The southern metropolis in the nation’s eighth-most populous state, Atlanta features a growing economy, the world’s busiest airport, and job opportunities. The housing market of the city has been on the upswing, putting together a string of years of significant growth, but the juice in the market may be failing, as inventory shrinks, home listing prices creep up and macroeconomic factors shift the national housing market.
As of December 2018, the Zillow home value index for Atlanta properties is $255,100, which is above the $222,800 seen for the national home index. It’s also a 14.8 percent year-over-year increase that has contributed to lifting the Atlanta home value index from $110,000 in the summer of 2012.
Overall, the city’s housing market garners a rating of 8.3 out of 10 for health, indicating a stable market with opportunity for buyers and sellers. However, Zillow expects that growth taper off to 7.6 percent through 2019, which is above the national forecast, but a steep fall-off from a recent performance. Local factors affecting the marketing include relatively high listing prices and low sale prices, and shrinking inventory.
The median listing price for an Atlanta home was $329,000, but the median sale price was $234,600. Homes are also on the market for about ten fewer days in Atlanta than observed nationally.
While the local housing market partly decides what mortgage rates in Atlanta are available to you, national trends also have an impact. Freddie Mac said in early November 2018 that mortgage rates had risen to their highest levels in nearly eight years. The Federal Reserve also kept to its word and raised the key federal funds rate for the fourth time in 2018, bringing it to between 2.25 and 2.5 percent.
Any mortgage rate in Atlanta, and beyond, is tied to the national rate, and the Fed intends to continue raising rates in the future, although at a slightly slower pace.
Many other loan-specific and personal factors affect your mortgage rate, which we’ll explore.
Current Mortgage Rates in Atlanta
Mortgage Rates Factors in Atlanta
National and local variables aside, getting a mortgage rate in Atlanta often comes down to what type of loan you’re looking for, your financial history and qualifications, and various loan details. To find the best mortgage at the best rate, it’s crucial that borrowers become familiar with all the considerations at play.
In some cases, it may even offer clues into how to improve standing and qualify for better terms and conditions. Here are four critical elements that affect mortgage rates and refinance rates:
This is probably the No. 1 personal factor taken into account for mortgage rates. Your credit score, in essence, is a gauge of your personal history of repayment, consumer trustworthiness, and debt obligations, among other criteria.
A low credit score doesn’t automatically disqualify you from getting a mortgage, as there are many types of loans that are designed for consumers who are just beginning to build a credit profile or are trying to repair one. A FICO score of 680 is generally considered average, while anything above 750 is exceptional, and anything below 580 is more challenging to work with.
Another element of your finances that decides your mortgage rate in Atlanta is debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. This is a basic numerical expression of your total outstanding debts and your total income derived from a full-time or part-time job, or other avenues.
The higher the DTI, the more risk lenders see in making the loan. That’s because a high ratio may indicate future repayment could be put in danger by spending habits or large debts either accruing or coming to bear.
The down payment is something borrowers have to plan for, as it may represent a large sum of cash for which they’ll need to commit and budget. Prevailing market sense pegs the average down payment at 20 percent, but they can range more broadly between 5 and 15 percent.
Depending on the type of loan, there may be no down payment involved at all. Certain government-supported mortgages may feature zero down payment, while other types of conventional loans, those not backed by the government, may also have lax down payment restrictions if you’re a first-time homebuyer.
Interest rate type
There are different ways to structure the interest rate on a loan, with the two main options being a fixed rate or an adjustable/variable rate. Fixed-rate loans mean the mortgage payment you make each month stays the same, it’s a dependable amount you know you can make with the budget you have. Fixed-rate mortgages are also more typically offered in longer terms, usually 15 or 30 years.
Adjustable-rate loans, however, feature a floating rate that falls and rises with the prevailing market. Fixed for a predetermined time, the rate is then recalculated periodically, sometimes once a year, twice a year, or even once a month. It can offer cost-saving advantages if rates fall, but also some risks if they go higher and increase the payment, rather than keeping it low.
How to Get the Best Mortgage in Atlanta
The best way to get a mortgage that works for you at an optimal interest rate is to shop around. Buying a home is a big step, and such a decision requires a lot of prep work and thinking to ensure it goes smoothly and to your advantage. To that end, researching mortgage rates in Atlanta across various lenders who are locally, regionally, nationally or online-based is essential.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau pointed out comparison shopping for mortgage rates as one of the most powerful tools for homebuyers to control the process. The agency underscored the consumer’s role in active research, citing statistics that showed the difference between the rate the average customer got and the lowest one they were offered was $300 a year.
That’s a lot in a year alone; carried out over the long-term commitment of a mortgage it can look like $9,000 over the life of a 30-year mortgage that could have stayed in the bank account.
The best mortgage is one that doesn’t include any surprises, so you’ll want to be thorough in planning for the total cost of the loan. Primarily that means addressing closing costs, in some cases, lenders may even be willing to offer lower closing costs for a higher interest rate, or potentially vice versa. In the end, knowing what options you have is the only way to ensure you get the mortgage you want for the home you desire.
Best Mortgage Lenders in Atlanta
Atlanta is a bustling financial metropolis of the South, meaning that while consumers should have lots of options, it may be tough to do all the research needed. To start you in the process, here are some recommended lenders to consider while shopping for mortgage rates in Atlanta:
- Quicken Loans: One of the premier lenders in the nation, Quicken Loans has received high marks for customer satisfaction. The biggest U.S. online mortgage lender, Quicken focuses on the customer experience in applying for a loan online. As the largest FHA lender in the country, it’s also in a position to help facilitate first-time homeownership.
- Better Mortgage: This lender is based entirely online, and credits its transparent approach to mortgage qualification and lending in ensuring a high-quality experience. It takes only minutes to get a quote, and Better Mortgage is an option for those looking for higher-value loans, as it can finance mortgages of up to $3 million.
- NBKC Bank: Another lender with a reputation and pedigree for reliable customer service and positive outcomes, NBKC bank is an institution that understands the needs of today’s homebuyer. It offers both onsite origination, as well as smartphone apps, and is a top VA lender.
- Ally Bank: Offering competitive rates and a wide selection of loan types, Ally Bank can be the one to help you realize your dream of homeownership. Dedicated service and interactive tools are beneficial for any borrower.