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Bowie: the place to settle down

Bowie is an upscale neighborhood located in the heart of Maryland. With many types of homes and countless attractions, Bowie offers the perfect opportunity to settle down and enjoy a slower pace of life. According to Zillow, homes are currently selling for an average of $324,200, with a predicted rise of 3.4 percent in the next year. With this in mind, now is the perfect time to buy and settle down in this safe and peaceful town.

Now is the time to buy

Everything you should know about buying a home in Bowie

Bowie's population of 56,335 is up 4.9 percent from last year. With all the attractions Bowie has to offer, this comes as no surprise. Now is one of the best times to buy a home in Bowie: House prices are up 4.7 percent this year--selling for an average of $324,200--and are predicted to rise by another 3.4 percent over the next year. The average homebuyer should look to pay around $160 per square foot for their house. While these figures may be higher than the state average, the Bowie community offers a wealth of options to suit every budget, and the cost of living index (133.3) is substantially higher than the overall U.S. average (100). So, yes, living in Bowie is slightly expensive. But its many amenities and excellent location represent a great investment for buyers looking ahead to the future.

Relax and unwind in Bowie

History, schools, families, and seniors

Founded in 1916, Bowie is currently celebrating its centennial anniversary. The town prides itself on a rich historic and cultural heritage. With its many historic sites, including the Belair Mansion and the National Capital Radio and Television Museum, Bowie offers a diverse list of family-friendly activities. Bowie also has some of the best schools in Maryland; the community notably offers a youth leadership program to high school students. With the average resident between the ages of 45 and 54, the town has taken steps to engage every member of its community. A senior transit program provides transportation to the Senior Center, medical appointments, scheduled shopping locations, and senior clubs, as well as other locations on a priority basis.

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Bowie

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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