Thinking of buying a house in Georgia as a real estate investment? Well, the Georgia housing market 2021 is a hot seller’s market. But don’t let that intimidate you because if you do manage to get your hands on an investment property in The Peach State, you’re in for some good returns. Just check out Mashvisor’s data:
- Traditional Monthly Rental Income: $1,587
- Traditional Cap Rate: 2.7%
- Average Airbnb Daily Rate: $184
- Airbnb Monthly Rental Income: $2,736
- Airbnb Cap Rate: 4%
- Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 50%
So what can you do to navigate this competitive real estate market? The best first step is to learn how to buy a house in Georgia. Knowing the exact steps you need to take will help you enter the market with confidence and find the real estate investment you’re looking for.
How to Buy a House in Georgia in 10 Steps
Learn how to invest in Georgia real estate by following Mashvisor’s 10-step guide. We also have a few tips and tricks on how to quickly find the best Georgia investment properties for sale, so keep reading!
Step #1: Review Your Finances and Choose an Investment Property Financing Strategy
Are you financially ready to invest in the Georgia real estate market?
According to Mashvisor’s data, the median property price in Georgia is $400,057 and the price per square foot is $261. However, you don’t have to have $400k saved up in order to buy a house in Georgia. Market data shows that a lot of the inventory falls in the price range of $64,000 to $257,000. So if your savings fall within that range, you may be able to find an investment property for sale that you can afford to pay for in cash.
Alternatively, you can apply for a loan when buying a house in Georgia. If you’re thinking of approaching mortgage lenders, then take this time to check your credit score, debt to income ratio, your savings for a down payment, and cash reserves. You’ll also want to do a little research on the different lenders, loan types, and mortgage rates. The current mortgage rate in Georgia is 2.99%. As a real estate investor, however, you will likely end up with a higher rate as this rate is for those purchasing a primary residence. Finally, look toward the future: how will you keep up with your mortgage payments?
If you feel like a conventional mortgage isn’t right for you, you can always look into creative real estate investing. There are other methods that investors use to purchase a rental property. For example, you can look for lease to purchase homes in GA.
As you can see, you have a few different options when it comes to investment property financing. Just be sure to have some kind of plan on how you will pay for your Georgia real estate investment before moving any further – this is one of the most important steps to buy a home!
Step #2: Find the Best City to Invest in Real Estate in Georgia
You might think buying a home in Atlanta or another well-known city in the Georgia real estate market is the way to go. But this kind of blind approach to real estate investing won’t pay off. Instead, do your market research and look at the numbers. Where do rental properties earn the highest return on investment?
Rather than spending a ton of time doing your own real estate market research, look to Mashvisor’s data. Below is a list of the best places to invest in Georgia real estate by rental strategy (based on cap rates):
3 Best Cities in Georgia for Buying a Long-Term Rental Property
- Median Property Price: $194,191
- Price per Square Foot: $131
- Price to Rent Ratio: 13
- Traditional Monthly Rental Income: $1,214
- Traditional Cap Rate: 4.7%
- Median Property Price: $265,180
- Price per Square Foot: $125
- Price to Rent Ratio: 13
- Traditional Monthly Rental Income: $1,666
- Traditional Cap Rate: 4.7%
- Median Property Price: $352,093
- Price per Square Foot: $128
- Price to Rent Ratio: 15
- Traditional Monthly Rental Income: $1,973
- Traditional Cap Rate: 4.5%
3 Best Cities in Georgia for Buying an Airbnb Rental Property
Be sure to research Airbnb laws and regulations in the following cities before buying an Airbnb rental property.
- Median Property Price: $252,229
- Price per Square Foot: $130
- Average Airbnb Daily Rate: $132
- Airbnb Monthly Rental Income: $2,298
- Airbnb Cap Rate: 7.6%
- Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 61%
#2. Saint Marys
- Median Property Price: $338,285
- Price per Square Foot: $166
- Average Airbnb Daily Rate: $114
- Airbnb Monthly Rental Income: $3,039
- Airbnb Cap Rate: 7.0%
- Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 74%
- Median Property Price: $355,086
- Price per Square Foot: $158
- Average Airbnb Daily Rate: $155
- Airbnb Monthly Rental Income: $3,758
- Airbnb Cap Rate: 6.9%
- Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 71%
See a city that promises a great ROI and fits your budget for buying a house in Georgia? Great! But don’t jump right into the investment property search. Continue doing your research. Read up on key things like the state of the economy and job market, population trends, local regulations, etc. If you’re unsure exactly what you should be looking for in this step, read our guide: How to Research Real Estate Markets: The Beginner’s Guide.
Step #3: Find the Best Neighborhood for Buying a Rental Property
Now that you know which city you want to invest in, it’s time to find a great neighborhood for buying a house in Georgia. Neighborhood research is a bit harder to conduct manually compared to city research. So it’s best to turn to real estate investment tools like Mashvisor’s Heatmap.
The Real Estate Heatmap is easy to use. Simply set the available metric-based filters and follow the color codes to see how different neighborhoods in Georgia perform. The filters you can use are:
- Traditional Cash on Cash Return
- Airbnb Cash on Cash Return
- Airbnb Rental Income
- Traditional Rental Income
- Listing Price
- Airbnb Occupancy Rate
Start by setting the Listing Price filter. Neighborhoods that show up in green are home to the more expensive Georgia houses for sale. Those in red have the cheapest real estate.
Once you find a few neighborhoods in your price range, start setting the other filters. For example, if you plan on buying a house in Georgia and renting it out on Airbnb, use the Airbnb Cash on Cash Return and Occupancy Rate filters. Any neighborhoods showing up in green will provide a good CoC return and a high Airbnb occupancy rate.
In just a few minutes, the Real Estate Heatmap will help you pinpoint a great neighborhood for buying a rental property for sale.
Sign up for Mashvisor now and start your research on Georgia neighborhoods.
Step #4: Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
It’s best to approach sellers in the Georgia real estate market with a pre-approval letter in hand. Plus being pre-approved gives you a better idea of how much money you could receive, what mortgage rates you can get, etc.
The first step to getting pre-approved is to research mortgage lenders. It’s a good idea to shop around. Applying for pre-approval with a few different lenders will help you find the best deal. Start your research with this list of the best mortgage lenders in Georgia for September 2021:
- Axos Bank
- PNC Bank
- New American Funding
- Carrington Mortgage Services
- Freedom Mortgage
- Quicken Loans
Mortgage lenders will typically lay out the process of pre-approval and let you know what paperwork and information you need to provide. Once you have the letter, you can start searching for a rental property for sale in Georgia.
Step #5: Begin Your Search for a Georgia Investment Property
As mentioned, Georgia is currently a seller’s market. So as a real estate investor, you’ll need to quickly find investment properties for sale before the competition. And even though you’re not buying a home in Georgia, you still need the real estate to match certain criteria (type, size, price, return potential, etc.).
So how can you find the perfect investment property in the Georgia housing market? Use Mashvisor’s real estate investment software. Our Investment Property Search Tool will ensure that you find exactly what you’re looking for quickly and easily. Here’s how you might use this powerful tool when buying a house in Georgia:
Sign up for Mashvisor and visit the Search Tool. You’ll see that you have plenty of filters to work with. These will help you obtain a list of your ideal Georgia investment properties for sale in minutes:
- Investment Property Financing Method (Cash vs Mortgage)
- Cash on Cash Return
- Cap Rate
- Number of Bedrooms and Bathrooms
- Year Built
- Square Feet
- Airbnb/Traditional Rental Income
- Property Type (Single-family, multi-family. condo/coop, townhouse, etc.)
- Property Status (For sale, pending, sold, foreclosure)
Perhaps you are planning on buying a condo in Atlanta to rent out on Airbnb and your budget is from $75,000 to $125,000. Set the Property Type filter to condo, select the amount of Airbnb Rental Income you’d like to earn and be sure to set your Budget using that filter. The software will quickly reveal the available investment properties for sale that match your criteria.
And there are so many other filters to work with. If you’re looking for big houses in Georgia, Mashvisor can show you multifamily homes for sale (with 2 to 4 units) that will earn you a good return on investment. Just set your criteria and let the tool do the work.
Step #6: Analyze the Investment Property
Even if you’ve set all the filters to your exact specifications for buying a house in Georgia, you will likely still end up with a list of a few different investment properties for sale. So how do you choose the right one? Find out which property will earn the highest return on investment (ROI). You can do this by conducting an investment property analysis on each option.
Again, you need to move fast. This means ditching the investment property analysis spreadsheets and opting for real estate investment tools. Mashvisor’s Investment Property Calculator can help you here. Just visit the Property Analysis Page for any listing on the platform and you will see all the potential returns as estimated by the calculator including:
- Comparable Rental Income
- Monthly Expenses
- Cash Flow
- Cash on Cash Return
- Cap Rate
- Occupancy Rate
The Investment Property Calculator will present all of these ROI metrics for both the traditional and Airbnb rental strategy. Using this powerful tool, you’ll quickly find the best Georgia rental property for sale that is sure to make you money.
Step #7: Hire a Georgia Real Estate Agent
It’s best to turn to a professional when buying a house in Georgia. You may want a real estate agent by your side from the start or after you’ve done some research yourself. Either way, hiring a real estate agent can ensure a successful homebuying process.
Start looking for a real estate agent today using Mashvisor’s Real Estate Agents Directory for the State of Georgia.
Step #8: Make an Offer
We won’t dive into the details of how to make an offer on a house. The reason? Your real estate agent is the best resource for this step of buying a house in Georgia. They will ensure you make the best offer possible for the investment property you’re interested in. Your real estate agent will also aid you in negotiations with the seller.
However, if you still want to learn how to make an offer on your own or just understand the general process, we have a few guides you can check out:
- How Much to Offer on a House: An Investor’s Guide
- How to Make an Offer on a House That Is Overpriced
- Writing a Real Estate Offer Letter: 9 Things to Include
- 5 Real Estate Negotiation Tips for Investors
Step #9: Get an Inspection and Appraisal
Once a seller accepts your offer, there is still some work to do. It’s time to get a home inspection and a real estate appraisal done.
A home inspection will let you know if there are any serious or hidden issues with the investment property. Hire a professional home inspector to investigate things such as the condition of the roof, the foundation, and the major systems of the home like the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical system. The State of Georgia recommends that you also get inspections for Radon and termites done when buying a house.
A real estate appraisal is a key part of your due diligence when buying a house in Georgia because it will let you know the market value of the property. If you’re taking out a real estate investment loan, the lender will want to ensure the property’s worth matches the loan amount. And you will want to ensure your offer matches the value as well. If the appraisal is low, you may want to renegotiate your offer.
Step #10: Close on Your New Investment Property
The final step of buying a house in Georgia is to do a final walkthrough and close the deal.
During the final walkthrough, check to make sure everything is as you agreed it should be with the seller. Check the condition of the windows, doors and locks, faucets, walls, ceilings, light switches, outlets, and the heating and cooling system.
Once you’ve done the walkthrough, it’s time to close. Mostly, there will be a lot of paperwork to sign. Your real estate agent will help you understand what you’re signing. And in the State of Georgia, you will be required to hire a lawyer to be part of the home sale.
Here’s a guide to prepare you for closing day: What Happens at a Real Estate Closing?
Buying a house in Georgia as a real estate investment doesn’t have to be complicated – just be sure to follow the steps outlined above and continue to do your research and due diligence. And remember, you’re not alone! You can always seek professional help from a Georgia realtor and turn to Mashvisor to find the best investment properties for sale. To learn about your options for signing up for our services, click here.