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Mortgage Rates in Georgia — Plus Stats, First-Time Homebuyer Programs and Mortgage Refinancing

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The average mortgage interest rate in Georgia is 3.45%, 2.5% higher than the U.S. average of 3.37%. One reason mortgage rates in Georgia are higher may be that Georgia ranks 45th in the U.S. for average borrower credit score. The national average is 734, but Georgia mortgage borrowers have an average credit score of 723.

Meanwhile, the median home value in the Peach State is $192,700, compared with $239,100 across the U.S.

We’ll take a closer look below at other key mortgage facts around buying a home in Georgia’s biggest cities and towns, plus provide a breakdown of the state’s first-time homebuyer programs.

Mortgage rates in Georgia, plus more stats on the Peach State

How Georgia mortgages compare to the rest of the U.S.
U.S. Georgia Difference Difference % Rank among states
Average borrower credit score 734 723 -11 -1.5% 45
Average mortgage size $284,152 $248,322 -$35,830 -12.6% 26
Average mortgage monthly payment $1,252 $1,109 -$143 -11.5% 25
Average mortgage interest rate 3.37% 3.45% 0.08% 2.5% 32
Average mortgage APR 3.61% 3.69% 0.08% 2.2% 23

Source: LendingTree internal data.
Note: Includes 30-year mortgages closed in 2020. State rankings go from high (1) to low (50) for credit score, mortgage size and monthly payment. State rankings go from low (1) to high (50) for interest rate and APR.

How Georgia mortgage-holders compare to the rest of the U.S.
U.S. Georgia Difference Difference % Rank among states
Median home value $239,100 $192,700 -$46,400 -19.4% 31
Median household income $93,884 $87,381 -$6,503 -6.9% 28
Median monthly housing costs $1,595 $1,417 -$178 -11.2% 30
Median real estate taxes (annual) $2,750 $1,870 -$880 -32.0% 30

Source: American Community Survey (2019 5-Year Estimates), U.S. Census Bureau.
Note: Real estate taxes are for homes with active mortgages. Home values are estimated by surveyed owners. State rankings go from high (1) to low (50).

Georgia is 28th in the nation for median income among households with a mortgage at $87,381, only 6.9% lower than the U.S. median of $93,884.

The Peach State is in the middle of the U.S. — No. 26 — with an average mortgage size of $248,322, 12.6% smaller than the national average of $284,152.

Mortgage facts in Georgia’s biggest cities and towns, from Albany to Warner Robins

LendingTree’s research team compiled data around mortgages in Georgia’s biggest cities and towns with at least 50,000 residents.

Housing markets vary from one city to another in Georgia. For example, the median owner-estimated home values in the three largest cities in the state — Atlanta, Augusta and Columbus — range from $317,800 in Atlanta to $119,200 in Augusta and $153,400 in Columbus.

Since household income influences the ability to buy a home, it’s interesting to look at the gap between homeowner households and renter households. In Atlanta, the median household income among homeowners is $118,330 — nearly double the median household income of $61,380 for renters. In Augusta, homeowners’ median household income is $66,151, compared with $46,514 for renters, a narrower gap than Atlanta’s. The median household income among homeowners in Columbus is $73,543, compared with $45,770 for renters.

Top 5 and bottom 5 in Georgia

Homeownership rates and the percentage of homeowners with an active mortgage varies from one city or town to another in the state.

Here’s a closer look at active mortgage rates in Georgia’s biggest towns and cities, including lowest and highest median property taxes.

3 first-time homebuyer programs in Georgia

First-time homebuyers can compare various programs and look for homebuyer assistance that provides down payment funds. A first-time homebuyer in Georgia includes anyone who hasn’t owned a residence in the past three years.

Georgia Dream Homeownership Program

The Georgia Dream Homeownership Program, designed for low- and moderate-income households, includes affordable loans, homebuyer education and down payment assistance. Borrowers must meet income requirements in the county where they plan to buy and qualify for a mortgage. Borrowers may receive $5,000 in down payment assistance.

Who qualifies?

Eligible applicants include first-time homebuyers with a minimum credit score of 640 who are purchasing in targeted areas.

Each county has a limit on household income depending on the number of people in the household and a maximum purchase price.

  • In 24 counties, borrowers qualify with a household income of $84,000 or less for one or two people and $96,000 or less for larger households. In those counties, the maximum purchase price is $250,000.
  • In all other counties, borrowers qualify with a household income of $72,000 or less for one or two people and $83,000 or less for larger households. In these counties, the maximum purchase price is $200,000.

Liquid assets at the time of closing can be no more than $20,000 or 20% of the house’s purchase price, whichever is greater.

PEN program

This extension of the Dream program benefits protectors, educators and nurses (PENs). First-time homebuyers — including those who are police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), teachers, nurses or active-duty military — may be eligible for down payment assistance of up to $7,500.

Who qualifies?

Outside of the profession that makes a borrower eligible for the PEN program, all qualifications are the same as with the Georgia Dream Homeownership Program (see above).

Choice program

Another extension of the Dream program, this is designed for homebuyers who are disabled or who have someone in their household with a disability. Qualified borrowers may be eligible for down payment assistance of up to $7,500.

Who qualifies?

Similar to the PEN program, all qualifications — outside of disability status — are the same as with the Georgia Dream Homeownership Program (see above).

How to refinance your mortgage in Georgia

If you’re a homeowner, you may be looking at mortgage rates in Georgia and considering whether to refinance your loan.

When you refinance, you pay off your current loan and continue financing your home with a new mortgage. Whether it makes sense to refinance depends on numerous factors, such as:

  • How long you plan to stay in your home
  • How long you’ve been paying your mortgage
  • Your current mortgage interest rate
  • Your potential new rate
  • Your new loan terms

No matter your goal, you can use our mortgage refinance calculator to help estimate your new payments. If you want to lower your payments, you probably want to refinance into a new 30-year, fixed-rate loan. If you want to pay off your loan more quickly, you can compare loans with a term of 10, 15 or 20 years.

You may also want to consider a cash-out refinance to access some of the equity you’ve built up in your home to finance home improvements, pay college tuition or consolidate debt. Once you establish your goals, shop around for your best rates and compare the total refinancing cost with several lenders.

Sources

  • LendingTree proprietary and anonymized 2020 customer data
  • U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, 2019 5-year estimates (latest available)
 

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