Arizona counties rank high as best places to get a mortgage

Home buyers looking to head back into the market in Arizona may do so in a state where it’s pretty decent to get a mortgage.

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A new SmartAsset.com look at the best counties for getting a mortgage finds those in Arizona among the tops in the country. Pinal County came in first in the state and No. 34 nationally.

The report looked at five-year borrowing costs for as a ranking measure, but also examined property taxes, loan funding rates and annual mortgage payments to determine a composite score.

While the state’s most populous counties, Maricopa and Pima, ranked well nationally they were behind the curve in the state, ranking No. 3 and No. 9 respectively.

The best counties to get a mortgage mostly reside in Florida, with six of the top 10 in the ranking in the Sunshine State.

Methodology

For many people buying a house means securing a mortgage. 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 overall borrowing costs, we looked at the expected costs over the first five years of a $200,000 mortgage with a 20% down payment, including 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. 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. The areas with the lowest average rankings are the best places to get a mortgage.

Rank County Loan Funding Rate 5 Year Borrowing Costs Property Tax Annual Mortgage Payment Best Mortgage Markets Index
1 Pinal, AZ 63.16% $76,932 $12,606 $14,789 94.24
2 Gila, AZ 58.11% $76,932 $10,586 $14,789 93.08
3 Maricopa, AZ 64.40% $77,437 $9,638 $14,789 76.73
4 Coconino, AZ 62.61% $77,437 $8,294 $14,688 76.70
5 Yavapai, AZ 61.05% $77,437 $9,001 $14,789 75.54
6 Mohave, AZ 59.90% $77,437 $9,166 $14,789 74.90
7 Yuma, AZ 62.26% $77,437 $11,292 $14,884 74.74
8 Graham, AZ 56.77% $77,437 $8,009 $14,789 74.13
9 Pima, AZ 62.13% $77,437 $13,620 $14,688 73.28
10 Cochise, AZ 55.76% $77,437 $9,981 $14,789 72.47
  AZ 56.00% $77,370 $10,134 $14,775
Methodology

Sources: Mortgage Bankers Association, US Census Bureau 2015 5-Year American Community Survey, Informa, Bankrate, government websites, SmartAsset

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