Alert Message

A Land O’ Lakes home is a good investment

According to City Data, the median price of a home in 2000 was $115,900. This jumped to $164,391 in 2013, an appreciation of more than 41%. Today, a 3-4 bedroom 1,500 square-foot home would cost you around $200,000 to own, according to listings on Zillow. If you would like more amenities, a three-bedroom 2,105 square-foot home in a community (this has a swimming pool, spa and a tennis court) can be yours for less than $260,000. With mean temperatures of 60 °F – 82 °F, Land O’ Lakes is pleasant.
Jacksonville, Florida, USA downtown city skyline on St. Johns River.

Living in Land O’ Lakes

There are more than a hundred big and small lakes here

If you love fishing, this is the place to settle down. You can waterskii at two of Land O’ Lakes’ largest lakes, Lake Saxon and Bell Lake. If you like beer, you might enjoy a visit to Craft Life Brewing. For wine connoisseurs, there is the Land O’ Lakes Winery. Cuban, Mexican and Italian food can also be had downtown.The city is home to 31,145 residents (as of 2010), and located only 20 miles from Tampa. There are several PreK-12 schools in Land O’ Lakes; and seven colleges within an 18-mile radius. The University of South Florida is the nearest. You can enjoy shooting skeet at the Tampa Bay Sporting Clays and Archery. If you like nature, there is the Cypress Creek Preserve, which spans all of 7,400 acres; and the Conner Preserve. Camping, horseback riding, offroad bicycling and model plane flying are things you could do here.
Jacksonville, Florida, USA downtown city skyline on St. Johns River.
View of St. Petersburg. Saint Isaac's Cathedral from Palace Square in night

Buy a home in Land O’ Lakes

Get Earnest in your corner

If you a first-time home buyer, you could receive up to $15,000 under the Florida First Time Home Buyers Grant Program. At Earnest, we pre-approve your mortgage online (saving you from the hassles of paperwork) so that you can look at homes which you qualify for. We also offer special rates for veterans. If you already own a home in Land O’ Lakes, consider refinancing it with Earnest. A fixed-rate mortgage could save you thousands of dollars when compared to an Adjustable Rate Mortgage, which is what you may be on at present. Even if you are already on a fixed-rate plan, Earnest’s low rates could still save you a lot of money. Land O’ Lakes has a higher graduation rate, a lower crime rate and a lesser unemployment percentage than the state averages for Florida, which strengthens the case for buying a home here.
View of St. Petersburg. Saint Isaac's Cathedral from Palace Square in night

Common Questions About Land O’ Lakes Mortgage Rates

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.