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Your Miami home-buying experience begins here

Separated from the Atlantic Ocean by Biscayne Bay, Miami enjoys a global reputation as a center of trade and commerce, entertainment, dazzling architecture, cultural diversity, the arts, and tourism. Throngs of visitors join the locals in enjoying Miami’s bright sunshine, spectacular four-season recreation, sugar-white beaches, and sizzling nightlife. From the Art Deco district in Miami Beach to the unique ecosystem of nearby Everglades National Park, Miami is a home like no other.
Historic downtown business storefronts on a city block in Jacksonville, Florida.

Welcome to the vibrant tropical paradise of Miami

Winter means wearing a hoodie with your flip-flops

There’s never a dull moment in Miami, a city that pulsates with popular night spots, live music, theater, art, and film. Cultural jewels include treasures like Wynwood Arts District, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, and Art Basel—one of the world’s premier art exhibitions. Families enjoy nonstop activity with such stellar attractions as Miami Seaquarium, Jungle Island, and Zoo Miami, while sports fans can go wild cheering on the NBA’s Miami Heat. With a population nearing 2.5 million, Miami offers an incredible variety of neighborhood attributes in historic districts, waterfront villages, contemporary subdivisions, and family-friendly suburbs. Parents will appreciate the quality of educational opportunities, from public charter schools and Cambridge programs to scores of highly rated private and parochial schools, as well as universities.
Historic downtown business storefronts on a city block in Jacksonville, Florida.
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The Miami home-buying process made easy

Earnest’s seamless application and low rates pave a smooth path

Sifting through the sheer volume of Miami’s neighborhoods can feel overwhelming. Home styles are equally rich in variety, including elegant “Old Florida” mansions, upscale enclaves, beach homes, charming villas, cozy bungalows, luxury condos, penthouses and lofts. Guiding you through that initial maze of hunting through websites and open houses is one place where Earnest knowledge and expertise become invaluable. We start by working closely with you to identify your unique needs; then we help you sift through the options to narrow down the best possible fit. Important factors to consider may include commuting time and mass transit availability, along with preferences like walkability, nearby parks and schools—or perhaps beach access and nightlife. Next, Earnest analyzes your financial profile to determine a target home price.
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Common Questions About Buying a Home in Miami

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.