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Make your coastal dreams come true in Fort Howard

Set on the coast of Maryland in the Chesapeake Bay, Fort Howard offers breathtaking coastal scenery. Home to Fort Howard Park, this small community is alive with early American history. Though it’s contained at barely .143 square miles, the cultural relevance of Fort Howard far exceeds its census-designated boundaries. Truly, the town is a unique and rewarding place for families and retirees to call home.

Fort Howard's homage to history

Landmarks, parks, and odes to the past

Fort Howard combines expansive history with a small town feel. Home to Fort Howard Park, the site of a British Army landing during the War of 1812, Fort Howard tells a critical chapter in America’s story. The Todd Family Farmhouse, a landmark representing the first deed patented in Baltimore County, also connects with the town’s rich past. In addition to its historical character, nearby natural parks showcase the beauty of Maryland’s coast. A prime destination for the history buff, patriot, or lover of nature, Fort Howard has much to offer every homebuyer.

Making Fort Howard a part of your future

Earnest's history of success makes them capable of inspiring your future

Living in Fort Howard is easy, but buying a new home is still immensely complex. With so many websites and open houses, the process can be very stressful. Earnest is here to help you spend more time focusing on your priorities and less time worrying about the details of acquiring your new home. By working closely with you to discuss your unique financial situation, Earnest can help pinpoint your preferences and price range to make the process of buying a home as simple as possible. With our streamlined process, you'll be able to leave your current residency in your past in no time.

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Fort Howard

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.