As of May 25, 2023 the national average 30-year fixed mortgage APR is 7.13%, while the national average 30-year fixed refinance APR is 7.17%, according to Bankrate.
These rates vary widely by location and even lender. They can change in a matter of days. For these reasons, it’s important to find out what rates to expect from real estate agents at Lake Oconee.
With the right professional guidance, you’ll find yourself moving into your new lake home in Georgia in no time!
Current mortgage rates in Georgia
As of May 25, 2023 those getting home loans in Georgia pay 7.13% on average for a 30-year mortgage. Choosing a 15-year mortgage lowers that rate to around 6.39%.
While many parts of the country are seeing housing demand slow, Georgia is showing no signs of a slowdown. People from other parts of the country are migrating for many reasons, including pristine natural beauty and relatively low tax rates. Georgia is considered tax-friendly for business, working-age, and retirees alike.
In the current market, homes move quickly, and sellers get many offers.
As of March of this year, a single-family home in Georgia is selling for $350,000 (up 12%), with some areas more desirable and, therefore, more pricy. Once again, this is why it’s so important to work with real estate agents at Lake Oconee who understand the local market, not just the Georgia real estate market.
Despite the rise in prices over the past couple of years, Georgia homes are still considered “affordable” when looking at the cost of housing nationwide.
This isn’t the case in metropolitan Atlanta, where the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index states that only 41% of homes sold were affordable for median-income households in the 4Q of 2022.
How to find the best mortgage rate in Georgia for you
When looking for the best mortgage rates in Georgia, following these steps helps you get the lowest rates and the right terms for you.
Step 1: Make sure your credit is at its best.
The lowest advertised rates go to those with exceptional credit. So, it’s time for a financial checkup.
Pull your credit reports from the 3 main bureaus by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. This is a US government website despite not having a .gov. US law gives you 1 report from each bureau each year.
Step 2. Set a budget.
Identify how much house you can afford. Mortgage lenders often qualify people with excellent credit for a more expensive house than they can afford. This is because they don’t know your day-to-day spending habits. They are trusting you to use some common sense here.
Step 3: Learn about your mortgage options.
Different kinds of mortgages exist that could give you more favorable terms. VA loans, FHA loans, and USDA loans are the most common. If you qualify for one of these, you may have a lower (or no) down payment. And even conventional loans offer as low as 3% down for qualified buyers.
But there are house price restrictions. For example, Lake Oconee spans 3 counties. According to Bankrate’s 2023 data, the loan limits for FHA loans in these counties are as follows:
- Morgan $592,250
- Greene $515,200
- Putnam $472,030
Step 4: Better shop around.
Be sure to compare rates across lenders, and let’s be Georgia-polite as you let lenders know you’re shopping around. Check with credit unions, banks, online lenders, and local lenders. This requires some legwork but can save you a lot.
Pro tip: Morgage offers do expire. Plan to take some time to dedicate to doing this in a short period. And remember, your real estate agents at Lake Oconee can help you with this. We know the market and can keep you focused on the lenders most likely to offer favorable rates, saving you time.
Step 5: Get your preapproval letter.
This is the only way to really know what you’ll pay. Plus, in a seller’s market, where multiple people place offers on one home, preapprovals and cash buyers will be moved to the top of the stack.
Mortgage Options in Georgia
Let’s take a closer look at 3 popular Georgia mortgage options.
Georgia conventional mortgages: You need a minimum of 620 credit score for this one. Plus, your debt-to-income ratio can be no more than 45. To get this, just divide your monthly debt minimum payments by your monthly income. Also, be aware that if you pay less than 20% down, you will pay private mortgage insurance.
Georgia FHA loans: The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures loans to make loans more accessible to lower incomes, down payments, and credit scores.
Georgia VA loans: Veterans and active duty may qualify for this one with no down payment.
As your real estate agents at Lake Oconee, we can help you navigate the loan and home-buying process. Kim and Lin Logan Real Estate have been ranked the top-selling real estate team in Lake Oconee, Georgia, since 2008.
To get our help buying a lakefront home, chat with us.