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West River is a magnet for coastal activities

West River is an unincorporated community of just over 2,000 residents in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, located 14 miles outside of Annapolis. It provides breathtaking views of the gorgeous West River waterfront. It is a Mecca for anyone looking for a serene landscape with easy access to beaches and marinas for boating and sailing. It boasts a high quality of life and a low crime rate, making it an ideal home destination for married couples and retirees.

Relax in scenic and serene West River

The perfect coastal getaway for anyone seeking respite

If you're looking for a beautiful waterfront in a small, quiet town, then look no further than West River, Maryland. West River is a six-mile tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, and the surrounding coastal community features upscale waterfront homes, easy access to beaches and marinas, and an active sailing and boating community. The quality of life in West River is higher than the national average, with a low crime rate. Homes in West River can range from condos and single-family homes to luxury homes with gorgeous waterfront vistas, some even including their own private docks or boathouses. Potential homeowners can choose from varying home styles like colonial estates or waterfront cottages. The median sale price for a West River home is around $500,000.

West River: something for everyone

Living in a nature's paradise

West River, Maryland, is a nature lover’s paradise. Its central location provides instant access to the Chesapeake Bay for boating and sailing; the coastline is also a popular destination for birdwatchers, joggers, and bikers. It is an appealing destination for retirees, and it is perfect for young professionals, as many of the residents of West River work in professional office settings or technology-related industries. West River is also an excellent destination for couples looking to settle down and raise families due to its excellent educational record. Students in the Anne Arundel County school district on average score higher on standardized tests than the rest of Maryland. Living in West River means that knowledge of personal and public transportation is essential, as it is about 45 to 60 minutes from major city centers.

Common Questions About Buying a Home in West River

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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