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Buying a house in Sarasota begins here

When a city boasts residents like Rosie O’Donnell and Stephen King, it’s a pretty good sign that there’s something special going on. And that’s definitely true of Sarasota, Florida. From near-perfect weather to award-winning beaches, an energetic arts and cultural scene, a wide variety of types of homes, and plenty of restaurants and other attractions, Sarasota attracts families and retirees alike.
Scenic view of Ft. Lauderdale Beach, Florida

Sarasota has it all

A high quality of life no matter what stage of life you’re in

Within driving distance of both Orlando and Tampa, Sarasota offers easy access to big-city amenities. But most people find there’s plenty to do right here in Sarasota. After all, U.S. News put Sarasota at #14 on the list of 100 Best Places to Live. Whether it’s the beaches, the restaurants, or the arts scene, there’s something for everyone to love about Sarasota. From historic Laurel Park, known for its charming walkability, to the bay-front neighborhoods of Indian Beach and Sapphire Shores, Sarasota offers a variety of single-family homes, duplexes, and condos, each with its own vibrancy and personality. There are even golf course neighborhoods and homes on Sarasota’s barrier islands. Whether you’re a new family looking for a place to grow, an up-and-coming young professional, or a retiree ready for the good life, Sarasota has it all.
Scenic view of Ft. Lauderdale Beach, Florida
Pristine shoreline with lifeguard hut of Clearwater Beach, Florida

Making buying a home in Sarasota a breeze

From start to finish, Earnest has your back

Sarasota epitomizes the dilemma of having too many choices: lots of great homes with a wide price range. Earnest helps you narrow your choices right off the bat. Our easy calculator helps you identify a budget that works for you, then we work with that budget and your priorities to steer you to just the right neighborhood. When it comes to the loan itself, Earnest considers more factors and data points than most lenders, which lets us customize a mortgage suited to you and your financial situation. Plus, our application process is fast and easy, and our commitment to ease-of-use doesn’t stop there: You can manage your entire account online. If you get stuck, we have an in-house team of experts ready to back you up. We’ll never farm our customer service out to a third-party provider. We know you’re too important to take that chance.
Pristine shoreline with lifeguard hut of Clearwater Beach, Florida

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Sarasota

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

People around a computer

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.