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Buying a house in Kensington begins here

Located just outside of Washington, D.C., Kensington is referred to as a “Victorian-era garden suburb.” With a story dating back to 1689 and over 500,000 houses built before 1939, Kensington is a stunning neighborhood. Surrounded by beautiful foliage and maintained gardens, your days are bound to be filled with breathtaking views. Kensington's average home price has risen 2.8 percent over the last year. Earnest wants to help you purchase yours today, before prices increase further.

Make history in Kensington

Parks, gardens, and a farmer’s market

With over seven protected parks, a children’s library, and a train station, Kensington is a haven for families and retirees. Designated as “Tree City USA” for its beautiful landscape, Kensington is a safe town full of rich history and outdoor beauty. Whether you hop on the train to D.C., visit the local farmer’s market, or spend your time learning the history and culture of the town, learning never ceases in Kensington. Houses in Kensington hold true to the Victorian style, with beautiful finishes and quality craftsmanship. With gracious backyards and spacious floor plans, you're bound to fall in love with this unique town. With a population of 2,213 and private and public school options, there’s never been a better place to raise a family and create your own history.

Make history buying in Kensington

The low rates you deserve

With all of the beautiful housing options in Kensington, buying a home can be a bit overwhelming. Browsing websites, visiting opening houses, and comparing neighborhoods take time, meaning the process can easily get delayed. In order to help you, Earnest identifies your priorities—walkability, commute time, proximity to trains, etc.—and reviews your finances, taking into account your desired home price. With the median house value rising $364,641 since 2000, investing in a home in Kensington has never been a better idea.

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Kensington

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.