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Gunpowder homes near the state's largest park

Gunpowder offers the best aspects of both urban and rural living. Situated on the Gunpowder Falls State Park and a mere half an hour drive from downtown Baltimore, this town is both remote and near the center of everything. Named for the Gunpowder River that winds inland from the western edge of the Chesapeake Bay, this area benefits from the lush greenery and thick woodlands throughout Gunpowder Falls, Maryland's largest state park.

Lush park landscapes in Gunpowder

Discover beautiful views and rolling rivers

Gunpowder, Maryland is known for the expansive state park that takes up 28.12 square miles on the western edge of the Chesapeake Bay. Comprised of four smaller state parks, Gunpowder's sprawling 18,000 square acres lie just half an hour east of Baltimore. The park is home to many historic sites, countless trails, and numerous rivers, making it the perfect place for lovers of the outdoors. Baltimore is just a short drive away. Because of the easy accessibility to the amenities of the city, Gunpowder is a great location for people seeking a quieter, natural lifestyle as well as the benefits of a large metropolis.

Home to history and outdoor adventure

Discover hiking and kayaking along with a historic village in Gunpowder

With a wealth of natural splendor in Gunpowder, opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and swimming abound. Take in the picturesque sights throughout the state park all year long. The true attraction of the park, however, is the nearly seven-mile long Gunpowder River that is created by Gunpowder Falls and Little Gunpowder Falls in Joppatowne. For those who are less inclined to outdoor adventures, there are still many activities available. The Historic Jerusalem Mill Village is a living history destination within the park. Based on a village from the late 1700s, it’s the perfect place for families and history buffs to discover Maryland's colonial history and the lifestyle of its former residents.

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Gunpowder

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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