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Buying a house in Lakeland, Florida? We can help!

The center of Florida’s citrus growing region, Lakeland has come into its own as a city with a nascent but thriving arts and culture scene. You can have your pick of classic ranches and townhouses, to contemporary villas and condos. According to Realtor.com, average prices vary widely in the area, from $72,000 in Cataloma Acres to around $307,000 in Bloomfield Hills. With prices in the city rising but still affordable, Earnest can help you close quickly on your dream home at a fantastic price.
Newly built townhomes in a suburban community in west palm beach florida

A small town that's come a long way

No sand or surf but plenty of lakes and culture

Located in Polk County on the I-4 about halfway between Tampa and Orlando, Lakeland is a city of about 100,000 that, despite the rapid growth in the area, has managed to maintain both the small-town feel and a cost of living that is far lower than surrounding cities. True to its name, Lakeland is popular for its lakes, recreation areas and public parks, such as Lake Mirror, Hollis Garden and the Circle B Bar Reserve. The Lake-to-Lake Trail is also a popular way to explore the region on a bicycle. While Lakeland is a quiet community, the sun drenched beaches of Tampa are less than an hour away and for families, Disney World is only a half hour away on the I-4. Lakeland is also the home of Florida Southern College, familiar to architecture buffs for its many buildings designed by the celebrated architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Newly built townhomes in a suburban community in west palm beach florida
Typical single family home in Florida

Buying your Lakeland home doesn't get easier

We don't just help you pay for your dream home, we help you find it

Buying a home is a major investment—and one that requires careful consideration. There are many factors to consider and many properties and locations to choose from. Earnest can help you reach an informed decision faster by analyzing both your financial position as well as your personal priorities for your home (such as access to healthcare, nightlife, transport etc.) and using this information to provide you with both an ideal price range and potential neighborhoods that would best fulfill your needs. This helps you narrow down your search and settle down fast without ever needing to settle.
Typical single family home in Florida

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Lakeland

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.