- May 18, 2017
- Posted by: steve
- Categories: mortgage articles, mortgage rates
Finding the best mortgage rate is essential when buying a home. But how do you find the best rate? Read here to learn how to compare Florida mortgage rates.
Florida, home to orange groves, the Kennedy Space Center, and one very famous mouse, is certainly known for being a major American tourist destination. But when you’re considering planting roots in the state, Florida mortgage rates can be a lot less fun than Pirates of the Caribbean.
Whether you’re a first-time home buyer, self-employed and trying to get a mortgage, or just trying to figure out Florida real estate from another state entirely, let us help you shine some sun on your best buyer options.
Get a Rate That’s Really Great
Before you even send an email or visit an agent to discuss Florida mortgage rates, you can shore up your possibilities by taking some personal action:
- Learn your credit score. It’s going to be one of the first questions a financial representative asks or finds out for you. Do not pay for your credit score – there are reputable organizations that are happy to run it for you free.
- Find out something you didn’t expect? (Or did expect but was hoping would hide?) Straighten out as much as you can before you get started getting a mortgage. Seek to pay off debt, bills, and outstanding items in collections.
- Grab your Loan Estimate. It sounds fluffy, but it’s not.
What to Watch Out For
Unfortunately, some mortgage professionals are not out for your best interest.
So, as a consumer, it’s buyer beware of prospective hidden fees such as:
- Early payoff or pre-payment penalties. Yes, you really can be charged more if you pay off Florida mortgage rates earlier than your agreed-upon term. This is because your lender is counting on you paying interest every month, and if you pay early, the company loses that income stream. Note that FHA and VA loans do not usually have pre-payment penalties.
- Points in video games are good, points in mortgage rates CAN be good, but you really have to talk it out. You’re able to prepay for certain amounts of points (it seems odd to pay for more payments, you have to decide your personal comfort level). Points can lower your long-term interest rate if you’re OK with paying for them.
- Administrative fees sometimes called paperwork fees. These can include an application fee (always, always ask to have fees waived – you have nothing to lose), loan origination fees, credit report accessing fees, attorney fees, and legal staff fees.
- Appraisal fees for ensuring that your home is valued correctly.
- Termite and pest inspection fees.
- Private mortgage insurance, depending on how much you’ve put down on the home. Typically, if you put down over 20%, you can avoid this fee.
- Title insurance, property survey, courthouse records, and lien records.
How Florida Mortgage Rates Really Add Up
Now for some fun and games.
Well, home buying, finance, and mortgage rate questions aren’t really fun, but we are going to get a bit interactive.
Sometimes the best way to compare Florida mortgage rates is to use a free (note: there are plenty of free tools, you shouldn’t ever have to pay a site) online calculator.
The calculator is going to request several essential pieces of information from you, including:
- The purchase price of the home
- Your down payment
- The home’s annual property tax and insurance amounts
- Any homeowner association dues
- The loan term
- The loan interest rate
- Any adjustable rates (you may have heard this called an ARM)
Each calculator is slightly different, and the more information you enter, the more accurate your loan rate calculation will be.
You can play around too. For example, try entering a loan term of 30 years and see what your rate may be. Then sample that same information but at a 20-year rate, and so on.
This calculator here lets you sample different options with your rate including adding in private mortgage insurance (and seeing how much you pay affects your total) as well as sample options with your closing costs, down payment minus the closing costs, and your principal and interest.
You Have Options
It’s always nice to know that there isn’t just one way to do something, and that includes shopping around for Florida mortgage rates. After all, Florida boasts over eight million housing units. Surely, one would be the perfect pick for you?
After all, buying a home is often cited as one of the biggest changes a person will ever experience. In fact, “mortgage over $20,000” (and who doesn’t have that these days?) rates 31 on the Dartmouth Life Change Stress Test Index.
That’s higher than trouble with in-laws, a child leaving home, or even minor violation of the law!
Some of your options come with how you choose to get your mortgage rate, and they’re tailored to your preferences with how you do business and finances.
- Get fast approval. You know what you want, what rate you can bear, you’re ready to roll.
- Pre-approval. You want to find out a range in which you can tolerate and you’re pretty sure you’re going to move.
- Pre-qualification. Whether you have a spotty credit record and background or you simply feel like you want to dip your toe into starting the Florida mortgage rates process, pre-qualifying is basically just putting in an application and getting some data back in return.
- Pull credit report. This one’s good for prospective buyers who know they may have credit problems or black marks in their past. This is to arm yourself with information that an underwriter may trip over when attempting to get you the best possible rate.
Knowledge is power!
Dare to Compare
Along the same lines as an online mortgage rate calculator are sites that allow you to compare mortgage rates side by side.
Again, choose a nonpartisan organization (such as a financial services business rather than an actual lender, who may skew results) and never pay for something like this.
Once you have your offers, you’ll stack them up against each other and look for:
- Lowest interest rate
- Annual percentage rate (you’ve probably seen this as APR on your credit card, too)
- How these stack up against current mortgage rates offered both in your area and for a similar type of home
- What is the rate lock (how many days/weeks/months you have to purchase the mortgage at the provided rate until it changes)? If you find one or several Florida mortgage rates you love, don’t get locked out!
Let’s Back It Up!
No, a mortgage in reverse isn’t one where the home pays you to live in it.
But it is something that can help you tamp down Florida mortgage rates and put more money back in your pocket.
What You Need to Know
A reverse mortgage is available (not guaranteed, but an option) to buyers over the age of 62 who are purchasing a principal residence (this disqualifies you if you’re considering renting out your home on Airbnb, etc or using it as a summer place for yourself).
The following types of structures DO qualify:
- Single family home
- Apartment building with (at most) 2-4 units, with the loan applicant living in one of the units full time
- HUD-approved condominium
- A manufactured home (formerly known as “portable” home) that qualifies under Federal Housing Administration standards
You get to complete the mortgage in a single transaction – no second closings or extra costs!
You’ll need to have a minimum of 50% of the purchase price available to put down, this is not something that you can just pay minimum costs.
Rules are stringent, so you’ll need to keep up very accurately on your property taxes and property insurance, and you cannot transfer the title or let your home’s condition fall into ruin.
One last thing: Prospective property owners must be completely free from federal debt.
A reverse mortgage can be an extremely positive option for some buyers, but several situations do not mesh well with this type of loan:
- You don’t plan to stay in the home full time
- You don’t plan to keep the home long term
- You aren’t comfortable with market/financial risk
- You can’t afford the fees (these are fees that are entirely in addition to/separate from standard mortgage rate fees) which can be up to two percent of the maximum loan amount, with the origination fee required to be between $2,500 and $6,000
Are You Rate Ready?
Do you already have everything packed into boxes and the moving trucks on speed dial? Excellent!
Not so sure yet about which Florida mortgage rates are best for you? That, too, is just fine.
Let us help you make a bit more sense of everything, starting here. Fill out our quick fast mortgage questionnaire, which is the first step in seeing what you qualify for and what may be available to you.
We are experts in Florida mortgages and we look forward to finding you the best rate. In fact, let some of our happy homebuyers do the talking.
Visit our testimonials page and read how some of our Florida mortgage customers found the perfect rate and home buying happiness, including refinancing, first time home buyers, FHA loans, self-employed buyers, private mortgages, bank mortgages, and more.