Whether you’re considering moving to Georgia or you’re trying to decide if you’d like to continue living in the area for a few more years, to help you make your decision, it’s worthwhile to learn more about the average cost of living in the Peach State.
Factors like real estate prices, transportation costs, utilities and bills, health and medical expenses, as well as food and retail shopping, are all expenses you’ll incur while living in the Georgia area.
Below we’ll investigate the average cost of living in Georgia to help you learn more about how much it truly costs to live as a resident of this southeast state.
Real Estate Market in Georgia
If you’re thinking about moving to the area or looking for tips for first-time home sellers, learning more about the real estate market can help you make your decision or inform you if now is the best time to sell.
The Georgia real estate market is experiencing a red-hot seller’s market, and over the past five years, median home values in Georgia have grown by over 40%.
The average home value in Georgia this year alone increased by 15.3% to $245,778, according to Zillow.com.
To give you a better idea of what cities are experiencing considerable growth, below are the three top cities that have seen the best real estate market trends in Georgia.
- Atlanta– Several suburbs are experiencing considerable growth, mainly due to their close proximity to downtown Atlanta. The average home prices were up 23.1% compared to last year, making the median selling price $405k.
- Savannah– With loads of history and Southern charm, Savannah has become a popular place to live. The median home price in the city is $260,000, up 13.1% year-over-year.
- Augusta– The second largest city in Georgia, has lower unemployment rates and a growing population. Home prices increased just 9.0% compared to last year, with the median selling price of $274k.
Since home prices are on the rise, this is a great time to consider selling your home in Georgia to profit from increased property values. The markets mentioned above are experiencing a low inventory of available homes but an increase in home buyers. So if you’re trying to decide if now is the time to sell your house in Atlanta, Savannah, or Augusta, conditions are good to sell your home successfully.
However, factors like your property’s location, age, condition, and size can make a difference. But the good news is that you can always sell your property to a “We Buy Houses Georgia” company if you have any trouble finding a buyer.
If you plan to move to any of these three cities or their surrounding areas, you’ll want to be financially prepared to pay top dollar for residential real estate.
Inventory levels shrunk by 46% year-over-year, and the month’s supply of inventory is down 50% to 1.6 months. These numbers indicate that GA is experiencing a seller’s market, meaning there are more buyers than available houses.
Of course, if you’re a seller, this is a great time to list your home and should provide you with several offers. But as a buyer, you’ll want to be prepared to make a decision quickly and have a loan pre-approval so that you can make a competitive offer.
>>Related Article: How To Sell Your House Without Any Waiting in Atlanta
Costs of Living in Georgia
According to Best Places, based on a scale of 100 (below 100 meaning cheaper than the U.S. average and above 100 meaning more expensive than the average), the overall cost of living in Georgia ranks 93.4.
But what about other living expenses in Georgia? Where do those rank compared to the rest of the U.S.? Below we’ll break down what you should expect your living costs to be while residing in GA.
Bills and Utility Costs
In 2019 the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) found that the average monthly energy bill costs Georgia residents $131.84. That’s $16.35 above the U.S. average energy utility bill of $115.49. This amount only includes electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage.
Other bills such as the internet is an additional cost to consider. For example, the average monthly fee for 60 Mbps of internet or more, unlimited data, or cable/ADSL costs roughly $67.95
Georgia is a state where driving is common. Traffic in the Atlanta metro area is notoriously bad.
According to AAA (July 2021), the average price of a gallon of gas in Georgia is $2.97 for regular unleaded.
Georgia drivers travel an average of 18,920 miles in a year, compared to the national average of 9,772. That’s the second greatest average annual miles of any state in the country.
Considering the current gas price, the average fuel economy, and the yearly mileage, the average motorist can expect to spend $2,250 on gas alone in one year (that’s with a fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon).
Other transportation to take into consideration includes car insurance premiums, which can vary by state. For example, Georgia drivers pay an annual premium of $756 for minimum coverage and $1,982 for full coverage car insurance, on average.
Housing Prices in Georgia
The median home value in Georgia is $203,976, according to NeighborhoodScout. However, that is $91,324 less than the national median home value of $295,300. Of course, cities see different median home values too.
Below are the three popular cities current median home values:
- Atlanta – median home value $333,760
- Savannah– median home value $210,331
- Augusta – median home value $141,988
Housing prices in Georgia for renters are more affordable than the national average. For example, even the average rent in Atlanta for June 2021 is $1,705, which is $67 less than the national average ($1,772 as of June 2021). But, of course, the cost of monthly rent can vary from city to city and location.
>> Related Article: Benefits of Buying vs. Renting
Food & Shopping
Food is another everyday expense that significantly impacts the overall cost of living in an area. For example, in Atlanta, a person will spend $312.65 a month on food which comes out to $3,752.80 annually. The nationwide average monthly food cost is roughly $323.72 for a single adult or $3,884.64 yearly. So the cost of food in Atlanta does come in somewhat less than the national average.
Keep in mind, these figures are estimated by foods that were picked up at the local grocery store and have been entirely prepared in the home. So if you like grabbing a latte at your local Starbucks on your way to work or lunch at a fast-food restaurant, you’ll also want to budget for additional food costs.
Something else to plan for when shopping for food or retail is state sales tax. Georgia is known for having average sales tax rates ranging from 6% to 8.9%, depending on the county in which you’re shopping. Although the base state sales tax is 4%, counties impose extra rates so it varies.
Health and Medical Costs
Georgia is ranked 25th out of all states in overall healthcare access and affordability. However, healthcare costs make up a significant part of the cost of living. The average health insurance premium is $489 per month in Georgia for a single adult and a family of four – $1,685 per month.
The average national cost for health insurance is $495 for an individual and $1,437 for a family per month.
Average Cost of Living in Georgia
One of the biggest reasons Georgia is such a popular place to live is because the cost of living is very easy to handle and manage with the salary ranges of the jobs available. According to the 2021 Cost of Living Index, Georgia ranks eighth place for the lowest cost of living in the U.S.
Using a scale of 100 as the national average cost of living, Georgia ranks 93.4. Below we break down some of the basic costs of living in Georgia and how that ranks against the national average.
|Cost of Living||Georgia||U.S.|
|Median Home Cost||$203,976||$295,300|
100 = National Average
Nevertheless, like any state, cost-of-living expenses will vary across the state. While typical expenses in small towns and rural areas are very inexpensive, living costs tend to be considerably higher in popular urban centers like Atlanta, Savannah, or Augusta.
Georgia is a great place to live, work, raise a family, or retire. If you’re interested in moving to GA, working with a real estate professional who knows, the area would be helpful.
If you’re a current resident of Georgia and are interested in selling your house to either stay in the area or move out of state, now is the perfect time to sell!
However, if you’re facing some obstacles getting your home ready to sell, such as dealing with major repairs, a foundation issue, or a mold problem- selling your home as-is, is an option.
One of the top companies that buy houses in Atlanta would be happy to help- Nexus Homebuyers!
BBB accredited with an A+ rating; Nexus has been able to help many homeowners successfully sell their homes in any condition, with any obstacles and/or challenges.