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Current Mortgage Rates Today in Clay County, Florida

Today's mortgage interest rates are one of the most important considerations when purchasing a home. A higher interest rate means you'll pay more for a house, perhaps with many struggles. On the other hand, a lower interest rate means you pay a reasonable loan amount to own a home. Several factors determine how much interest rate a lender charges you.

Some factors are within your control, while others are controlled purely by the real estate market and the economy.

If you have been to a couple of listings and seen a house you like, here's a detailed overview of the current mortgage rates in Clay County to kickstart your buying process.

We also share tips on how to get the lowest possible rates to help you own a home without overstretching your finances.

Today's Low Mortgage Rates

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Are you a first-time homebuyer? Learn more about the available FHA home loan options in Clay County, Florida.


How Do Lenders Determine Your Mortgage Interest Rate

Different mortgage loan programs are available in Florida—FHA, USDA conventional, and VA loan programs. These loans vary significantly in interest rates, and lenders typically choose what loan products to offer their borrowers. That is why it's essential to shop around to compare all the options available to you.

In addition, there are two primary interest types—fixed and adjustable rates. As the name suggests, fixed rates do not change for the repayment period. On the other hand, adjustable rates start as fixed and fluctuate over time depending on how the market is fairing.

Both the loan program and the type of interest you choose will determine what interest rate you will be charged. Also, your mortgage rate will be calculated based on the factors below.


Credit Score

One of the significant factors lenders look at when assessing your creditworthiness is your credit score. A Credit score between 300 and 850 reveals to lenders what type of a borrower you are—risky or non-risky. It is calculated based on your repayment history, the number of active accounts you own, debts, and several other factors.

A high credit score of more than 760 will qualify you for a lower interest rate because lenders have confidence that you will pay your loan on time or, at the very least, not overextend it. On the other hand, your mortgage rates will be significantly higher than the advertised rate if you have a lower credit score.


Down Payment

Mortgage interest rates today are also calculated based on the amount of down payment invested by a lender. Down payment is the amount you put down upfront towards your home's repayment. Lenders assess your commitment to paying your credit based on the amount of down payment you put in.

A down payment of 20% and more will qualify you for a lower interest rate. At the same time, a down payment of less than 20% will attract a higher interest rate than mortgage insurance (private mortgage insurance).

Depending on your loan program, the mortgage insurance may or may not be cancellable. Regardless, this cost adds up significantly to your monthly repayment and will see you paying more for the home over time.


Loan-to-Value Ratio

The loan-to-value ratio (LTV) is another critical thing lenders look at when calculating your interest rate. LTV is the ratio between the amount you put down for your home and the total home loan.

When you put down a considerable amount, your LTV becomes lower because you have a smaller loan amount to repay. In contrast, the LTV will be higher when you put down a lesser amount because your loan is more significant.

For instance, if the home value is $50,000, and you put a 20% down payment, you have already paid $10,000 for your home and only have a $40,000 loan. But if you make a 3% down payment, that means you've put down $1500 only and therefore have a loan amount of $48,500.

When calculating interest, lenders will charge you a lower interest rate when your LTV is lower than when it is higher. With a lower LTV, you have a lower chance of defaulting because of the high equity you have in your home.


Property Type and Purpose

The type of property you wish to buy and its purpose will also determine the interest rate charged. A primary home residence will attract a lower interest than an investment property or a second home.

Lenders are certain you will be more committed to paying off your credit if the home is your primary residence because you wouldn't want to lose the roof over your head.


Loan Duration

Depending on the loan program, mortgage loans are serviced in different durations. Most lenders offer either 10-year, 15-year, 20-year, or 30-year loans.

While a longer loan duration comes with lower monthly repayments, it attracts a hefty interest than a shorter loan duration.


Other Determining Factors

Lenders make several other considerations when calculating your mortgage interest influenced by the market and the economy. These include:

  • Market bonds drive up the interest rate as soon as the demand for the bond increases.

  • Even though they do not directly drive up the interest, Federal Reserve rates cause a ripple effect on lenders, who eventually increase the mortgage interest.

  • Inflation is also tied to the economy's health. When inflation is high, it spills over to the interest rates offered by lenders. The same happens when the economy isn't doing so well.

There isn't so much you can do about the market bonds, Federal reserve rates, and inflation, but you can do a few things to attract a lower interest. We will talk about these in a later section.


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Why Are Mortgage Rates in Clay County, Florida Going Up?

Mortgage rates today are almost hitting 6%. The highest they have ever been in the last couple of years. These current spikes are caused by several factors, most of which are beyond the lender's understanding.

That said, here are some reasons why mortgage rates are ramping up in Clay County.


High Inflation

Since the beginning of this year, inflation has been rising by the day, yet, there has been very little progress in tackling the situation.

With inflation shooting to a new height in the last four decades and homebuyers facing rising costs across the board, mortgage rates have been steadily skyrocketing. With high inflation, the price of money goes up, and so does the cost of borrowing.


Federal Reserve's New Rates

Mortgage rates have also seen a sharp increase due to the recent Federal Reserve campaign to raise interest rates to lower the rising inflation. The Fed Reserve ramped up the rates by 0.75$ point in a bid to tame inflation.

This is the most significant increase in nearly three decades. Even though this does not directly raise the mortgage rates, the rate-setting does spill over.


Current Low Sales in Real Estate

Inflation and a staggering economy have seen most buyers pull back from property investments. Because of this, there has been a low sales volume in the real estate market and, consequently, lower profits. This has forced lenders to increase the mortgage rates to make the most out of the few buyers.


How To Get the Best Mortgage Rates in Clay County, Florida

With the rising interest rates in Florida, learning how to get the best possible mortgage rate is the best way to lower your borrowing cost. This will save you thousands of dollars in monthly repayment, and the total cost paid over the loan term. Even a 1% difference can make such a huge difference.

For instance, if you can bring down a 4% loan interest to even 3.5%, you will save almost $5,000 for a home valued at $100,000. And the savings are even massive with bigger loans. Here's what to do to get Florida's best possible mortgage rates today.


Shop From Multiple Lenders

Do not just accept the estimate from your bank or credit union. Look beyond them. Talk to multiple lenders, and you will be surprised how much you can save by shopping around. Home buyers have saved up to $3000 just by requesting additional quotes.


Increase Your Income and Lower Your Debt

Increasing your income and lowering your debt may be other ways to negotiate for a lower mortgage rate. When you increase your income and lessen your debt, you lower your debt-to-income ratio.

DTI is a comparison of your monthly debts against your gross monthly income. A lower DTI will not only qualify you for a lower interest but also make it easy for you to pay your credit without overstretching your finances.

Lenders recommend that your overall DTI be less than 36% of your gross monthly income. If you are targeting a conventional loan, your DTI should not exceed 45%, while it shouldn't exceed 43% for an FHA loan. There are some instances, though, when lenders ignore your high DTI. For instance, if you put down a significantly higher down payment or have substantial savings.


Lock In Your Rate

The closing process can take longer, sometimes up to several weeks after signing the purchase agreement. You may pay a higher rate a few weeks from today because the rates keep fluctuating.

And especially now that Clay County's mortgage rates are rising daily. To avoid paying a higher rate, ask your lender to lock in the rate for you as soon as you see a drop or when the rates are still favorable.


Save Up for a Bigger Down Payment

Putting down more money can significantly lower your mortgage rate, mainly if it is liquid cash. A down payment of 20% and more will qualify you for a lower rate than a down payment lower than 20%.

Of course, the lender may still accept your lower down payment but be forewarned that you will pay more in terms of interest in addition to mortgage insurance. It is best to save up more towards your down payment before applying for your mortgage.


Work On Your Credit Score

Start working on improving your credit score as soon as you start planning to purchase a home. Strive to get a score of 760 and above. This will give the lender the confidence that you will repay your credit on time.

In turn, they'll offer you the lowest possible rate. A lower credit score will not automatically disqualify you from getting a mortgage but will significantly drive up your interest rate.

You can do several things to improve your credit score, such as paying your bills on time, paying up credit balances, having a mix of different credit cards, and ensuring that any debt balances are not more than 30% of your credit limit. Lowering your credit utilization percentage as much as possible will help your credit score to a greater degree.


Why Is Clay County, Florida a Great Place to Live with Kids?

Clay County is generally safe, easy-going, and a great place to raise a family. It is one of the fastest-growing places in Florida. The community is a joy to be in—people are friendly, the infrastructure and healthcare are impressive, and the quality of life is excellent.

More particularly, kids are safe, and plenty of extracurricular activities keep them busy all year round. Here are some activities your kids will most certainly enjoy at Clay County.


Take Some Dance Lessons at the All-Starz Dance Studio

The All-Starz Dance Studio is the perfect place for kids interested in dance. They offer ballet dancing, Tap, Hip Hop, and Acro classes for kids of all ages.

The classes offered are beginner, intermediate, advanced, and teen classes. Class schedules are given out at the beginning of every season, along with the charges and dance competition dates.


Enjoy The Annual Kid's Festival at Orange Park Town Hall

Kid's fest is one of the most anticipated events in Clay County. Now in its seventh year, the event is loved by kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens.

There is plenty of games and activities for kids to indulge in as well as great food and live music. Admission is free, and there is also free parking for parents.


Learn About Black History at The Black Heritage Museum

Kids curious about black history can travel to the Black Heritage Museum. They will be given a museum tour, an oral history discussion, and be shown artifacts dating as far back as the late 1800s. There are also many hands-on activities to keep them busy and entertained.


Camping at Camp Chowenwaw Park

Located just 1.5 miles on the shoreline of Peters Creek and Black Creek, Camp Chowenwaw Park offers excellent outdoor activities for kids of all ages.

Kids can indulge in recreational activities such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, bird watching, fishing, hiking, and camping, or they can learn about wildlife, wetland, and upland ecosystems.


Enjoy Summer at The Aquatics Camp

The Aquatics Camp is located at the St Johns River Base at Echockotee. It's an excellent spot for the summer, filled with lots of activities for boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 14. Kids can enjoy various activities from water sports, voyager programs, handicrafts, and shooting sports to the Aquatic Camp campout.

You can hold a spot for as low as a $60 deposit per camper. Be sure to catch the early registration as it gets fully booked by the first week of summer.


The Bottom Line

Clay County, Florida is a great place to live. It has plenty of family-oriented communities that you will love. Also, finding a home is more accessible. The only challenge is finding favorable mortgage rates. And this, for most people, makes it hard to afford a home in Clay County.

The secret to finding affordable mortgage rates today is understanding what lenders use to determine the rate and working towards achieving the lowest rate possible using those pointers. So, even with the mortgage rates proceeding with their upward momentum and not showing any signs of slowing down. You can still own a home and pay favorable rates.

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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