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Current Mortgage Rates Today in Sarasota County, Florida

Buying a home is a lengthy process that involves finding the best lender, picking the right loan product, home hunting, underwriting, and more. One key aspect most borrowers prioritize when applying for a loan is the interest rates. The slightest change in interest rates often translates to thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars.

It’s, therefore, crucial to understand how mortgage rates are determined and how you can lower the cost of financing your home.

In the sections below, we have discussed how mortgage rates today vary and how you can secure a low-interest loan to buy your dream home in Sarasota County, Florida. We have also rounded up some fun outdoor activities you can enjoy once you become a resident.


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

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Factors that Determine Your Mortgage Interest Rate

Like many, you are always looking for a lender with the best interest rates. But do you know the factors used to evaluate these rates? Below are the seven essential qualities banks and private lenders use to determine the interest rates they can apply to your loan.


Credit Score

Your credit or FICO score measures your creditworthiness based on data points such as your last credit amount, payment history, late/missed payments, etc. Credit scores typically rank from 300 to 800.

The higher the score, the more chances of qualifying for low-interest rates from different lenders. Some of the things that can hurt your FICO score include late payments on loans, closing a credit card account, and a high debt-to-credit utilization ratio.

If you have a low credit score, take some time to rebuild it before applying for a mortgage. You also want to check your credit reports and resolve errors or wrong accounts, if any. Repaying your overdue debt and working with a credit score repair company can also help boost your credit score.


Down Payment

Before a lender finances a mortgage, the borrower must make a down payment. This often ranges from as low as 3.5% to 20% of the property’s value.

The higher the down payment made on a mortgage product, the lower the rates due to the perceived lower risk on the lender’s end. This is especially the case with most loans, except for some government-backed mortgages like USDA loans.

Also, the minimum down payment varies depending on the loan type. FHA loans, for instance, have a minimum down payment requirement of 3.5%.

Paying the minimum down payment qualifies you for the loan, but you’ll still incur higher rates. A 10% down payment will often guarantee some super competitive rates.


Your Loan Amount and Home Price

The loan amount is the money you want to borrow from the bank to cover the property cost. This cost includes the home price, mortgage insurance, and closing fees minus the down payment.

Ideally, the more you borrow from the lender to cover this total cost, the higher the risk and the higher the rates. However, it is not a must that a bigger loan attracts a higher interest rate.

Before settling for a particular mortgage product, compare how the interest rates vary based on the down payment information and the home prices in Sarasota County. You can use relevant interest comparison software or consult your lender for advice.


Home Location

It’s worth noting that home location, to a greater extent, affects your mortgage interest rates. More often, higher competition among lenders in a given state, city, or town drives the interest rates down and vice versa. The cost of doing business also affects the average interest rates.

Some states and local governments require lenders to establish a business office before financing local properties. This drives competition out and causes the rates to spike.

Another critical factor that determines the rates as far as location is concerned are the foreclosure laws. States that allow for non-judicial foreclosure make it cheaper and more accessible for lenders to recover their money in case of default. Hence the rates are often lower.

There are also rules around recourse and non-recourse loans, which affect the lender’s ability to recover the total money owed by the borrower, i.e., in case of default.

Lenders in non-recourse states charge higher rates due to the increased risk of losing money during foreclosure. Florida is a recourse state making it easier for lenders to operate profitable businesses.


Loan Term

A mortgage loan term is the number of years you’ll take to repay the loan entirely. Typical mortgage loans have terms ranging from 10 to 30 years.

Longer-term loans are ideal for borrowers who don’t plan on selling or relocating anytime soon and are willing to trade the higher rates for lower and more affordable monthly payments.

Shorter-term loans come with lower rates and overall costs; however, you’ll make higher monthly payments.


Interest Rate Type

Mortgage interest rates are categorized into two: adjustable and fixed rates. As the name suggests, adjustable interest rates change with the market conditions. Fixed rates are locked at a given value and remain throughout the loan term.

There’s no direct way to tell which of the two will guarantee lower rates in the long run since it’s hard to predict the market.

With an adjustable rate, you are more likely to incur lower rates during the first few years, but this can change significantly in the future. Always understand the pros and cons of these interest-rate types before making up your mind.


Loan Type

There are different mortgage products across the United States. Most of these loans target a specific population or borrower demographic and will often feature some qualification requirements.

More often, FHA and USDA loans target low-to-medium income borrowers and will feature lower interest rates than conventional loans. VA loans also feature low-interest rates but only target veterans and their spouses.


How to Get a Better Rate on Your Mortgage

The factors we have discussed above influence the interest rates offered by most lenders. Even still, the type of lender you choose will determine your rates.

Doing proper research and comparing different options is critical to lowering the cost of your loan. Here are a few tips on getting better rates with almost any lender.

  • Make a larger down payment. This reduces the risk of default, and the lender will be more willing to negotiate the interest rates.

  • Work on your credit score. Remove negative accounts or incidents from your credit report and comply with any outstanding debts before applying for a mortgage.

  • Watch the market. Several economic factors determine interest rates. Seek financial advice before making a substantial move, such as taking a mortgage.

  • Learn to negotiate. Like you would negotiate for better prices in a car dealership, you also want to negotiate for better rates with your lender. No lender wants to lose a promising client. What you should do is put your facts right and be convincing.

Miniature House resting on calculator


Understanding the Current Mortgage Rates

Unless you buy a home using cash, the mortgage rates will always affect the long-term cost of buying and owning a property. And while we have seen some factors that affect the interest rates offered by lenders, other elements affect the housing rates at a macro level.

These factors are a bit complex, but they generally mirror the law of supply and demand. We’ve discussed them below.


Economic Growth

Employment rate and GDP are economic growth indicators that influence mortgage rates. In a rapidly growing economy, wages and consumer spending are high. There’s also a huge demand for mortgage products which drives the rates high.

However, a slowing economy often experiences low employment rates, lower wages, and decreased consumer spending. Not many people go for mortgage products because there is too much uncertainty. The lower demand for mortgages drives the interest down.


Inflation

Simply put, inflation is a term used to describe how the purchasing power of a fiat currency such as the dollar weakens over a given period. Pre-pandemic, the inflation rate ranged between 1.23 and 2.44%, but since May 2020, inflation has been peaking, with the June 2022 year-over-year inflation reported at 9.1%.

This was caused by several factors, including supply chain issues, increased production costs, and sizeable relief funds injected into the economy.

Unlike before, the pandemic caused a massive scare in the market, and everything was coming to a halt. The Federal Reserve lowered the rates to between 0 and 0.25% to avoid an economic downturn. This was done to encourage borrowing and money circulation, which on the other hand, contributed to inflation.

In March 2022, the Federal Reserve began raising the rates to curb the rising inflation. This also forced lenders to raise mortgage rates. The mortgage rates today range between 4.6% and 5.3% for 15 and 30-year fixed loans.


Federal Reserve Monetary Policy

As seen above, the Federal Reserve has the power to manipulate the market through the Fed Funds Rate and by directly controlling how much money is in circulation.

The more the Fed injects money into the economy, the rates drop; when they tighten the money supply, the rates go up.


Bond Market

Government bonds are debt securities (investments in the form of debt) with 100% guaranteed returns. Bonds compete with mortgage-backed securities (MBSs) in the debt security markets.

And since MBSs aren’t 100% guaranteed, they have to give investors a more significant yield. In other words, the interest rates must be high enough to ensure the MBSs yield more than the government-issued bonds.


Housing Market Conditions

If fewer homes are in the market, the demand for mortgage products reduces, pushing the rates downward. Another factor is when more people choose to rent instead of buying homes.

These changes in consumer demand and home availability can affect the interest rates set by the lenders.


Living in Sarasota County, Florida - Fun Things to Do

Sarasota County is located in West-Central Florida and is renowned for its beautiful beaches, vibrant residential suburbs, and many outdoor fun activities. The county is home to nearly half-a-million people as per the 2020 census.

Its largest city (both in land mass and population) is North Port, while the county seat is Sarasota, one of the popular tourist destinations on the Gulf Coast.

If you are thinking of buying a home in Sarasota County, Florida, there’s a lot you’ll enjoy in this corner of the Sunshine State.

To help you get a feel of the neighborhoods and the physical/geographical makeup of this county, we have rounded up five outdoor things you can explore.


Visit the Ringling

Located in Sarasota, The Ringling, also known as the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, is a must-visit for art lovers. The museum opened in 1927 to preserve the legacy of two serial art collectors, John and Mable Ringling.

Besides the art museum, this estate is also home to the Art Library, the historic Ca’ d’Zan Mansion, Bayfront Gardens, the Historic Asolo Theater, and the two Circus Museums. The grounds & gardens are free to visit, while the Museum of Art is only accessible on Mondays.

Some of the things you’ll explore in the museum are galleries of European paintings, Cypriot antiquities, and American contemporary art. There are also various drawings, paintings, photographs, sculptures, and decorative arts from around the world. If you are looking for a perfect place to spend time with family, this is a great place.


Tour the Marie-Selby Gardens

Dubbed the living museum, Marie Selby botanical garden, located in downtown Sarasota features more than 20,000 exotic plants. The 15-acre piece of land is teemed with butterflies, bamboo, bromeliad, and fern gardens, making the place quite irresistible. There’s also a tropical conservatory garden with over 6,000 orchids.

If you want to stroll, take pictures or even buy something to eat, there are some beautiful walkways and an on-site café for your convenience. This spot is perfect for an afternoon walk or a weekend out with your family members.


Kayak the Myakka River

The Myakka River flows a total distance of 68 miles, with a 14-mile section located within the Myakka River State Park. This river stretches through different landscapes, from prairies and hammocks to unspoiled wetlands and expansive pinelands. The paddling trail within the State Park is ideal for recreational kayakers who want to explore the park by the waters.

To kayak the 14-mile section of the Myakka River, you need to carry your own boat/canoe or rent one from within the state park. You should always be aware of the water levels to avoid navigational difficulties. When the water levels and weather conditions are favorable, this is something your entire family will enjoy.


Explore St. Armands Circle

St. Armands Circle is a state-of-the-art shopping center where you and your family can shop, dine and relax. This shopping and recreation village is located between the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay, making it a perfect place to end a busy week. You can also catch various events all year round, including craft festivals, art, exotic car shows, sidewalk sales, and holiday-themed events.

With ample parking, and more than 100 boutiques, galleries, specialty shops, and restaurants, you can always visit St. Armands Circle for your everyday errands while enjoying the ambiance this place offers. If you wish to, you can stick around to watch the sunset.


Visit the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

The Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium covers you if you love aquatic or semi-aquatic adventures. Since its launch in 1955, the laboratory has grown and expanded to include research on various marine life besides sharks and fishes. Today, more than twenty research programs focus on ocean acidification, coral health and diseases, physical & chemical ecology, ecotoxicology, and more.

On the other hand, the Mote Aquarium displays a variety of marine species, including sea turtles, manatees, skates, seahorses, and rays. You’ll also find marine invertebrates such as coral, cuttlefish, and octopuses.

The Aquarium is open all year round, and you can have a chance to feed sharks, river otters, and sea turtles. These interactive exhibits enhance care for these marine species and ensure healthy stimulation. There are also educative programs and sessions where the staff make learning and research studies accessible to the public.


Bottom Line

If you are convinced that Sarasota County, Florida is a great place to call home, your first step is to find a reputable lender offering competitive interest rates. There are several mortgage products available in the county.

Consult your lender, check what you qualify and use the tips above to help lower your rates. Get pre-approved for a mortgage and begin your homeownership journey today.

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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