Mortgage Rates Georgia: Finding The Best Home Deals In The Peach State
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With prices and demand rising every year, getting a home in any state is a competitive affair – and Georgia is no different. However, knowing the local mortgage rates can make it easier to find affordable houses and secure the best deals.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about mortgage rates in Georgia! You’ll get access to the latest rates as well as key home buying tips to help you buy your dream Georgia home.
Loan Options In Georgia
As an American homebuyer, you have three main loan products to finance your purchase. Let’s break down the details of each loan type.
Conventional Home Loan
Most conventional home loans are available through banks and other private mortgage companies. These loans have set amount limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Conforming loan amount limits usually vary by area, but the limits are set at $548,250 for the entire state of Georgia.
Conventional loans are further broken down into three main types:
A fixed-rate loan features a constant interest rate & APR for their entire life. A fixed mortgage’s APR & rate also translates into stable and consistent monthly payment amounts.
Due to their predictability, fixed-rate mortgages are very popular with long-term financial planners. However, fixed-rate mortgages have higher interest rates compared to other loan types.
Lenders most commonly offer 30-year fixed-rate loan terms. If you’re looking for a lower APR & rate, you can opt for 15-year or 30-year fixed-rate terms instead.
Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)
An alternative to fixed-rate loans is adjustable-rate mortgages. The ARM rate & APR readjust every year, following a market index chosen by lenders.
While this may make your APR & rate unpredictable, it offsets the drawback with an introductory period featuring low fixed rates. The low ARM rate, APR, and monthly payment during this period make them good for short-term savings.
An ARM’s introductory period length is usually stated in its name. For example, a 5/1 ARM features five years of introductory interest rates.
If you’re looking to buy houses priced above local loan limits, you can opt for a jumbo mortgage. While jumbos allow you to buy a more expensive house, they also feature a higher mortgage interest rate.
Government-Backed Loan Programs
The U.S. government offers several loan programs to boost the homeownership rate among demographics like low-income borrowers and military veterans. These loans usually have affordable rates and low-to-zero down payment requirements.
The three most prominent government loan programs are:
FHA loans: Designed to help borrowers with a low credit score, an FHA loan features competitive rates and low down payment requirements. However, borrowers must pay mortgage insurance fees for the entire loan.
VA loans: This military member-exclusive zero-down loan offers you a competitive rate. To replace mortgage insurance fees, you’re required to pay an upfront cost called funding fees.
USDA loans: Aimed primarily at rural home buyers, these zero-down loans feature competitive rates and low mortgage insurance fees. However, they also have strict area requirements.
A mortgage refinance allows you to alter your loan terms by replacing your existing loan with a new one.. Refinancing can accomplish one of two things:
Change your loan details: When you take a rate and term refinance, you can alter your loan’s terms. For example, you can shorten a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage into a 15-year one for better refinance rates. You can also change your adjustable-rate loan into a fixed-rate one to avoid rate fluctuations.
Liquidate your home equity: Cash-out refinances convert built-up home equity into cash. This type of refi provides you with a loan that’s larger than your current mortgage balance. Once you pay off your mortgage, you can use the remaining cash for other things.
Current Mortgage Rates In Georgia
Historically, mortgage rate trends in Georgia have stayed close to the national average mortgage rates. Below are the most current mortgage and refinance rates in Georgia. All the APR & rate details contained in this table are taken from the nation’s top mortgage lenders.
Compare Today’s Mortgage Rates in Georgia
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Your Georgia mortgage rates & APR may vary depending on your financial circumstances. Also, keep in mind that the rates listed here may change without prior notice.
For a more detailed look at your Georgia mortgage rates & APR, you can use the rate tool at the top of this page. With your financial details, we’ll calculate a customized Georgia mortgage rate & APR just for you!
First-Time Homebuyer Programs In Georgia
The Peach State offers several first-time homebuyer assistance programs through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (GDCA). To qualify for these assistance programs, you need to fulfill these requirements:
Meet the credit score minimum
Have not owned a house in the last three years
Contribute at least $1,000 of your money to the purchase
Participate in a homebuyer education course
Purchase a single-family property in Georgia
Georgia Dream Homeownership Program
The main state mortgage program in Georgia offers 30-year mortgages in the form of conventional, FHA, VA, and USDA loans. In addition to the Georgia Dream mortgage, you may also be eligible for down payment and closing cost assistance through one of the following programs.
Georgia Standard Down Payment Assistance (DPA)
All Georgia Dream borrowers are eligible for this down payment and closing cost assistance program. The Georgia Standard DPA provides $5,000 in the form of a second loan that needs to be repaid when you sell, refinance, or transfer ownership of the home.
If you work as a first responder, educator, or healthcare provider in the state, you’re eligible for a down payment and closing cost loan through Georgia PEN. This closing fees assistance can be combined with the Georgia Standard program and provides $7,500 in a deferred loan – you only need to repay it when you sell or refinance the home.
If you or a family member are living with a disability, you can qualify for $7,500 in down payment assistance through Georgia Choice. As with the other two DPA programs, the funds come in the form of a deferred loan.
Buying A Home In Georgia
Homebuying can be a complicated journey. To make sure you can compete in the Georgia housing market, you need to know the steps of buying a home.
Step 1: Apply For A Mortgage
The first step to buying a home is getting pre-approved for a mortgage.
As part of the application process, a mortgage loan officer will assess your financial health. If you pass this pre-approval, you’ll receive a pre-approval letter with the key details of your mortgage loan: your interest rate, loan terms, and maximum loan amount. You can use this letter as evidence of your financial readiness to buy a house when you make an offer.
Step 2: Recruit A Real Estate Agent With Local Experience
A real estate agent’s assistance is indispensable. Their primary job is to show you the best home deals, but their experience also makes them local experts. Your realtor can tell you key details about the area, like the average property value and commute times.
Step 3: Start House Hunting
Good house hunts start at the neighborhood level. Search local property listings in the area for the most affordable house that fits your needs. It’s okay to go under budget during this phase – any leftover money can be used for home improvements.
Step 4: Make An Offer
You’re probably not the only one eyeing the house. To catch the seller’s attention, you need to make an offer that stands out. Ask your realtor about how much above the home price you should offer to avoid overpaying.
Step 5: Schedule Inspections And Appraisals
Another essential step in the process is examining your purchase. With the help of a property inspector, you can spot issues that may need repairs before you move in. Meanwhile, appraisers can determine your house’s actual value to ensure that you’re getting a good deal from the seller.
Step 6: Finish The Purchase
Remember to prepare the money to pay your closing costs and lender fees prior to closing day. Also, make sure your realtor is present during the paperwork signing to ensure everything is in order.
How To Get A Lower Georgia Mortgage Rate
Getting low mortgage rates & APR can help you save thousands of dollars. Follow these top three tips to reduce your mortgage rates!
Compare Loans From Multiple Companies
Since lenders are always competing for a borrower’s business, they’ll try to sweeten the pot for you. Some lenders may offer lower rates, while others may offer closing cost discounts.
To easily compare offers between multiple lenders, ask for loan estimates. Pay close attention to their rates, APR, closing costs, and lender fees. Once you’ve compared them, pick the loan that represents the best value for you.
Take A Shorter Loan
Lenders bear less risk on shorter loans, which is why they usually feature lower rates. You’ll also make fewer mortgage payments on a shorter loan, reducing your interest rate expenses. However, keep in mind that shorter loans have higher monthly payment amounts.
Consider Buying Discount Points
Your lender may offer discount points to lower your mortgage rate. Typically, points are worth 1% each and offer a 0.25% rate reduction. For instance, if you buy two points on a $300,000 loan with a 3.5% rate, you’ll pay $6,000 to drive your rate down to 3%.
Since points are a large upfront expense, they’re best bought if you’re planning to keep the loan for a long time. If you refinance the loan, you’ll lose any benefits provided by discount points.
If you’re planning to buy a home in Georgia, you should be prepared for competition. Knowing the latest mortgage rates can put you at an advantage and help you find better housing deals with less hassle.
Wesley is here to assist you in finding the best-valued mortgages in Georgia. Contact us today for more mortgage resources and advice!