Savannah, located in the heart of Georgia, is a beloved city with small-town charm, a rich heritage, and endless opportunities for unique experiences. It is also a surprisingly affordable place to live on the East Coast. Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to settle down and raise a family or an exciting urban hub with stunning architecture, fun festivals, and more, there are new homes in Savannah, GA waiting for you at Dream Finders Homes.
Is it Expensive To Live in Savannah, Georgia?
With its beautiful architecture, vibrant arts scene, and picturesque scenery, Savannah has so much to recommend it. For these reasons and more, you’d be justified in asking “Is it expensive to live in Savannah, Georgia?”
Urban living can be pricey, yet Savannah has emerged as an extremely desirable option for people who want a great quality of life without breaking the bank. How affordable is it? When compared to other Georgia cities and the US as a whole, everyday expenses are quite reasonable. Let’s dive in!
- Housing: Of all the factors that contribute to the cost of living, housing is significant. The average home value in Savannah is less than both the Georgia and nationwide averages. Plus, the historic city has just about every type of home imaginable, for every budget.
- Healthcare: The cost of healthcare in Savannah is 6% lower than the national average, and 3% lower than the state average. This is significant considering that Georgia has a relatively low cost of healthcare to begin with. So, whether you’re comparing it to the state or the country, Savannah wins again.
- Childcare: If you have a family, it’s important to factor in childcare when calculating the overall cost of living. Childcare costs can vary significantly depending on a number of factors, so you’ll want to do a little research. In Savannah, the average cost of childcare is under the national average, and a little bit higher than the state average. But since Georgia has less expensive childcare overall, Savannah childcare is still very affordable.
- Food and grocery: Savannah has an amazing food scene. While restaurant prices vary greatly, there are plenty of affordable options available. As far as groceries are concerned, the average family pays just a bit more than the state and national average. One advantage to living in Savannah is that there are farmers markets and produce stands so you can purchase fresh, locally grown items at reasonable prices.
- Utilities: In terms of utilities, Savannah’s mild winters and lower energy costs mean savings when compared to the country as a whole. Residents can expect to pay about 6% less than the national average. While that might not seem like a lot, it adds up over time.
- Transportation: Transportation costs are relatively low compared to other cities. Savannah is fairly compact, so it’s easy to walk or bike around for errands. Only 25% of workers commute outside of the city and the average commute is 20 minutes. When compared to the national average, that’s almost 20% fewer commuters leaving the city to work, and a 6-minute shorter commute time. Savannah also has affordable public transportation. The Chatham Area Transit (CAT) provides bus service throughout the city and surrounding areas. Residents spend $500 less annually on transportation than the average American.
Savannah consistently appears on lists of “most affordable cities” due mainly to its healthy economy and relatively low cost of living. The city’s rich history, beautiful scenery, and diverse cultural activities also make it a desirable place to call home. Compared to many other cities, all of these factors make Savannah an attractive option for those looking to relocate.
Budgeting For A New Home in Savannah
Once you’ve made the decision to buy a new home in Savannah, you need to incorporate it into your cost of living budget. Budgeting for a new home means figuring out what you can afford: Maximum monthly payments, the down payment, taxes and insurance, closing costs, etc. When determining your budget, expect to pay for flood insurance depending on the FEMA flood zone you live in.
When you have ascertained that you can afford the expenses, it’s time to firm up your home buying budget. First, start saving up for a down payment. There are some options for assistance. If you’re a first-time homebuyer in Georgia, consider the Georgia Dream program, an initiative that can help eligible homebuyers cover all or part of the down payment, with no interest.
Pre-approval letter. Next, it’s time to get pre-approved for a mortgage. A lender will review your credit report, your bank accounts, your pay stubs, and a range of other financial information. A pre-approval letter indicates what mortgage amount you are likely to be approved for.
Getting a mortgage. When it comes to finding a mortgage, getting the best deal is key. Our Preferred Lender, JET HomeLoans, has a mortgage calculator, as well as a range of resources that are helpful for any homebuyer in the Savannah area!
Start looking. Keep a list of must-haves so you don’t waste time. Consulting with your Sales Specialist can quickly determine which homes might be a good fit since they’ll know what homes to look at. Be open and honest about your wants and needs; it will help you find the right home faster.
Contact Dream Finders For The Best New Homes in Savannah, GA!
Savannah, Georgia is a vibrant and affordable place to live. If you’re interested in living in Historic Savannah, Richmond Hill or Pooler, we’d love to show you our new homes at Hidden Pointe, Magnolia Hill, and Savannah Quarters. For more information on our distinctive single-family homes, villas, and townhomes, contact us and schedule a personal tour.