Overview of Arkansas Mortgages
Home to rugged parkland, beautiful trails and presidential exhibits, Arkansas is mid-range in terms of size and population. If you’re in the market for a home in Arkansas, you can expect mortgage rates roughly in line with the nation’s trends.
Arkansas counties’ conforming loan limits and FHA loan limits are average.
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Arkansas Mortgage Rates Quick Facts
Historical Mortgage Rates in Arkansas
Arkansas mortgage rates historically hit right in line with the national average, for the most part. So far, 2016 Arkansas mortgage rates are running a bit lower than the average U.S. rates.
Arkansas Historic Mortgage Rates
|Year||Arkansas Rate||U.S. Rate|
Arkansas Mortgages Overview
Homes in the Natural State are sold for cheaper than average compared to the rest of the country. The average single-family home costs $155,500, which is significantly below the nation’s average of $229,737, according to Zillow.
Arkansas Mortgage Rates
|Percentage of Homes||78.10%|
|Average Property Value||$140,439.30|
|Percentage of Homes||7.50%|
|Average Property Value||$150,214.87|
|Percentage of Homes||10.30%|
|Average Property Value||$142,503.33|
|Percentage of Homes||4.10%|
|Average Property Value||$121,347.89|
Every county in the state has a standard conforming loan limit of $417,000. That data reflects the general affordability of purchasing a mortgage in Arkansas as compared to the rest of the nation. So whether you’re home shopping in Little Rock or building an oasis in Ozark country, your loan limit will remain the same.
Conforming and FHA Loan Limits by County
|County||Conforming Limit||FHA Limit|
Arkansas is a “caveat emptor,” or “buyer beware” state. As such responsibility falls heavily on the buyer to uncover any defects with the property prior to purchasing. For states where this is the case, property inspections – while not mandatory – are a crucial step in the purchase process. Purchasing a home sans inspection generally means you are accepting the property as-is. Sellers should also consider disclosing certain conditions, as real estate agents may still be required to do so.
30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates in Arkansas
A fixed-rate mortgage is one in which the interest rate remains the same for the duration of the loan. A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the most popular, and tends to be a solid option for a buyer who plans to stay in their home for a long time. You can also consider a 15-year mortgage which will have lower interest as compared to a 30-year mortgage but higher monthly payments. The average Arkansas mortgage rate for fixed-rate 30-year mortgages is 5.12%.
Arkansas Jumbo Loan Rates
Due to the affordability of homes in Arkansas, there are less “jumbo loan” mortgages out there. These are loans that exceed the $417,000 conforming loan limit that exists in every Arkansas county. If you are considering a jumbo loan for your mortgage, be aware that they come with higher interest rates. The average jumbo loan rate in Arkansas is 4.49%.
Arkansas ARM Loan Rates
Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate on an adjustable-rate mortgage changes over time. An ARM offers a lower rate for an introductory period between one and 10 years. When that period ends, the rate can change and it will generally rise. The loan’s terms will lay out how many times the interest rate can rise and also the highest possible amount it can reach. It is important to make sure that the maximum potential rate increase is one that you would be able to afford to pay before you decide on an ARM.
The average rate for an ARM in Arkansas is 4.19%).
Arkansas Mortgage Resources
If you need help becoming or remaining a homeowner in Arkansas, there are programs in place to help cut down on costs and secure a loan.
The Arkansas Development Finance Authority has several options for first time homebuyers in particular. Loan programs, tax credits and down payment assistance are available for anyone who qualifies. They also offer “move up” programs to help all homebuyers access an affordable mortgage.
For anyone looking specifically for educational opportunities and budget counseling, the In Affordable Housing group hosts classes in Arkansas on buying a home. They also offer home purchase assistance, as well as credit and budget counseling.
|Resource||Problem or Issue||Who Qualifies||Website|
|Arkansas Development Finance Authority||Affording a first home/down payment.||Mostly first-time homebuyers, but there are "move up" programs available for repeat homebuyers.||http://adfa.arkansas.gov/|
|In Affordable Housing - Little Rock, AR||Seeking education and counseling.||Anyone looking for education on buying a home or working out a home budget.||http://www.in-affordablehousing.org/|
|USDA Rural Development - Single family loans||Offers payment assistance to increase an applicant’s repayment ability.||Applicants must be without decent, safe and sanitary housing; Be unable to obtain a loan from other resources on terms and conditions that can reasonably be expected to meet; Agree to occupy the property as your primary residence; Have the legal capacity to incur a loan obligation; Meet citizenship or eligible noncitizen requirements; and not be suspended or debarred from participation in federal programs.||http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-direct-home-loans/ar|
|Home Affordable Refinance Program||Refinancing.||Single family homes and condos that fit within lending loan limits.||http://www.harp.gov/|
Arkansas homeowners also have the option to apply for the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development program. The program provides loans and grants to people in rural communities who want to buy a new house or repair their current home.
Arkansas Mortgage Taxes
Homeowners are allowed to deduct the mortgage interest they pay when they file their federal income taxes (up to $1,000,000), and this applies for Arkansas state income taxes as well. You can double your deductions for the qualifying mortgage interest payments you have made in the tax year by including it on both state and federal filings.
Arkansas also charges taxes on real estate property title transfers. The state real estate transfer tax for Arkansas is 0.33%, or $3.30 per $1,000. Discuss this tax with your lawyer or accountant before buying; in Arkansas, the buyer and seller typically split this fee.
Arkansas Mortgage Refinance
There are resources out there to help you effectively refinance your Arkansas home. One tried-and-true option is the Home Affordable Refinance Program of Arkansas, which can grant access to interest and principal payment reductions and low closing costs if you qualify. The Arkansas HARP accepts single family homes and condos.
If you don’t qualify for HARP or a similar program, you can work with the lender who issued you your mortgage and compare those rates with other lenders to find the solution that works best for you.
Best Places To Get A Mortgage
SmartAsset’s interactive mortgage map highlights the best counties in the country (and in each state) for securing a mortgage. Hover over counties and states to see data points for each region, or use the map’s tabs to view the top counties for each of the factors driving our analysis.
Methodology For many people buying a house means securing a mortgage. To determine the best places in the country to get a mortgage we looked at four factors: overall borrowing costs, ease of securing a mortgage, cheap property taxes and cheap annual mortgage payments.
To calculate the overall borrowing costs, we looked at the expected costs over the first five years of a $200,000 mortgage with a 20% down payment, including closing costs. We calculated the ease of getting a mortgage as the ratio of mortgage applications to actual mortgage originations (secured mortgages) in each county. We based annual mortgage payments on the annual principal and interest payments for a $200,000 loan in that location, using average mortgage rates in each county.
Finally, we ranked locations based on these four factors, and then averaged those rankings, giving equal weight to each factor. The areas with the lowest average rankings are the best places to get a mortgage.
Sources: Mortgage Bankers Association, US Census Bureau 2016 5-Year American Community Survey, Informa, Bankrate, government websites, SmartAsset