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A Saint Cloud home makes for a good investment

Saint Cloud is home to 43,005 residents (as of 2014) and witnessed a 114.2% boom in its population since 2000. More and more people are moving here. Property prices have jumped 48% since the turn of the century, and those who live here say it has a lot of country charm. It is filled with friendly people and a great place to raise children. A five-bedroom 2,800-square foot home can be yours for $280,000, while a smaller three-bedroom 1,500 square-foot home costs roughly $165,000 to own.
The old Florida State Capitol building as seen from Monroe St and Apalachee Parkway with the New Capitol in the background

Life in Saint Cloud

Find out why living here is a great idea

The median age of a Saint Cloud resident is 35.9 years, according to City Data. The cost of living here is also less than the national average. Downtown Saint Cloud has several cafes that offer alfresco dining, art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, pubs, a movie theater, a dance studio, a magic shop, and a Starbucks. It also plays host to live music events, art and craft shows and a Farmers’ Market from where you can buy fresh produce. Those who live in the Stevens Plantation neighborhood say they love it there, because it is close to everything. It is only walking distance to Saint Cloud Elementary. There are also several other private and public schools in Saint Cloud for grades PreK-12. The Magnolia Green subdivision in Stevens Plantation has many new homes, while more high-end homes can be found in the Bay Lake Ranch neighborhood.
The old Florida State Capitol building as seen from Monroe St and Apalachee Parkway with the New Capitol in the background
Pair of Macaw Parrots cuddling on a tree branch in a tropical setting featuring vivid gold, blue, red and green feathers and white faces.

Owning a home in Saint Cloud is now easy

With Earnest’s low rates and simplified paperwork, the process is simple!

If you are a first-time home buyer, you could take advantage of the Florida First Time Home Buyers Grant Program, under which you could receive up to $2,000 a year. This could go towards your mortgage and reduce your monthly commitments; or you could simply save the money for an emergency. The cap is $15,000, so this could very well go towards your child’s college tuition if he or she is currently in elementary school. If you already own a home in Saint Cloud, take a look at our refinancing plans. By moving to a fixed rate mortgage from an adjustable rate mortgage, you stand to save thousands of dollars. Interest rates are currently at an all-time low, so now would be the best time to make the switch. If you are already on a fixed rate mortgage, Earnest’s lower rates mean that you can still save money.
Pair of Macaw Parrots cuddling on a tree branch in a tropical setting featuring vivid gold, blue, red and green feathers and white faces.

Common Questions About Saint Cloud 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.