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HELOC Loans in Washington County, Florida: Learn About the Benefits and How They Work

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is gaining popularity with homeowners today. It has all the benefits of a mortgage and more. With a Home Equity Line of Credit, you establish a “credit line” secured by your home’s equity. This allows you to borrow funds for almost any reason, such as paying for educational expenses or helping your kids with their house down payment.

However, many people are still unfamiliar with this type of financing or how it works. This should be corrected significantly since HELOCs can help you build equity, reduce your monthly mortgage payments, and get cash to use as you see fit.

We’ll discuss HELOCs in more detail and show you how they work and how you can use one to improve your financial situation.

Understanding HELOC Loans

HELOC, or home equity line of credit, allows you to borrow money against the value of your home. If you own a house and have built up some equity, you can tap into it by taking out a HELOC.

The best-known feature of HELOCs is that they allow homeowners to borrow funds without paying interest on the money until it’s used. However, there are other features as well, such as:

  • You only pay interest on what you use.

  • You can make payments over time and pay off your loan whenever you want.

  • You can use the funds for any purpose, for example, home improvements, debt consolidation, educational expenses, or just because you need some extra cash.

To take out a HELOC in Washington County, you need to have a first mortgage on your home. This means you must have already purchased the home and have a mortgage already in place.

Because the lender is lending against the value of your home’s equity, they will want to be sure that you can make your payments on time and keep up with other costs associated with owning your home.

How Do HELOC Loans Work?

It’s important to understand that with a HELOC loan, you’re borrowing against the value of your home. The amount you can borrow with a HELOC is the difference between your home’s current market value and your mortgage debt.

So, if your home is valued at $200,000 and you owe $190,000 on your mortgage, you can get a HELOC loan based on the $10,000 equity in your property.

Other lenders will give you a loan based on a percentage of your equity. Let’s say you have $100,000 in equity in your house after paying off all other debts associated with purchasing and maintaining it. If a lender can give you a home equity line of credit up to 80% of that amount, you will have an $80,000 HELOC.

The lender gives a draw period, the time frame during which you can withdraw funds from your home equity line of credit.

During this time, you’re not required to make payments. You can use the funds for any purpose, including paying down debt or making large purchases. When you withdraw from your credit line, interest is only due on that amount, not the remaining balance.

After your draw period ends, you’ll enter a repayment term during which you can’t take money out. Instead, you’ll begin making payments toward the principal and interest on your HELOC balance every month.

Qualification Requirements For HELOC loans

HELOC loans can be a great way to access the equity in your Washington County condos and use it for renovations, repairs, or other expenses. But before you can apply for a HELOC loan, there are a few qualification requirements you’ll need to meet.


To qualify for a HELOC, you must have equity in your home. Equity is the portion of your home’s value that you own outright, free and clear of any liens or mortgages. Different lenders have different requirements for how much equity you need to get a HELOC loan, but most need at least 20% equity.

However, the HELOC limit your lender may offer depends mainly on your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. LTV stands for loan-to-value, a measure of how much your home is worth compared to how much you still owe on your mortgage.

If your LTV ratio is too high, you have too much debt, and the lender will hesitate to give you a loan. But if your LTV ratio is too low, you don’t have enough equity in your home to get a loan.

Look at this illustration - If you have a mortgage of $180,000 on a home valued at $200,000, your LTV ratio is 90%. This is because the loan represents 90% of the value of your property.

Lastly, a home equity line of credit (HELOC) lender looks at an applicant’s combined loan-to-value (CLTV) ratio. This is the total amount of loans for which the applicant’s home is used as collateral compared to the home’s value.

A high CLTV ratio means that the borrower has very little equity in their home and, as such, is more likely to default on their loan than vice versa. This increases the risk for the lender, who may be less likely to approve the loan or charge a higher interest rate.

A low CLTV ratio shows that the borrower has enough equity in their home and is less likely to default because of this.


Lenders want to be sure that it is safe to lend their money. Not all HELOCS lenders have specific income requirements. However, most will look at your income to ensure you can repay the loan.

To qualify for a HELOC, lenders typically require borrowers to provide documentation of their income. A few different types of documentation to prove income include tax returns, pay stubs, or bank statements. The lender will also consider the borrower’s employment situation and other income sources.


DTI Ratio is a debt-to-income ratio that shows the amount of your monthly income used to pay your debt. It is calculated by dividing your total monthly debt by your gross monthly income.

The DTI ratio is one of the most critical factors HELOC lenders in Washington will use to determine whether or not you qualify for a loan. Most lenders in Florida might not even look at your loan application unless your DTI ratio is below 50%.

FICO Score

A FICO score is a number calculated by the Fair Isaac Corporation that represents your creditworthiness. This score is primarily used by Washington County lenders when making lending decisions.

It’s determined by information in your credit report, including how much debt you have, how long it’s been since you’ve defaulted on a loan, and whether you pay your bills on time.

Your FICO score ranges from 300 to 850. The higher your score, the more likely you will be approved for HELOC loans. Lenders in Washington County, Florida, typically require a minimum FICO score of 680 before approving home equity line of credit (HELOC) applications.

Model house and stack of coins is placed on the calculator

Overview of the 75-15 HELOC for Condos in Washington County, Florida

If you’re looking to buy a condo in Washington County, Florida, and have a limited budget, then a 75-15 HELOC is the way to go.

As mentioned earlier, a Home Equity Line of Credit is essentially a second mortgage on your home. It allows you to borrow money against the equity value of your home.

Your primary mortgage represents 75% of the total value of your home, and 15% represents the HELOC’s second mortgage. A total of 90% financing on your condo could mean improving its curb value, increasing its value.

The great thing about this type of loan is that it exempts you from paying exorbitant private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI can cost thousands of dollars annually and is usually required for first-time home buyers with less than a 20% down payment. With a second mortgage, you can avoid paying PMI altogether.

Therefore, if you don’t have enough money for a sizeable down payment and would like to avoid paying PMI, taking out a 75-15 HELOC might be the right choice for condos in Washington County, Florida.

HELOC Loans and Divorce

It can be hard to know what will happen next if your relationship ends.

But if you’ve got a HELOC loan, there are some things you can do to ensure you’re not stuck with a mortgage you can’t afford—or worse, forced to sell your house at a loss.

HELOCs are second mortgages; they’re perfect for buying or remodeling a home when you don’t have enough cash. But since they’re second mortgages, they come with their benefits:

  • It is possible to lock in a rate after closing without worrying about fluctuating rates.

  • If you need cash for a divorce settlement payout, HELOCs can help with that, too. HELOCs are available up to 100% combined LTV (loan-to-value).

  • They make it easy to get the money you need without having to refinance your property or lose out on a great interest rate on your first mortgage.

HELOC loans and Home Improvement

HELOC loans are popular in Washington County, Florida, for a reason. With a HELOC, you get access to a line of credit that you can use for whatever you need. It’s one of the best ways to borrow money for home improvements, especially if you want to do multiple projects over time.

First, a HELOC is based on current value, not future value, like a renovation loan. You don’t have to worry about fluctuating property value as it won’t affect your HELOC amount. For example, if you want to borrow $50,000 but your house is worth $500,000, then that’s how much money you can access through your HELOC.

Also, if you’re borrowing a home improvement loan or other traditional loan, closing costs will eat your profits from any project or repair you do around the house. With a home equity line of credit, however, there are little to no closing costs involved with borrowing funds from yourself through this type of loan product.

One of the best things about a HELOC is how flexible it is when it comes to borrowing and paying back money. You can usually borrow up to 85% of the value of your home, take as you can borrow as much as you need, up to your credit limit, and you can repay the loan over time as it suits you.

This makes it a good option if you need to make a one-time large purchase, like new windows or a new roof. This can be a great option if you don’t have the full amount of money upfront or if you want to spread out the cost of the loan over a more extended period.

Another benefit of a HELOC is that the interest you pay is tax-deductible. This can save you a significant amount of money over the life of the loan.

When you take a HELOC loan to renovate your condo, you will see an immediate change in curb appeal and build equity in your home that you can tap into later down the road.

Benefits of HELOC Loans

There are several benefits of HELOC loans. These include the following:

  • You Can Use HELOC for Various Purposes - A home equity line of credit can be typically used for home improvements, debt consolidation, or other significant expenses. One of the benefits of a HELOC loan is that there are no restrictions on the use of the funds. You can use the loan for anything you need, including travel, home repairs, or medical expenses.

  • Competitive Interest Rates - Another benefit of a HELOC loan is that interest rates are typically lower than other loans, such as credit cards or personal loans. This makes them more affordable for borrowers looking to save money on interest payments.

  • Option to Lock in Rate - One of the main benefits of HELOC loans is that you can lock in the interest rate. Your monthly payments will be fixed, and you will not have to worry about economic fluctuations.

Top Places To Get Ice Cream In Washington County, Florida

If you’re looking for a delicious treat on a hot summer day, Washington County, Florida, has it all. This county is home to some of the best ice cream shops in the state. You will bump into a creamy joints, from old-fashioned ice cream parlors to modern gelato bars.

Milk & Honey Frozen Yogurt

One of the most popular places is Milk & Honey Frozen Yogurt. They offer an ideal outdoor setting with a wide variety of flavors, including some unique ones like honey lavender. They also offer a variety of toppings, so you can customize your frozen yogurt exactly how you like it.


This ice cream spot in Washington County is accessible through 1024 N Highway 79, Bonifay, FL. They have all the classic ice cream flavors you know and love, plus some fun specialty flavors like cookies, cream, and chocolate chip cookie dough.

Don’t forget about their sundaes too. They have a wide variety of sundaes to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that you’ll love.

Southern Craft Creamery

Southern Craft Creamery is another excellent option for ice cream in Washington County. This family-owned business offers both traditional and unique flavors of ice cream, all of which are made with premium ingredients.

Their ice cream is handcrafted using milk from their farm and locally sourced seasonal ingredients. They also offer a rotation of seasonal flavors, so there is always something new to try every visit.

Dairy Queen Grill & Chill

Dairy Queen Grill & Chill offers over 30 flavors of ice cream, including classics like vanilla and chocolate, as well as more unique flavors. If you can’t decide on just one flavor, you can create your sundae or milkshake.

The atmosphere at Dairy Queen Grill & Chill is casual and relaxed, making it a great place to enjoy a cold treat with family and friends. The staff is always happy to help you choose the perfect ice cream for your mood.

With over 50 years of mortgage industry experience, we are here to help you achieve the American dream of owning a home. We strive to provide the best education before, during, and after you buy a home. Our advice is based on experience with Phil Ganz and Team closing over One billion dollars and helping countless families.

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