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Galena glows with small town charm

Galena is a small town on the Eastern shore of Maryland, located in Kent County. Founded in 1763, Galena boasts a rich history of silver mining, in fact, the town is named after a type of silver that was found in the short-lived mining operation in 1813. Full of community and local businesses, it is ideal for young professionals.

Galena loves locals

Grow your business

The small, suburban town of Galena, Maryland has a population of just over 800, with a cost of living that is below the national average. Galena is located in Kent County, on the eastern shore, which is Maryland's least populous county. It boasts classic American architecture and scenic vistas of the Sassafras River. Galena places emphasis on local businesses and their customers. Galena is an isolated small town away from the hustle and bustle of the city. However, it is only about a 45-minute drive to various city centers, so it’s a great place for young professionals, married couples, and new families. Additionally, Galena has many charming shops and local businesses, making it an ideal spot for entrepreneurs.

Galena: a place for work and play

How to get here and there

Galena, located on Maryland's eastern shore, is an affordable city perfect for young professionals looking to settle down and raise a family. Galena’s proximity to larger cities makes it a smart place to live while working in the city, but with the ability to return home and enjoy a respite from the city. A mode of transportation is essential. Not looking to travel too far for work? Galena is also known for its local flavor and flourishing independent businesses. The quiet city has plenty of office spaces in its business park, which is conveniently located in the heart of town. Galena also has a thriving youth culture and antique shops, music festivals, hiking trails, historic landmarks, and more. Let Earnest help you choose the perfect place in Galena to live, work, and play!

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Galena

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.