5 best Atlanta-area towns for first-time homebuyers



Increasing sales prices and an inventory shortage have made it difficult for first-time home buyers in Atlanta to jump into the housing market.

Despite these pitfalls, some experts remain optimistic. “While lack of inventory continues to strain Atlanta’s market, there are still many affordable options available to first-time home buyers,” John Rainey, vice president of RE/Max Georgia, said.

A recent survey by RE/MAX Georgia determined which cities in the Atlanta metro area are best for first-time homebuyers. Some of the factors considered in the survey included affordability, positive trends in sale price, increasing popularity with buyers, quality of school districts and neighborhood amenities.

The cities determined by the study are as follows, starting with the most affordable:

1. Decatur, GA (DeKalb County)

  • Median home sale price in March 2018 was $245,900
  • Niche.com gives Decatur an A+ and ranks it the No. 1 place to live in Georgia
  • The city is popular with families and young professionals

2. Kennesaw, GA (Cobb County) 

  • Median home sale price in March 2018 was $270,000
  • Niche.com ranks Kennesaw as one of best suburbs to raise a family
  • Recognized for its “small-town charm”, with many parks and cultural facilities

3. Canton, GA (Cherokee County)

  • Median home sale price in March 2018 was $284,500
  • Niche.com gives Canton an A rating, noting it’s a good place for families and is diverse
  • Plenty of parks, shops, and dining options

4. Marietta, GA (Cobb County)

  • Median home sale price in March 2018 was $315,000
  • Niche.com gives Marietta an A rating, with an A+ for diversity
  • One of Atlanta’s largest suburbs

5. Cumming, GA (Forsyth County)

  • Median home sale price in March 2018 was $338,640
  • Niche.com gives the town an A rating, highlighting its public schools as one of best features
  • It has a lot of new construction options for buyers

The median sales price for the above cities in 2017 and 2018 can be seen in the chart below.

Median Sales Price March 2018 Median Sales Price March 2017 Difference
Decatur $245,900 $165,000  +49%
Kennesaw $270,000 $265,000  +1.9%
Canton $284,500 $274,990  +3.5%
Marietta $315,000 $277,000  +13.7%
Cumming $338,640 $324,950  +4.2%


“As we enter the peak house-hunting season, buyers will continue to see multiple-offer situations and homes moving quickly,” said Rainey. “Patience is needed to find a home in today’s competitive market. When possible, we encourage buyers to expand their search and consider additional options.”

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