If you think that Georgia is only about Coca-Cola, Gone With the Wind, and millions of peaches, think again. This southern gem is the largest state east of the Mississippi, home to the busiest airport in the world, and the site of a flourishing film production industry. It's a place where ancient oak hammocks shade historical landmarks, where Fortune 500 companies and family farms co-exist, and where there's always a sports team to cheer on.
The Peach State attracts new residents every year, and more people choose to move there than move away. There are plenty of reasons for this, starting with gorgeous weather, well-paying jobs in fields including healthcare and medicine, marketing, and software development, and affordable housing, including an impressive selection of Georgian rent-to-own homes. That's just scratching the surface. We've peeled back the layers to reveal why Georgia is the place to live in the southeast.
Georgia is a great place for affordable rent-to-own
With a median household income of over $61,224
and a median rent of $1,042, the Georgia
rent-to-own market is more affordable than the traditional housing market
which has shown tremendous growth across the U.S. and with it, aggressive
competition for home purchases.
With the current housing shortage trend it can make it harder to become a
homeowner, including in Georgia. This means higher
than average down payments for homes and higher qualification standards for
conventional home loans. With a rent-to-own property, tenants are also
buyers. You can live in the house for a set amount of time before you
purchase it, meaning that you get to know the house, your neighbors, and
your community before making the final purchase. This enables you and your
family to make the right choice based on both information and experience.
Rent-to-own is also a great alternative way to get into a home if you have
bad credit or don't have enough saved for a down payment.
Average Cost of Living in Georgia
The cost of living in Georgia is, on average, lower than the U.S. average by about 6%. Groceries, healthcare, and housing all tend to be cheaper here than in other parts of the country, while utilities and transportation costs are typically higher.
Of course, much of this depends on where in Georgia you want to live. The cost of living in Atlanta and its surrounding areas, like Marietta and Roswell, is actually higher than the U.S. average by approximately 2.5%, while cities like Augusta, Columbus, and Valdosta are cheaper by an average of 10%.
Average Home Prices in Georgia
You'll notice the same pattern when you take a close look at average home prices in Georgia. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that the median home value in Atlanta was $286,119 at the end of 2018. But average values in Augusta, Macon, Columbus, and Savannah ranged from $113,000 to $158,000. The same is true if you're looking for rent-to-own homes in Georgia. The average monthly rent in Atlanta is over $1,400, but in Savannah, it's more than $1,200. Macon, Columbus, and Augusta are cheaper, coming in at nearly $1,100 a month.
If you're considering a rent-to-own home in Georgia, it's important to review factors beyond monthly living costs, such as average commute times, taxes, crime, and more. The following are some general Georgia statistics compared to the U.S. national average.
| ||Georgia Averages ||National Averages |
|One-Way Commute ||28.0 minutes ||26.4 minutes |
|Violent Crime ||21.1 ||22.7 |
|Property Crime ||41.8 ||35.4 |
|Unemployment Rate ||3.7% ||3.7% |
|Income Tax Rate ||5.8% ||4.6% |
|Air Quality ||50 ||58 |
|Water Quality ||65 ||55 |
|Median Household Income ||$49,342 ||$53,482 |
|Median Property Taxes ||$1,400 ||$2,200 |
|Utilities ||$127/month ||$112/month |
|Monthly Rent ||$1,295 ||$1,470 |
|Median Home Cost ||$186,500 ||$231,200 |
|Median Home Age ||29 years ||40 years |
Popular Attractions in Georgia
The state of Georgia is prime real estate. All of the major cities east of the Mississippi River are within a two-hour flight from Atlanta. Florida's theme parks are all within driving distance. There's also plenty to do if you want to stay home. You'll always have something to do on the weekend or when guests are in town.
- Visit Stone Mountain Park. Located north of Atlanta, Stone Mountain is one of the most popular attractions in the state. At the center of the park, you'll find a relief that's bigger than the iconic Mount Rushmore. There's also plenty of outdoor fun, including tubing, hiking, and an impressive laser light show.
- Go on a ghost tour in Savannah. The oldest city in Georgia hosts a variety of tours that celebrate its history. Some of the best-known tours take you through cemeteries, battlefields, and historical landmarks. With tours catering to every imaginable group, including families with children, this may be a go-to activity when you have guests in town.
- Paddle through the Okefenokee Swamp. The Okefenokee Swamp near the Georgia-Florida border is the largest blackwater swamp in the country. You can see plenty of wildlife on its 120 miles of boat trails, including alligators, birds, and other crawling creatures. If you prefer to stay on dry land, there are miles of walking trails to explore.
- Check out the street art. The popularity of conferences like Living Walls has inspired a generation of artists to create public works of art for everyone to enjoy. Look for colorful, yet poignant murals, statues commemorating the state's most famous residents, and whimsical installations like the Tiny Doors of Atlanta.
- Cheer on your favorite athletes. From high school football to NASCAR racing and golf, sports is big business in Georgia. Atlanta is home to six professional sports teams, including the Falcons, Braves, and Hawks, but there's even more. Go to a Savannah Bananas baseball game, perfect your swing at Topgolf in Alpharetta, or get behind the wheel of a race car in Hapeville.
- Spend time in museums. Georgia's culture extends beyond the antebellum period and its sprawling mansions and battlefields. Learn about the resilient Gullah Geechee and the Southern Appalachian people who made Georgia their home. Take a self-guided tour of the largest Hindu temple outside of India. Wander through folk art gardens or ride a train powered by a steam engine.
If you're enchanted by Georgia's southern charm and are ready to call it home, you're in good company. There's a city and a home for every family.