Overview of Florida Mortgages
The Sunshine State draws partiers and retirees, nature-lovers and tourists. If you’re thinking of buying a home in the state, Florida mortgage rates tend to hover around the national average. Some Florida counties have conforming loan limits that are higher than the standard $453,100 limit, indicating a more expensive real estate market in those areas.
|30 year fixed||3.87%||3.92%||-0.04|
|15 year fixed||3.37%||3.42%||-0.04|
|30 yr fixed mtg refi||3.94%||3.92%||+0.02|
|15 yr fixed mtg refi||3.53%||3.42%||+0.11|
|7/1 ARM refi||4.75%||4.00%||+0.75|
|15 yr jumbo fixed mtg refi||3.68%||3.62%||+0.06|
National Mortgage Rates
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Florida Mortgage Rates Quick Facts
Historical Mortgage Rates in Florida
Florida has the fourth-largest population of any of the 50 states, with a sizable mortgage market to match. In the last few years Florida mortgage rates are a bit higher than the U.S. average.
Florida Historic Mortgage Rates
|Year||Florida Rate||U.S. Rate|
Florida Mortgages Overview
Anyone shopping for a mortgage in Florida will want to be aware of some of the particularities of the Florida mortgage market. There is one Florida county that has conforming loan limits above the standard $453,100 limit: Monroe County. Key West lies in this county where the conventional loan limit is $529,000.
FHA limits are a little different. In Florida, they range from the baseline $294,515 to as high as $529,000 in Monroe County.
Conforming and FHA Loan Limits by County
|County||Conforming Limit||FHA Limit|
30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates in Florida
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the home loan that most Americans opt to get. Florida is no different, as most homeowners will get this type of loan. Another option is the 15-year fixed-rate term. With this shorter term, your interest rate might be lower, but your monthly payments will be higher because you’ll be paying off the loan amount in a shorter timespan.
The average Florida mortgage rate for a fixed-rate 30-year mortgage is 4.22%.
Florida Jumbo Loan Rates
The U.S. the conforming loan limit (conventional loan) is generally $453,100. Home loans in excess of the county’s limit are considered non-conforming or more commonly, jumbo loans. They can’t be sold by your lender to government mortgage corporations Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That, plus the fact that they’re larger loans, means jumbo loans are more risky for lenders to take on and therefore come with higher interest rates.
Certain areas are more expensive than average, however. In those places, the conforming loan limit is higher than $453,100, which means you can get a bigger loan without being bumped into the jumbo loan category. Only one Florida county has a conforming loan limit above $453,100: Monroe County, with a limit of $529,000.
The average Florida jumbo loan rate is 4.77%.
Florida ARM Loan Rates
An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is a mortgage with an interest rate that changes over the life of the loan. ARMs generally come with introductory interest rates that are lower than the going rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans. That introductory rate will hold for a period of 1,3,5,7 or 10 years, depending on the terms of the loan. After that, the lender can adjust the interest rate of the loan once a year. Generally, the rate increases. The amount by which the interest rate on an ARM can jump is capped in the loan term, so you won’t wake up to a 30% mortgage rate.
However, during the mortgage crisis many homeowners struggled to keep up with the payments on their adjustable-rate mortgages. Florida, which went through a foreclosure crisis during the last recession, was home to plenty of borrowers who came to find their monthly mortgage payments unaffordable. Anyone can fall behind on their payments, even with a fixed-rate mortgage, especially in the event of a job loss, divorce or major illness. ARMs are inherently more risky than fixed-rate mortgages if you don’t plan your budget for the highest rate allowed in your mortgage term. The average rate for an ARM in Florida is 2.93%.
Florida Mortgage Resources
If you need help with your Florida mortgage there are resources available to you. If you meet the income and home purchase price requirements you can qualify for the Florida Housing First Time Homebuyer Program from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. The program sponsors 30-year fixed-rate first mortgages for first-time homebuyers. Additional programs offer help with down payment assistance and closing costs.
|Resource||Problem or Issue||Who Qualifies||Website|
|Florida Housing Finance Corporation||Offers down payment assistance, closing cost assistance and low-interest rate mortgage loans.||Low-to-moderate-income homebuyers.||https://www.floridahousing.org|
|Home Affordable Refinance Program||Refinancing.||Single family homes and condos that fit within lending loan limits.||http://www.harp.gov/|
If the worst happens and you face foreclosure, the process will be a lengthy one. Florida does not allow non-judicial foreclosure, so your lender will have to take you to court. Florida is a recourse state. That means if your home is foreclosed and you owe more to your lender than the home is currently worth, the lender can ask a judge for a deficiency judgment to go after you for the difference between what you owe and what the lender will get from selling the foreclosed home.
Florida Mortgage Taxes
The mortgage interest tax deduction is one of the most famous tax deductions in the country. You’re allowed to deduct mortgage interest you paid during the tax year from your taxable income when you file your federal income taxes. In some states, you can claim the same deduction when you file your state taxes. Not in Florida, however. The state doesn’t have income tax.
However, there are other mortgage-related Florida taxes worth knowing about. There’s a transfer tax any time you’re preparing documents that transfer an interest in real estate. That tax is $0.70 per $100 of the money paid for the property. The one exception to this is Miami-Dade County, where the rate is $0.60 per $100 of value. These rates apply to single-family residences only. If you sell a property that’s not a single-family property there is an additional surtax of $.45 per $100. It’s customary for the seller to cover transfer taxes and fees in Florida.
In Florida, you’ll also pay a mortgage tax of $0.35 for every $100 of your mortgage. This is known as a “documentary stamp tax” and applies to mortgages, liens and other debt-related documents. The buyer is typically responsible for this tax in Florida.
Now for some good news. Something called the Florida Housing Mortgage Credit Certificate Program can give you a tax break for being a homeowner. The program helps first-time homebuyers save money on their taxes by claiming up to 50% of their paid mortgage interest each year as a tax credit on their federal income tax return. The credit is capped at $2,000 per year, but you can deduct all your interest using the mortgage interest tax deduction. Remember that tax credits directly reduce your tax liability, while tax deductions reduce your taxable income.
Florida Mortgage Refinance
You’ll probably still want to shop around for a lender when you’re ready for refinance your mortgage. You don’t have to use the same lender who provided you with your first home loan and you may get a better refinance mortgage rate by switching lenders.
It’s also worth looking into the Home Affordable Refinance Program if your mortgage is from 2009 or earlier.
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 2017 5-Year American Community Survey, Informa, Bankrate, government websites, SmartAsset