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Buying a house in Jacksonville starts with Earnest

Ranked by Business Insider as one of the “50 Best Places to live in America,” and one of the “24 Best Places to Live in the South,” Jacksonville is known for its diverse types of homes, low taxes, neighborhood attributes, attractions, low cost of living, and high quality of life. It’s a city on the move, so it’s no wonder the Jacksonville housing market is experiencing low inventory and increasing prices. It’s a sellers’ market, but Earnest can help you secure the right home.
Tallahassee, Florida, USA downtown skyline.

The biggest city in Florida is on the rise

A favorite destination for corporate relocations and expansions

Businesses across the country are recognizing the benefits of relocating to Jacksonville, and so are their employees and families. In fact, Jacksonville has been recognized as the nation’s third most affordable city for launching a corporate headquarters. Combine that distinction with a business-friendly local government, an award-winning workforce training program, miles of beaches, recreational and sports activities, and it’s no surprise that people are rushing in from all over, eager to call Jacksonville home. And, speaking of homes … life isn’t just about work and play. Fortunately, Jacksonville’s many diverse neighborhoods provide residents with exactly that: a cozy place to call your own. From the large, shady yards of Baymeadows to historic Springfield, there’s something for everyone, and at prices other cities would envy.
Tallahassee, Florida, USA downtown skyline.
Tallahassee, Florida, USA downtown skyline.

Earnest: Making buying your home a breeze

Customizing mortgages specific to your needs

Narrowing down your choices along with the stress of applying for a loan can seem overwhelming. Earnest changes all of that. From helping you identify your priorities to analyzing your financial situation and identifying your target price range, Earnest is beside you every step of the way, using multiple data points—like your savings patterns, your investments, and where you are in your career—to help you find a customized solution. Other mortgage loan providers expect you to adapt to their criteria. We're different. We adapt our criteria to fit you. Between our online application process to online account management, we make it easy, clear, and straightforward. Our in-house team is just a phone call, email, chat, or text away if you need us. And we won’t farm your questions out to a third-party vendor just when you need us the most.
Tallahassee, Florida, USA downtown skyline.

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Jacksonville

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.