Florida Mortgage & Refinancing

Last Updated on June 3, 2017 by Andrew Lee

There are plenty of good reasons to move to Florida, and its amicable weather is just one of them. With the state boasting of a number of booming industries such as defense, aerospace, tourism, and construction just to name a few, employment rate here is quite high. And making it even more desirable are the friendly residents, good education system, and of course, the ocean surrounding it. (Source: Livability.com)

Although it has many beautiful cities, those that rank highest include Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Miami. Add to this the state’s low cost of living, and there’s no longer a need to wonder why many home buyers consider it as one of their primary location options. (Source: Sperling’s Best Places)

The Cost of being a Home Owner in the State

The cost of home ownership varies from individual to individual, but home buyers can expect an average home to fetch around $203,200 (Source: Zillow). Since most people would have to take out a mortgage to finance the purchase of their home, they should first have a better understanding of the factors that influence their interest rates.

Some of these include determining whether they should buy soon or keep renting, the movement of the housing market, choosing between a fixed-rate or an adjustable-rate mortgage, and how much of a down payment they can afford.  

Deciding on the Right Type of Mortgage

The fixed-rate and the adjustable-rate mortgages are the two primary forms of mortgages. It’s vital for consumers to take the time to establish their current and future finances before they finalize their decision. They should also assess their housing needs (whether or not they intend to live in the same house for more than a decade or so) and credit score rating, since these have a considerable impact on the kind of mortgage they should apply for and get.

Getting Mortgage-Related Assistance

There are a number of programs available to home buyers in The Sunshine State who need help obtaining a mortgage or avoiding foreclosure.

For instance, first-time buyers who want to secure a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage can apply for the Florida Housing First Time Homebuyer Program. This serves as a sponsor for these mortgages by working with a number of lenders throughout the state. It also offers other programs that provide financial assistance for down payments as well as closing costs.

In some counties, the Florida HHF Down Payment Assistance Program is another good source of help for meeting the required down payment. Qualifying for this can help home buyers get as much as $15,000 for their down payment. They can also use the money to cover closing costs.

Other available sources of help include the following:

  • Florida Hardest Hit Fund (HHF)
  • Florida HHF Principal Reduction Program
  • Florida HHF Elderly Mortgage Assistance Program
  • Home Affordable Refinance Program

Refinancing for Existing Home Owners

Current home owners also have options to minimize their overall mortgage expenditures forms. One of these is through refinancing their existing loan. Through this, they can secure a much better interest rate, which then makes their monthly payments lower while also shortening the amount of time they remain in debt.

Many people also take advantage of refinancing because they want to avoid dealing with potentially higher interest rates associated with adjustable-rate mortgages. Fixed-rate mortgage borrowers can also consider refinancing an opportunity to get lower rates by switching to ARM.  

All in all, careful mortgage planning and preparation can significantly mitigate the possibility of financial difficulties. By becoming more knowledgeable of housing loans, borrowers can make the best decision and reap the benefits of home ownership.

References:

Florida Housing Finance Corporation: www.floridahousing.org

Florida Hardest-Hit Fund: https://www.flhardesthithelp.org/

Home Affordable Refinance Program: http://www.harp.gov/

US Bank: https://www.usbank.com/home-loans/refinance/