Blog - Jason Hunter

Top Mistakes First-Time Homebuyers Make and How to Avoid Them

Tampa Mortgage Lender - Top Mistakes to Avoid

It is impossible to be an expert in the industry when you are a buying a home for the first time. This means that it is common for new homebuyers to make mistakes when purchasing their first home. So, to help prevent this from happening to you, your local Tampa mortgage lender with Hunter Home Loan has listed the top five mistakes first-time homebuyers make and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Not Knowing Their Affordability

Some homebuyers are so eager to buy a home that they fail to take the necessary steps to better their homebuying process. This includes speaking with a mortgage professional ahead of time so they can review your finances and see what type of home best fits into your budget. This can help save you time when beginning your home search because you will know what price range to focus on and can avoid viewing homes that are not within your budget.

Mistake #2: Not Getting Pre-Approved

Pre-approval has many added benefits such as letting you know your affordability and it gives you more credibility with sellers. This shows sellers that you are financially capable of owning your own home and can afford a Tampa mortgage. It is also important to note that some real estate agents may even refuse to work with you if you have not been pre-approved.

Mistake #3: Not Saving Enough Money For A Down Payment

If you cannot afford to pay at least 20% of your home’s down payment, you will be required to obtain private mortgage insurance (PMI). This insurance will be charged by your mortgage lender so they are protected in case you miss any of your mortgage payments since you will be considered a high-risk borrower. So, to avoid paying for additional fees, make sure you have a substantial amount of savings before you begin your application for a Tampa home loan.

Mistake #4: Not Considering Additional Closing Costs

Most first-time homebuyers are unaware of all the additional closing costs that are required before you can close on your mortgage. This includes, but is not limited to, your origination fee, lawyer fees, appraisal fees, home inspection, escrow fees, and title insurance. Therefore, start saving enough money now to pay for these additional costs.

Mistake #5: Not Having A Stable Income

You risk the chance of your loan application getting denied if you do not have a stable income. Most lenders prefer that you be with your current employer for at least two years. Lenders will want to see that you have enough money coming in consistently so you can make payments towards your mortgage and being with your employer for at least two years helps support that.

Contact Us

For more information on top homebuyer mistakes or to get started on your Tampa mortgage application today, please contact the Hunter Home Loan team at 813-230-9428.

Market Update: Tampa

Tampa Mortgage Lender - Market Update

Traditionally speaking, September is not considered “peak time” to purchase a home. Springtime is what most mortgage professionals believe to be the busiest time for seller’s and mortgage lenders, which is why now would be an excellent time to buy a house. Securing a Tampa Bay mortgage now means you do not have to feel rushed to make a decision and you can explore the residential market at your leisure. Your local mortgage lender will also be more inclined to offer you a better rate than if it were the busy season.

So, to help you get started, our Hunter Home Loan team with Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation has listed the most current residential market update for the Tampa region.

Market Update

Median Listing Price

According to, the listing prices in Tampa have been consistently increasing over the past three years. By September 2015, the median price listed was $195,000 and increased 17% the following year to $229,000. By September 2017, the median listing price was $249,900 and by September 2018, the current median price was $260,000. This is a 4.04% increase from the previous year and a 33.3% increase over the past three years.

With this consistent rise in listing price, it is safe to assume that the residential prices are going to continue to get more expensive in the near future. Therefore, if you are thinking about purchasing a home, lock in a rate now with your Tampa mortgage lender before they increase again.

Median Price Per Square Foot

The median price per square foot has followed similar increasing trends to that of the listing price. By September 2015, the median price per square foot was $116 and increased 14.7% to $133 the following year. By September 2017, the square footage price was $144 and the current median price per square foot is $153. This current price is a 6.3% increase from the previous year and a 32% increase since 2015.

These statistics suggest that the real estate in Tampa is becoming more popular and therefore more valuable. This means that Tampa Bay would be an excellent investment for your financial future.

Contact Us

For more information on the current residential market update or to begin your home loan application, please contact your local Tampa Bay mortgage lender at 813-230-9428.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tampa Mortgage Lender - FAQ

Trying to understand everything involved in the mortgage process can be overwhelming for any new buyer. So, to help you get started Jason Hunter with Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation has listed common frequently asked mortgage questions.

Question #1: What Is The Annual Percentage Rate?

The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the amount of money the borrower owes every year for their Tampa mortgage. The APR is generally expressed as a percentage, which illustrates the actual cost of funds borrowed over the loans amortization period.

Question #2: What Is The Difference Between Pre-Qualification And Pre-Approval?

Pre-qualification is referred to as “step 1” in the mortgage application process. Here your Tampa mortgage lender will review your finances and let you know what type of loan you can afford.

Pre-approval is a more in-depth process, where your lender confirms your affordability by running a credit check on your financial history and reviews all pertinent financial documentation.

Question #3: Do I Have To Sign The Disclosure Statement?

The disclosure statement is supplied by your local lender and signing it states that the terms and conditions on this document were given to you in an appropriate amount of time.

Question #4: What Does It Mean To Lock In Your Interest Rate?

Locking in a rate is where you accept a specific rate that is offered by your lender and that amount will not fluctuate when you close on your loan.

Question #5: What Is The Target Rate?

This is your original optimal rate regarding the interest on your home loan.

Question #6: If I Sign My Loan Application Does That Mean I Have To Work With You?

You are not required to work with us if you have signed your loan application form. Your only commitment is when you sign for the funds and all the closing documentation. This allows you to shop around and compare different rates with other Tampa mortgage lenders.

Question #7: What Are Closing Costs?

These are additional costs that are owed before your loan application is complete. These include, but are not limited to: origination fee, appraisal costs, attorney fees, title registration, home inspection, down payment, and discount points.

Question #8: What is Private Mortgage Insurance?

Also referred to as PMI, is an insurance that is paid for by the borrower to protect the lender in case of any defaults on the mortgage. You will be required to obtain PMI if you pay less than 20% of your down payment.

Question #9: How Do Interest Rates Change?

Interest rates can increase or decrease daily or over a long period of time. It all depends on economic factors, such as how well the local economy is doing. Talk with your Tampa mortgage lender to see what the current rates are and to lock in a rate.

Question #10: Can I Use Online Bank Statements?

Yes, but they have to include your name, the bank’s logo, and your account number.

Contact Us

For more information on frequently asked questions, please contact your trusted Tampa Mortgage Lender Jason Hunter at 813-230-9428.

How to Search For the Right Home

St Petersburg Mortgage Lender - Finding Your Home

Buying a home is an exciting time, but as a first-time buyer, you want to be sure you are finding the perfect home for you. To help you get started, Jason Hunter with Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation has listed some helpful tips on how to search for the right home.

Tip #1: Search Within Your Budget

Talk with your local mortgage lender before you begin viewing different homes. Your lender will be able to go through your financial history, analyze all your documentation and pre-approve you for a St. Petersburg mortgage. These mortgage professionals will also run a credit check on you and let you know how much you will be able to borrow from their financial institution.

Knowing how much they are willing to lend you can save you time when browsing the residential market because you will know what price range to shop in. Search for homes within your financial limit and avoid homes that are outside your budget.

If you need help finding homes in the Greater Tampa Area, please use our free home search feature on the Hunter Home Loan website HERE.

Tip #2: Find The Right Real Estate Agent

After you know what price range to shop in, you need to find the right real estate agent to assist you in the home buying process. Talk with your local St. Petersburg mortgage lender and see which agents they recommend. Most mortgage lenders know all about the different realtors in the area. They will be able to tell you who is a reliable real estate agent and who is not.

Tip #3: Have The Home Inspected

Once your real estate agent has shown you around to a few homes and you think you have found the perfect fit, make sure you get the home inspected before you make any final decisions. Do not assume everything in the house is working properly just because it appears new. Having the home inspected ensures that you will be aware of anything that needs to be repaired before you move in.

Contact Us

For more information on ways to search for the right home, or to get started on the application for your mortgage in St. Petersburg, please contact Jason Hunter with Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation at 813-230-9428.

Single Women are Purchasing More Homes

Single Women Are Purchasing More Homes

Single women are purchasing more homes than single men.

If there were any indicators in the women equality arena to show that women are making great strides, the real estate market is certainly one of them. Purchasing a home is usually the goal of couples who are looking to take their relationship to the next level. Statistics are now showing, however, that single women are purchasing more homes than single men.

Recently the Washington Post published an article by Kenneth Harney explaining his thoughts on single women in regards to real estate and how they now account for more real estate purchases than single men do.

The last U.S. Census Current Population Survey used 60,000 households as the sampling factor. Ralph McLaughlin, Chief Economist for the consulting firm Vertas Urbis Economics, was cited as stating that of the total home purchases during 2017, the share of purchases made by single women, which includes never married individuals as well as widows and divorcees, hit an all-time high of 22.8 percent.

With this being public knowledge, home builders are now designing more homes and subdivisions to appeal to women’s preferences. A builder in the North Carolina market, McKee Homes, saw that in some of their subdivisions up to 50 percent of the homes were purchased by single women in their 30s or older.

So, what is driving this? Another Washington Post article, this one by Cara Strickland, stated that women see purchasing a home differently than men. Regardless of whether they have children, women are more interested in decorating and furnishing their homes than they are in shopping for new clothes.

Well, you may ask why single men aren’t purchasing as many homes. It has been documented that most single men plan to be coupled before purchasing a home.

If you think about it, just a generation ago, women waited for marriage to own their personal dream home. Now it seems that the tables have turned. Home purchasing waits for no man, which is amazing!

Another factor that influences home purchasing is rising rent. According to the article, recent studies conducted by publishing firm Builder’s Digital Experience show that 23 percent of single women cited rising rent as the main motivation behind their home purchase.

Why are men not moving faster when it comes to purchasing homes? It seems like they have less concern about root planting in comparison to their female counterparts.

If we can be of any assistance in purchasing your dream home, do not hesitate to contact us at 813-230-9248 or check out our MLS search at

Find Out Your Home's Current Value