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Earnest brings the best options in Winter Haven

Winter Haven is not only small enough to get acquainted with immediately, but also the kind of place that prompts people to stay for many years. If you are looking at properties to settle down in after retirement, you would be delighted to know that the city is rated well. It has a livability score of 69. The city has a median population age of 43 with 57% of them married for over 15 years. It truly is a place for the long haul. There are 8 highly rated schools scattered across the city.
Tampa, Florida, USA downtown skyline on the Hillsborough River.

Winter Haven can be your next home

Calm, sunny, welcoming and simply perfect

Winter Haven is nestled deep within the heart of the Central Florida Highlands. It gets its name from the city's tendency to never be too cold, so it is a haven from the winter. It is always comfortable and warm, never too hot. It receives a healthy 50 inches of rain every year and it rarely ever gets cold. There is sunshine in every month. The city is also diverse and is well represented by multiple cultures and peoples. 70% of the city's residents are homeowners and the median household income stands at a little over $39,000. The city's transportation is mostly by car and 97% of the traffic is cars. The city's rating is a solid A+ on amenities and cost of living. It also gets an A on weather. Outdoor activities are centered around the 50 lakes in the city, but there are sprawling golf courses and country clubs as well.
Tampa, Florida, USA downtown skyline on the Hillsborough River.
Two small boys playing with snorkel gear on a beach - one African American one Caucasian. John Pennecamp Park, Florida Keys.

Making your mortgage work for you

Buying a home in Winter Haven is a lot simpler than you think

First-time home buyer First time home buyers are often left feeling unsure of how to go about their home buying. First there are restrictions placed on them by their credit score. That may pull their budget down, that will lead to a home that is less than expected. That makes the whole process unsatisfactory and you may even put off home buying plans. At Earnest, we use a lot more information than just the credit scores so we make the process a lot more easy, it is quick and you will never have to pass on plans of home ownership. Refinancing a mortgage Even a relatively small drop of just 2% in interest can give you substantial savings, enough to make the whole refinancing procedure worth your time and money. Earnest does away with all physical paperwork, so even these procedures are simplified down to a few easy clicks online.
Two small boys playing with snorkel gear on a beach - one African American one Caucasian. John Pennecamp Park, Florida Keys.

Common Questions About Winter Haven 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.