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Buying a house in Winter Park is a wise move

Winter Park is a small city in Orange County. It is a University/ residential town that is well known for its affluent neighborhoods and shopping districts. Winter Park was originally a resort community that grew into a small city. It is a place that is great to settle down in. In 1885, the Rollins College was started here. Following this, a number of other educational institutions were also started here. As of now the colleges here are the main source of income in terms of employment.
Miami downtown at night, Florida, USA

Small town environment with big city convenience

A city that celebrates the arts and culture

Located in orange county, it is one of the more affluent of the towns within this region. It was once considered to be a winter time resort- hence the name. It has since become a university town. In spite of this, it still maintains that old world charm and is a favorite among those who want to settle down for the long term. Orlando is just a few miles away and most people either drive down to Orlando everyday or work at the colleges here; It is a bedroom town to the city. The median cost of a house here is around $285,000. Over the last Q, the prices have been steadily dropping, so if you are looking for a good price, now is the time to start. The median age of the city is 40, making the crowd a little mature. 92% of the population here are high school graduates, it goes to show the excellent education that is accessible in this town.
Miami downtown at night, Florida, USA
Rear view of a family canoe ride down a beautiful tropical river.

Buying a house in Winter Park doesn't get simpler

We can help you find and finance your home

One of the most important financial decisions you will make in your life is the one that is related to your house. The size, location, city and neighborhood that you choose all depend on how much you are able to source in your mortgage. At Earnest, we use a method that is far more scientific than simply looking up the credit score, this way, we are able to give competitive rates that put many homes that you thought were not affordable within your reach. You will not need to settle for a house that is just satisfactory, rather, you can go for a house that fulfills your every need.
Rear view of a family canoe ride down a beautiful tropical river.

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Winter Park

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.