Are you unsure about the prospect of purchasing property in Georgia? Buying property can be a challenging process.
There are many different variables to consider before making what is, to most of us, the biggest financial decision of our lives. Let’s go over the pros and cons of this decision. After all, no one wants to dive headfirst into buying land without understanding the nuances of home financing and housing prices within a region. Georgia has many sweet spots for its property investment prospects.
The ‘Metropolis State’ of the Southwest holds a lot of real estate magnetism and economic potential for anyone interested in owning land in Georgia, especially in comparison to its neighboring big southern states.
The cost of living in Georgia is also enticingly low by most standards. Some affectionately refer to it as "first-world life at third-world pricing."
In today’s post, we will review the pros and cons of buying land in Georgia, including the reasons to invest in Georgian real estate.
Table of Contents
Why Buy Land In Georgia? Everything You Need To Know
A Growing State
Atlanta is a thriving urban center with a booming population on a level with several other large cities in the United States. And it is not Georgia’s only booming metropolis. Not one, not two, but eight Georgian municipalities are included on WalletHub's list of the fastest-growing cities in America, including Athens, Springs, and Savannah.
While growth rates vary by region, the overall trend in Georgian city populations indicates a steady influx of new settlers and a growing interest in investing in real estate. Whether you're interested in acquiring property in Georgia for business, residential, recreational, or simply personal purposes, the state's recent population growth indicates that opportunities will abound.
An Affordable State
Georgia is hailed as one of the most affordable places in the southwestern region of the United States, especially when considering the numerous property investment opportunities. As per the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Georgia's land is worth around $14,000 per acre. That is way cheaper than land in its nearest neighbors, with South Carolina at $18,000 per acre and Florida at $29,000 per acre. Alabama is the only real competitor with a lower land value per acre, at about $12,000 per acre.
Generally speaking, land as an asset needs little or no upkeep. You are not responsible for repairs, evictions, or utility fees. Your taxation will be significantly reduced and will often be one of the only costs you will incur.
Avoid becoming one of the many absentee landlords who are unaware of the current affairs pertaining to their land and region. You can capitalize whenever possible on new developments in your area that might raise the value of your property!
Diversity of Land
Georgia has a diverse range of property choices, including large towns, mountains, beaches, woods, and farmland. This implies that you can locate almost any land you are looking for, and plenty of it. Georgia's varied topography also benefits travelers, offering more options whether you are considering acquiring property for leisure or commercial reasons.
Recent tourism stats in Georgia indicate that the state produced upwards of $3 billion in tourist revenue in 2018 alone—a $498 million increase over the previous year. If stunning landscapes, impressive population growth, and affordable land pricing all factor in your property purchase decision, Georgia surely ticks all the right boxes.
A Thriving Economy
Georgia has one of the most prosperous and diverse local economies in all of the United States. To illustrate how vital Georgia's economic sector is to the nation, it would generate the world's 28th largest GDP if Georgia had been a sovereign country. Moreover, with a current GDP of $602 billion, it is the country's ninth biggest state economy.
Georgia is also home to 17 Fortune 500 firms, routinely ranked as the greatest state in America to conduct business. Georgia has a favorable business environment with a large pool of skilled labor, making it an excellent destination to work for expats. Atlanta serves as the primary gateway to Georgia's economy, and its impact extends well beyond the state.
The state’s most important economic sectors are agriculture, mining, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, military, energy, and entertainment, all of which provide significant tax revenue for the state government. Georgia's unemployment rate is also only 3.9 percent, which is lower than the national average. Georgian residents earn an average yearly salary of $59,000, much more than the national average. While the state's low unemployment rate and high-income levels make it an excellent location to work, they raise the overall cost of living.
Ideal Destination for Expatriates
Georgia is an excellent choice for expatriates planning to retire in the United States. Cumming, for example, has the highest percentage of pensioners in the nation. Georgia is an excellent retirement destination for many reasons. Among them is the province's natural beauty and climate, which enable retirees to maintain an active lifestyle.
You may spend your bright retiring days relaxing on Georgia's beautiful beaches. Another reason is the relatively low cost of housing. Due to the availability of low-priced properties and low property taxes, purchasing retiree estate in Georgia is an excellent decision. If you reside in a rural or semi-rural region of the state, you may take further advantage of very affordable living and generally low prices.
Lower Land Income
Land is not necessarily more valuable in the long run. When a community settles down on it, property demand may decrease significantly. This depends entirely on your timeframe, but do not anticipate land prices to climb automatically, and certainly not immediately. If your property is not providing you with an income, you should consider why you are holding onto it at all.
If you believe you will "build on the property someday" but have no solid plans in place, the levies you pay may be in vain. You may be better off selling the property now and purchasing more land once you are eager to develop it. Who knows what may happen between now and then?
Strict Zoning Laws
It might be challenging to acquire a zoning revision if that is your intention. You can face opposition from neighbors or get bogged down in red tape. If you own a large piece of property, you may be unable to partition it as desired. Therefore, when trading in real estate in Atlanta, it is vital to have a clear exit plan in place beforehand.
Make a conscious effort to know the area and keep an eye on the local property market. You don't want to end up with a useless piece of land with no buyers willing to acquire it simply due to zoning issues.
Concerns for threatened species or other ecological safeguards may impose restrictions on your capacity to develop a parcel of property. Even if these creatures are not now present on your property, there is no guarantee that a bald eagle will not establish a nest on it, thereby barring any construction.
Of course, this does not happen every day, but if you live in a region with a high concentration of protected species, you should not be shocked if one decides to make a home on your appealing, unoccupied property.
High Crime Rate
The crime rates in Georgia make it hard to set up a primary residence or settle permanently in the state. It has some of the highest crime rates in the country, which is primarily a result of the state's high poverty stats. Nevertheless, Georgia's violent crime rate has decreased dramatically during the last four years.
With a current standing score of 3.57 violent crimes per 1,000 people, the state’s violent crime rate is considerably less than the national median. Property crime accounts for the bulk of crime in Georgia, making it a key contributor to its high crime rate. Georgia has around 28.6 crimes per 1,000 population, which means that your odds of being a victim of property crime are 1 in 35.
How Long Does it Take to Own Land in Georgia?
As per our property experts, the time required to own land in Georgia varies depending on the method of payment: cash or bank financing. According to most lawyers involved in property dealings, it will take at least 45 days before closing. Some are capable of operating under 30 days, while others need 60 days — there really is no established threshold. Additional considerations - including the abstract of the title, the survey, financing options, and scheduling - all contribute to the time it takes to acquire land in Georgia.
The Bottom Line
Owning land in Georgia is an excellent investment that can be passed down through many generations. If acquired properly by adhering to all applicable zoning restrictions, it will be a relatively painless and quick process.
At first glance, purchasing rural property in Georgia for pleasure or as a primary residence may appear daunting. However, armed with the insights we gave you in this article, you certainly have the foundation and insider knowledge necessary to make an informed decision.
About THE AUTHOR
Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down because of COVID-19. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.Read More About Brittany Melling