Although buying a home is an exciting step, it can be challenging to navigate the housing market and align your finances. The purchasing and offer process varies state to state, which is why it’s important to work with a mortgage lender that has experience across multiple states. Here are some of the differences to be aware of when shopping for a home in Florida.
Property Types (and Credit) Vary Greatly
Florida is home to lively urban centers, remote rural communities and everything in between. Likewise, buyers in Florida run the credit gamut; Blue Water Mortgage is prepared to meet potential homeowners where they are when it comes to their credit score.
Is the Condo or Home Governed by the Homeowner’s Association?
Florida is well-known for deed-restricted communities, which means you’ll want to analyze the declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws and their rules and regulations. Purchasing in this type of community could introduce restrictions on pets or renting your property, and the likelihood that you’ll be required to pay monthly dues (HOAs).
Know Your Oceanfront Laws
You may have the opportunity to enjoy dinner with a view — every night! But before you decide to purchase your oceanfront home, be sure to review the laws regarding your property; there are restrictions on interfering with native vegetation and animals in addition to some laws for public access.
You May Need Wind & Hail Insurance
As the saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in New England, wait a minute.” This sentiment could just as accurately apply to Florida! With a sub-tropical climate comes unexpected thunderstorms, hurricanes and dramatic weather events like hailstorms. Wind and hail insurance will cover the cost of repairing your home should it sustain weather damage, but will raise your mortgage up front.
Less Expensive Closing Costs
When closing on a home, the buyer pays lower closing costs (about 2% of the sale price) than in other states, not counting the transfer tax (0.7% average across the state, 1.05% in Miami-Dade County). However, the buyer cannot choose the title company.
Interested in talking through the home buying process in greater detail? Let’s chat.
Florida Products and Programs
No matter which program you choose to explore, Blue Water Mortgage is proud to provide timely communication, expert advice and the personal touch of a local, owner-operated brokerage. With over 150 years of collective credit-based mortgage experience, we have the knowledge to find the best Florida mortgage for you — your dream home is within reach. Let’s get started.
Fixed Rate – Fixed Rate mortgage loans are predictable payments because they maintain a fixed interest rate for the entire life of the loan, as opposed to loans where the interest rate may be adjusted.
Refinancing – When homeowners take out a new home loan to replace their existing one (to help reduce monthly payments and gain long-term savings), the new loan pays off the initial loan.
First Time Home Buyers – We’re happy to help guide you through a transparent and predictable mortgage process.
Conventional Mortgage Loans in FL – Conventional loans are most common, private-sector loans that are not government-backed but follow guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Non-Conventional – These loans cater to borrowers who may have been rejected for a conventional loan due to self-employment, bankruptcy or unsteady employment history.
Adjustable Rate – This mortgage has an adjustable interest rate, which might allow a buyer to start with a lower monthly payment.
Low Down Payment – These government-backed loans only require a 3.5% down payment, even for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit.
FHA – These loans are more forgiving for people with lower credit scores – and are designed to help borrowers who might not qualify for conventional loans.
FHA 203K – This government loan is flexible for fixing up homes with deferred maintenance.
VA – Veterans mortgages are like a conventional loan, but with specific benefits for veterans such as no down payment, no cash reserves and no application fee.
USDA – These rural home loans have low rates, no down payment and are designed for borrowers who purchase homes in communities of less than 20,000 people.
Home Loans for Bad Credit – Clear lingering credit history issues and discover a mortgage option that suits your financial situation.
Jumbo – A Jumbo loan is a mortgage exceeding the conforming lending limit of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which in most areas is $548,250.
Non-Owner Occupied – If you are purchasing a property that will not be your primary residence with between one and four units, you may face more red tape since it has a higher risk of default.
HELOC – A home equity line of credit, often thought of as a second mortgage, allows the dispersal of the loaned funds at any time the borrower chooses, instead of all at once like a traditional mortgage.
Home Improvement – Whether you’re looking to renovate, remodel, or increase the value of your home, this program can help get the job done.
Police & Firefighters – Serving as a first responder in the community can help secure optimal terms on a home mortgage loan.
Roger worked with me on an extremely complicated deal, and his knowledge, persistence and excellence helped to pull everythin…
My experience with Blue Water Mortgage was wonderful. As a first time home buyer, I had many questions and concerns. Laura pa…
Laura was great to work with! She took the time to answer all my questions, kept me updated on the process, and helped to mak…
We have worked with Blue Water Mortgage group several times over the years, they helped with our home purchase, sale and refi…
We had a fantastic experience with Blue Water Mortgage. We were referred to them by two of our friends, we would definitely r…
My wife and I just completed a closing with Blue Water and our experience was phenomenal. We had a very quick turnaround from…
Hiccups are always to be expected with an FHA and a first time home buyer. I would recommend the organization and effort with…
Blue Water Mortgage was recommended to us by our realtor and we are so glad she did! This is our third time buying a home and…
My husband and I recently went through Blue Water Mortgage as first time home buyers with the assistance of Derek and Jay, wh…
I have worked with at least a dozen loan officers at different mortgage companies over the past several decades and Lee is by…
I honestly wouldn’t go elsewhere! We were looking to buy our house about 4 years ago and a friend referred us to Jason …
As a first time home buyer my experience with Blue Water Mortgage was excellent. Jim Collins was recommended to me by my real…
I don’t have the words to express just how fantastic Jason Caruso is over at Blue Water. I was absolutely blown away by…
I have worked with Blue Water twice now. They set the bar for excellence and professionalism. They communicate clearly about …
We were referred to BlueWater Mortgage through our bank, The Provident and it was a great experience. From the start our cont…
Roger worked with me on an extremely complicated deal, and his knowledge, persistence and excellence helped to pull everything together. He invested the time and effort needed to make the deal happen. I had other mortgage companies that would not take on this challenge, but Roger stepped up to the plate and made it happen. I also did another deal with Roger that went extremely quickly and efficiently. Roger would not rush through his calls with me, but take his time to outline all the steps needed. After working with Roger I don’t think that I could work with another loan officer again. I would highly recommend Roger to anyone who is in need or a mortgage.
My experience with Blue Water Mortgage was wonderful. As a first time home buyer, I had many questions and concerns. Laura patiently guided me through the process, explaining what was happening each step of the way. My home purchase was on the complicated side, but Laura took every bump in stride, and went the extra mile (several times) to make sure that my closing went smoothly and happened on time. I would highly recommend Blue Water Mortgage to anyone purchasing a home.
Laura was great to work with! She took the time to answer all my questions, kept me updated on the process, and helped to make sure everything went smoothly. Laura took the worrying out of the process, and I knew that I could trust her to look out for my best interest.I really appreciate everything she did and how great she was to work with. I will be using Laura for all my future buying or refinancing needs and I would definitely recommend Laura to all my friends!
We have worked with Blue Water Mortgage group several times over the years, they helped with our home purchase, sale and refinancing. Kristina Young especially made the process easy and everyone we worked with was very responsive, worked diligently and happily answer questions along the way.
I would definitely use Blue Water Mortgage again in the future and would highly recommend.
We had a fantastic experience with Blue Water Mortgage. We were referred to them by two of our friends, we would definitely refer anyone looking to purchase a home to work with them. As a first time home buyer we had no idea how to start the mortgage process and what to expect. John Riley explained everything to us. Whenever we had a question, which I had many he always picked up his phone or called us right back. He always wanted to make sure we understood what he was saying. Everyone at Blue Water was great they all worked together to help us close. I would recommend anyone looking to buy a house to use Blue Water Mortgage you will have a great experience just like we did. Everyone who is a part of Blue Water is very helpful and caring. They are the best!!!
My wife and I just completed a closing with Blue Water and our experience was phenomenal. We had a very quick turnaround from offer to close and Roger and Paula were extremely helpful and accessible throughout the entire process. There were a number of setbacks on the seller’s side throughout our close and not only did Blue Water anticipate these scenarios, they made proactive adjustments to the paperwork to make sure the sale was able to proceed without disruption. Additionally, Roger explained in detail the reason behind structuring our offer and mortgage as we did which was a process I really appreciated. We will recommend Blue Water to any friends or family looking to buy.
Hiccups are always to be expected with an FHA and a first time home buyer. I would recommend the organization and effort with a 10. They worked through a ton of grey area to get to the nuts and bolts of a few last minute road blocks. I really felt like they were putting in the extra effort for me. I would absolutely recommend Blue Water to any first time home buyer. Great job!
Blue Water Mortgage was recommended to us by our realtor and we are so glad she did! This is our third time buying a home and Blue Water helped to make the home buying process a breeze for us. We were able to get pre-qualified for a mortgage within 2 hours of contacting Roger at Blue Mortgage! Every email or phone call was returned promptly. Roger and his staff made sure everything went smoothly. I highly recommend Blue Water Mortgage to anyone who is buying a new home. I know our memories of the process is filled with good ones!
My husband and I recently went through Blue Water Mortgage as first time home buyers with the assistance of Derek and Jay, whom made the process painless. They both made themselves readily available to answer any questions or concerns throughout the entire process. They were extremely attentive and answered with timely responses. They completed the bulk of the paper work, asking for bits and pieces along the way. I was impressed with their level of knowledge and ability to be flexible. Our realtor was also impressed with how easy they were to work with. We would highly recommend using Blue Water Mortgage. Derek and his team ROCK!
I have worked with at least a dozen loan officers at different mortgage companies over the past several decades and Lee is by FAR the best that I have ever dealt with. Lee is extremely helpful, insightful (knows the industry top to bottom), is creative and offers exceptional customer service. While Lee is a true professional, she is also understanding, has a great sense of humor and just knows how to get things done quickly and on or ahead of schedule. I would HIGHLY recommend Lee to those that want only the very best – Lee is a true professional!
I honestly wouldn’t go elsewhere! We were looking to buy our house about 4 years ago and a friend referred us to Jason Caruso at Blue Water Mortgage. As you can imagine, it was much easier to get a mortgage then but still we (Jason) had to jump through a few hoops to get the house. It was a short sale opportunity and took months to get the approval but Jason walked us through every step and rate lock to make sure we got the best rate. I remember the moment he called to say we “were all set!”. He stuck to everytime timeline in the process. Since then, he has re-financed my father’s house twice and we just went through a re-fi ourselves. Much different than it was 4 years ago! It took much longer this time due to regulations and a VA re-fi but Jason pulled through again! Waiting for the rates to drop again so we can take advantage of the VA re-fi option. I really don’t do these testimonials often but this one is well worth it!
As a first time home buyer my experience with Blue Water Mortgage was excellent. Jim Collins was recommended to me by my realtor early on in the process; I couldn’t have worked with a better individual. From the start Jim was patient and answered all of my questions. As it got closer to buying the house, Jim kept in touch constantly and provided me with all the necessary details I needed. When he came to work with me personally he took his time going over all of the paperwork and double checking that I understood the entire process. I cannot recommend Jim highly enough, he is committed, intelligent, patient and kind. Thank you Blue Water Mortgage for making purchasing my first home such a positive experience.
I don’t have the words to express just how fantastic Jason Caruso is over at Blue Water. I was absolutely blown away by his superb customer service, professionalism, and willingness to go the extra mile (and then some) to help you acquire your loan at the best possible rate and terms possible.
He went WAY outside of his ordinary “required” duties to get us financed and fix a discrepancy on our credit so we could do so. I have never seen anyone put so much effort and extra time into satisfying their customers needs. He treats you like family and he is absolutely the most knowledgeable guy I have ever encountered with Financing and Real Estate matters.
I would absolutely recommend Blue Water (and Jason Caruso in particular) if you want the best possible service and expertise you will find in the industry. Thanks Jason!!
I have worked with Blue Water twice now. They set the bar for excellence and professionalism. They communicate clearly about what to expect and what to do throughout the mortgage process. Communication is timely and information is complete and easy to understand. Roger will spend time getting to know you and putting together options for a successful mortgage application. Then Lee will take care of all the details — from coordinating with appraisers to getting everything ready with the attorney for closing. The peace of mind knowing that I would move to closing smoothly is why I will keep going back to Blue Water Mortgage. They are consistently a model for organization and customer service with their patient, thoughtful approach to working with clients.
We were referred to BlueWater Mortgage through our bank, The Provident and it was a great experience. From the start our contact, Scott, was always attentive, informative and professional. He worked out a great rate, helped us get all of our paperwork in order and answered all questions whenever needed. All of this came together to ensure a smooth and easy closing. I would certainly recommend Blue Water Mortgage to anyone shopping for a mortgage or refinance.