So, you want to buy a house in Georgia. Well, you've come to the right place - we've compiled a little guide to the housing market of The Peach State (one of their nicknames, for the record). We'll go over a few details that could help you make your decision, and as a bonus, we'll throw in a bit of fun stuff. Here we go.
Before settling on a new house, you first need to know which city you want to move to (duh). Something that helps lots of people decide this is knowing which areas in the state are more/less expensive. The good folks at homesnacks.net provided a few of these, as of 2018.
Most expensive cities:
Least expensive cities:
That's a good place to start when it comes to crossing off some of your options, especially if this will be a long-term relocation for you.
Sure, Georgia's got delicious peaches, but does it have a good housing market? The current status of the market in a state is an important factor to many who are dreamin' of buying a place somewhere new. So, let's check it out together.
For starters, houseingpredictor.com says that the three best places to buy a house in Georgia are Atlanta, Roswell and Savannah. Atlanta's more than just the state's capital, it's also got a great music scene, epic nightlife and lots of diversity. Also, all kinds of events go on in Atlanta, all the time. Home values here average $225,000 currently, and are selling for around $300,000. Renting will cost you about $1,700/month.
Roswell has an "excellent neutral market",,which means that the housing market is in neither the buyer's nor the seller's favor, at the moment. So basically, it's fair game, all around. Why move to Roswell? Well, it's got a "great sense of community," lots of culture and international cuisine, great nightlife, a huge art scene and historic cobblestone streets. It's also apparently a great place to raise a family. Check. Home values here are about $371,500. Renting costs about $1,500/month.
Don't forget about Savannah, which is said to have a "down-home southern living" vibe. It's also got itself a good, neutral market as of late. Home values here average $129,000, and homes are selling for about $224,900. Renting will cost you around $1,300/month. It's obviously the most affordable option of the three, rent-wise.
Georgia's also got plenty of new construction in progress. You'll see a lot of it sprouting up in the northern half of the state, according to zillow.com. Many of the new properties are in development in/around Atlanta, Decatur, Athens and Dalton. There's also a good bit underway along the southern half of the east coast of the state - in/around Savannah, Hinesville and Brunswick. So, you've got plenty of options to find yourself a new place here.
Alright, we've covered WHERE you can find yourself a place, but how much will properties cost, and what are home values like, across the state? We'll find that out, next.
To start off, zillow.com says that home values in Georgia currently average about $175,000. The price per square foot averages $116. Homes are currently listed on the market for about $250,000, and are closing for an average of $181,200. Average rent for a house is $1,395/month. And as far as home appreciation is concerned, values are on the rise - they've increased 8.5% over the past year, and are projected to rise another 8.6% in 2019.
That's great, but what about the folks who are after apartments/condos? Well, rentcafe.com says that getting a place in Milton will cost you about $1,436/month, on average. In Alpharetta, places are going for around $1,375/month. Dunwoody's got places for an average of $1,341/month. Decatur has places up for about $985/month, and Augusta will save you a bit of green, with places listed for an average of $778/month.
Alright, townhouse lovers, this one's for you. According to zillow.com, townhouse rent in Georgia starts from a low end of about $425/month for a one-bed/one-bath place, and hits the high end at around $1,650/month, for a three-bed/two-bath place.
When you've got your sights set on a new state, it's also important to take into consideration if any policies are specifically required in that area. Do you love hurricanes? If so, that's good - because Georgia does, too. In fact, Georgia's one of the lucky 19 states that require a hurricane deductible as a part of their homeowners insurance policy.
But what does that mean, exactly? Well, basically you'll have to pay your insurance company a certain amount of money before they'll cover any damage to your home dealt out by an angry windstorm. Deductible costs are typically about 1%-5% of the insurance value of the home, but it really depends on where you live, too. For example, houselogic.com says that those living in a low-risk area in a smaller/cheaper house might pay $300 towards their deductible, while those living in a high-risk area in a fancy mansion might pay $30,000.
If you'd prefer not to have to pay for hurricane insurance, or deal with the damage they can cause (and who would blame you?), you might want to look into a state that's further from the coast - one that enjoys a nice cushion from other states that are more susceptible to these not-super-fun storms.
Before pulling the trigger on your decision to relocate to Georgia (or any other state), it might be a good idea to check out what their school system is like. Luckily it's next up on our overview of the state.
Here are some 2018 WalletHub stats about how Georgia schools ranked in the country:
Additionally, the Atlanta metro area was reported to be the #24 most educated city in the US, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. 48.2% of the population in the metro area has a bachelor's degrees or higher.
The top-rated schools in Georgia are the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, Technology in Lawrenceville, and the University of Georgia in Athens.
OK, the factual stuff is out of the way, so let's go over some fun stuff. Why the heck would people even move to Georgia, at all? Well, don't just listen to us - consider these pros and cons offered up straight from ACTUAL Georgia residents.
PROs (as voted by real-life Georgians):
CONs (also from the mouths of real Georgians):
So, now you've got some ideas about WHY people move to Georgia. Right on. But WHAT do the people here do? We'll go over a few of the places locals say are must-sees in the area. No matter what you're into, the state's gotta have something that'll appeal to you.
Here are just a few of the state's coolest attractions:
Well folks, there you have it - our little guide to all things related to relocating in Georgia, with an added bonus of some fun insider's info. It's no secret that there's WAY more to say about the state than we could possibly include (plus, no one really wants to read all that), but we're hoping that you've at least gotten some of your questions answered.
If you're thinking Georgia sounds right for you, then load up the car and get on over there.