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Your dream home awaits in Laurel

Resting along the Patuxent River, the beautiful city of Laurel is conveniently located between Baltimore and Washington D.C. From classic Victorian homes to modern single family houses and condominiums, Laurel is the perfect blend of old and new. With a wide selection of schools, recreational facilities, and a city dedicated to community, Laurel is just the place to settle down. Earnest is here to help you find your dream home in Laurel.

Past and present collide in this picturesque city

Bursting with history and community, Laurel is just the place for you

Founded in 1870, time has not stopped this city from finding a way to honor its past while also making progress. From Laurel’s historic train station, museum, and a collection of preserved mansions and shops, Laurel continues to live up to the words of its city seal, “Pride in our Past and Faith in our Future.” With over 200 acres of parkland, a historic downtown, and annual festivals such as Lake Fest, Riverfest, and the all-time favorite Main Street Festival, it’s no wonder more and more people are attracted to this city. Hike along one of Laurel’s many parks like T. Howard Duckett Park, or peruse the local shops and boutiques downtown. No matter what your age or hobby, there's something for everyone.

Buying a home in Laurel just got easier

Easy applications and low rates are waiting for you

Laurel is the place to be if you're looking for some old time charm. With a population of 26,215, this adorable city is not only charming, it’s affordable. Currently, the median sales price per square foot is $178 , much lower than the city's average of $188. Now is the time to buy. With a steadily rising population, low unemployment rates, and festivals that continue to attract crowds, this price is bound to rise alongside the city's growing popularity.Thankfully, Earnest makes loans simple. Whether you are looking for an ARM or a fixed rate, Earnest works with you to target your ideal home price by identifying factors like walkability, commuting time, schools, and other priorities all while evaluating your financial profile.

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Laurel

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.