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Buying a house in Panama City?! Start Here

Panama City is located on the Florida Panhandle along the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrews Bay. Unlike many other cities in Florida, it is not entirely a beach town. In fact, with a population of around 36,000, the city is part industrial and part military. With a cost of living that is 13% lower than the average for the State, the city is an attractive location for everyone from seniors and singletons to families. Earnest can help you buy the best homes in your desired areas all around the city.
Miami, Florida, USA downtown aerial cityscape.

Panama City is ideal for everyone

Sunshine and friendliness all year round

With the Tyndall Air Force base to the east and Naval Coastal Systems Center to the west, Panama City has a large population of service based people.Previously called Harrison, the city was incorporated in 1909 and has since witnessed major growth. Most of the employment comes from the military and industrial fields with companies like Gulf Power, WestRock and Trane, setting up branches. The area is well populated with schools and is home to multiple big universities like the Florida State University and the Gulf Course State College. The area is surrounded by lots of greenery and the Palm City beach is the perfect place to let your hair down. It is a quite place to live but has plenty to offer in terms of fun activities. Traveling is convenient as 3 highways are close to the city. The median price of a home inthe city is $133,800.
Miami, Florida, USA downtown aerial cityscape.
Different yachts in miami marina bay at south beach on water in bay at sunny day with clouds on blue sky

Buying a home in Panama City made easy

Easy application and quick processes for home buying

Homes in the Panama City area can cost anywhere from an estimated $90,000 to around $150,000 for larger homes. Luxurious homes can cost you in the millions. As such, a significant investment is required from buyers. Earnest can help find the best rates for you. Our powerful metrics don't just depend on your credit score, but look at the bigger picture related to your finances. Everything from savingsto earnings play a part in our system. We also take all your priorities (type of neighborhoods, proximity to schools, offices etc) into consideration before recommending homes. Communicating your needs is effortless thanks to our client support system. Mortgages are also given at the lowest possible rates for buyers that require it. The best part is that all of this can be done online with no fuss and easy access.
Different yachts in miami marina bay at south beach on water in bay at sunny day with clouds on blue sky

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Panama City

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.