Alert Message

Buying a house in Orlando is an investment

Centrally located with easy access to Florida's coasts, beaches, and attractions, Orlando is the best place to buy a modest first home or luxury vacation villa. The demand for Orlando homes is on the rise as the growing healthcare and technology industries attract new companies and residents. Orlando is full of modern, moderately priced homes with a high appreciation rate, from renovated ranch-style houses to posh condos. Get in on the ground floor—or the 25th floor—with an Earnest home loan.
Miami waterfront skyline looking east along the Miami river

Orlando—where fun is always in season

Live it up in the theme park capital of the world

Best known for its major themed attractions like Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, residents and tourists alike gather for year-round fun in the sun in Orlando. Beyond the attractions, Orlando is a friendly city and welcoming community with vibrant local art, theater, and music scenes. The professional 30-somethings who make up most of Orlando’s 262,372 population love to take advantage of all the beautiful city has to offer—exciting downtown nightlife, countless four-star restaurants in Dr. Phillips, and lively outdoor recreation around Lake Eola. Pools and patios are common home must-haves for those endless summer nights that go well into fall. Florida’s fifth-largest community is also home to college graduates, young families, and active retirees who find that Orlando is a great place to live, work, and play all year long.
Miami waterfront skyline looking east along the Miami river
This is a beautiful photo capturing the Downtown Orlando Skyline at sunset.

Home buying in Orlando is a breeze

Simplify the buying process from the ground up

House hunting around Orlando’s 149 neighborhoods can be as thrilling as a day at the Magic Kingdom—and just as exhausting. The process of comparing neighborhoods, visiting properties, and finding your dream home within your budget needs more than pixie dust. Not sure whether you can afford a cute lakeside bungalow in Thornton Park or a sprawling suburban estate in Bay Hill? The combination of low property taxes, lower cost of living, and a median home price of $158,600 makes Orlando affordable and attractive to prospective—and competitive—homebuyers. Use a predetermined target price range to strengthen offers and win those bidding wars. From floor plan to financial plan, Earnest will help you identify your priorities and opportunities and analyze your financial profile so you can get onto the property ladder and into your new home.
This is a beautiful photo capturing the Downtown Orlando Skyline at sunset.

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Orlando

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.