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Baltimore is waiting for you

The largest city in the state of Maryland, Baltimore is steeped in culture and history. Baltimore is filled with modern and historic apartments, townhouses, and single family homes. The Baltimore area offers an extensive inventory of affordable homes that are perfect for families, couples, and singles alike. Now is an excellent time for those considering purchasing property in this wonderful city. Earnest has even built a simple calculator to help you determine your target price range.

See which corner of Baltimore you could call home

Charm City has room for you, too

Baltimore is chock-full of spacious single-family homes both inland and bordering the Bay. No matter which part of the city you decide to reside, Baltimore makes a great place to live. Take time to investigate comps (recently sold homes) and the property taxes. According to Trulia, the median home sale price in Baltimore during the summer of 2016 was $199,900.

The best deals on homes anywhere in Baltimore

Don't miss out on a grand opportunity to buy a home

Whether you're purchasing a first home, an investment property, or a place to retire, the first step to securing a contract is successfully obtaining a loan. Mortgage rates vary depending on many factors, including the loan purpose, ZIP code, purchase price, down payment, and your credit score. Veterans are also eligible for special rates. When researching Baltimore mortgage rates, make sure to ask your realtor for any discounts you may be eligible for. After gaining pre-approval for a mortgage, it’s time to start looking for your dream home!

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Baltimore

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.