Mortgage Guide

How to get a home loan

Time to buy in the sunshine state? The Florida housing market is hot.

Are you considering buying a home in Florida? Whether your new Florida home will be your primary residence, a vacation rental, or an investment for your retirement, now might be the right time to buy.

According to Zillow, the Florida housing market is hot — and trending upward. Florida home values have gone up 4.7% in the last year, and are expected to rise 1.8% over the next year.

Let’s take a look at some of Florida’s most popular areas for home buyers.


As per the rest of the state, Miami’s home values have continued to rise in recent years. Miami boasts a vibrant nightlife scene, and is home to many young professionals.

Niche ranks Brickell and Coconut Grove as Miami’s top two neighborhoods to live in. All three neighborhoods are rated A+ by Niche after calculating various factors including public schools, diversity, and home values.

Miami’s Brickell neighborhood is home to nearly 30,000 residents, having tripled in population between 2000 and 2016. The area continues to grow, with a wealth of new construction condos continuously popping up around the neighborhood.

The average home price in Brickell is $394,909. Here are a few examples of current homes for sale in Brickell, Miami.

770 Claughton Island Dr, Unit #904 - 2 beds, 2 baths - $344,900

This 2 bedroom condo comes in $50,000 lower than Brickell’s average home price and offers an incredible ocean view. The condo building offers several amenities, including a parking space, a pool and pool bar, and 2 tennis courts.

2451 Brickell Ave, Unit 9P - 1 bed, 1 bath - $250,000

If you’re looking for a 1 bedroom apartment in Brickell, this spacious property offers lots of natural sunlight at a relatively low price for the area. The apartment building sits right on the Miami coast, and offers several amenities that’ll make home feel like a resort vacation.

2430 Brickell Ave, Unit 106A - 4 beds, 3 baths - $549,000

Somewhat tucked away from the bustle of Miami’s Brickell neighborhood, you’ll find this 4 bedroom condo ideal for a small family or a buyer hoping to use this property as a vacation rental. Described as feeling like a “single family home,” this listing boasts a large, private patio and a tropical view.

Coconut Grove is listed by Niche as the second best place to live in Miami. The average home price in Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood is a bit higher than Brickell at $626,505. But with a higher budget comes access to beach views, excellent public schools, significant diversity, and vibrant nightlife. Check out these examples of homes for sale in Coconut Grove, Miami.

2734 Bird Ave, Unit #100 - 1 bed, 1 bath - $244,999

Buyers seeking a light-filled apartment in one of Miami’s top-rated neighborhoods should consider this Coconut Grove 1 bedroom condo. Sitting at the corner of the building’s first floor, this condo is the building’s largest unit.

3000 Bird Ave, Unit 2D - 2 beds, 1 bath - $395,000

Even homebuyers seeking more than one bedroom can find properties for sale well below the median home price in Coconut Grove, as evidenced by this 2 story townhome. Located in the heart of Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood, this newly renovated property has private access and spacious rooms.

3159 Center St, Unit #3159 - 3 beds, 2.5 baths - $789,000

If you’re looking for city living with a resort feel, you can’t do much better than this 3 bedroom townhome for sale in Coconut Grove, Miami. Perks include a private pool, an open concept kitchen and no HOA fees due.


When looking at Niche’s list of Florida’s best neighborhoods to reside in, Tampa dominates. Residents of Tampa are able to enjoy the amenities of a large metropolitan area while still

Tampa’s Davis Islands neighborhood takes the number one spot on the statewide list of best places to live. Davis Islands offers a more suburban feel than the top neighborhoods of Miami, but still boasts a lively restaurant, bar, and local business scene.

Davis Islands’ median home price is currently $476,445. Here are a few examples of homes for sale in Davis Islands, Tampa.

160 Colombia Dr, Unit #406 - 2 beds, 2 baths - #329,900

Centrally located in Davis Islands, Tampa, this moderately-priced condo offers a park view and a pool. Older decor and appliance leaves something to be desired, but the price and location would be hard to beat in this neighborhood.

520 Suwanee Cir, Unit 3 - 3 beds, 2 baths - $524,000

Tucked away from more bustling areas of Davis Islands, this 3rd floor property offers plenty of space for a family. The home has been recently updated with a mid-century flare.

Tampa also dominates Niche’s list of best neighborhoods in Florida to buy a home. Alongside quality of life, this list takes into consideration housing market trends in Florida. At the very top of this list is the Easton Park neighborhood.

Easton Park is nearly half the size of Davis Islands, with roughly 2,600 residents. Easton Park offers homeowners a more suburban feel, with several families, local parks, and highly rated public schools. The average home value in Easton Park, Tampa is $209,833. Take a look a couple Easton Park homes for sale to get a better feel for the neighborhood.

10704 Pictorial Park Dr - 4 beds, 2.5 baths - $320,000

This huge single-family home in Tampa’s Easton Park neighborhood offers an open floor plan and a spacious fenced-in backyard. HOA dues are only $131/month and include high speed internet access.

20102 Natures Hike Way - 4 beds, 2.5 baths - $302,000

Built in 2007, this home offers ample space for a family. Along with 4 bedrooms and a large backyard, this home has a 3 car garage and brand new AC installed this year.


Clearwater is ranked as the second best place to retire in America, and the best place to retire in Florida. With an average home price of $172,900 and a thriving local culture, we can see why it ranks so highly. Here are a few current homes listed for sale in Clearwater, Florida.

675 S Gulfview Blvd, Unit #305 - 2 beds, 2 baths - $330,000

With a view of the Gulf of Mexico out your window and a large private patio, this property is not one to overlook. While currently staged with vintage family furniture, it’s clear the condo has a lot of potential to be transformed to fit the style of any homebuyer.

525 Richmond St - $258,000 - 2 beds, 1 bath

This property shows a much different side of Clearwater than the condo above. And that’s the great thing about this area - there’s something for everyone. This quaint, colorful property lets plenty of natural light in through large windows and has stunning, recently renovated interiors.


Most people know Orlando as a destination city. With warm weather year-round, and huge, world-renowned theme parks, you’ll find families traveling to Orlando in droves. Because of this, there are several tourism and hospitality jobs available in Orlando.

So what’s it like to live there? Orlando ranks highly as a city for young professionals, and is a reasonably affordable city for many first-time homebuyers with an average home value of $196,600.

Niche lists Rose Isle as the best Orlando neighborhood to live in. A large majority (89%) of Rose Isle residents are homeowners. The Rose Isle home value is significantly higher than the city’s overall average at $546,726. Here is one example of a home for sale in Rose Isle, Orlando (there are only a few homes on the market currently in Rose Isle!)

2410 Shoreham Rd - 3 beds, 2 baths - $625,000

This single family home is situated on a quarter acre of land. Amenities of this home include a large patio, a 2 car garage, huge rooms, and updated granite countertops.

Lake Como ranks third on Niche’s list of best places to buy a home in Orlando, and has a significantly lower median home price than Rose Isle. Lake Como is home to many young professionals and families, with an urban feel and highly rated public schools. Take a look at these homes for sale in Lake Como, Orlando.

717 Wessex Pl - 3 beds, 2 baths - $425,000

With a large backyard that includes a private pool and a huge sunroom, this home Lake Como, Orlando home is perfect for entertaining. Another huge perk of this home - no HOA fees.

541 Lake Como Cir - 3 beds, 3 baths - $549,900

Located right on the neighborhood’s titular Lake Como, this Orlando home for sale offers gorgeous new flooring, an open concept groundplan, and a 2 car garage. The rooftop terrace on this home is a huge selling point for this centrally located property.

Your loan options when you buy a home in Florida.

No matter where you buy your home, it’s important to shop around and look at all your mortgage options. Florida offers down payment assistance programs for homebuyers across the state and for specific counties.

You may qualify for federal assistance if you are a military veteran buying a home in Florida. VA Loans are an incredible resource for Florida veterans buying a home. A new bill just eliminated VA loan caps, meaning Florida veterans are now able to borrow more money to finance their home purchase.

We’ve worked with several Florida homebuyers who are DACA recipients. DACA status borrowers in Florida are eligible to qualify for certain loans, but not all. It is important to work with a lender who understands your situation as a DACA recipient in Florida, and will work with you to finance your home purchase. (hint: NewCastle Home Loans can help you!)

Whether you’re ready to submit a 20% down payment, or looking for some down payment assistance, we can help you figure out your options.

See if you qualify!

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