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Thinking of settling down in Lehigh Acres, FL?

Lehigh Acres has been rated as the fastest growing community in the United States, according to NBC. A lot of people who have jobs in neighboring Fort Myers are moving here because of lower home prices. The population was 86,784 in 2010, and this represented a 159.6% increase since 2000. However, the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research estimated it to be 106,747 in 2014. The median age of a Lehigh Acres resident is 33.3 years, pointing to how ‘young’ the city is.
Miami waterfront skyline looking east along the Miami river

Living in Lehigh Acres

The city is full of youth, energy and enthusiasm

Lehigh Acres was originally a cattle ranch. When World War II broke out, the Buckingham Army Airfield came up in the area and this was Florida’s largest then. The airfield was closed at the end of the war, but development continued, resulting in the city known as Lehigh Acres. The airstrip is now used for car racing. That is where you should head out if you are looking some adrenaline-pumping excitement. If you prefer the quiet, you could ride a horse through some sylvan surroundings, or enjoy a game of golf - there are two golf clubs in the city. Several private and public elementary, middle and high schools serve PreK-12 education needs. The Florida Gulf Coast University is only 13 miles away, while Edison State College lies 16 miles away. Both are in Fort Myers, and Hodges University lies farther in Naples, roughly 24 miles away.
Miami waterfront skyline looking east along the Miami river

Buy a home in Lehigh Acres

With Earnest in your corner, it will be a smooth experience

Fort Myers comes second on the list of fastest growing communities in the United States. It also ranked second for ‘Highest Job Growth’, and a lot of people choose to commute from Lehigh Acres to Fort Myers for work. Trulia estimates the median home price for a Lehigh Acres home to be $140,000, while it is $198,500 for Fort Myers. Those live in Lehigh Acres say the commute takes 15-20 minutes in summer and 30-40 minutes in winter. If you choose to buy a home in Lehigh Acres, take a look at Earnest’s low rates. If you a veteran, you qualify for further concessions. Earnest’s simplified paperwork makes the process of owning a home in Lehigh Acres considerably easier. All you have to do is apply online so that Earnest can pre-approve your mortgage before you start looking at homes.

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Lehigh Acres

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.