Want to buy a home in Florida? We've outlined how to choose the best mortgage lenders in the Sunshine State. Here’s more information you need to know about the mortgage process and how to find the best lender for you.
The Best Mortgage Lenders in Florida
There’s a mortgage lender for every borrower and situation. Whether you’re looking for a lender for first time home buyers or for a government-backed loan, here’s a great list of lenders.
1. CrossCountry Mortgage
CrossCountry Mortgage makes it easy for all types of homebuyers to get approved for a mortgage. Their flexible requirements can help you get financing, with no employment or income verification and no minimum DTI. CrossCountry Mortgage offers traditional loan terms, as well as more flexible home payment plans with their 40-year loan program.
It’s also easier to get approved if you’re self-employed. Tax returns are not required and you’ll only need one year of self-employment income history and a minimum credit score of 580. CrossCountry Mortgage can also help you get approved on assets alone, like your bank statements, stocks and bonds, or retirement accounts.
2. Rocket Mortgage®
Rocket Mortgage® is a great lender for internet-savvy borrowers who want a digital mortgage application experience.
This lender can also offer you a quick personalized refinance quote on your home.
This process can help you get an idea of the potential savings you could have if you decide to refinance. Rocket Mortgage® also offers excellent customer service.
Browse Best Mortgage Lenders by City
Current Mortgage Rates in Florida
Mortgage rates fluctuate, much like stocks on the stock market do. Mortgage-backed securities are traded like stocks. The current state of the economy drives the housing market.
You may want to watch mortgage rates to know when to commit to a mortgage rate. Benzinga monitors mortgage rate fluctuations and updates current mortgage rate charts.
First, it’s important to learn about different mortgage types and term options available to you. A mortgage type relies on several components, including interest rates and length of your loan. Your mortgage term is the length of time you'll repay your loan. Here are some of the most common mortgage types.
Conventional. Conventional loans are your standard loan option. This mortgage type is generally the most accessible option for borrowers. Lenders offer conventional loans and they're not backed by the federal government. For this reason, conventional loans have fewer eligibility requirements.
FHA. FHA loans are a mortgage type managed by the Federal Housing Administration. If you are unable to make a large down payment or if you have a lower credit score, FHA loans may be a good option for you. This mortgage type offers down payments as low as 3.5%. Lenders often need to see a credit score of 580 or above for an FHA. But some lenders will accept lower credit scores if you can make a down payment of 10% or more.
VA. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs backs VA loans for military members. To qualify for this mortgage type, you must serve as an active member of the military for 90-181 days. Or you may be eligible for a VA loan if you have 6 years of experience as a member of the National Guard or Reserves. VA loans offer borrowers to finance 100% of your home purchase. If you qualify for a VA loan, you're not required to make a down payment on your home.
30-Year Fixed. A 30-year fixed mortgage term is a steady and reliable option for most borrowers. The interest rate on 30-year fixed mortgages is set at the start of your loan term. You can expect monthly payments that stay the same over the 30-year repayment term.
15-Year Fixed. The interest rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage is also set at the start of the loan. A 15-year mortgage term offers the benefit of paying off your mortgage sooner. Your monthly payments will be higher than with a 30-year mortgage term. But you can expect to pay less over time with a 15-year mortgage term.
5/1 ARM. A 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage offers the benefit of both fixed and adjustable mortgage terms. You can expect a fixed interest rate for the first 5 years of your repayment term. After the first 5 years, your interest rate will fluctuate each year for the rest of your mortgage term. The 5/1 ARM is one of many hybrid mortgage terms you may come across. Other common hybrid mortgage terms are 3/1, 7/1 and 10/1 ARMs. Here's how to understand the meaning of these numbers.
The first number represents how many years you pay a fixed mortgage rate. The second number represents how often your mortgage rate will fluctuate after your fixed-rate term ends. The number 1 in this instance represents an annual change in interest rate.
Which Mortgage Lender is Best for You?
There are many lenders that we could add to a list of best mortgage companies. Contact a few lenders before deciding which one is the best lender for your situation. You’ll want to find a mortgage lender who can offer the mortgage type and terms that's best for you. Beyond that, you will want to look for these traits in your mortgage lender:
- Customer service: Look for top-notch customer service. You’ll want to ensure that the lender will be there to help when you have a question. Test out a lender’s customer service by contacting it via phone and email. Ask questions about your lender's mortgage lending process. Do you feel comfortable with the lender's service? It's a good sign that the lender will be reliable if you choose that company.
- Personalization: Be sure your lender gives you personalized attention. If a lender and its loan officers are willing to work with you to discuss your mortgage options, this is a good sign. A good lender should be willing to answer any questions you have and point you in the right direction. You might want to look for a new lender if you're getting the same canned answers to every question you ask.
- Resources: A lender should offer many resources on its website. Many lenders offer resources — mortgage calculators, answers to FAQs and other helpful tips. Check to see if your lender offers first time homebuyer education resources.
Lender Credit Score Minimums in Florida
Lenders take a close look at your credit score when they consider whether to approve you for a mortgage. Your credit score is the number on your credit report that tells a lender how reliable you are when you repay your debts. If your score is too low, lenders may not approve your application.
Your credit score may be well above the minimum requirements — lenders may be able to offer you a lower mortgage rate.
Average Days to Close on a Loan
Once a seller accepts your offer, the closing process will begin. The first part of the closing process is the negotiation stage. A home inspection and appraisal determine any issues with the home. Once you and the seller have settled on any changes, you will move onto the paperwork stage of the process.
Finalize financing with your lender, make the necessary payments and sign closing documentation. Once this is complete and the house title transfers, you'll know when you can move into your new home.
Your Next Step to Home Ownership
Now that you've got all the information, you’re ready for the next step. Get a purchase quote from several lenders to compare mortgage rates and types. From there, you will be able to narrow down lenders until you can select the right one for you.
Don’t forget, your relationship with your lender will last for years to come. Be sure to choose a lender who can help make the mortgage process as seamless as possible.
Get Ready for Take Off
Rocket Mortgage® is an online mortgage experience developed by the firm formerly known as Quicken Loans®, America’s largest mortgage lender. Rocket Mortgage® makes it easy to get a mortgage — you just tell the company about yourself, your home, your finances and Rocket Mortgage® gives you real interest rates and numbers. You can use Rocket Mortgage® to get approved, ask questions about your mortgage, manage your payments and more.
You can work at your own pace and someone is always there to answer your questions — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Want a fast, convenient way to get a mortgage? Give Rocket Mortgage® a try.