If you're wondering how to buy a house in Florida, you're not alone. We get calls everyday from people who think they would like to buy a home, but are not really sure what they need in order to qualify for a loan. We have some tips on buying Orlando real estate, and what you need to get started. Here's some information on the basics.
Requirements to Buy a House in Florida: Credit
Ideally, you will need to have a FICO score that is 620 or higher. However, there are some lenders who can still offer a mortgage to consumers with a score as low as 580. It will depend on other factors in your financial status, but the stronger your credit, the better your chances of getting a good mortgage.
Home Down Payment Options in Florida
You have several options when it comes to down payments. If you or your spouse has ever served in the U.S. military, you may qualify for VA financing, which does not require a down payment. There are some other 100 percent financing options available, but there will be strict guidelines and requirements that need to be followed. FHA is a popular federally insured loan product which requires a down payment of 3.5 percent of the purchase price. With an FHA loan, you'll get a prime rate and the loan to debt ratios are very fair.
For conventional financing, lenders like to see a down payment of at least 20 percent. However, there are conventional loan products that allow you to place less down, in the three to 15 percent range. In these cases, your mortgage lender will often require mortgage insurance, which adds a little extra to your monthly mortgage payment.