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Your personalized guide to homebuying in Harwood

Near the Maryland coast and under an hour from Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Annapolis makes Harwood the ideal suburban getaway for city commuters. Harwood features both new and historic homes. If you'd rather build your own home, there are plots of land available as well. With such close proximity to Annapolis, Harwood features prime local shopping malls and historic sites, such as Larkin's Hundred. Buyers looking for a quiet commuter city don't need to look any further than Harwood.

Look to Harwood as your new suburban refuge

City accessiblity with all the benefits of a suburb

In between three great cities (Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Annapolis), Harwood is perfect for families with a commuter, or for when you just want to take a day trip. Although Harwood only has a high school within it's limits. Nearby Lothian is home to both an elementary and middle school. All three levels of Harwood's public schools are rated as "above average" on Trulia. Parents can feel comfortable knowing their children are receiving quality educations when sending them through the local public system. There's very low crime rate in Harwood so safety isn't a concern. There are plenty of great reasons to check out the many different types of homes available in Harwood.

Streamline your way to move-in

Experience stress-free homebuying with Earnest

When hunting for your new Harwood home, you should be excited about starting this big step in life. But, trying to find the right home at the right price amidst so many different neighborhoods, homes, and websites can be extremely overwhelming. Thankfully, Earnest can help your prioritize what you want in a home (proximity to cities, walkability, size, style, etc.) and then figure out (based on your financial profile) what you can afford in a home. Let Earnest help you navigate the homebuying process as you work towards applying for a mortgage. With median home sales prices in Harwood at $386,000 at the end of October 2016, which is actually experiencing a slight dip in past months, right now is the time to start your Harwood home search.

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Harwood

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.