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What to Know About Buying a Home in Kennesaw, GA

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If you’re planning on moving to Georgia, congratulations! The Empire State of the South is quickly becoming one of the most ideal places to become a homeowner. Not only does Georgia have breathtaking mountains, beaches, and warm weather, but it also has moderately priced homes and a cost of living score that’s lower than the national average.

Kennesaw, GA is a suburban city in Cobb County, located northwest of Atlanta, that’s steeped in history and natural beauty. If you’re planning to move to Kennesaw, GA, this guide will help you find out everything you need to know about buying a house in the area.

WELCOME TO KENNESAW, GA

Kennesaw GA Map

Welcome to Kennesaw, GA, one of Georgia’s best suburbs for young professionals, diversity, and quality public schools, according to neighborhood ranking site Niche.com. Kennesaw, GA is located within the greater Atlanta metropolitan area but exudes a unique small-town charm. With its excellent schools, parks, green spaces, neighborhoods, and central business district, it’s a great place to live, work, and play.

Kennesaw, GA has a population of about 33,550.  The community is pretty diverse and close-knit. As of 2021, approximately 71% of the population above the age of 16 belong to  the civilian workforce. In 2021, the median household income in Kennesaw was $73,977, which is higher than the national average of $70,784. Meanwhile, the per capita income in the city is $37,608.

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT BUYING A HOME IN KENNESAW, GA

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Going through the process of buying a home requires patience and resolve. This is especially true if you’re a first-time homebuyer.  But don’t worry because we’ve got you covered. Here are some tips to help you know more about buying a house or property in Kennesaw, GA:

  1. Understand the homebuying process

    Unfamiliar with the home-buying process in Kennesaw, GA? Here’s a helpful guide to get you started:

    • Prepare for your down payment

      The down payment on a home is typically paid at closing, which is the final step of the home buying process wherein papers are signed and the transfer of ownership takes place. The balance on the house will be paid by the mortgage lender.

      In Georgia, mortgage lenders will typically require you to pay a down payment that’s 20% of the purchase price.  For example, a home with a price tag of $440,000 means  paying a down payment of $88,000. If you want to pay a smaller down payment, you can look into  government-backed loans. There are also government programs in Georgia that help residents save up for their home’s down payment, such as the Georgia Dream Homeownership Program. You can also check out the US Department of Housing and Urban Development page here.

      The downside to utilizing such programs means being saddled with higher interest rates on your loan and shelling out extra for mortgage insurance. It’s best to talk to your real estate agent about your financing options and loan structures as well.

    • Work with an experienced real estate agent

      The importance of working with an experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent cannot be overstated. Why? Your agent is your advocate: they’re there to help you with negotiations, paperwork, offers, contracts, and the closing process. They can also recommend service providers such as inspectors and title companies to help make the home buying process easier for you.

      In choosing a real estate agent, it’s best to work with an experienced professional. Consider the number of transactions the agent worked on in the last year, the area they specialize in, and their reviews, testimonials, and reputation. Their areas of specialization must also include properties within your price range.

    • Get pre-approved for a loan

      A mortgage pre-approval letter is a document showing that  based on your financial records and credit score, the bank is willing to lend you x amount on a home purchase.  Most sellers in Georgia often require a pre-approval before they show you their home. After all, the document proves to them that you’re a serious buyer with the financial capacity to make good on your offer. Before you decide on a lender, however, it’s best to shop around and compare interest rates and pre-approval limits from different lenders to make sure you get the best deal.

    • Take your time choosing a location

      As a buyer, the location of your new home is crucial. Financially, you’ll want to know the rate at which the property appreciates. In terms of quality of life, you need to find out if the neighborhood matches your and your family’s needs: is it a close-knit community? Is it pet-friendly? Is the area prone to noise and disturbances? How long will your commute to work be? Is your potential home near amenities like grocery stores, shops, cafes, and restaurants? Whether you’re looking to buy a starter home or settle into your forever home, you need to find the best location and neighborhoods in Kennesaw, GA that will enable you to satisfy your personal goals.

    • Begin the house-hunting process

      Before you start house-hunting, it’s a good idea to make a list of your non-negotiables, must-haves, and nice-to-haves. Discuss this list with your real estate agent so they can help you determine if your criteria fits your budget and desired location. Once you’ve had that discussion, your agent can come up with an appropriate lineup of available properties. You can then make a shortlist of these potential homes before asking your agent to schedule a showing.

    • Make an offer

      Once you’ve found a home you like, it’s time to make an offer. Ask your agent to help you draft an offer letter that will give you a better chance of being considered. Note that the average number of days a home in Georgia stays on the market depends on the season and the demand, so sometimes you might have to adjust your timelines.

    • Kickstart the inspections and appraisals

      Before you start the closing process, you’ll need to cross your t’s and dot your i’s. That means ordering a home inspection. The results of the inspection will give you a clearer picture of the condition of the home and allow you to renegotiate or call up contingencies if expectations fall short.

      A standard home inspection covers  the roof, foundation, electrical system, HVAC system, and plumbing. If you want the septic system inspected, you may need to pay for a separate septic inspection. In Georgia, it’s recommended to complete a radon test and termite inspection before closing.

      At around the same time, your lender will conduct a home appraisal to determine if your loan amount conforms to the value of the home you want to buy. If the appraisal is lower than your offer, the bank will only fund the mortgage based on the appraised value.

    • Get ready to close on your new home

      Congratulations! You’re finally going to close on your new home!  While your real estate agent will walk you through the specifics, you can expect to sign the mortgage note, deed, and disclosure statements.

      As for closing costs, they’re typically divided into four categories: lender fees (for your lender for originating and underwriting your loan), title and escrow charges (for the title company to cover title search, title insurance, and closing), prepaid costs (ongoing costs of home ownership, property taxes, etc.), and other costs.

      For homebuyers in Georgia, closing costs range from 3% to 5% of the purchase price. So for a $440,000 home, that’s about $13,200 to $22,000.

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  2. Benefit from buying tips and answers to FAQs

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    Need some more tips on buying a house in Kennesaw, GA? Here are a few more and answers to frequently asked questions from first-time homebuyers in Georgia:

    • When is the best time to buy?

      Typically, most people begin searching for homes in early spring. That’s because a lot of homes are put on the market around March, April, and May. The busiest months tend to be April, May, and June.

      If you want dibs on new listings, start early. If you’re on the lookout for a bit of a bargain, look for homes in late summer because that’s when sellers slightly lower their prices. For the best deals, wait for winter. There will be fewer homes for sale in the cold months but sellers are typically motivated to sell quickly and are more open to negotiating.

    • How much are the property taxes in Kennesaw, GA?

      The typical property tax rate paid by homeowners in Georgia according to the Tax Foundation is 0.92%. In Kennesaw specifically, the property tax rate is around 0.82%. It’s important to find out the property tax rate in your particular area and to factor this into your monthly mortgage payments.

    • What does it mean if you’re offered a dual agency?

      In Georgia, real estate professionals can represent both the buyer and seller of a home. This practice is called dual agency. Ask your real estate agent about the type of agency they belong to. Real estate professionals in such arrangements will also have you sign a consent form before they can formally represent you as the buyer.

    • Is a seller’s disclosure required in Georgia?

      Home sellers in Georgia are not required to give a disclosure statement to their prospective buyers. Often, sellers tell you verbally about the condition of the property. Fortunately, they’re required to answer any and all questions about the home they’re selling..

    • What do closing costs cover?

      Just like most places, closing costs in Georgia typically include title insurance, appraisal, settlement, land survey, recording fees, and transfer taxes. You may also need to cover the lender costs and origination fee for your loan as well. Keeping track of these costs may be difficult on your own, that’s why you need to work with a dependable real estate agent.

    • Do I need additional insurance in Georgia?

      Georgia is balmy and  beautiful, but you may need to procure additional insurance to protect your home from flooding and hurricanes, which are naturally occuring in the state. If you’re opting for a seafront or coastal property, you might also need to think about how your property holds up after 10 years, following the faster wear and tear brought about by the surrounding environment.

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LIVING IN KENNESAW, GA

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Kennesaw comes from the name of the mountain located southeast of the town. At 1,808 feet above sea level, Kennesaw Mountain is the highest point in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The mountain itself is visible from the bridge over Interstate 75, which crosses the city limits of the town.

The town has a humid subtropical climate, with average highs reaching 72 degrees and average lows of 48 degrees. The hottest month is July, with average temperatures at 89 degrees. Meanwhile, the coldest month is January, with average temperatures of 30 degrees. The city receives around 55 inches of rain each year.

Kennesaw, GA is convenient and accessible. If you’re planning on buying a house in Kennesaw, GA, consider its convenience and accessibility. As part of the greater Atlanta metropolitan area, Kennesaw has all the perks of big-city living. You’ll  find the major grocery stores and pharmacies in the area, including Publix, Aldi, Kroger, and Walmart.

If you’re commuting to work, several major highways and interstates run through and circle Kennesaw. US Route 41 and State Route 3 cut through the city as Cobb Parkway. To the northeast of the city, you can access the 269, 271, and 273 via Interstate 75.

If you’re going to Atlanta, you can also take the I-75 for 27 miles. Meanwhile, Chattanooga, Tennessee is located 94 miles northwest via the I-75. For public transit, CobbLinc connects the major areas of Cobb County to metro Atlanta.

Kennesaw, GA has dozens of great cafes and restaurants. There are also dozens of great coffee shops and restaurants recommended by locals. Start your day right at First Watch 575 Bistro. Another local favorite is the Big Pie in the Sky Pizzeria, which serves New York-style pizzas and dares visitors into taking the Carnivore Challenge. You can end the day with something sweet at Sweet Hut Bakery and Cafe.

Kennesaw, GA provides useful resources for residents.If you want to know more about what’s happening in the city or access resources for residents and visitors, visit the local Kennesaw government official website.

HOMES FOR SALE IN KENNESAW, GA

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One of the many stunning homes for sale in Kennesaw, GA

Kennesaw, GA has a competitive real estate market. It swings from buyers’ to sellers’ markets depending on local and larger economic trends. In a buyers’ market, there are more houses for sale than there are buyers, which tend to depress home prices. The opposite is true when it comes to operating in a sellers’ market. In this case, sellers have the upperhand and potential buyers might have to put in attractive offers to get their desired homes. View current market trends in Kennesaw, GA here. Browse homes for sale in Kennesaw, GA here.

On average, the listing home price in the area is approximately $440,000, with the price per square foot listed at  $199. Prices in 2023  have gone up by 4.8% compared to 2022. Homes stay on the market for 33 days and are sold at approximately the asking price on average.

Properties and homes for sale in Kennesaw, GA

There is a wide range of homes available in the Kennesaw housing market, with prices ranging from $42,500 to $1.9 million. Around 69% of residents own their homes. Another 31% rent their homes. The average rent in June 2023 was  $1,470.

There’s a wide range of houses and property types in Kennesaw, GA. You can get a single-family home with 3 beds, 2 baths, a 2-car garage, and 1,540 square feet of living space at $400,000. Another single-family home with 5 beds, 2.5 baths, a 2-car garage, and access to community amenities like an Olympic-sized swimming pool, clubhouse, trails, and playgrounds can be listed at double the price.

There are many townhomes for sale if you’re looking to live near Lake Allatoona, the Interstates, or to Kennesaw State University. They include a 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath, 1,754-square-foot  unit with a 2-car garage.

There are also plenty of condominium properties available in Kennesaw, GA. Units come in 3 to 4 bedrooms, 2 to 4.5 baths, and 1 to 2-car garages. The size of the living area varies from 1,400 square feet to over 5,600 square feet.

Whatever type of property you’re interested in, typical amenities and upgrades include open-concept floor plans, spacious kitchens with updated appliances, walk-in closets, and upgraded HVAC systems.

Expect extras galore when it comes to luxury properties. You’ll find any or all of the following:  finished basements, pop-up charging stations and outlets, custom cabinets, extra garage space for golf carts (especially in golf and country club communities), butler pantries, and wine fridges. Some luxury properties are also equipped with elevators,  jetted tubs, and high-end security systems.

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SETTLE DOWN IN YOUR KENNESAW, GA DREAM HOME

Live, eat, work, and play in the quiet and cozy community of Kennesaw, GA, just 40 minutes from downtown Atlanta. We at The Page Morgan Group can help you find your dream home in this highly sought-after community.

With over 20 years of experience working with all types of clients – from first-time homebuyers and relocating families to real estate investors – we have flourished because we  listen to our clients, work with them closely during the entire process, and give it our all to deliver outstanding results. And we can’t wait to meet and exceed your expectations.

Our years of experience give us the ability to anticipate every issue and prepare for it so we can assist you in all aspects of buying a home, from financing, and taking care of the paperwork, to helping you get to know the community more.

Let’s make your Kennesaw, GA dream home a reality. We would love to hear from you. Get in touch with us, The Page Morgan Group, at 770.579.5650 or send us an email at   this address to learn more.