Buying a home is a huge decision – it’s right up there with deciding to adopt a pet or choosing what to binge-watch on Netflix. Okay, maybe it’s a little more important than that.
But seriously, it’s not something you should rush into without considering all the factors at play. Sure, you’ll want to keep an eye on things like interest rates and the housing market, but the truth is, there is always the best time to buy a house.
The answer is more than just a simple yes or no. It relies on various considerations of which are entirely within your control. Though you can find your ideal home at any time of the year, house-hunting during specific months can lead to significant cost savings. So, if you are planning to buy a house in Georgia, continue reading to know when is the best time to buy a house.
Before You Begin Your Home Buying Journey
Finding the best time to buy a house is all about balance. You’ll want to take into account your financial situation, the current state of the housing market, and any personal factors that might affect your decision. Here are some of the things that you need to look into before you dive into buying a house in Georgia:
Buying a home can be a daunting decision, but you’ll know when to do it when you feel it is the right time. Your personal goal and motivation is the most important thing to consider when buying a home. Current life events and future lifestyle needs control your housing requirement, and this also gives you an idea of what type of home you want to purchase. Life events could include getting married, getting a new job, having a new addition to the family, having adult children, retiring from work, and such. Consider your long-term goals and how owning a home fits into them. If you plan to stay in one location for several years, then it is the best time to buy a house.
Know the Mortgage Rate in Georgia
In 2022, mortgage rates experienced a significant surge after hitting historic lows in 2021. As of Wednesday, July 26, 2023, the current mortgage interest rates in Georgia stand at 7.28% for a 30-year fixed mortgage and 6.52% for a 15-year fixed mortgage. Despite home prices cooling down in many areas, Georgia has shown a different trend, as reported by the Georgia Association of Realtors.
When searching for a mortgage, it’s essential to compare at least three loan offers – research indicates that this practice can potentially save you thousands of dollars over the loan’s lifespan. Prior to purchasing a property, obtaining mortgage pre-approval is important, so make sure to conduct thorough research beforehand.
Be Financially Prepared
The best approach to choosing a home is to only do so when you can afford the financial burden. Ensure you have enough budget, a good credit score, savings for a down payment, closing costs, insurance, and emergency funds. Consider your income, debts, and expenses. It is difficult to time mortgage rates and home prices. So if you find the perfect house that you’ve always wanted, it is better to buy it as soon as you are able to do so.
Hire A Real Estate Agent
Many people still try to determine the best time to invest in a property. They’ll analyze market trends, mortgage rates, and even consult their horoscopes for good measure. And while all that research is admirable, it is always best to have trusted real estate professionals who can check all of the timing factors for you. Getting help from the best Georgia Realtors who can examine the Georgia housing market in detail across multiple cities like Atlanta can be a financially wise decision. They can provide you with the best approach to deciding whether it is a good time to buy a house.
When is the best time to buy a house in Georgia?
The best time to buy a house is when there’s a large selection of houses in the market. According to Skylar Olsen–director of economic research for Zillow–February and March is when you’ll first start to see an uptick in new listings online. At the same time, Nadia Evangelou–a research economist for the National Association of Realtors–stated, “potential buyers are house-hunting in the spring when the weather is warm.”
For the Georgia housing market, it remains strong due to high demand, limited supply, and consistently rising home prices. Zillow reports the average Georgia home value at $318,919, reflecting a 1.3% increase over the last year, with properties going to pending in approximately 12 days. The most active months are March, April, and May, with more houses on the market, which makes it easier to find your dream house. It also gives you a chance to get discounted prices and steer clear of bidding wars with other buyers.
August is considered the month of leftovers but also a potential sweet spot in buying a home. This is the month when most sellers offer price cuts, or are now willing to negotiate their listing price.
Winter season is regarded as the off-season in the real estate world. This is also true in the Georgia housing market. While there is less inventory on the market during this cold season, this is also the best time to get great deals on purchasing a home. Lesser selections do not mean lower chances of buying a house. While others are busy enjoying themselves and possibly not paying attention, there may be an opportunity to discover a hidden gem that you will just fall in love with.
Should you buy a house in Georgia?
Georgia stands out as one of the fastest-growing states in America. While house prices in Georgia continue to rise, the overall cost of living is relatively low compared to other states in the USA, making it a more affordable place to reside.
In addition to its remarkable affordability, Georgia offers numerous advantages, including pleasant year-round weather, breathtaking natural landscapes, a vibrant entertainment scene, and lively nightlife.
Moreover, Georgia boasts a booming economy, with sales tax rates below the national average, a job market experiencing significant growth higher than the US average, and an unemployment rate significantly lower than the national average. All of these give you more reasons to buy your home in Georgia, making it an attractive and prosperous location to live.
Best Cities to Buy a House in Georgia
Before making a property purchase during the best time to buy a house in Georgia, it is essential to conduct comprehensive research on the cities you are considering. Here is a compilation of some of the finest locations in Georgia that are highly recommended for buying a property.
- Marietta. Marietta is a wooded town with a fascinating history and promising future. You can find a house for sale in Marietta, GA that provides a peaceful atmosphere, excellent schools, and convenient access to downtown Atlanta. This city allows you to embrace the lifestyle of your choice, whether it’s upscale, featuring historic mansions and elegant French cuisine, or a more down-to-earth approach with cozy bungalows and affordable groceries.
- Decatur. In this Atlanta suburb, you’ll find top-rated schools. Decatur is brimming with bars, cafes, parks, and a variety of activities for all interests. Although the cost of living may be higher, the area compensates with excellent employment prospects.
- John’s Creek. Located just 30 miles northeast of Atlanta, John’s Creek is an Atlanta suburb renowned for its low crime rates, excellent schools, and high quality of life. The area offers abundant entertainment, dining, shopping, and recreational opportunities, making it a great destination for residents and visitors alike.
- Athens. For those who relish the college community vibe, Athens offers a perfect setting. The area is well-suited for biking and walking, and it boasts excellent public transportation options. With a median home price of $150,000, this community of 120,000 residents provides an affordable and appealing living environment.
- Suwanee. Suwanee presents an ideal choice for those seeking a small city to call home. Renowned by numerous publications as a top city, it accommodates a population of just 17,000. Suwanee caters to all your needs, offering a sustainable cost of living, a low crime rate, and easy access to excellent education.
- Peachtree City. Peachtree City has garnered recognition from reputable publications such as CNN and TIME Magazine, solidifying its status as a top city. This area is celebrated for its widespread use of golf carts, which has become a distinctive and popular means of transportation among residents.
Best Time to Buy a House in Georgia FAQs
What are the advantages of living in Georgia?
Georgia offers numerous advantages, including an affordable cost of living, warm climate, diverse geography, a booming economy, Southern hospitality, rich culture and history, excellent education, vibrant entertainment, and access to beaches and mountains. All of these makes Georgia an alluring and ideal place to settle down and call home.
How easy is it to buy a house for sale in Georgia?
While the prospect of buying a home is exciting, it is far from simple. The type of home you purchase and its cost will be influenced by numerous factors, including the state of Georgia housing market, your financial position, and the local economic conditions.
What are the requirements when buying a house in Georgia?
To be eligible for most mortgage lenders, you’ll require a minimum credit score of 620, a debt-to-income ratio below 43 percent, and a down payment of at least 3 percent of the purchase price (though a higher down payment may be necessary). Additionally, you’ll need enough funds to cover your closing costs. While FHA standards permit credit scores as low as 500, higher scores will likely secure better deals as lenders often set their own standards for qualification.
Are You Ready for the Commitment?
Commitment goes hand in hand with owning a house. Once you find the best time to buy a house in Georgia and finally own one, you’ll be responsible for the house’s maintenance, property taxes, and utility charges. It is a commitment to your future self as much as to your finances. But more than just responsibility, being a homeowner is transforming a house into whatever your heart desires.
When thinking about the best time to buy a house, make the decision that’s best for your future–and your wallet. And if all else fails, just remember that home is where the heart is, so as long as you’ve got that, you’re already halfway there.
If you’re ready to buy a home in Metro Atlanta and Marietta Georgia, be sure to give us a call. Our Realtors at Hummel Group are committed to finding the perfect place for you.