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Oh little town of Bethlehem

Tucked away in Caroline County, the rural area of Bethlehem offers a several, single-family houses and apartments. Whether you’re looking for a place for just yourself or your family, Bethlehem has the home for you. Cozy and affordable, these homes look out to healthy green lawns and a magnificent blue sky. The walkability is low but everything you need is just a quick and easy drive away.

Peace and relaxation in Bethlehem

A gorgeous view, peaceful community and rural charm

Nestled in Caroline County, Bethlehem is full of cozy, single-family houses and apartments perfect for families and retirees alike. Though this lovely area is not high on the walkability scale, everything you need, from grocery stores like Chance’s Country Store, to shopping centers, to tasty restaurants, are all within a convenient driving distance. Along with countless activities and nearby attractions, the rural area of Bethlehem is located less than 10 miles away from a variety of good grade schools, providing quick and easy access for families.

Homebuying with Earnest is simple

Feel the joy of a new home with some help from Earnest

Experienced and beginner homebuyers alike agree that purchasing a new home can be very exciting. W ith so many neighborhoods to discover, houses and apartments to explore, amenities to prioritize, and area mortgage rates to research, the process of purchasing a new home can quickly become overwhelming. Thankfully, with Earnest, some of that stress can be relieved. Earnest works alongside potential homebuyers to help them identify their priorities while looking at their financial profile in order to determine a target home price. To top it off, they offer a simple online application to help get you started.

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Bethlehem

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

People around a computer

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.