Overview of West Virginia Mortgages
The Mountain State, with its Appalachian Mountain views, historical roots and logging industry, is a lovely state to settle down in. West Virginia mortgage rates have in the past mostly been higher than the national average rates. The state counties’ conforming loan limits and FHA limits stick to the standards.
National Mortgage Rates
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West Virginia Mortgage Rates Quick Facts
Historical Mortgage Rates in West Virginia
In West Virginia, you typically find mortgage rates that are higher than the national average. But current 2016 mortgage rates below the average national mortgage rate.
West Virginia Historic Mortgage Rates
|Year||West Virginia Rate||U.S. Rate|
West Virginia Mortgages Overview
Single-family homes in West Virginia are significantly cheaper than the rest of the nation. The average home price in West Virginia is $119,200, which is well below the nation’s average of $236,450, according to Zillow.
West Virginia Mortgage Rates
|Percentage of Homes||94.50%|
|Average Property Value||$100,282.42|
|Percentage of Homes||2.10%|
|Average Property Value||$137,529.96|
|Percentage of Homes||1.60%|
|Average Property Value||$90,627.66|
|Percentage of Homes||1.90%|
|Average Property Value||$86,022.16|
The conforming limit for every West Virginia county, with the exception of Jefferson, is the standard $417,000. All but two counties have FHA loan limits at the normal $271,050. Hampshire County’s FHA limit is ever so slightly higher at 271,400, and both the conforming and FHA loan limits in Jefferson County are at $625,500. This is a reflection of how affordable homes are in the vast majority of the state.
Conforming and FHA Loan Limits by County
|County||Conforming Limit||FHA Limit|
In West Virginia, homebuyers are going to come across “deeds of trust” as opposed to actual mortgages.
This becomes especially important if the home were to go into foreclosure. When lenders who issues deeds of trust want to foreclose on a home, they are not required to get a court order to do so. Because of the “power of sale” clause in the deed of trust, the lender can hire a third party to auction the house and skip the expense of going to court.
West Virginians are buying homes in a “caveat emptor” state, also known as “buyer beware.” So for a buyer, it is particularly important that they uncover any defects with the property prior to purchasing. In this case, property inspections are an incredibly valuable tool to verify that a property is at a level of quality with which the buyer is comfortable. Home inspections are crucial for buyers to feel secure with their major purchase.
30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates in West Virginia
A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the most common home mortgage among buyers, which makes sense, considering it offers a long time to pay off the loan during which the interest rate will remain the same (unless the owner decides to refinance.)
Another option is a fixed-rate mortgage with a 15-year term. The monthly payments for this loan are more expensive than with a 30-year mortgage as you are paying off the same amount of money in half the time, but you will pay less interest.
The average West Virginia mortgage rate for fixed-rate 30-year mortgages is 4.19%.
West Virginia Jumbo Loan Rates
There are conforming loan limits in each state to help set a limit for lenders to determine risk. If a home loan goes beyond that limit, the stakes are higher for the lender as there is more money on the line. Home loans in a particular county that exceed the county’s conforming loan limits are known as “jumbo loans.” Jumbo loans have higher interest rates to compensate for the additional risk.
West Virginia county conforming loan limits are all steady at $417,000, except for Jefferson which is $625,500. This means that if you buy a home anywhere in the state other than Jefferson County, and you get a loan for $417,000 or less, you will have a conforming loan which is eligible for normal interest rates. If you decide to buy a home in Jefferson, you have a little more leeway to take out a bigger loan before it is considered “jumbo” and is subject to higher interest.
The average jumbo loan rate in West Virginia is 4%.
West Virginia ARM Loan Rates
Adjustable-rate mortgages are sometimes preferred to a fixed-rate loan because they offer a lower interest rate upfront. Usually, that lower rate is only available for an introductory period. So after a set amount of time (anywhere from one to 10 years) that interest rate can “adjust,” and that typically means it’s going to rise.
When that adjustment happens, it doesn’t mean the interest rate is going to skyrocket. The rate is capped at a certain level so that you’re aware upfront of how high it could go. However, the loan rate may still adjust to a level that you can’t afford. Before deciding on an ARM, it’s best to assess the potential maximum interest rate listed in the terms to see if it’s something you would be comfortable paying.
The average rate for an ARM in West Virginia is 2.88%.
West Virginia Mortgage Resources
Need assistance buying a house in the Mountain State? There are resources can help you achieve your dream of buying a home.
The West Virginia Housing Development Fund has a variety of programs for buyers at every step of the process:
- Homeownership program - Qualifying first-time homebuyers are eligible for affordable 30-year fixed-rate loans. Homebuying education and counseling are also available.
- Down payment/closing cost assistance - Down payment and closing cost assistance may be combined with the Homeownership Program or Movin’ Up Program to help reduce initial homebuying costs.
- Movin’ Up program - This is an affordable loan option for repeat buyers who fall under certain income limits.
|Resource||Problem or Issue||Who Qualifies||Website|
|West Virginia Housing Development Fund||Down payment, closing cost and affordable home loan options for WV residents.||Eligible buyers who fit the county income limit and house price limit; open to first-time and repeat homebuyers.||https://www.wvhdf.com/home-buyers|
|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; Not be suspended or debarred from participation in federal programs.||http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/all-programs/single-family-housing-programs|
|Home Affordable Refinance Program||Refinancing.||Single family homes and condos that fit within lending loan limits.||http://www.harp.gov/|
The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development offers a program in rural West Virginia communities that helps residents obtain housing. Loans and grants are available from the USDA for buyers looking to secure a new home and for existing homeowners who need to repair their current house.
West Virginia Mortgage Taxes
West Virginia transfer taxes are $1.65/$500 ($1.10 per state, $0.55 per county) or 0.33%. There is also a $20 flat fee on all transfers.
A reminder: Homeowners who itemize deductions on their federal income taxes are allowed to deduct the mortgage interest they pay throughout the year from their taxable income. West Virginia does not allow itemized deductions, so unfortunately residents cannot make this deduction on their state taxes.
West Virginia Mortgage Refinance
When it comes to refinancing, West Virginia residents can look to their state Home Affordable Refinance Program which works with various lenders to provide access to interest and principal payment reductions and low closing costs.
See Mortgage Rates in These Other States
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 2015 5-Year American Community Survey, Informa, Bankrate, government websites, SmartAsset