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A city of charm, convenience, and enterprise

Bethesda is a suburb just miles from Washington, D.C., renowned for its status as a healthcare hub as well as its premier education system. The city is rooted in a history of tenant farming and tobacco trade--an agricultural heritage still present at its biweekly farmers' markets. Bethesda is also home to many large corporate headquarters and a hardworking population. As one of the top 100 cities to live in, it's an ideal place to settle down.

A taste of country in the big city

Come find comfort, leisure, and countless amenities in Bethesda

Bethesda, Maryland, stuns with its educational opportunities and easy access to Washington, D.C. A combination of excellent public transportation, the charming downtown area known as Bethesda Row, and conveniently located medical center headquarters makes this suburb the perfect place to call home. Public and private education options are abundant, with notable schools like the Sidwell Friends School (which President Obama's daughters attended) making the area especially attractive. Bethesda is also home to the famous Congressional Country Club. The town's quaint neocolonial brick architecture effortlessly lends itself to beautiful homes and the town center alike. Residents can expect to enjoy the many art galleries, comedy clubs, jazz clubs, restaurants, and parks that Bethesda has to offer.

Find your dream home right here

Don't wait--invest in Bethesda before it's too late

Finding a home for your family in Bethesda raises questions of preference for school districts, access to public transportation, neighborhood characteristics, and other qualifiers. Let Earnest help you narrow down your search based on your own specific criteria. Whether you're looking for a home where you can raise young children or somewhere to retire peacefully, Bethesda has countless options to offer. Earnest can help you find the rates you need to make this dream a reality.

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Bethesda

All The Answers You Need to Settle Down Sooner

Should I choose a fixed or adjustable rate?

It depends how long you expect to stay in the home. Adjustable rates are good for people who may not be in the home long, whereas fixed rates are ideal for people who are confident of settling in.

Do I need a home appraisal?

Probably—in most cases, the homebuyer must use an appraiser to evaluate the value of the home. Appraisal costs vary depending on the value of the property, as well as the state the house is in. Buyers cannot choose their own appraiser—the bank makes the decision.

What is PMI?

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is required when a homebuyer makes a down payment of less than 20%, or when a borrower refinances with less than 20% equity in the home. PMI fees vary according to your down payment and credit score, and adds a premium to your monthly mortgage payment. Please note, PMI is tax-deductible in 2015 and 2016 for certain income brackets.

What does Loan-to-Value mean?

Loan-to-Value (LTV) is the percentage of your home’s value that your loan represents. When refinancing, the calculation is simply the loan amount divided by the appraised value. When buying a home, the LTV is found by dividing by either the purchase price or appraised amount, whichever is lower. When the LTV is less than 80%, the lender generally requires PMI.

For example:

Purchase price: $100,000
Down payment: $15,000
Loan amount: $85,000
Appraised value: $110,000
LTV: $85,000/$100,000 = 85%

What are closing costs?

Closing costs are standard fees associated with a real estate transaction. You will typically pay about 2-5% of the purchase price in closing costs—the exact amount depends on where you are buying (or refinancing), as well as number of extra fees involved in your particular transaction. Earnest charges no lender fees, so the borrower is only responsible for 3rd-party fees.

What should I consider before refinancing my mortgage?

Refinancing your home loan is an attractive option when rates are low. A simple rate and term refinance can help you lower your monthly payment and potentially eliminate your PMI premium, as long as you have built up enough equity in the home. You might also use a cash-out refinance to access some of the equity you’ve built up in the home (which may result in a higher monthly payment on your new loan).

However, keep in mind that refinancing a mortgage does involve several fees (closing costs). Before refinancing, you should calculate the ‘break-even’ point at which your refinanced loan makes up for the closing costs. If you plan to leave your home before this time, it’s better to stay with your current mortgage.

Knowledge Is (Buying) Power

Further Resources from the Earnest Blog

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The intelligent home loan

When it comes to finding the right home loan, Earnest works hard to ensure that the process pain-free. We use an industry-leading and intuitive online-only application (meaning most times no scanner or fax machine required), a 5-star client service team, and a unique rolling pre-approval that stays current while you track down that perfect home. At Earnest, the home loan process is like no other.