Georgia Mortgage and Refinance Rates
As of Tuesday, June 15, 2021, current rates in Georgia are 3.04% for a 30-year fixed, 2.33% for a 15-year fixed, and 2.69% for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).
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Georgia mortgage overview
If you’re looking for a new home (or to refinance your current mortgage) in Georgia, be aware that housing affordability can vary greatly. Home prices tend to be higher in Atlanta and in counties with high median household incomes, like Forsyth.
FHA loan limits point to the wide range of prices. As of 2020, FHA limits vary by county, from $314,827 (Worth County and many others) to $515,200 (Greene County). Georgia’s limit for conventional mortgages is $510,400, except in Greene County, where the limit is $515,200.
When considering homes to buy, know that sellers aren’t obligated to disclose any issues; however, the Georgia Association of Realtors has made it standard practice with their own disclosure forms. Still, sellers may not reveal everything.
Most lenders will require you to purchase homeowners insurance, even though Georgia law does not require you to have it. Georgia is also one of several states with a separate hurricane deductible, which is commonly higher than the standard deductible.
If you default on your mortgage in Georgia — a non-judicial foreclosure state — the lender can foreclose without filing suit or appearing in front of a judge, and only has to send a notice of intent to foreclose at least 30 days before the date of the proposed foreclosure sale.
First-time homebuyer programs in Georgia
Georgia offers down payment assistance loans through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Georgia Dream Homeownership program. The program also offers Georgia Dream loans for first-time homebuyers. All buyers must take a homeowner education course or take housing counseling sessions.
The down payment assistance programs Georgia first-time homebuyers may qualify for are:
- Georgia Dream Standard Down Payment Assistance, offering eligible borrowers a zero-interest loan up to $5,000
- Georgia Dream PEN Down Payment Assistance, offering eligible borrowers a zero-interest loan up to $7,500; PEN stands for “Protectors, Educations & Nurses,” so part of the eligibility criteria is employment in protection (police, highway patrol, correctional, fire and EMS), active military, education or healthcare fields
- Georgia Dream Choice Down Payment Assistance, offering eligible borrowers a zero-interest loan up to $7,500; your household must include an individual living with a disability in order to qualify for this option
With all Georgia Dream Down Payment Assistance programs, repayment is deferred until you sell, refinance or no longer use the home as a primary residence. Borrowers must contribute at least $1,000 to the purchase of the home, in addition to meeting other requirements, depending on the program.
Georgia Dream loans are available through participating lenders. First-time homebuyers or buyers who have not owned a home in the last three years may be approved for an FHA, USDA, VA or conventional loan for their home. The program offers low interest rates and can be combined with Georgia Dream Down Payment Assistance programs.
To be eligible for a Georgia Dream loan, borrowers must have a credit score of at least 640, with liquid assets totaling less than $20,000 or 20 percent of the home’s price, whichever is greater. Qualifying income and purchase price limits vary by county.
Georgia mortgage refinancing
There aren’t any regulations or requirements specific to Georgia to look out for when you’re applying to refinance your home; however, local housing trends may impact your chances of approval. While some markets in Georgia have seen an appreciation in values (giving homeowners more equity), there are many other markets in the state where home values have declined.
Use Bankrate’s mortgage refinance calculator to see how much you can save by lowering your rate.