Have <span class='t-red'>Questions</span>

What is the minimum down payment required to buy a home?

Each loan program requires a certain percentage. A typical conventional loan will require 5% down payment on owner occupied properties. FHA loans require a minimum of 3.5% down payment. Finally, VA loans may require zero down payment depending on the eligibility of the veteran. Lastly, Investment properties require a minimum of 20% down payment but if you are trying to get the lowest mortgage rate then you should put 25% down on an investment property loan.

How does your property value affect mortgage loan rates?

Risk plays a big factor on mortgage rates. The more equity you have in your property the less risk for the lender when it comes to conventional mortgage loans. For instance, if you are trying to get a loan for cash-out refinance, your interest rate is much better when the loan-to-value is under 60% of the property value.

How to get the best rate quotes when buying a home?

Apply for a mortgage with three different mortgage lenders, brokers or banks and compare their rates by obtaining an official loan estimate on the same exact day since mortgage rates change daily. Pay attention to the adjusted loan origination charges associated with each rate quote and the annual percentage rate to determine which quote gives you the best effective rate.

Are mortgage rates for Single family homes the same as condos?

Florida Mortgage rates for single family homes are usually much lower than rates on a condo. Also, single family homes have less restrictions on financing compared to a condo which requires HOA approval and review of condo bylaws, HOA master insurance and occupancy ratios, etc.

Can closing costs be rolled into the mortgage when buying a home?

Closing costs can only be rolled into the loan when refinancing a mortgage. When purchasing a home, you can either convince the seller to cover closing costs as a seller concession or if you are working with a low cost lender or broker you can look at rate options that provide lender credit to cover all or part of the closing costs. If none of the stated options work, then you will have to pay for the closing costs out of pocket. Typical closing costs like doc stamps and title charges and pre-paid items such as home insurance and property tax equate to about 3% of the purchase price.

Are mortgage rates different for buying a home to be used as your primary home versus rental properties?

Yes. Rates on owner occupied primary homes are typically 1% lower than a rental property. This is due to higher risk associated with investment properties. Simply put, if your life turns upside down due to unforeseen financial stress, you are more likely to do everything you can to save the property that you occupy with your family versus a rental property that might be empty or if you have issues with collecting rent from your tenant. Thus, makes sense why lenders adjust mortgage rates based on risk factors. Lower the risk, the better the rate. Higher the risk, the higher the rate.

How does your credit score affect your mortgage rate?

One of the most important factors that determines your mortgage rate is your credit score. The lower the credit score, the higher the interest rate. Usually any borrower with a credit score of 740 and higher receives the same rate as someone with a credit score of 800. On the other hand, below 740 credit scores, the lenders typically break up the rate adjustment every 20-point increment. For instance, a borrower with a credit score of 700 will have a higher rate than a borrower with a 720 credit score. This does not mean that a borrower with a 680 credit score cannot get the same rate as a borrower with an 800 score.

Does the amount of down payment affect your mortgage rates in Florida?

It depends on the type of loan you are applying for. For instance, if you are getting an FHA loan, it doesn’t change your note rate whether your put the minimum 3.5% down or 20% down payment. On the other hand, if you are getting a conventional mortgage, there is a slight difference in the cost associates with the mortgage rate for a borrower putting 5% down payment versus another borrower that puts 20% down. Finally, on a conventional mortgage putting 20% down helps you avoid the PMI which results in a lower annual percentage rate (APR).

Benefits of conventional loans

Conventional loans have some notable benefits. If you have a strong credit score, you can often secure lower interest rates, which can save you money in the long run. Unlike certain other loans, there’s no need to pay an upfront mortgage insurance premium, and the monthly private mortgage insurance (PMI) payments may decrease over time as you build equity in your home. Unlike VA loans, there’s no funding fee to worry about. Conventional loans also come with higher loan limits, which can be advantageous if you’re looking at more expensive homes. You have the flexibility to choose the type and condition of the property you want to finance, and the application process can be faster. However, it’s crucial to thoroughly compare loan offers from different lenders and fully understand the specific terms and conditions before committing to a conventional loan.

Advantages of FHA loans

FHA loans come with certain advantages that can benefit homebuyers. First and foremost, they allow you to purchase a home with a lower down payment, which is particularly helpful if you have limited savings. Even if your credit score is not impeccable, FHA loans offer more flexibility, making them an attractive option for first-time homebuyers. These loans often feature competitive interest rates, potentially leading to lower monthly payments. Additionally, if you decide to sell your home, the FHA loan can be transferred to the new buyer. FHA loans are government-backed, instilling confidence in lenders and frequently resulting in better terms for borrowers. They also offer special loans for home improvements. While these advantages exist, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of all associated costs and consult with FHA-approved lenders for personalized advice tailored to your specific situation.