Tampa remains one of the most affordable housing markets on the East Coast, and home loans are accessible to people who might struggle to buy in other places. A good mortgage professional will help you choose the loan that fits your needs. ConsumerAffairs looked at the best mortgage lenders in Tampa based on their reputations, ease of application and hands-on guidance.
The housing market in Tampa is strong, and in 2018, the median home value is $211,200. Housing values have risen more than 12 percent in the last year, and they continue to increase. Tampa's median home listing price is $317,190, and the median price of homes that sold is $234,900. With 177 neighborhoods, Tampa communities are diverse. When you're ready to buy, you need the best mortgage lender who can help you choose the right loan for your target home.
Types of mortgage loans in Tampa
The most popular types of mortgages in Tampa are conventional loans and FHA, VA and USDA loans.
FHA loan: With a small down payment, Tampa residents can qualify for a government-subsidized FHA loan for a new home, rehabilitation project or construction.
VA loan: Many active and retired military personnel live in Tampa and use their VA loan benefits. There's no down payment or closing costs for the buyer.
USDA loan: Tampa is a city, but areas like Ruskin and Plant City are developing quickly, and buyers in those rural areas can use a USDA loan without a down payment requirement.
Where to buy a home in Tampa
The neighborhood you choose will impact the type of loan you get and the amount you need to borrow.
Expensive Tampa neighborhoods
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a jumbo loan is a mortgage that's more than what the Federal Housing Finance Agency will buy from lenders. Tampa neighborhoods that might require a jumbo loan include areas in south Tampa, such as South MacDill Avenue and South West Shore Boulevard. Hyde Park, Davis Islands and Harbor Island have million dollar homes that will require you to work with a Tampa lender who specializes in jumbo mortgages.
Up-and-coming Tampa neighborhoods
Ybor is emerging as the place to be for Tampa residents who want to live in a walkable, urban area that's close to downtown and the beaches. It's one of the highest appreciating neighborhoods, which makes it a great place to buy. To finance a loft, townhouse or renovated single family home, find a lender who can put you in an FHA loan or a conventional mortgage that allows for a little rehab money.
Tampa neighborhoods known for schools and safety
South Tampa also ranks highly when it comes to good schools and safe streets. The Palma Ceia neighborhood is walkable, family-friendly and close to the desirable Bayshore Boulevard and its waterfront views. The average home value in Palma Ceia is $520,000. A conventional mortgage will cover what you need, but work with a Tampa lender who can best leverage your financial situation.
Tampa home buyers appreciate the ease of applying for a loan with AmeriSave. You can receive a quote online in minutes, and, once you’re approved, choose from a number of different loan products for your purchase or refinance. Close quickly on a fixed or adjustable rate mortgage or a VA, FHA or USDA loan.
Tampa consumers who want the efficiency of technology and the personal service that comes with a human touch will appreciate HomeDirect, a direct lender that handles the application, transaction and servicing of Tampa mortgages and refinances. Online reviewers applaud HomeDirect’s professionalism and ability to keep the application process stress-free.
Based in Tampa, Marimark Mortgage helps local Tampa residents qualify for a loan, choose a mortgage or take the steps to refinance an existing home loan. Agents are licensed in Florida and available to educate Tampa homebuyers on the financial realities of owning a home.
The Heckman Group is a local Tampa lender, offering products that range from conventional mortgages to jumbo loans as well as FHA, VA and USDA products. They’ll help you with down payment assistance, buying your first home and relocating to the Tampa area. Customers appreciate the company’s hands-on service.