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Your house-buying experience in Tampa starts here

Honored among the "Top 100 Best Places to Live in America" by, Tampa dazzles with fine museums, a lively arts scene, great restaurants, and attractions for all ages. The city is known for a focus on outstanding healthcare, good schools, and desirable neighborhood attributes. Picturesque home settings from historic to contemporary blend with walkable districts filled with dining and nightlife. Take advantage of Tampa’s rising home values with a personalized home loan from Earnest.
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Tampa delivers on best, affordable Florida living

Bright sunshine, stunning top-rated beaches, and four-season recreation

Tampa is a study in neighborhoods that claim a distinctive flair, from its bay and riverfront to its rich Spanish heritage and gems like Ybor City, the historic Latin quarter. Families appreciate stellar attractions like Busch Gardens, the Florida Aquarium and Lowry Park Zoo, while art lovers enjoy fine museums and a full calendar of performing arts and special events, including the wildly popular Gasparilla Music Festival. Tampa is the epitome of paradise, with its tree-lined neighborhoods, family-oriented suburbs, Historic Kenwood bungalows, chic condos with waterfront views, elegant loft living, and exclusive communities with premier amenities. Private and public schools are among Florida’s finest, including several in Hillsborough County Public Schools that have earned medals in U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools rankings.
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Enjoy a smooth Tampa homebuying experience

Earnest has the expertise and easy application process to make it happen

With the right guidance, finding your dream home in Tampa can be thrilling. Earnest starts by carefully reviewing your financial profile. We take the time to assess your preferences and lifestyle needs, from neighborhood atmosphere to walkability, commute time, and other priorities. Once we have a clear portrait of your dream home and desired price range, our inside knowledge of Tampa clears a path through the maze of websites and open-house opportunities. With a median home price of $214,000 and values on the rise, Tampa stands in a class of its own for the value of your housing dollar and a cost-of-living index lower than the national average. Few cities across the nation can rival Tampa’s claim to 360 days of annual sunshine, natural beauty, lush parks, cultural richness, entertainment attractions, and sheer quality of life.
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Common Questions About Buying a Home in Tampa

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.