Point of Interest
Right now, mortgage rates in Georgia are slightly below the national average and come with several other attractive metrics that should be enticing to prospective home buyers.
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Whether you’re on a hunt for peaches or simply looking to enjoy the bustling energy of city life, Georgia may be a unique and interesting place to purchase a home. Average mortgage rates for the state are currently slightly lower than the national average, which could bring some much-desired savings compared to other markets. The median cost of homeownership is also several hundred dollars below the national average.
Overall, homes in the state of Georgia are affordable, which may make this a great place to buy, with the potential for good deals that appeal to all price ranges.
Getting a mortgage in Georgia
If you’re considering a move to Georgia, there are several different cost factors you need to weigh before making your move. First, the median home price in the state is just under $40,000 lower than the current national average. Mortgage rates are also slightly below the national average, meaning that mortgage costs should be lower for the life of the loan.
The median monthly homeownership cost for people with mortgages is about $200 lower than the current national average, which could amount to several thousands of dollars in savings throughout the year, and according to a study posted by Housing Wire in 2019, Georgia ranked 20th in the country for the lowest average mortgage rates.
- Median home price: $166,800
- Average 30-year fixed rate: 3.52%
- Median monthly ownership cost: $1,383
- Homeownership rate: 63.1%
*Rates and data as of May 5, 2020. Assuming 3.72% APR national average on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
Georgia state mortgage rate trends
In April of 2018, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages in Georgia had average interest rates of about 4.30%. Rates rose slightly later that year before a gradual downward trend pushed rates toward the current rate of about 3.52%. Rates temporarily spiked in Georgia in March of 2020 due to the lowered interest rates causing an increased interest in refinancing, but once that was over, the downward trend continued.
Refinancing rates in the state followed the same trend, with rates currently averaging about 3.40% for 30-year refinances. All other fixed-term loan rates followed the same trend and appear to be continuing that trend. The only outlier are 7/1 and 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages, which followed the same trend until recently, when average rates dipped aggressively.
Georgia state current mortgage rates
Mortgage rates in the state of Georgia are currently slightly below the national average of 3.72%. Rates for 30-year mortgages are averaging about 3.52%, assuming a high credit score and a 20% down payment. Your actual mortgage rate may vary based on several factors, including your creditworthiness, the size of the loan, the market area you’re buying in and the type of loan you select.
Right now, 20-year mortgages are averaging below the 3.50% threshold, and 10 and 15-year loans are currently averaging rates in the high 2% to low 3% range. Rates for 3/1 ARM mortgages are currently holding steady at just under 4% on average, and 5/1 and 7/1 ARMs are currently in the low 3% range on average.
Most and least expensive places to live in Georgia
Least expensive places to live in Georgia
1. Columbus, GA — The cost of living in Columbus is 11% below the national average, with big savings on housing and utilities. The median home price in the city is $255,392 and the median rent price is $800.03 monthly. This amounts to a 26% lower cost of living for housing than the national average.
2. Albany, GA — At 10% below the average national cost of living, Albany offers significant potential savings to residents. Housing is 28% below the national average, with an average median rent of $784.81 and the median home price of $250,534. Groceries are about 3% above the national average, though, which means you can expect to pay about $3.43 for a loaf of bread and $2.00 for a gallon of milk.
3. Savannah, GA — The cost of living is beautiful Savannah, Georgia, is also about 10% lower than the national average. Groceries are about 6% below the national average and transportation costs are 6% below the national average, but the big savings come with housing. At 33% below the national average, the median home price in Savannah is $232,143 and the monthly median rent is $727.70.
4. Valdosta, GA — The overall cost of living in Valdosta is 8% lower than the national average, making it one of the least expensive places to live in the state. Grocery costs are 1% above the national average, and transportation and utilities are 1% and 4% lower, respectively. Residents of Valdosta get a major break on housing costs, with a median home price of $278,294 and a median rent of $871.77 — which is 20% below the national average.
5. Auburn, GA — Auburn is 7% below the average national cost of living. The biggest savings to residents are on housing and utilities. Housing costs are 23% below the national average, and utility costs are 17% below the national average. Median home prices are $267,537, and the median rent is $838.08 per month.
Most expensive places to live in Georgia
1. Marietta, GA — Both utility and grocery costs in Marietta are 6% above the national average, and housing costs are only 9% below the national average. Expect to see median home prices of $314,035 and a monthly median rent of $983.74.
2. Roswell, GA — Groceries in Roswell are 3% more expensive than the national average. Expect to pay about $3.42 for a loaf of bread and $1.99 for a gallon of milk. The median cost of a home in the area is $297,142, and the median rent is $930.82. The average cost of gas in the area is $2.48 a gallon.
3. Atlanta, GA — The overall cost of living in Atlanta is about 1% below the national average. Housing costs are only 6% below the national average, with median home prices of $327,568 and median rent prices of $1,026. Transportation costs in the city are 1% above the national average, with a gallon gas costing $2.64.
4. Berkeley Lake, GA — As one of the wealthiest cities in Georgia, Berkeley Lake may be a more expensive place for you to live. Grocery costs are 3% over the national average in the city. Expect to pay $1.86 for a carton of eggs and $3.42 for a loaf of bread. Transportation is about 5% below the national average, which should provide some breaks. Gas in the city is around $2.48 a gallon.
5. Alpharetta, GA — Much like Berkeley Lake, grocery costs in Alpharetta are higher than the national average by 3%. While transportation costs are below the national average by 5%, you can expect to pay about $2.48 per gallon. The median home price in the area is $267,537 and the median monthly rent is $838.08.
*Data source: PayScale
Georgia state mortgage resources and intricacies
Buyers looking to get into Georgia may want to check out the HUD website for Georgia or the state’s website on government assistance for homebuyers. Realtors or mortgage brokers licensed in the state can also help you understand everything you need to know about buying, refinancing or applying for a mortgage.
Property taxes in the state of Georgia came in ranked 27th most expensive, with a tax rate of 0.94%, according to a study published in 2019 by USA Today. Be aware that property taxes may vary by county and city, so take time to understand what you may be paying if you purchase a home in certain parts of Georgia.
The final word
Buying a home in Georgia offers the opportunity to enjoy four seasons, beautiful mountains and bustling industries. To ensure you get the most out of buying a home in Georgia, take some time to understand all of the costs of owning a home in the state. While many costs in Georgia are lower than the national average, you still need to ensure it’s the right fit for you and your budget.