Florida Mortgage Lender

    The 5 Best Mortgage Lenders In Florida: Tips & Tricks For Comparing Lenders

    The typical cost of buying a house in Florida is $245,169, making the Sunshine State the 25th most expensive state in the country to buy a house. This is a very affordable number, especially when you consider that the national median cost is $287,148!

    While this average housing price may make it seem more affordable to become homebuyers in Florida, there are other factors to consider. If you're planning to buy a home in Florida, you'll need to look at the current refinance and mortgage rates, as well as the different mortgage lender offers available.

    If you're looking for the best mortgage lender in Florida, read on to learn how to choose a mortgage lender for your dream home! We'll tell you who are the five best lenders in Florida, and what lenders look at when offering different loan products to you.

    How To Choose A Mortgage Lender

    Before we list the five best mortgage lenders in Florida, here are our criteria for choosing mortgage brokers. We considered the key factors of affordability, variety of home loan products offered, ease of application, and customer service.

    Affordability

    It’s worthy to note that interest rates are always changing, so they're not the most reliable indicator of affordability. Instead, we look at these factors to gauge how easily an entity making a mortgage loan can help you become a homeowner:

    • Minimum credit score: Credit scores are a standard for assessing the capability of borrowers to consistently meet monthly installment payments toward the loan. The average mortgage lender requires a minimum credit score of 620. 
    • Minimum down payment: The lower your down payment, the easier it is for you to become a homeowner. However, lenders tend to offer better rates if you pay a higher down payment. This is because it minimizes the risk that a borrower will default on a loan.

    Traditionally, mortgage lenders require a minimum of 20%. However, there are many lenders willing to accept a down payment as low as 3% – provided you pay for private mortgage insurance.

    • Closing costs: Apart from paying off their loan amount, all borrowers should prepare to pay additional fees upon the close of their purchase. Your final closing cost may include application fees and origination fees.
    • First-time homebuyer programs: Many states have their own versions of this to make it easier for first-time homeowners to get a house, especially families. State programs will typically cover tax credits, closing cost grants, and down payment loans. Several lenders may also have their own special services for first-timers.
    • Institutional versus non-institutional investors: In Florida, you can look for affordable mortgage loan options from an institutional or non-institutional investor. Institutional investors are companies or organizations that invest money for their clients. Examples of institutional investors are banks and insurance companies.

    Non-institutional investors are individual people who buy and sell investments through a broker, bank, real estate agent. They typically extend loans to plan for personal goals, like retirement funds.

    Institutional investors have standardized guidelines before you qualify for a loan, such as requiring a property to be in generally good condition. Non-institutional investors do not, allowing them to be more flexible to borrowers with a low credit score. 

    shutterstock 568476061 2

    Mortgage Loan Options

    It doesn't matter how affordable a lender is if they don't offer the type of loan your house plan needs. Here are the types of mortgage loans available – see if your lender of choice offers these mortgage types:

    • Government-backed loans: Low on funds or struggling to raise your credit score? See if you qualify for a mortgage loan with government backing, such as USDA loans, FHA loans, and VA loans. These loans make it more affordable for qualified lower-income or first-time borrowers to own a house.
    • Adjustable-rate mortgages: Also known as ARMs, these loans will have an agreed-upon fixed rate for a specified period. When that period is up, the loan's interest rate will change annually depending on the market.
    • Fixed-rate loans: These loan types will have an unchanging rate for the entire period of the mortgage loan. Depending on your agreement with your lender, your loan closes within 10, 20, or 30 years with a fixed rate. This mortgage loan type is best to purchase for those looking for a consistent, predictable expense to fit into their monthly budget.
    • Mortgage refinancing: This is a type of home loan where a lender will allow you to pay off an outstanding loan. This is best for those who think they can get better loan rate quotes and terms than their present ones. It can also help potential homeowners consolidate debt. You can avail of cash-in or cash-out refinancing, as well as rate and terms refinancing services.
    • Conforming loans: These are mortgage loan types that follow the annual loan limit set by the FHFA. As of 2021, the maximum limit is $548,250. However, in high-cost markets like New York or San Francisco, the limit is higher at $822,375.
    • Home equity loans: Also called home equity lines of credit or HELOCs, these mortgage loan types make your home the collateral for your loan.
    • Jumbo mortgage loans: This is a bank or lender mortgage loan that exceeds the maximum limit.

    Mortgage Loan Application Process

    When looking at a lender's mortgage process, we look at the following factors:

    • Ease of business/online applications: It's not a must, but it's a weighty consideration for homebuyers who are busy or living far away from the nearest mortgage lender branch or principal place. See how easy a lender makes it for you to apply online, including the availability of forms and how easy it is to contact its support team for help.
    • Transparency and availability of mortgage loan rates online: Mortgage loan calculators and tables for mortgage rates make it easier to compare lender services. Bonus points if they disclose closing fees and other payments and lender fees online, even without submitting an application!
    • Length of time to complete the mortgage application: Always ask a loan officer how long it will take from your submission of requested documents to get your application approved. The typical mortgage or bank loan application will take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to complete.

    Customer Service

    Because a mortgage loan stretches for such a long period of time, it's important to have a lender who knows how to cater to customer needs. Mortgage lender servicer licensees should have consistently good service, whether it's at a branch or the principal place where they conduct business

    Look at BBB or JD Power ratings to see how consumers rate a lender's trustworthiness and find out how helpful they are while advancing funds.

    shutterstock 524599192 1

    The 5 Best Florida Mortgage Lenders

    Based on the criteria we listed above, these are the five best mortgage lenders in Florida.

    1. Quicken Loans - Top Choice For First-Time Homebuyers

    Min. credit rating: 620 for a conventional loan and 580 for an FHA loan

    Min. down payment: 3% for a conventional loan but goes as low as 0% for a VA loan

    Loan types offered:

    • Conventional
    • FHA
    • VA
    • Adjustable-rate
    • Jumbo loans
    • Fixed-rate
    • Refinancing

    Overview: Quicken makes it easy to complete a loan application online while providing mortgage advisors for those who need more consumer finance information. It offers a wide range of loan products, but those looking for HELOCs should look elsewhere.

    2. Rocket Mortgage By Quicken Loans - Top Choice For Online Consumers

    Min. credit rating: 620 for conventional loans and 580 for FHA loans

    Min. down payment: 3%

    Loan types offered:

    • Conventional
    • Jumbo
    • Government-issued loan options like FHA and VA loans
    • Refinance

    Overview: Powered by Quicken Loans, this mortgage lender servicer is best for those looking for convenient, fully online applications for mortgage loans. Within minutes, you'll be able to estimate the amount of money you'll need for your home loan. Note that Rocket Mortgage isn't recommended for those who want a more personal, face-to-face type of service, and a custom interest rate will require a credit check.

    3. Chase - Top Choice For A Variety Of Loan Options

    Min. credit rating: 620

    Min. down payment: 20%, but goes as low as 3.5% for an FHA loan and 3% for qualified applicants of their Chase DreaMaker mortgage loan program

    Loan types offered:

    • Conventional
    • FHA and VA loans
    • Refinancing
    • Renovation loans
    • Adjustable-rate loans
    • Jumbo
    • Fixed-rate loans

    Overview: Chase is the largest bank in America, offering a wide variety of mortgage loans, banking, and credit services. While this banking entity offers the typical house loan options from other lenders, it has its own special programs that allow first-time buyers to shell out less money for down payments.

    4. Reali Loans - Top Choice For Fast Loan Approval

    Min. credit rating: 620

    Min. down payment: 5%

    Loan types offered: Conventional loans

    Overview: Those looking for government-backed options need to look elsewhere. However, if you're fine with a conventional loan and need quick approval, this mortgage lender servicer is highly recommended. Many online users praise its speedy application, finishing the process in a matter of days.

    5. New American Funding - Top Choice For Borrowers With Low Credit Scores

    Min. credit rating: 620 for conventional loans

    Min. down payment: 3%, but can offer as low as 0% for VA loans

    Loan types offered:

    • Conventional
    • FHA and VA loans
    • Adjustable-rate mortgage loans

    Overview: New American is best for those who want a more personal touch, as you're required to talk to a loan officer before you conduct business and advance funds for your home. It has very low down payment options and it regularly publishes daily mortgage rates on its site. This makes it a top choice for educating first-time buyers still working on their credit ratings.

    shutterstock 790042957

    Make Smart Financial Decisions With Expert Financial Advice

    Sun, sand, and a glorious melting pot of different cultures make Florida a beautiful place for your dream home. With reasonable prices and low rates, it's an affordable place to settle down. Hopefully, this basic guide will help you settle on the right mortgage lender licensee for you.

    Want to learn more about getting a home mortgage in Florida or other states? Contact Wesley Mortgage, LLC for a consultation. We'll help you learn everything you need to know about getting a home mortgage!

    Written By Ed Wallace
    Follow the author on:
    arrow-up