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Brentwood: A place you’ll love to call home

Named after an estate built in D.C., and just six miles from our nation’s capital, Brentwood has just under 3,200 residents and offers a community-oriented home environment. This culturally and economically diverse city is part of the Gateway Arts District and is working to bring preservation and tourism opportunities to the area. Home to two beautiful parks and fun-filled community events planned each month by committees, Brentwood is the perfect place to call home.

Feel at home in Brentwood

Community events, parks and rich history

This thriving community offers involvement opportunities, events, and beautiful parks. With the population up by 11.6 percent since 2000, now is the time to move to Brentwood. Spend time planning community events, attending town hall meetings or exploring the many events the local universities offer. Miles from the Amtrak station, exploring the history of our nation’s capital has never been easier. It amazing how a small city has so much to offer. As the central point for recreational activities, Bartlett Park is home to a playground, Town Hall, tennis courts and so much more. Whether you're looking to break a sweat or get the kids out of the house, Bartlett Park is a beautiful place to spend your time. Additionally, Brentwood has Veterans Park, dedicated to the veterans of the town. The park is a place “to find healing” and reflect.

Rapid homebuying process in Brentwood

House shopping without grey hair

Homebuying can be a long, drawn-out process. Brentwood is full of unique apartment complexes and comfortable single-family houses, making the selection process a bit overwhelming. Earnest can help you narrow down the selection process by identifying your priorities (walkability, commute time, proximity to beaches, etc.) and taking into account your financial position to select your dream price. With the median house prices in Brentwood around $517,700, there’s never been a better time to buy your forever home.

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Brentwood

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.