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Thinking of a home in Dunedin, Florida?

Dunedin is only about 30 minutes (approximately 25 miles) away from both St. Petersburg and Tampa. The climate here is pleasant, with temperatures ranging between 50 °F and 91 °F during the course of the year. According to listings on Zillow, a three-bedroom 1,375-square-foot detached home sells for around $250,000. The city has a livability score of 81 (‘exceptionally livable’), which is much higher than the state average of 69. The cost of living is also 4% lesser, while crime is 37% lower.
Tallahassee, Florida, USA downtown skyline.

Enjoy life under the sun

Find out why living in Dunedin can be such a pleasant experience

The name of the city is derived from Dùn Èideann, the original name of Edinburgh, Scotland. It was christened thus by Scottish families who first settled in the region, and even today, the image of a Scotsman wearing a tartan skirt and playing his bagpipe can be seen next to the sign that officially welcomes you to Dunedin. This particularly stands out because there isn’t a lot of commercial signage that you will see in Dunedin. It looks like a small town – only it isn’t. Dunedin is home to 37,000 residents and there is always something to do and/or places to see. The beach on Caladesi Island was rated #1 in the United States. At the Caladesi Island State Park, you could go fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming or simply view the birds. The Honeymoon Island State Park is another place with a beautiful beach where you can do all these.
Tallahassee, Florida, USA downtown skyline.
Underwater manatee swimming in Kings Bay, Crystal River, Florida

Why owning a home in Dunedin is easy

Get Earnest in your corner

Earnest pre-approves your mortgage so that you can look at the right homes in Dunedin. The city is spread over 28.2 square miles, and its marina is one of the best on the West Coast. There are several schools for PreK-12 education needs, and in spring, Dunedin is where the Toronto Blue Jays come to practice at the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. This facility has been named by Sports Illustrated as among the top five places to watch Major League Baseball training games. Dunedin also has exceptionally strong sports communities, and regularly hosts a half-marathon. Every 2nd Friday, there is an Art Walk. Dunedin is also home to several breweries, including the Dunedin Brewery, which is Florida’s oldest. The St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport serves the city, and it is only 12 miles away.
Underwater manatee swimming in Kings Bay, Crystal River, Florida

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Dunedin

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.