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‘Getting a better bang for your buck’: Housing market experts say Macon has most affordable homes to buy

Real estate attorney Ben McElreath says that Macon’s affordability comes from your total monthly cost of a home here.

MACON, Ga. — Those looking to buy a home in Central Georgia may not have to look too far. 

Online articles say Macon is one of the most affordable cities to purchase a home. 13WMAZ’s Jessica Cha spoke to a few housing market experts that break down why that is. 

So, is Macon a more affordable city to buy a home in? Some folks say yes, like Commercial and Residential Real Estate Attorney, Ben McElreath. 

“You’re getting a bigger bang for your buck here in Macon,” he says. 

McElreath says that Macon’s affordability comes from your total monthly cost of a home here. That includes your mortgage payment, your homeowner’s insurance, and property tax all in one. 

He says Macon has a wide price range for homes– from the cheaper end, to the higher end.

“However, we have great value in our houses here as compared to like Atlanta and other large cities where the values are outrageous. So, it’s actually driving people to Macon,” he explains. 

Then you have your property taxes and home insurance in your total monthly payment. They’re both lower here too, compared to the rest of the state.

“What we have just recently passed here in Macon is an OLOST tax which is gonna reduce the millage rate significantly, and save us 35- 40% on our property taxes,” McElreath says. “Macon-Bibb County will likely be one of the lowest property taxable rates in the Middle Georgia region.”

He says the homeowner’s insurance is also lower due to the quality and quantity of fire departments the county has. McElreath says the more departments, the faster they can come help save your home. 

McElreath says Macon is just a great location with things to do close by. 

“Atlanta is close by, of course Savannah. We have the arts, we have local higher education, we also have great public transportation,” he explains. “So, all those factors play into it.”

Rivoli Realty Broker and owner, Candy Anderson Brown, says Macon’s affordability is in the numbers.

“We’ve just always been a more affordable location,” she says. “Our average sales price now in Macon is $165,000 in the past few months, whereas our Atlanta, Savannah surrounding areas are all in the $300,000 to upper $300,000 for the average price.”

Brown says she’s seen a 20% increase in folks outside of Macon looking for homes here. 

The people who are moving here from outside of Macon, they are shocked and blown away at how inexpensive homes are,” Brown explains. “Someone from outside of Georgia will say, ‘Oh my goodness, that house would be a million dollars where I live.’ We are definitely very affordable compared to the rest of the county.”

Brown says a lot of her clients come to Macon because it feels like a big city and has the charm of a small town at the same time. 

Shivani Vyas just bought her home in Macon with the help of Rivoli Realty last summer. 

“We’ve lived in eight apartments over the last decade, so finding this home was a very special experience for us,” Vyas says. 

Vyas says her husband and her fell in love with the area and homes because it fell into their list of wants of affordability and accessibility. 

“We wanted a place that we could grow in with a family long term. We like to go into Atlanta to visit, but not to live. So, we felt that Macon really hit the dot for that.” 

Vyas says there can come challenges between finding an affordable home that you might have to invest money into fixing, or buying a more expensive home that needs less work done. However, she says at the end of the day…

“Based on the aesthetics you’re looking for in the neighborhood, the commute, and all those factors playing in, there’s definitely something here for everyone. It just depends on what you need,” Vyas explains. 

Both McElreath and Brown say if you’re interested in buying a home, February may be a good time to start looking around. 

Brown says more housing options should be beginning to open up. 

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