Georgia Real Estate Prices
The United States and many parts of the world are experiencing economic depression. According to experts, this is one of the greatest economic declines since the Great Depression. Home buyers in the United States are becoming more familiar with foreclosures, short sales and other distress home buying situations. Investors that have a stable economic situation will benefit from the low interest rates and low home prices.
Georgia mortgage rates and home prices are lower than most of the states in the South Eastern region. Currently, only Alabama and Kentucky have lower home prices. Georgia home prices have dropped by as much as 12.2% compared to previous years. Only Florida experienced a similar drop in home prices at approximately 10% compared to previous years.
Unfortunately, experts expect the average American to continue struggling financially in the coming decade. They do not expect the salaries to increase significantly in the coming years, despite the recent glimmer of hope that the United States has seen in the recent job market. This will mean more foreclosures and better deals for investors that have the capital to purchase property. Experts even comment that low mortgage rates are an advantage for banks to speculate in the markets globally. Therefore, it is an advantage for the banks to keep interest rates low.
Median Real Estate Prices Nationwide
The median nationwide home price is $170,500, and the annual income is $50,221, according to Zillow experts. This provides a ratio of 3.3. Experts expected that the median home value would be significantly less. In fact, experts predicted a value of $119,000, which would signify a 30% drop from its current value. Experts wanted inflation to be considered as a factor in United States’ home values. However, since wages have remained stagnant for nearly 10 years, inflation was not factored into the current figures.
Median Real Estate Prices in Georgia
According to Zillow, the average home price in Georgia is $117,300. This figure is significantly lower than the median home value nationwide. Since 2006, Georgia’s median home price has declined by over $30,000. In Atlanta, the median home prices have fallen by nearly $50,000 since 2006. Augusta home prices have remained fairly stable.
On a 30 fixed loan, most home buyers in Georgia may obtain a property with an interest rate as low as 4.5%. The fees will be approximately $3,500 to $5,000 in cost. Mortgages in Georgia may also be obtained with lower fees of around $1,000 or less. However, the interest rates increase to 4.75%.
A 20% down payment is typically required for these types of loans. A credit score of 720 or higher is also the norm to obtain low interest rates. Most lenders require that the annual income of the family purchasing the home have a ratio of 3 or higher. Before the recession, the ideal number was 2.2. Reality has caused banks to revaluate. Currently, the norm is approximately a 3.3 lending ratio. In common terms, this means that 3.3 multiplied by the annual income will equal the value of the home. Lenders, however, prefer to accept borrowers with lending ratios less than 3.3.
Popular Cities to Live in Georgia
Atlanta and Augusta are two of the most popular areas to live in Georgia. The Atlanta Metro area combines numerous popular, exclusive and surburban neighborhoods. Within the Atlanta city limits is an urban metropolis, where many corporations and musicians have made their homes. Corporations such as Coca Cola, The Home Depot, AT&T, Delta Air Lines, UPS and Turner Broadcasting have made Atlanta their corporate headquarters. In fact, Atlanta has the fourth largest presence of Fortune 500 companies of any area in the country. Atlanta accounts for nearly 66% of Georgia’s economy, which currently represents nearly $270 billion.
Buckhead is one of the more affluent Atlanta neighborhoods. In this area, home buyers may expect to find shopping akin to Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive or Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Lenox Mall and Phipps Plaza currently cater to exclusive clientele. However, a new project will transform 14 blocks of Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta into a shopping mecca.
Atlanta area is also home to many higher educational institutions and cultural events. Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia State all reside within the metropolitan areas of Atlanta. The High Museum of Arts, The Fox Theatre and Shakespeare Tavern are also popular venues that residents and visitors enjoy.
Fastest Growing Cities in Georgia
Atlanta metropolitan is one of the fastest growing areas in Georgia and in the country. The suburbs are expanding, as well as, the city. Atlantic Station is a popular neighborhood that blossomed in Midtown. This area has appeal like many of the European countries. Because of the corporations, music industry and development, the city is growing faster than most metropolitan areas in the country. Despite its growth, crime has decreased by over 50%, as it has decreased all over the country.
Types of Mortgages Offered in Georgia
A security deed transfers the title to the lender over the course of the loan. In Georgia, security deeds are the primary mode of lending. However, mortgages are also used as well. With a security deed, the borrower agrees to pay the lender the specified amount of the loan within the period specified. The borrower will also agree to the terms and conditions of the note. The borrower is required to execute a security deed as a contract specifying the terms of the lending circumstances. Mortgages, on the other hand, allow the legal title to remain with the borrower. The lender will only have interest in the property according to the amount owed on the note.
Common types of deeds in Georgia include: warranty deeds and quitclaim deeds. Trust deeds, grant deeds and contract for deeds are also common deeds used in Georgia. The deed is the actual document that transfers ownership from one person to another.
Quitclaim deeds are devised when someone inherits a property or receives a property in a divorce settlement. One spouse may transfer their ownership rights to another spouse with this type of deed.
A grant deed transfers ownership to another individual according to specifications made in the contract. Most often these conditions include that the title has not been transferred to another party in a separate transaction.
A warranty deed transfers ownership of the property. This type of deed states that the property is free of liens or has not been transferred to another individual in another transaction. If this information is incorrect, the buyer may be compensated for his or her inconvenience. Other conditions or stipulations may also be outlined in the deed as a part of the transaction.
Recourse loans allow the bank to render a legal action against the borrower in the event of loan default. This law enables lenders to legally collect the amount owed on a property from the borrower. They may do this by garnishing wages or suing the borrower. After a foreclosure, a deficiency judgment may be delivered against the borrower.
For instance, if the value of the property does not cover what the borrower owes on the property, then legal action may be taken against the borrower to recover the difference. If you owe $220,000 on your home and it only sells for $180,000, then the borrower may be liable for an additional $20,000. The lender may then take legal action to recoup this money on their home. Lenders may also sue for costs related to the foreclosure process and the deficiency judgment proceedings. In this case, lenders are more likely to pursue garnishment of wages and other legal proceedings. Most likely wages will be garnished instead of taking essential items such as a car, home or retirement accounts.
In a non-recourse loan, the lender may only foreclose on the home and take any collateral offered during the terms of the loan. Lenders may not take any further legal actions against the borrower other than foreclosing the home. These loans are riskier because the bank loses significant revenue on these types of loans. Lenders compensate by offering higher interest rates on non-recourse loans.
Since most Georgia lenders require a security deed instead of a mortgage, most of the loans are non-recourse loans. This means that the lender suffers loss and cannot take any other legal actions against the borrower other than foreclosing the home. Lenders in Georgia believe that the borrower would not have missed a payment if they had the funds to pay the loan. Therefore, suing a person will often result in more fees and costs that the person cannot afford to pay.
Foreclosure Process in Georgia
A security deed allows the lender to foreclose a property without a court proceeding. Mortgages require a court proceeding in the foreclosure process to convert the legal title to the bank. Foreclosures are a faster process with a security deed.
Both judicial and non-judicial foreclosure processes are available in Georgia. This means that both a security deed and mortgages are available through lenders. The timeline of a foreclosure process on average is 90 days. The judicial process involves a lawsuit to force a foreclosure. The non-judicial process allows the borrower to authorize the process in an effort to help the bank recover the amount owed on the property.
The foreclosure process begins when the borrower receives the notice via certified mail. Most of the documents must be acknowledged within 15 days of receiving the notification. The return notification must be mailed to the lender at the address on the receipt. Foreclosures will be published in the newspaper four weeks prior to the foreclosure sale. Foreclosure sales are typically held on the first Tuesday of the month at the local courthouse.
Lenders may use a deficiency judgment in Georgia. Most homeowners are advised to remain in their homes until they are instructed to vacate the home. If the home is vandalized or damaged after the home is abandoned, the lender will get less money from the home.
In a non-judicial proceeding, Georgia lenders are not required to inform the borrower before the foreclosure process. However, there may be a clause written in the mortgage or trust deed that demands the lender to inform the borrower prior to beginning the process. A borrower can stop the foreclosure process by paying the total loan balance plus any related costs. In Georgia, this does not automatically reinstate home owner rights to the borrower. Each borrower should consult an attorney to learn his or her rights in this process.
Georgia also has a foreclosure prevention program called HOPE. Counselors are available to help people avoid foreclosure. Staff is available 24 hours per day and seven days per week to provide free and confidential advice.