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Mortgage Rates

Do mortgage brokers and banks have the same rates?

No. Mortgage brokers receive wholesale home financing interest rates. This provides us with the ability to pass those savings on to first-time home buyers.

The concept is simple: Mortgage brokers have lower wholesale rates and banks are priced higher because they are essentially a retail operation with significantly higher overhead and marketing costs.

That said, we still recommend that you shop with multiple local mortgage brokers to obtain the best home financing rates.

Should I pay discount points?

Determining whether or not you should pay discount points, like most mortgage decisions, depends on your long-term goals.

If you are planning on retiring and living on a fixed income then you would likely benefit from a lower monthly mortgage payment, which can be achieved by paying discount points or “buying down the rate.”

That said, the overwhelming majority of home owners do not keep their mortgage for the entire term. If you fall into this category, as a general rule, if the cost of paying discount points cannot be recuperated within three years time, you should probably save your money instead.

Are home equity rates different from mortgage rates?

Yes. Home equity loan rates are most often tied to the prime rate and depending on market conditions can be lower or higher than 30 year fixed mortgage rates.

Also, home equity loan rates are typically adjustable rates that fluctuate monthly. If you are looking for home equity loan rates that are fixed, chances are that the rate will always be higher than a traditional first lien fixed mortgage. When it comes to home equity loans, your best bet is to deal directly with a local bank as they offer the best no closing cost options for consumers that also bank with them.

Do first time home buyers receive special mortgage rates?

No. First-time home buyers receive the same mortgage rates as someone who has previously owned a home.

Mortgage rates for first-time home buyers vary depending on income, credit and down-payment. Many housing counselors recommend that first-time home buyers work with a local mortgage broker due to the personal attention and the broker’s accessibility to multiple home financing programs.

Most importantly, first-time home buyers need to remember that mortgage rates fluctuate daily. From the day you are prequalified to the day you’ve decided on a home to buy, rates could have gone up by 1% or more.

Do home mortgage rates vary by the state I live in?

Yes. Home mortgage rates vary by state.  For example, certain states receive incentives from the government to make home ownership more affordable, empowering lenders to offer lower rates.

On the other hand, jumbo home mortgage rates in states such as California, with higher home values, are lower than states like Florida where the average home price is almost a third of a California home.

Another great example of regionality can be found in HARP loans. Depending how severely your state was impacted by the housing crash, states like Florida can provide borrowers with an extra credit toward the mortgage rates for homes that are underwater.

What home financing programs are available in Florida?

Home financing programs in Florida range from FHA loans, VA loansUSDA loans, jumbo loans and conventional loans. The minimum qualifying requirements vary from mortgage lender to lender depending on your credit profile and income.

Depending on your income level, some first-time home buyers also have the ability to take advantage of the Florida down payment assistance programs in combination with the above mentioned home financing programs to secure a home for their families.

What is a good interest rate on a home loan?

Determining what is a good interest rate on a home loan depends on your credit scores and whether or not you want the loan with the lowest closing costs or the lowest rate.

It is important to speak to a local mortgage broker that will take the time to analyze your short and long-term goals for the home loan that you are applying for.

Typically, if you are planning on keeping a mortgage short-term that it makes more sense to take an interest rate that has little or no closing costs associated with it.

Are second-home mortgage rates lower than owner-occupied home rates?

Not typically. Generally speaking, second-home rates are usually slightly higher than owner-occupied rates.  However, the required down-payment for second homes is higher, which directly affects the interest rates you are offered.

As with most mortgages, the higher the down-payment, the lower your second-home mortgage rate.  If you are researching for best rates online, just know that second-home purchases are not eligible for FHA loans. So make sure to look for conventional loan rates, not FHA rates.

To qualify for the best second-home mortgage rates you would want a down-payment of at least 20% and a minimum credit score of 760.

Refinance

Is it worth it to refinance my mortgage?

It really all depends on your short-term and long-term goals.  For example, the general rule of a 1% to 2% reduction of your current mortgage rate is irrelevant if you are switching from a 30-year fixed mortgage to a 15-year fixed mortgage, as you will have significant savings in reducing the term of the mortgage regardless of the rate.

However, if you are refinancing and staying in a 30-year fixed mortgage then the easiest way to evaluate the feasibility would be to determine the closing costs associated with the refinance and calculate how quickly you would recuperate those costs.  Generally, if you can recover the costs within 2 to 3 years then it makes sense, so long as you plan on staying in the home long-term.

FHA & First-Time Home Buyers

Do mortgage brokers and banks have the same rates?

No. Mortgage brokers receive wholesale home financing interest rates. This provides us with the ability to pass those savings on to first-time home buyers.

The concept is simple: Mortgage brokers have lower wholesale rates and banks are priced higher because they are essentially a retail operation with significantly higher overhead and marketing costs.

That said, we still recommend that you shop with multiple local mortgage brokers to obtain the best home financing rates.

Should I pay discount points?

Determining whether or not you should pay discount points, like most mortgage decisions, depends on your long-term goals.

If you are planning on retiring and living on a fixed income then you would likely benefit from a lower monthly mortgage payment, which can be achieved by paying discount points or “buying down the rate.”

That said, the overwhelming majority of home owners do not keep their mortgage for the entire term. If you fall into this category, as a general rule, if the cost of paying discount points cannot be recuperated within three years time, you should probably save your money instead.

Are home equity rates different from mortgage rates?

Yes. Home equity loan rates are most often tied to the prime rate and depending on market conditions can be lower or higher than 30 year fixed mortgage rates.

Also, home equity loan rates are typically adjustable rates that fluctuate monthly. If you are looking for home equity loan rates that are fixed, chances are that the rate will always be higher than a traditional first lien fixed mortgage. When it comes to home equity loans, your best bet is to deal directly with a local bank as they offer the best no closing cost options for consumers that also bank with them.

Are second-home mortgage rates lower than owner-occupied home rates?

Not typically. Generally speaking, second-home rates are usually slightly higher than owner-occupied rates.  However, the required down-payment for second homes is higher, which directly affects the interest rates you are offered.

The higher the down-payment the lower your second home mortgage rate.  If you are researching for best rates online, know that FHA loans are not qualified for purchasing a second home. So, be sure to look for conventional rates online and not FHA rates.

To get the best second home mortgage rates you would need to put at least 20% down-payment and have a minimum credit score of 760.

Do first time home buyers receive special mortgage rates?

No. First-time home buyers receive the same mortgage rates as someone who has previously owned a home.

Mortgage rates for first-time home buyers vary depending on income, credit and down-payment. Many housing counselors recommend that first-time home buyers work with a local mortgage broker due to the personal attention and the broker’s accessibility to multiple home financing programs.

Most importantly, first-time home buyers need to remember that mortgage rates fluctuate daily. From the day you are prequalified to the day you’ve decided on a home to buy, rates could have gone up by 1% or more.

Do home mortgage rates vary by the state I live in?

Yes. Home mortgage rates vary by state.  For example, certain states receive incentives from the government to make home ownership more affordable, empowering lenders to offer lower rates.

On the other hand, jumbo home mortgage rates in states such as California, with higher home values, are lower than states like Florida where the average home price is almost a third of a California home.

Another great example of regionality can be found in HARP loans. Depending how severely your state was impacted by the housing crash, states like Florida can provide borrowers with an extra credit toward the mortgage rates for homes that are underwater.

What home financing programs are available in Florida?

Home financing programs in Florida range from FHA loans, VA loansUSDA loans, jumbo loans and conventional loans. The minimum qualifying requirements vary from mortgage lender to lender depending on your credit profile and income.

Depending on your income level, some first-time home buyers also have the ability to take advantage of the Florida down payment assistance programs in combination with the above mentioned home financing programs to secure a home for their families.

What is a good interest rate on a home loan?

Determining what is a good interest rate on a home loan depends on your credit scores and whether or not you want the loan with the lowest closing costs or the lowest rate.

It is important to speak to a local mortgage broker that will take the time to analyze your short and long-term goals for the home loan that you are applying for.

Typically, if you are planning on keeping a mortgage short-term that it makes more sense to take an interest rate that has little or no closing costs associated with it.

Jumbo

Are jumbo and conventional mortgage rates the same?

No. Jumbo mortgage rates are typically higher than a Fannie Mae traditional mortgage rate.  The primary reason for the increase in rate for a jumbo loan is the size of the loan and thus, results in higher risk exposure for the mortgage lender.  For example, the bank has less risk when they spread $1,000,000 over five loans than they do offering a single million-dollar loan. Simply put, it’s just like the risk associated with putting all your eggs in one basket. As a result, the higher the risk the bank takes, the higher the rate.

Lastly, not all jumbo lenders are equal. Some mortgage companies keep their primary focus on jumbo loans and thus price themselves more aggressive than national banks.