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Catonsville has your future palace

Nestled between the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, house hunters can find charming Catonsville, Maryland. Spread out over just fourteen square miles, Catonsville is a suburb of Baltimore that caters mostly to students of the University of Maryland and the Community College of Baltimore County.

Catonsville has the home you've been looking for

Find your new nest and settle in

Catonsville might be small, but its many museums and attractions--including the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum and the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture at the University of Maryland--have drawn over 41,000 people to the area. Catonsville has a median household income of $73,444 ($1,000 more than the state average) and offers a range of homes for singles, couples, and families alike.

Call Catonsville your new hometown

Live happily ever after in a home that matches your budget

With quaint homes and stylish apartments, you'll find exactly what you're looking for in Catonsville. The median home value is currently $278,600 and expected to increase by 2.1 percent over the next year. The average price per square foot is $196--higher than the Baltimore Metro average of $170 per square foot, but well worth the investment. You won't want to miss out on the chance to call Catonsville home, or to get help from Earnest in finding the ideal mortgage.

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Catonsville

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.