Homeownership in Florida is currently at 65.9 percent. This is higher than the national average which is at 63.9 percent. Florida is a great place to buy a property or a house. The economic stability of the state is impressive and the state also offers great investment opportunities for real estate properties. This is why there’s a high ownership rate in the state.
Now, whether it is your first time shopping for a house or you’ve done this multiple times, this process can sometimes be overwhelming. There are many things to consider when buying a house aside from which house you will buy and how much money you are capable of spending on it.
As someone who is planning on purchasing a house in Florida, you need to do some research and be aware of your options. You can always partner up with a real estate agent and a mortgage broker for this. Having a professional by your side can make decision-making a bit easier, but it’s still important that you do your research on important details like the lenders you can apply for a loan from and the Florida mortgage rates.
Down payment rates for a mortgage in Florida usually range from 20 to 30 percent of the property’s purchase price. 20 percent is already a huge down payment especially for a loan and you’ll likely score a low-interest rate with this. However, if you can’t afford to make that much of down payment, you can check with your broker if you can get an FHA loan.
Now, before we get into that, you need to know that there are a few types of home loans or mortgages that you can apply for. Here are some of the most common ones in the US.
- Conventional Mortgage
This is a type of mortgage that is not backed by a government agency (local or federal). A conventional loan will allow you to eventually cancel your mortgage insurance or avoid this type of insurance as long as you place a 20 percent down payment.
- FHA Loans
This type of loan is insured by the Federal Housing Commission. Low to moderate-income borrowers can be approved to get this loan. First-time homeowners prefer this too because you can get an interest rate of as low as 3.5 percent for this loan.
- VA Loans
This is something you could qualify for as a service member, veteran, or surviving spouse. A VA loan or mortgage is generous when it comes to providing competitive rates. Sometimes, a down payment and mortgage insurance isn’t even necessary for you to get approved for this. Just make sure that you have a good credit standing of at least 640.
- USDA Loans
This is a zero-down payment mortgage that is usually approved for rural and suburban homebuyers. This type of loan is handled and issued by the US Department of Agriculture through the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program. A credit score of at least 640 will also be needed for this.
- Florida-specific housing programs
The state of Florida has its housing programs that you can apply for especially if you’re a first-time homeowner or someone who hasn’t owned a property in the last three years. There is the Florida HFA Preferred Conventional Loan which is a 30-year fixed-rate loan that offsets some of the initial costs that would usually make conventional loans out of reach for first-time homeowners.
There is also the Florida HFA Preferred 3 percent Plus Conventional Loan. With this, you get a reduced mortgage insurance cost if you qualify for a 30-year fixed-rate loan. You can also take advantage of a 3 percent down payment and closing cost grant that you don’t have to repay.
The Florida Assist Second Mortgage is an assistance program that could let you borrow up to 7500 USD for your down payment. This is offered with 0 percent interest. The payment for this can also be deferred until you sell the house or have it refinanced.
Another program you can take advantage of is the Florida Mortgage Credit Certificate or MCC Program. You may be eligible for this if you’re a first-time homeowner or a veteran. With this, you can claim 50 percent of your paid mortgage interest or up to 2000 US dollars for every year that you occupy the house.