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Buying a house in Lake Mary- What you Need to Know

Lake Mary is a small city in the Seminole county. Called the city of lakes, it is a small suburban town that is mostly residential. It is one of the best places to live in the USA and in the Money Magazine's August 2007 list, it was placed 4th in the country. The median price for a house her is around $270,000. After a peak in July there was a sharp drop in prices here. It is now on an appreciation run so if you are interested in land value appreciation, consider investing here.
Tampa, Florida, USA downtown skyline.

Lake Mary- a calm and peaceful place to live

Quiet neighborhoods dotted with lakes

Lake Mary is part of the Seminole county, so that means people have lived in this area for many hundreds of years. The reasons for this are apparent the minute you set foot in this town. It is calm, peaceful and quite. The natural beauty that surrounds this place makes for a scenic, yet well planned city. The city is only about 9.7 sq miles in size, 10% of it is water. It is the kind of place that works for not just young families that want to settle down, but also for retirees and seniors who want to get away from all the noise. Of the city's residents, 75% are homeowners and the median age is 39, making this town perfect for a slightly more mature crowd. The median household income here is around $66,000. Another advantage with this city is that it has quality schools all over, you unlikely to be too far from a school in Lake Mary.
Tampa, Florida, USA downtown skyline.
This family was having a great time swimming at the beach on Amelia Island, Florida. This was a hot July day.

Find your dream home in Lake Mary today

The quiet calm and friendly people are enough reason to move here

For Americans, buying a house is one of the most important goals in life. All of us have an idea of what we want in a house. What is your dream home? How big is it? What kind of home do you like? The only issue with all of this though is the money side of the equation. If you are unable to afford the house you want, you might be forced to settle for one that is less than what you really want. At Earnest, we have come to know that for the most part, lenders and mortgage providers are to blame. Or more specifically, it is the method in which they handle the process. Earnest uses a method that is more scientific and data driven, not just dependent on credit score. We create a financial profile that is tailor made for you and base your rates on your profile. Get a house that you love, not the one you can only afford with Earnest.
This family was having a great time swimming at the beach on Amelia Island, Florida. This was a hot July day.

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Lake Mary

All The Answers You Need to Settle Down Sooner

Should I choose a fixed or adjustable rate?

It depends how long you expect to stay in the home. Adjustable rates are good for people who may not be in the home long, whereas fixed rates are ideal for people who are confident of settling in.

Do I need a home appraisal?

Probably—in most cases, the homebuyer must use an appraiser to evaluate the value of the home. Appraisal costs vary depending on the value of the property, as well as the state the house is in. Buyers cannot choose their own appraiser—the bank makes the decision.

What is PMI?

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is required when a homebuyer makes a down payment of less than 20%, or when a borrower refinances with less than 20% equity in the home. PMI fees vary according to your down payment and credit score, and adds a premium to your monthly mortgage payment. Please note, PMI is tax-deductible in 2015 and 2016 for certain income brackets.

What does Loan-to-Value mean?

Loan-to-Value (LTV) is the percentage of your home’s value that your loan represents. When refinancing, the calculation is simply the loan amount divided by the appraised value. When buying a home, the LTV is found by dividing by either the purchase price or appraised amount, whichever is lower. When the LTV is less than 80%, the lender generally requires PMI.

For example:

Purchase price: $100,000
Down payment: $15,000
Loan amount: $85,000
Appraised value: $110,000
LTV: $85,000/$100,000 = 85%

What are closing costs?

Closing costs are standard fees associated with a real estate transaction. You will typically pay about 2-5% of the purchase price in closing costs—the exact amount depends on where you are buying (or refinancing), as well as number of extra fees involved in your particular transaction. Earnest charges no lender fees, so the borrower is only responsible for 3rd-party fees.

What should I consider before refinancing my mortgage?

Refinancing your home loan is an attractive option when rates are low. A simple rate and term refinance can help you lower your monthly payment and potentially eliminate your PMI premium, as long as you have built up enough equity in the home. You might also use a cash-out refinance to access some of the equity you’ve built up in the home (which may result in a higher monthly payment on your new loan).

However, keep in mind that refinancing a mortgage does involve several fees (closing costs). Before refinancing, you should calculate the ‘break-even’ point at which your refinanced loan makes up for the closing costs. If you plan to leave your home before this time, it’s better to stay with your current mortgage.

Knowledge Is (Buying) Power

Further Resources from the Earnest Blog

People around a computer

The intelligent home loan

When it comes to finding the right home loan, Earnest works hard to ensure that the process pain-free. We use an industry-leading and intuitive online-only application (meaning most times no scanner or fax machine required), a 5-star client service team, and a unique rolling pre-approval that stays current while you track down that perfect home. At Earnest, the home loan process is like no other.