When you are ready to buy a home in the Naples area, finding the best mortgage for your needs can be a time-consuming endeavor. Whether you are a first-time buyer or it has been several years since you were in the real estate market, comprehensive research will help you make a smart financial decision.

These are the most common mortgage options for Florida homeowners to consider.

Florida Housing First-Time Homebuyer Program

The state offers special financing for first-time buyers in Collier County and throughout Florida who have not owned a home in the past three years. Buyers can qualify for a 30-year fixed mortgage as well as down payment and closing cost assistance for homes that meet the program’s purchase price limits.

Conventional mortgage

Buyers who qualify can take advantage of a conventional mortgage with as little as 3% of the purchase price as a down payment. This type of mortgage can be either fixed, which means the interest rate stays the same for the life of the loan, or adjustable, which provides a low interest rate for the first three to five years and then adjusts based on economic factors. Common conventional mortgage terms include 15 and 30 years, although 50-year mortgages are available for some borrowers at a higher interest rate.

FHA loans

The Federal Housing Administration guarantees these mortgage loans, which appeal to many buyers because of their less stringent credit requirements. Compared to a conventional mortgage, which requires a FICO score of at least 620, borrowers may qualify for an FHA loan with a score of at least 580, or even as low as 520 with a sizable down payment.

VA/USDA loan

These government programs offer zero-down-payment mortgage loans to qualifying individuals. The Department of Veterans Affairs provides loans to veterans with favorable terms and low interest rates. USDA loans promote rural development with mortgages for those buying homes in specific underdeveloped zip codes.

Start the process by checking your credit to see if your score needs work to obtain mortgage approval. You should also create a budget to determine how much you can afford to spend.