Purchasing a new home in Sarasota, or anywhere for that matter, is a major financial decision and responsibility. Homeownership is an important milestone for many adults, and with the start of the new home buying process comes the obvious question, “How do I pay for this?!”

Mortgage rates can be confusing and tricky to navigate, especially for first-time home buyers. Today, we sat down with M/I Financial’s Loan Officer, Felix Herrera, to dive deep into the ins and outs of mortgages in 2020.

If you have a million questions about mortgage rates, like these, we’re answering them today:

  • How do I apply for a mortgage?
  • What are mortgage rates, and how do those affect me?
  • What kind of mortgage rate do I even need?

What is a good mortgage rate?

The short answer for this is on that is in line with the national average. To some people, this may not be adequate, so they may choose to pay discount points in order to get rates better than the national average.

Can you explain the basics of mortgages and mortgage rates?

Mortgages and rates are determined heavily by credit history, capacity (as in affordability), down payment, and the intended use for the home that will be mortgaged.

How should buyers compare mortgage rates?

Mortgage rates are determined by many different factors associated with each individual loan, however a great source to compare rate offerings is Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey online at http://www.freddiemac.com/pmms/.

What should buyers be prepared for when applying for a loan, practically and emotionally?

We dive very heavily into the most recent 2 years of the borrower’s history. Luckily most documentation is now available digitally, so although it might sound overwhelming, the process itself has become much easier.

What is the biggest mistake you see when home buyers apply for a mortgage?

A misconception is that once the mortgage loan is approved, the process is just about done. However, any changes in credit, income or assets prior to closing may add stress to the process.

What is happening with mortgage rates in 2020? How should home buyers be prepared for these changes?

Mortgage rates continue to hit historical lows; my best advice is to not sit on the sidelines. With the current low rates, affordability and homeownership are more attainable than ever.

What is the value in getting pre-approved or pre-qualified for a mortgage?

The biggest value is in that you know what your purchasing power is and that your loan is likely to get approved in the end, as long as the pre-qualification is done correctly. Surprises are great, but not with a home mortgage.

How is the mortgage process different for a new home versus an old home?

When buying a new M/I Home and financing with M/I Financial the process is far much smoother than most expect. With a new M/I Home there are also substantial savings with closing cost assistance.

What is a good 30-year fixed-rate mortgage?

Short answer is ours. Contact me today to chat about the current rate we can offer on our quick move-in and to-be-built homes.


Mortgages and mortgage rates can feel like an intimidating process to embark on, and it’s definitely not the most glamorous or exciting part of buying a new home. However, by learning more about mortgage rates, you’ll feel more confident discussing rates and details with your broker, ensuring you make a smart financial decision.

M/I Financial has years of experience and knowledge to help you through the mortgage process. Our expert team is dedicated to helping you discover the best financial fit for your family. Let us answer your questions today!


Kari Rowell


Kari Rowell is Internet Sales Manager for M/I Homes in Sarasota, Florida, and offers advice on a wide range of topics including finding the right home for any walk of life, finding the best weekend activities in the Sarasota metro area, and staying up to date on home design trends or tackling a DIY project. As both a Florida native AND an M/I homeowner herself, Kari is uniquely qualified to answer whatever questions you might have. When she's not finding helping homeowners with their dream home, she's spreading smiles and spending time with her husband and two adorable children, most likely while watching college football or relaxing at Sarasota's beautiful beaches.