrics appointment arrived

25 Nov 2014: Biometrics appointment

26 Jan 2015: I-131 approved; I-765 sent to be produced

29 Jan 2015: Card mailed out

30 Jan 2015: Combo card received! :dancing:

20 Feb 2015: DMV- Written test passed! Temporary License issued (Had MXN Lic.) :)

25 Feb 2015: USCIS Letter- Possible Interview Waiver!

12 Mar 2015: CA License obtained (Passed Behind-the-wheel test) :dancing:

06 Aug 2015: GC approved! :dancing: (Welcome to U.S. letter received 8/10)

19 Aug 2015: GC received in mail (2 year Conditional Residence)

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Hello!

I have not been on VJ in such a long time, it feels good to be back! :content:

My husband and I currently live in CA. He hates it here, it's not his cup of tea- overcrowded, expensive, not "out in the open" enough... I don't blame him. I was born and raised here, but even the overcrowding is getting to me.

So anyway, he lived in GA a while back, and he suggested we look to buy a home out there. I'm actually about to go to GA for the first time this weekend. I'm all for looking for a new place to live [anywhere but here in CA! :no: ].

I know we don't have the 20% down for a home, so we are considering FHA. I have tried to find information regarding this situation that we find ourselves in, but what I have found is not that current.

Is this considered government assistance? I have read it's not, but again, info is not recent. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks! :)

An FHA loan is not considered gov't assistance such as welfare or food stamps would be, it is a loan that is insured by the federal gov't. Be prepared to pay PMI (mortgage insurance) monthly on top of the actual loan and other escrow fees, it is a requirement for an FHA loan. Once you acquire 20% equity (in most cases, some loans are 25%) in your home, you can refinance through a regular lender and have that PMI removed.

Here is some basic info on an FHA loan.
What is an 'FHA Loan'

An FHA loan is a mortgage issued by federally qualified lenders and insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). FHA loans are designed for low-to-moderate income borrowers who are unable to make a large down payment. As of 2016, these loans allow the borrower to borrow up to 96.5% of the value of the home; the 3.5% down payment requirement can come from a gift or a grant, which makes FHA loans popular with first-time homebuyers.

BREAKING DOWN 'FHA Loan'

FHA loans were created after the Great Depression in the 1930s. During this time, defaults and foreclosures skyrocketed. In response, the government created federally insured loans that gave mortgage lenders peace of mind, reduced lender risk and stimulated the housing market. FHA loans are offered to low-income individuals who have credit scores as low as 500. Individuals with a credit score between 500-579 can obtain an FHA loan with a down payment of 10%; individuals with a credit score higher than 580 can get an FHA loan with as little as 3.5% down.

Even people who have no credit or have gone through bankruptcy and foreclosure may still qualify. However, the lower the credit score and the lower the down payment, the higher the interest rate. In addition to these traditional first mortgages, the FHA offers a reverse mortgage program known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM). This program helps seniors convert the equity in their homes to cash while retaining the titles to their homes.

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Thank you much Harpa Timsah and Teddy B



event.png

20 Aug 2012: Got engaged! (L)

K-1 VISA

28 Jan 2013: K-1 sent

07 Feb 2013: NOA1

04 Jun 2013: NOA2

?? Jun 2013: NVC Received

20 Jun 2013: Consulate Received

?? ??? 2013: Packet 3 Requested in CDJ (Never received!)

03 Oct 2013: Interview- Requested Petitioner's presence :(

30 Oct 2013: 2nd interview- Eligible for I-601 waiver

20 Nov 2013: I-601 waiver sent

?? Apr 2014: RFE

21 Jul 2014: RFE mailed

29 Jul 2014: K-1 approved :dancing:

08 Aug 2014: 2nd med required

25 Aug 2014: CEAC status- ISSUED

28 Aug 2014: Visa arrives @ DHL

02 Sep 2014: Visa in hand

03 Sep 2014: POE- LAX

05 Sep 2014: Married! :wub:

AOS

28 Oct 2014: I-485, I-131, I-765 sent

04 Nov 2014: Case #'s for I-485, I-131, I-765 assigned

07 Nov 2014: NOA 1 arrive for I-485, I-131, I-765

12 Nov 2014: Letter for biometrics appointment arrived

25 Nov 2014: Biometrics appointment

26 Jan 2015: I-131 approved; I-765 sent to be produced

29 Jan 2015: Card mailed out

30 Jan 2015: Combo card received! :dancing:

20 Feb 2015: DMV- Written test passed! Temporary License issued (Had MXN Lic.) :)

25 Feb 2015: USCIS Letter- Possible Interview Waiver!

12 Mar 2015: CA License obtained (Passed Behind-the-wheel test) :dancing:

06 Aug 2015: GC approved! :dancing: (Welcome to U.S. letter received 8/10)

19 Aug 2015: GC received in mail (2 year Conditional Residence)

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You might look into community or state based programs that assist low and medium income families buy homes. They're often a better deal than FHA loans.

My wife and I bought through an organization here in NM called Homewise. Like FHA, they didn't require 20% - and, in fact, only required a 2% down payment, as opposed to the 3.5% that usually accompanies an FHA loan. The difference is that a Homewise loan didn't require private mortgage insurance. That saves us close to $90/month over an FHA loan. To qualify for a Homewise loan we had to attend their mandatory (free of cost) classes.

Again, Homewise is specific to Northern New Mexico. You'll want to look for similar organizations in the state/city where you are moving to.

Good luck!


Marriage: 2014-02-23
CR1 started : 2014-06-06
CR1 completed : 2015-07-13 (POE)
ROC started : 2017-04-14 - CSC

N400 started: 2018-04-24

N400 interview: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque - Approved N400 & ROC

Oath ceremony: 2018-09-24 - Albuquerque

 

April 2017 I-751 Filers Spreadsheet

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1t335PrkwxPk7sRryv02NH3vrWHy0vlkBxjmPy5VYJO8/edit#gid=0

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You might look into community or state based programs that assist low and medium income families buy homes. They're often a better deal than FHA loans.

My wife and I bought through an organization here in NM called Homewise. Like FHA, they didn't require 20% - and, in fact, only required a 2% down payment, as opposed to the 3.5% that usually accompanies an FHA loan. The difference is that a Homewise loan didn't require private mortgage insurance. That saves us close to $90/month over an FHA loan. To qualify for a Homewise loan we had to attend their mandatory (free of cost) classes.

Again, Homewise is specific to Northern New Mexico. You'll want to look for similar organizations in the state/city where you are moving to.

Good luck!

Just curious, (cause I like to stay informed on different types of real estate purchasing options), was the interest rate you got through Homewise equal to the market rate at the time you purchased, or was it a bit higher?

Edited by Teddy B

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GA is also super overcrowded ....


K-1 + K-2:                                                                                                                         AOS from K-1 + K-2:

02/02/16....I-129F mailed to Lewisville, TX                                                                       08/25/16....AOS package mailed to Chicago, IL

02/03/16....Delivered at Lewisville, TX                                                                               08/26/16....Delivered at Chicago, IL

02/08/16....NOA1 Text & E-mail. Case sent to CSC                                                         09/01/16....NOA1 Text & E-mail

02/12/16....NOA1 Hard copy received                                                                               09/09/16....NOA1 Hard copy received

03/24/16....NOA2 (45 days)                                                                                                 09/15/16....Bio-letter received for K-1/K-2 for Sep. 26th

03/29/16....NOA2 Hard copy received                                                                               09/19/16....Bio appointment done (Walk-in)

03/31/16....Medical                                                                                                              11/01/16.....EAD/AP approved

05/26/16....Interview                                                                                                            11/16/16.....EAD/AP card received

06/10/16....Visa in hand                                                                                                       03/09/17.....AOS Approved - No interview

06/21/16....POE Atlanta                                                                                                       03/15/17.....Green cards in hand

07/30/16....Wedding                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                       12/09/18.....ROC window opens

 

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Just curious, (cause I like to stay informed on different types of real estate purchasing options), was the interest rate you got through Homewise equal to the market rate at the time you purchased, or was it a bit higher?

Homewise constructs the loan a little bit differently than FHA. To avoid mortgage insurance requirement, they construct 90% of the loan amount at the market rate - we qualified for a 3.75% APR rate for this 90% part. The 10% remaining part of the loan is at the market rate + 2%, i.e. 5.75%. It's a very favorable effective blended rate, and by avoiding mortgage insurance, it's about $80/month cheaper on a $200k loan. Also, we can pay off the 10% portion early and avoid the higher rate for the remainder of the loan term, something you can't do with an FHA loan. You're in for the mortgage insurance for the full term of the FHA loan.


Marriage: 2014-02-23
CR1 started : 2014-06-06
CR1 completed : 2015-07-13 (POE)
ROC started : 2017-04-14 - CSC

N400 started: 2018-04-24

N400 interview: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque - Approved N400 & ROC

Oath ceremony: 2018-09-24 - Albuquerque

 

April 2017 I-751 Filers Spreadsheet

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1t335PrkwxPk7sRryv02NH3vrWHy0vlkBxjmPy5VYJO8/edit#gid=0

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I suggest don't buy right away in GA. Rent and get a sense of the area first. Then if you like it you can pursue buying a home.


Sent I-129 Application to VSC 2/1/12
NOA1 2/8/12
RFE 8/2/12
RFE reply 8/3/12
NOA2 8/16/12
NVC received 8/27/12
NVC left 8/29/12
Manila Embassy received 9/5/12
Visa appointment & approval 9/7/12
Arrived in US 10/5/2012
Married 11/24/2012
AOS application sent 12/19/12

AOS approved 8/24/13

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You might look into community or state based programs that assist low and medium income families buy homes. They're often a better deal than FHA loans.

My wife and I bought through an organization here in NM called Homewise. Like FHA, they didn't require 20% - and, in fact, only required a 2% down payment, as opposed to the 3.5% that usually accompanies an FHA loan. The difference is that a Homewise loan didn't require private mortgage insurance. That saves us close to $90/month over an FHA loan. To qualify for a Homewise loan we had to attend their mandatory (free of cost) classes.

Again, Homewise is specific to Northern New Mexico. You'll want to look for similar organizations in the state/city where you are moving to.

Good luck!

Will do! Thank you!

GA is also super overcrowded ....

I didn't think it was that bad. It might be just as bad as L.A., but we were not planning to move to ATL. Everywhere else I went was ok.

I suggest don't buy right away in GA. Rent and get a sense of the area first. Then if you like it you can pursue buying a home.

Yes, that is what my relatives and friends have suggested we do first. I think my husband finally realized it's what we should do first. [He was the one set on buying a home.]

Thank you!



event.png

20 Aug 2012: Got engaged! (L)

K-1 VISA

28 Jan 2013: K-1 sent

07 Feb 2013: NOA1

04 Jun 2013: NOA2

?? Jun 2013: NVC Received

20 Jun 2013: Consulate Received

?? ??? 2013: Packet 3 Requested in CDJ (Never received!)

03 Oct 2013: Interview- Requested Petitioner's presence :(

30 Oct 2013: 2nd interview- Eligible for I-601 waiver

20 Nov 2013: I-601 waiver sent

?? Apr 2014: RFE

21 Jul 2014: RFE mailed

29 Jul 2014: K-1 approved :dancing:

08 Aug 2014: 2nd med required

25 Aug 2014: CEAC status- ISSUED

28 Aug 2014: Visa arrives @ DHL

02 Sep 2014: Visa in hand

03 Sep 2014: POE- LAX

05 Sep 2014: Married! :wub:

AOS

28 Oct 2014: I-485, I-131, I-765 sent

04 Nov 2014: Case #'s for I-485, I-131, I-765 assigned

07 Nov 2014: NOA 1 arrive for I-485, I-131, I-765

12 Nov 2014: Letter for biometrics appointment arrived

25 Nov 2014: Biometrics appointment

26 Jan 2015: I-131 approved; I-765 sent to be produced

29 Jan 2015: Card mailed out

30 Jan 2015: Combo card received! :dancing:

20 Feb 2015: DMV- Written test passed! Temporary License issued (Had MXN Lic.) :)

25 Feb 2015: USCIS Letter- Possible Interview Waiver!

12 Mar 2015: CA License obtained (Passed Behind-the-wheel test) :dancing:

06 Aug 2015: GC approved! :dancing: (Welcome to U.S. letter received 8/10)

19 Aug 2015: GC received in mail (2 year Conditional Residence)

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Will do! Thank you!

I didn't think it was that bad. It might be just as bad as L.A., but we were not planning to move to ATL. Everywhere else I went was ok.

Yes, that is what my relatives and friends have suggested we do first. I think my husband finally realized it's what we should do first. [He was the one set on buying a home.]

Thank you!

It's really bad.

We live 45 min away from ATL and it's still very bad.


K-1 + K-2:                                                                                                                         AOS from K-1 + K-2:

02/02/16....I-129F mailed to Lewisville, TX                                                                       08/25/16....AOS package mailed to Chicago, IL

02/03/16....Delivered at Lewisville, TX                                                                               08/26/16....Delivered at Chicago, IL

02/08/16....NOA1 Text & E-mail. Case sent to CSC                                                         09/01/16....NOA1 Text & E-mail

02/12/16....NOA1 Hard copy received                                                                               09/09/16....NOA1 Hard copy received

03/24/16....NOA2 (45 days)                                                                                                 09/15/16....Bio-letter received for K-1/K-2 for Sep. 26th

03/29/16....NOA2 Hard copy received                                                                               09/19/16....Bio appointment done (Walk-in)

03/31/16....Medical                                                                                                              11/01/16.....EAD/AP approved

05/26/16....Interview                                                                                                            11/16/16.....EAD/AP card received

06/10/16....Visa in hand                                                                                                       03/09/17.....AOS Approved - No interview

06/21/16....POE Atlanta                                                                                                       03/15/17.....Green cards in hand

07/30/16....Wedding                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                       12/09/18.....ROC window opens

 

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Someone we know who moved back rented first and then purchased once they knew what area they wanted. Schools were the draw for them but Zillow or other sites showed a crime rate F which is scary if you read the profile of the area and house. When you live nearby, you find it is crime which is reported which when you live in a city you think it is "normal."

They also cleared their mortgage first as well then purchased, were able to buy well, haggle on the price and still get the good schools. A big motivation for the seller was that they had no property to sell even though they purchased a 3 bedroom house etc.

Good luck, renting also means you can up and move with no hassles if crime F is really true :reading:

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Someone we know who moved back rented first and then purchased once they knew what area they wanted. Schools were the draw for them but Zillow or other sites showed a crime rate F which is scary if you read the profile of the area and house. When you live nearby, you find it is crime which is reported which when you live in a city you think it is "normal."

They also cleared their mortgage first as well then purchased, were able to buy well, haggle on the price and still get the good schools. A big motivation for the seller was that they had no property to sell even though they purchased a 3 bedroom house etc.

Good luck, renting also means you can up and move with no hassles if crime F is really true :reading:

Very true. Thanks! :)



event.png

20 Aug 2012: Got engaged! (L)

K-1 VISA

28 Jan 2013: K-1 sent

07 Feb 2013: NOA1

04 Jun 2013: NOA2

?? Jun 2013: NVC Received

20 Jun 2013: Consulate Received

?? ??? 2013: Packet 3 Requested in CDJ (Never received!)

03 Oct 2013: Interview- Requested Petitioner's presence :(

30 Oct 2013: 2nd interview- Eligible for I-601 waiver

20 Nov 2013: I-601 waiver sent

?? Apr 2014: RFE

21 Jul 2014: RFE mailed

29 Jul 2014: K-1 approved :dancing:

08 Aug 2014: 2nd med required

25 Aug 2014: CEAC status- ISSUED

28 Aug 2014: Visa arrives @ DHL

02 Sep 2014: Visa in hand

03 Sep 2014: POE- LAX

05 Sep 2014: Married! :wub:

AOS

28 Oct 2014: I-485, I-131, I-765 sent

04 Nov 2014: Case #'s for I-485, I-131, I-765 assigned

07 Nov 2014: NOA 1 arrive for I-485, I-131, I-765

12 Nov 2014: Letter for biometrics appointment arrived

25 Nov 2014: Biometrics appointment

26 Jan 2015: I-131 approved; I-765 sent to be produced

29 Jan 2015: Card mailed out

30 Jan 2015: Combo card received! :dancing:

20 Feb 2015: DMV- Written test passed! Temporary License issued (Had MXN Lic.) :)

25 Feb 2015: USCIS Letter- Possible Interview Waiver!

12 Mar 2015: CA License obtained (Passed Behind-the-wheel test) :dancing:

06 Aug 2015: GC approved! :dancing: (Welcome to U.S. letter received 8/10)

19 Aug 2015: GC received in mail (2 year Conditional Residence)

Mzcjm7.png

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SUPER LATE UPDATE:

Thanks everyone for your feedback. We moved out here Jan. 2017, and just purchased our home this past Christmas! 😁😁😁



event.png

20 Aug 2012: Got engaged! (L)

K-1 VISA

28 Jan 2013: K-1 sent

07 Feb 2013: NOA1

04 Jun 2013: NOA2

?? Jun 2013: NVC Received

20 Jun 2013: Consulate Received

?? ??? 2013: Packet 3 Requested in CDJ (Never received!)

03 Oct 2013: Interview- Requested Petitioner's presence :(

30 Oct 2013: 2nd interview- Eligible for I-601 waiver

20 Nov 2013: I-601 waiver sent

?? Apr 2014: RFE

21 Jul 2014: RFE mailed

29 Jul 2014: K-1 approved :dancing:

08 Aug 2014: 2nd med required

25 Aug 2014: CEAC status- ISSUED

28 Aug 2014: Visa arrives @ DHL

02 Sep 2014: Visa in hand

03 Sep 2014: POE- LAX

05 Sep 2014: Married! :wub:

AOS

28 Oct 2014: I-485, I-131, I-765 sent

04 Nov 2014: Case #'s for I-485, I-131, I-765 assigned

07 Nov 2014: NOA 1 arrive for I-485, I-131, I-765

12 Nov 2014: Letter for biometrics appointment arrived

25 Nov 2014: Biometrics appointment

26 Jan 2015: I-131 approved; I-765 sent to be produced

29 Jan 2015: Card mailed out

30 Jan 2015: Combo card received! :dancing:

20 Feb 2015: DMV- Written test passed! Temporary License issued (Had MXN Lic.) :)

25 Feb 2015: USCIS Letter- Possible Interview Waiver!

12 Mar 2015: CA License obtained (Passed Behind-the-wheel test) :dancing:

06 Aug 2015: GC approved! :dancing: (Welcome to U.S. letter received 8/10)

19 Aug 2015: GC received in mail (2 year Conditional Residence)

Mzcjm7.png

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