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Buying in Port Charlotte? What you need to know

Port Charlotte is one of the best places to retire in the US. It was one of Forbes' top 25 for the year 2012 and was number 1 on CNN's 2009 list. It is a residential city with a small town feel to it. The median price range for a house here is around $150,000. Over the last Q, the prices for homes here have plateaued out, that means it is now the perfect time to make the best use of the low prices. If you are looking at an investment property, the rents are also favorable at $1,350 a month.
Tallahassee, Florida, USA downtown skyline.

Port Charlotte is a city built for retirement

Quiet, calm and composed- everything you ever wanted in a town

Port Charlotte is a city that has been under habitation since the last ice age. Paleo Indians were hunting wooly mammoths 10,000 years back in this region. Located at the northern tip of the Port Charlotte estuary, it is 100 miles south of Tampa. It is a large planned community that was purpose built to accommodate seniors and retirees. That means the town is not touristy and there is not much in terms of things to do here. Neighboring towns like Punta Gorda and Ft. Meyers is a lot more culturally diverse and vibrant. What Port Charlotte has going for it is its built in beauty and effective planning, making it compact, but well laid out in a way that makes it easy to get around. The median age is 50, making it a mature, grown up town. 82% of those living here are also homeowners, so the population here is in for the long haul.
Tallahassee, Florida, USA downtown skyline.
Pair of Macaw Parrots cuddling on a tree branch in a tropical setting featuring vivid gold, blue, red and green feathers and white faces.

Port Charlotte is a great place to retire

There are few towns as inviting as Port Charlotte on the gulf coast

Port Charlotte is a sleepy little town that is just the right place for you to settle down for the long term. That is why you need not have to lose sleep over the buying decisions. Decisions like budget, locality, mortgage rates and other such complications can be easily dealt with through Earnest. We have devised a system that includes a number of metrics so that we can help you choose the right home that will fit all of your needs based on data. We have an ace client support team that is waiting to hear from you, so call us today for more information.
Pair of Macaw Parrots cuddling on a tree branch in a tropical setting featuring vivid gold, blue, red and green feathers and white faces.

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Port Charlotte

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

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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.