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Get ready to call Westminster your new home

Find your place in the thriving cultural atmosphere of Westminster, Maryland. It is located just outside Baltimore and is only a few hours from Washington D.C. Located in the 9th largest school district in MD, education is a priority. There are many home options from sprawling mansions with lots of land to cozy cottages, there's something for everyone. It's also currently a buyers market in Westminster, so now is the time to invest in the home of your future, and with Earnest's help it's easy!

Westminster is where you'll want to be year round

Apple picking, vineyards and the arts make Westminster special

From wineries to windmills, Westminster is a unique town full of fun. There are annual festivals in Westminster including the Maryland Wine Festival and Art in the Park. There is also a flight school in Westminster for those adventurous folk! The most walkable neighborhoods in Westminster are Southeast Westminster, Trendon and Frankline Square, and Central Westminster. With a population of 18,670 the town is the perfect size for someone who wants to be around people, but not live in a crowded area.

Buying a home in Westminster can be stress free

Earnest can help with your transition to your new home

Choosing the perfect house and figuring out the process in any new area can be stressful. With so many steps and boxes to check, you'll want some ease in the process. The good news is Earnest is here to help you out! Earnest is helpful for both first time home buyers and those looking to refinance their homes. According to Zillow, the median listing price in Westminster is $300,000, meaning there are multiple homes above this price and multiple below this price, so there will be a home meant for whichever number you'd like to spend on your new home. The price has stabilized the past year and is expected to stay at this price before possibly rising or falling, so you should begin your house hunt now. Earnest is here to help with your process whether you're planning on moving in the next few months or over the course of next year!

Common Questions About Buying a Home in Westminster

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.