With a population of 254,000, St. Petersburg is the fifth largest city in Florida and the second largest in Tampa Bay. But thanks to a handful of unique features, an impressively strong and diverse economy, and unbeatable lifestyle opportunities, St. Petersburg is one of the most popular destinations on the Gulf Coast.
So here is a closer look at real estate in Florida’s fifth largest city, and tips to get a mortgage in St. Petersburg, Florida.
St. Petersburg Real Estate
If you are looking for value-priced real estate, there aren’t many cities in Florida with better opportunities than St. Petersburg.
For starters, the median home price is notably below both the national median of $188,900 and the Florida state median of $175,300. Currently, the median home in St. Petersburg costs just $149,300, an incredible deal when you look at national pricing trends.
If St. Petersburg’s low median home price seems odd, looking at other market metrics helps explain why real estate in St. Petersburg is such a great deal. Last year, St. Petersburg saw its median home price increased an impressive 13.4%, a huge rise in value compared to the national rate of growth of 4.3%. And over the next twelve months, Zillow predicts that St. Petersburg will see a further 3.3% growth in median home prices, which again will outpace projected national growth of 2.6%. Combined, this impressive growth shows that St. Petersburg’s low home prices represent a great deal, and doesn’t signify an overall weakness in the city’s real estate market.
St. Petersburg’s Strong Real Estate Market
Overall, Tampa Bay is considered one of the strongest real estate markets in the country, and St. Petersburg’s status as the second largest city in Tampa Bay has helped keep the markets robust. As Tampa continues to grow and economic factors continue to push housing prices up throughout Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg will continue to see growth in home values.
However, this city’s strength in real estate is due to more than just a prime location.
St. Petersburg has beautiful beaches, and is a short drive from gulf-coast beaches like St. Pete Beach. Pleasant and warm year round weather encourages outdoor recreation, driving ocean lovers to the surf. St. Petersburg property has a lot of inherent value, and these “soft factors” will likely continue to draw residents and keep markets healthy for years to come.
Mortgages in St. Petersburg, Florida
With home prices low and the market growing, it’s a great time to purchase a home in St. Petersburg. But before you do, it’s a good idea to start thinking about your mortgage and how you will finance your upcoming home purchase. So, here are a few tips to get a mortgage in St. Petersburg.
#1 Improve Your Credit Score
Your FICO credit score affects how much you will pay for your mortgage. So part of preparing to get a mortgage is to make sure your FICO score is as high as possible.
When it comes to getting a mortgage, your FICO score affects:
- Your Ability to Qualify for a Mortgage.
- Types of Mortgages for Which You Can Qualify.
- The Interest Rate of Your Mortgage.
There are some rather simple ways to improve your credit score. But it’s also important to meet with a mortgage originator early in the homebuying process to learn how your FICO score is affecting your ability to purchase a home.
#2 Save for a Down Payment and Closing Costs
There are strict standards surrounding the down payment for a home. So it’s important to meet with your licensed mortgage lender/broker early in the homebuying process to fully understand everything you need to do to have a qualifying down payment.
It’s also important to plan to pay the closing costs for your home purchase. Common closing costs include:
- Lender Fee
- Credit Report
- Flood Certificate
- Closing Fee Paid to the Title/Escrow Agent
- Title Insurance
- Title Search
- Miscellaneous Fees for Notaries, Document Preparation, etc.
- Documentary Stamps
- Intangible Taxes
- Fees imposed by Civil Government
#3 Pre-qualification and Pre-Approval
Before shopping for a home, you need to be pre-qualified for a mortgage. Then you will know your budget and the approximate costs associated with purchasing a home. And, as a pre-qualified homebuyer, Realtors and sellers will consider you as a serious buyer.
Then as you search for a home, you can work through the longer process of being pre-approved for a mortgage.
#4 Finalize the Mortgage Application and Close
Once you are pre-approved for a mortgage, the lender submits your application to underwriting. Then after meeting the remaining conditions, you will receive a “clear to close”, and the lender will send the paperwork for closing to the title company/closing agent.
Lastly, you will close on your home.
Marimark Mortgage is a St. Petersburg Mortgage Broker serving the mortgage needs of borrowers in all of Florida.
As a mortgage originator, we specialize in conventional home mortgages, FHA, VA and USDA mortgage options, refinance loans, and reverse mortgages. We’ve also worked extensively with a variety of refinancing options to help clients lower their payments on their home.