Where does county rank for mortgage markets?

By Neal Wagner

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Published 1:45 pm Thursday, February 15, 2018

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Shelby County is one of the best places to get a mortgage in the state, according to a study conducted by a national website.

The Smartasset.com website recently released its 2018 “Best Places to get a Mortgage” list for Alabama, and Shelby County came in at No. 8 on the list.

 “For many people, buying a house means securing a mortgage,” read the study. “To determine the best places in the country to get a mortgage we looked at four factors: overall borrowing costs, ease of securing a mortgage, cheap property taxes and cheap annual mortgage payments.”

To calculate the rankings, the website examined the expected costs over the first five years of a $200,000 mortgage with a 20-percent down payment and closing costs.

“We calculated the ease of getting a mortgage as the ratio of mortgage applications to actual mortgage originations (secured mortgages) in each county,” read the site. “We based annual mortgage payments on the annual principal and interest payments for a $200,000 loan in that location, using average mortgage rates in each county.

“Finally, we ranked locations based on these four factors, and then averaged those rankings, giving equal weight to each factor,” read the website. “The areas with the lowest average rankings are the best places to get a mortgage.”

The top 10 counties on the list all posted identical average five-year borrowing costs of $76,257 and average annual mortgage payments of $14,489, meaning the only variables separating the counties were loan funding rates and average property taxes.

Colbert County in north Alabama came in as the No. 1 mortgage market in Alabama, posting a loan funding rate of 60.01 percent and average property taxes of $5,064.

Following Colbert County was Lauderdale County, which posted a loan funding rate of 63.18 percent and average property taxes of $5,860.

Henry County in southeast Alabama came in at No. 3 on the list, posting a 60.83-percent loan funding rate and a $4,371 average property tax.

Limestone County, also in north Alabama, came in at No. 4, posting a 60.41-percent loan funding rate and an average property tax of $4,583.

Coming in at No. 5 was Houston County, which posted a 60.28-percent loan funding rate and an average property tax of $4,493.

The No. 6 spot went to Baldwin County in south Alabama, which had a 59.43-percent loan funding rate and a $4,307 average property tax.

Lee County in east Alabama came in at No. 7, posting a 61.97-percent loan funding rate and an average property tax of $6,913.

Shelby County placed eighth, and posted a 61.17-percent loan funding rate and a $6,492 average property tax.

Rounding out the top 10 were Autauga and Madison counties, which posted loan funding rates of 58.23 percent and 60.50 percent, respectively, and average property taxes of $4,198 and $6,011, respectively.

To view the entire rankings, visit Smartasset.com/mortgage/alabama-mortgage-rates#alabama