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Buying a house in Hollywood—the Florida one

Not to be confused with the California version, Hollywood is nestled between Miami and Fort Lauderdale in southeastern Broward County. Otherwise known as “Hollywood by the Sea,” its central location in South Florida provides access to both the Miami and Fort Lauderdale international airports, and public transit will get you almost anywhere you need to go. Earnest can help you find a loan to nestle into many types of Hollywood homes, from a cozy one-bedroom apartment to a large house.
Fort Lauderdale Beach as seen from a Cruise ship leaving port on a sunny day with Clouds and lots of buildings on the Beach

Star-quality living in Hollywood, Florida

A mecca of culture, entertainment, and art

Hollywood's official website describes itself as having “a hometown atmosphere with a world-class beach.” Home to the historic Hollywood Beach Boardwalk, this vibrant town boasts scenic coastal landscapes, and it has no shortage of restaurants, movie theaters, and family activities such as water sports and cycling. Hollywood hosts a wide selection of top-rated schools with prestigious scholastic programs, so educational options abound for its 140,000 residents. Institutions include several military academies, scientific research centers, and career schools. In addition, Hollywood provides both its seasonal and permanent residents a blend of cultural events, including festivals, exhibits, and musical performances.
Fort Lauderdale Beach as seen from a Cruise ship leaving port on a sunny day with Clouds and lots of buildings on the Beach
Traffic jam on a highway dam in Miami, FL, USA.

Holistic home hunt in Hollywood

Analyze your needs and let Earnest do the rest!

The neighborhoods in and around Hollywood offer many housing options. The average home price ranges from $150,000 to $275,000 in Hollywood, maxing out at $300,000 in Hollywood Hills and dipping to five figures in Washington Park, making Hollywood realistic for any type of buyer. Earnest will assist you in selecting the most viable living situation by evaluating your personal requirements, taking into account your work/school situation, distance to amenities, and entertainment habits. Anyone hoping to establish a home in Hollywood will benefit from Earnest’s helpful loan and buyer features, which take your finances and desires seriously and make the decision of narrowing down the massive housing market quick and easy.
Traffic jam on a highway dam in Miami, FL, USA.

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Hollywood

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.