Florida is well known as one of the real estate capitals of the world, and digging into the numbers, it’s easy to see why the Sunshine State is so popular with homebuyers.
So, here is a look at real estate in the Sunshine State, as well as some tips to get a mortgage in Florida.
Florida Real Estate
Looking closely at the numbers for Florida real estate, it’s easy to see why so many people love to move to the state. The statewide median home price currently sits at $179,00, notably below the national average of $182,800. While some more expensive cities in Florida like Fort Myers Beach ($372,000) and Naples ($312,600) have much higher median home prices, many others like Tampa ($150,400) and Orlando ($178,100) have less expensive homes on average.
But that shouldn’t be misconstrued to think that the housing market in Florida isn’t healthy. Last year, home prices in Florida rose a massive 8.1%. That’s almost twice the national rate of growth, which sat at 4.3% last year. Zillow projects that home prices will rise another .8% over the next year, and thanks to Florida’s ample natural beauty and various bustling urban economies, that growth is likely to continue.
There are numerous reasons why Florida is currently a hot place to live, many of which rely on the state’s unparalleled natural beauty and moderate climate. Florida’s many beaches are legendary and provide access to some of the most beautiful seashores in the world. Especially if you are retired or have health issues, the moderate and predictable climate in Florida is a huge selling point that can lead to a great quality of life. Combine beaches, sun, and year-round warmth, and it’s easy to see why people love to live in Florida.
Aside from the obvious natural beauty, Florida also offers some unique economic opportunity. Tampa specifically is growing very quickly, with a bustling job market and growing demand for quality real estate.
Getting a Mortgage in Florida
If you live in the Sunshine State, or you’re thinking about moving here, you may want a mortgage to buy a home. So here are some tips about getting a mortgage in Florida.
#1 Select a Reputable Licensed Loan Officer
It’s important to work with a licensed loan officer and lender when getting a mortgage to buy a home.
After checking reviews and testimonials for the company you are thinking about using, also check to see that both the loan officer and the lender are licensed in Florida. To check the license online, go to NMLS Consumer Access and do a search for both the mortgage company and loan originator.
For example, here are links to Marimark Mortgage and Mary Catchur’s license information.
#2 Credit Score
When applying for a mortgage, lenders will look at your credit score. If you have a high credit score, you can get a better mortgage and lower interest rate. But if your credit score is below a lender’s minimum standards, you will not qualify.
So it’s important to raise your credit score to the highest possible level to save as much money as possible on your mortgage.
#3 Savings for the Down Payment and Expenses
There are several costs associated with getting a mortgage, including:
• Closing Costs and Prepaid Expenses
• Insurance Premium and Escrow
• Home Inspection
• Pest Inspection
• Insurance Inspection
• Earnest Money Deposit
It takes a great deal of planning to pay these costs, and have money for the deposit and down payment. To help, consult a mortgage loan officer early in the process, so you understand the financial obligations associated with buying a home.
#4 Pre-qualification and Pre-Approval
You can save time, and be much more efficient when searching for a home if you take advantage of pre-qualifying for a mortgage, then work toward being pre-approved for a mortgage.
There is a substantial difference between being pre-qualified and pre-approved for a mortgage, and a good loan officer will help you take advantage of both.
Pre-qualification for a mortgage is the first step you should take when starting to search for a home. You can be pre-qualified over the phone in just a few minutes, and start looking for a home with a Realtor immediately.
Then as you look for a home, you can go through the longer process of being pre-approved for a mortgage. Then with the pre-approval, you can quickly close on your new home.
Marimark Mortgage is based out of Tampa, FL and serves the needs of borrowers in all of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida.
We work hard for our clients to get the best possible mortgage at the best interest rate, and often close in 30 days or less.
When you are ready to start the process of finding a home to buy, apply online using our Quick Application or contact us direct to start the process of being pre-qualified and pre-approved for a mortgage.