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Beginning a new chapter in Eckhart Mines

Located in the Northwest corner of Maryland, Eckhart Mines is a 2-hour drive to Pittsburgh, Baltimore and a 2.5-hour drive to Annapolis and Washington D.C.. Bordering on towns such as Frostburg, Mount Savage, and La Vale, there is always something to do or new places to explore.

Eckhart Mines is historic, modern, and peaceful

An environment that is simple, yet atypical

Named after George Eckhart, a German immigrant, Eckhart Mines was once the center of the coal industry. However, the town still hints at its rural past with an older style of homes mixed in with the new. Families looking to settle down, or newlywed couples looking to begin their family have ample education routes. Eckhart Mines is part of the Allegany County Public School District which boasts 18 elementary, 20 middle, and 6 high schools. Alternatively, there are a 8 private elementary, 8 private middle, and 5 private high schools in the area as well. Approximately 950 students are enrolled in private school, the largest private school being Bishop Walsh School in Cumberland, Maryland (about a 15 minute drive). The median home income is higher than the national average at 70,544 and 10 percent of residents have a Bachelor's Degree.

The homebuying process

Mortgage talk isn't for everyone

Purchasing a home is not something to be done lightly, but hopefully it doesn't have to be done stressfully. Earnest helps keep this process running smooth and simple by taking many of the hassles out of it. They work with homebuyers, experienced and beginner, to help identify their main priorities, such as proximity to schools, daily commute time, crime rate, and area walkability. In addition, Earnest will analyze your unique financial profile in order to determine a target home price that's perfect for you and your needs.

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Eckhart Mines

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.