Ready to buy a house in Georgia? Georgia’s booming economy, low cost of living, Southern charm, and warm weather all year long make it an attractive place to buy a home. Let’s talk about the benefits of buying a home in Georgia and some of the most beautiful places in the state to buy.
Benefits of Buying a Home in Georgia
When you choose to buy property in Georgia, you reap the rewards:
Some of the economic attractions of living in Georgia include sales tax rates that are below the national average, job market increase that is significantly higher than the US average, and an unemployment rate that is significantly lower than the rest of the nation.
Low cost of living
The cost of living in Georgia is below the national average. The median home cost across the United States is $291,700, while the median home cost in Georgia is just $240,400. The average cost of healthcare and groceries are also lower here, which means your money goes a little further when you choose this corner of the world.
With a BestPlaces Comfort Index of 7.4, Georgia is “one of the most pleasant states in the United States.” With lots of sun, a high of around 90 degrees in July, and a low of around 33 degrees in January, Georgia offers traditional seasons with no extreme cold and very little snow – less than an inch per year on average.
Tips for Buying a House in GA
When buying a home in Georgia, keep the following tips in mind:
- budget for hurricane insurance; there is an additional premium associated with this coverage
- consider the Lake Sinclair for residential-style lakefront property or Lake Oconee for resort-style lakefront property
- ask about HOA fees and restrictions in the area you’re exploring
- ask your realtor about home-buyer programs in Georgia that might make it easier for you to afford or close on your home
How to Buy a Home in Georgia
Whether you’re looking for a home in town or lakefront property on Lake Oconee, here are the steps to buying a home.
- Save up. You’ll need to put down between 5% and 20% of the sale price of any home you buy. If you a buy a home at the average sale price in the area, you’ll need to put between $12,000 and $48,000 down at closing (plus some additional closing costs). Making a down payment of at least 20% will eliminate the need for private mortgage insurance, or PMI, and reduce your monthly mortgage payment, so your REALTOR® will strongly recommend that you strive for 20% down.
- Get pre-approval. Many sellers will require that buyers are pre-approved for a mortgage before scheduling a showing, so it’s important to get pre-approval before you start scheduling showings. This also gives you an idea of your budget and ensures you only fall in love with homes that are within reach.
- Make a list. If you’re buying a home with anyone else, be sure to include them as you define your must-haves in a new home. Do you want a short commute to work…or a short commute to the dock? How many bedrooms, bathrooms, and garage stalls do you need? Are you willing to invest in a fixer-upper or should it be move-in ready?
- Partner with an agent. Be sure to choose somebody who specializes in the area you’d like to live in; they’ll be able to help you navigate the nuances of the area and have inside knowledge of upcoming listings, restrictions, and more.
- Look at homes. Your REALTOR® will set up showings based on the list of must-haves you provided so you can begin to narrow down your options, share your feedback, and refine your search if necessary.
- Extend an offer. When you’ve found the home you love, work with your agent to submit an offer – ideally as soon as possible. Your agent can share more about the market and the unique property history so you know how much time you have to think about it and make a decision.
- Prepare for closing. Your bank and agent will provide you with instructions once your offer has been accepted; you will likely need to refrain from opening new lines of credit or making large purchases, set up inspections, provide supporting documentation, and arrange for the sale of your current home if applicable. Follow all instructions exactly as written to ensure a smooth closing.
- Close on your home. Once you close on your home, usually between 30 and 90 days after you make an offer, you’re a Georgia homeowner!
Ready to start looking? Reach out to the team at Kim and Lin Logan Real Estate today!