Known for blue crabs and seafood, Maryland has a population of around 6 million and is located in the mid-section on the east coast. Maryland is a dynamic state with big cities like Baltimore, proximity to D.C., and a robust economy. While some parts of the state struggle such as Baltimore, many other places have healthy economies and housing markets. The state continues to grow, and so does the demand for houses, making supply a slight concern. While some places are expensive, especially near D.C., there are many affordable areas within the state.
The current median home price in Maryland is $272,400. This is a good bit above the national average of $200,000. For many areas in the state there is a high demand for housing, and the market faces a supply problem. Prices are going up as well. Places like Prince Georges county saw prices go up by as much as 10 percent in 2017. Generally, places closer to D.C. are more expensive. High housing costs are exacerbated by high cost of construction labor and high land costs.
Maryland does have many affordable locations, however. Towns such as Cumberland, Hagerstown, Frostburg, Aberdeen, and Frederick have been ranked as among the most affordable.
The Baltimore area is especially cheap for a city of its size; however, the city has been plagued by high crime and urban decay for many years. Trends highlighted in The Wire remain in place to this day.
Maryland has experienced a decent rebound from the last recession and the housing market is growing, but many residents still struggle. According to an article by the Baltimore Sun, wage growth has been modests, rents are increasing faster, and home ownership is low. The state's homeownership rate peaked at 72.6% in 2006 and has slid almost every year since, to a level of 66.5% in 2017.
However, Maryland outshines many other places in the country in terms of post-recession growth. According to the same article, the state's median income in 2014 was $20,000 higher than the national average, and its poverty rate was 10.1 percent while the average was 15.5%.
Maryland had a growing housing market leading up to the recession. During the recession, some communities were hit harder than others and after the recession some areas have not fared as well as others. According to an article by ggwash.org, homes inside Maryland's beltway such as Silver Springs and Takoma Park have far superseded pre-recession levels, while homes outside the beltway such as Wheaton and Four Corners have not made as much of a comeback, and some still have not recovered their value.
|MD Rank||US Rank||Metropolitan Area||2016 Pop||2010 Pop||Change||% △|
|1||6||Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area||6,131,977||5,636,232||495,745||8.80%|
|2||7||Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD Metro Area||6,070,500||5,965,343||105,157||1.76%|
|4||135||Salisbury, MD-DE Metro Area||400,200||373,802||26,398||7.06%|
|5||183||Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV Metro Area||263,817||251,599||12,218||4.86%|
|7||384||Cumberland, MD-WV Metro Area||99,541||103,299||-3,758||-3.64%|
Baltimore is Maryland's most populous city, with a population of around 621,849. Despite being known for its high crime and poverty rates, the city is still home to many businesses and offers a plethora of attractions. The city is the cultural capital of the state and the most popular travel destination. Known as the “Charm City,” Baltimore is steeped in history and has both an east coast and southern charm.
Baltimore is home to professional sports teams such as the Ravens who play at M&T Stadium and the Orioles who play at Camden Yards. Other attractions include the Maryland Zoo, Federal Hill Park, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to professional sports teams such as the Ravens and the Orioles, Baltimore is home to many other teams. The Baltimore Blast are a soccer team that play in the Major Arena Soccer League, and the Baltimore Blues are a rugby team that compete in the USA Rugby league.
The city is known for blue crabs, crab cakes, locally produced Old Bay Seasoning, pit beef, among others. Baltimore's Little Italy is also a notable culinary destination. The Baltimore Public Market System is the oldest public market system in the country, dating back to 1751.
The city is home to several colleges, most notable being Johns Hopkins University, ranked as one of the best in the nation. John Hopkins contains the George Peabody library, considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world. Other colleges include Loyola University Maryland and Notre Dame of Maryland University.
The top employers in the city include Johns Hopkins Hospital, Under Armor, McCormick & Company, and T. Rowe Price. The city and its surrounding area is also home to a growing tech industry. The Port of Baltimore and tourism are also major employers in the city. However, Baltimore ranks high in unemployment and much of the city's population lives at or below the poverty line.
The median home price in Baltimore is around $123,000 – far below the national average and the average for Maryland. Baltimore has had consistently high crime rates for years, and murder rates which are astronomical for a city of its size. According to neighborhoodscout.com, the safest neighborhoods in Baltimore are: Stoneleigh/Yorktown, Pinehurst/Rogers Forge, Charlcote Rd/ Millbrook Rd, and Summit Park.
Columbia is Maryland's second largest city with a population of 103,467. It is a planned community, founded in 1967.
The homeowner's association manages many of the recreational activities in the city. It manages water parks, miniature golf, pavilions, and athletic clubs. Columbia's bars bring in a variety of live music acts. The Merriweather Post Pavilion is the most notable venue for hosting musical acts.
The Federal government provides many jobs in the city such as the Department of Defense and National Security Agency. Columbia is home to companies such as PetMeds, MICROS Systems, and Integral Systems, among others.
The median home price in Columbia is $337,000 or $203 per square foot. The city has a high proportion of educated and high-income individuals.
The third largest town in Maryland, Germantown has a population of 90,676. The BlackRock Center for the Arts is one of the main entertainment venues in the town. The venue sponsors the Germantown Oktoberfest, a celebration of German culture, with cultural foods and music. The Maryland SoccerPlex is also located in Germantown, and is a major venue for prominent soccer teams in state.
The town has seen major growth since the 1980's, and has become increasingly urbanized. Many high tech companies such as Library Systems and Services, Qiagen North America, Earth Network System Inc., and Hughes Network Systems have headquarters in the area. Other large companies with offices in the area include Xerox, Wabtec, WeatherBug, and General Electric Aviation.
According to data compiled from trulia.com, the average home price in Germantown is around $290,000 or $211 per square foot.
Silver Spring is Maryland's fourth most populated city, with a population of 76,716. The town is located 6.2 miles North of Washington, D.C.
The city has an active entertainment scene with several venues hosting bands, music festivals, ethnic festivals, and film festivals. The AFI Docs documentary film festival is held every year downtown and is hosted by Discovery Communications and the American Film Institute. The Silver Spring Jazz Festival is also a popular event, drawing thousands of people each year. The jazz festival hosts notable bands/acts like Wynton Marsalis, Mingus Big Band, Aaron Neville, local artists, and a battle of high school jazz bands.
The American Film Institute Silver Theatre and Cultural Center located in the town plays modern art-house films, classic films, independent films, and foreign films. The theatre is run by the American Film Institute.
The median home price in Silver Springs is $388,800, which exceeds both the state and national averages. Part of the reason for its high home values is the town's proximity to DC, which is one of the most expensive places in the nation.
Bethesda is a census-designated place with a population of around 63,374 people. Located in Southern Maryland, close to Washington, D.C., it has been ranked among the nation's most educated towns by publications such as Forbes and Time.
Bethesda is a well-educated and desirable suburb close to D.C., and its home prices correspond to that. According to Trulia, the median home price in the town is $849,900 or $476 per square foot.
Many residents commute into D.C. for work, but there are many large corporations based in the town. These include companies such as Lockheed Martin, Marriott International, Ritz Carlton, Coventry Health Care, Calvert Investment, among many others.
Annapolis is another popular location in Maryland for people to reside with 39,418 residents.
The city has plenty of history dating back to the Revolutionary War, when it served as the new nation’s capital. The city is the Maryland state capital and has more buildings still standing from the revolutionary period than any other city in the United States. Annapolis is also known as the home of the United States Naval Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy Museum & St. John's College.
The Banneker-Douglass Museum is a famous historical African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Both Baltimore and Annapolis are quite close to Washington D.C., the nation’s capital.
In 2016 70,060 residents lived in the city of Frederick, which is a part of the Baltimore-Washington metro area. Many people commute to these cities for work. Fort Detrick is a US Army medical command which is the leading employer in the city.
On the First Saturday of each month there is a downtown entertainment event. The city also has a lively arts seen with around a dozen art galleries downtown. The Frederick Symphony Orchestra performs 5 times annually.
The Maryland Ensemble Theatre is a local professional theater company which has performed since April of 1993. They are located near both the Weinberg Center for the Arts and the Cultural Arts Center. The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center is a local art nonprofit which has served the community since 1986.
The three counties of southern Maryland has been growing the faster than counties in the rest of the state. Montgomery County, the state’s most populous county, is projected to experience accelerating growth throughout the remainder of the decade.
Cities like Gaithersburg and Bowie are among Maryland’s fastest growing population areas. These cities have been growing due to their prime location between other major urban areas like Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Annapolis.
According to the United States Census an estimated 6,016,447 people live in the state of New Jersey. The state has 9,707.24 mi² of land area, which gave it a population density of 619.79 per mi². Here is a list of cities, towns, villages & Census Designated Places with more than 2,500 residents, with their estimated population as of June 2016 & the 2010 United States Census. For Census Designated Places (CDP) where there was no population estimate available for 2016 the 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates data was used.
All table columns are sortable. Click on the column headers to sort by that column. Click again to sort low to high. Cities with higher levels of population growth typically see the increased demand drive faster real estate price appreciation.
|Rank||Geography||County||2016 Pop||2010 Pop||Change||% △||Land mi²||Pop Den mi²|
|Silver Spring CDP||Montgomery||77,460||71,452||6,008||8.41%||7.92||9,780.30|
|Glen Burnie CDP||Anne Arundel||68,550||67,639||911||1.35%||17.32||3,957.85|
|Ellicott City CDP||Howard||68,513||65,834||2,679||4.07%||29.96||2,286.82|
|Aspen Hill CDP||Montgomery||52,607||48,759||3,848||7.89%||9.62||5,468.50|
|North Bethesda CDP||Montgomery||48,818||43,828||4,990||11.39%||8.85||5,516.16|
|Severn CDP||Anne Arundel||47,432||44,231||3,201||7.24%||17.71||2,678.26|
|Bel Air South CDP||Harford||46,955||47,709||-754||-1.58%||15.67||2,996.49|
|Clinton CDP||Prince George's||39,336||35,970||3,366||9.36%||25||1,573.44|
|Odenton CDP||Anne Arundel||38,374||37,132||1,242||3.34%||14.78||2,596.35|
|Severna Park CDP||Anne Arundel||38,364||37,634||730||1.94%||16.49||2,326.50|
|Chillum CDP||Prince George's||37,150||33,513||3,637||10.85%||3.41||10,894.43|
|Owings Mills CDP||Baltimore||33,732||30,622||3,110||10.16%||9.54||3,535.85|
|Montgomery Village CDP||Montgomery||33,337||32,032||1,305||4.07%||4||8,334.25|
|8||College Park||Prince George's||32,275||30,413||1,862||6.12%||5.64||5,722.52|
|Bel Air North CDP||Harford||31,871||30,568||1,303||4.26%||16.06||1,984.50|
|Milford Mill CDP||Baltimore||30,085||29,042||1,043||3.59%||6.94||4,335.01|
|Perry Hall CDP||Baltimore||28,633||28,474||159||0.56%||6.97||4,108.03|
|Crofton CDP||Anne Arundel||27,934||27,348||586||2.14%||6.61||4,226.02|
|South Laurel CDP||Prince George's||26,394||26,112||282||1.08%||8.15||3,238.53|
|Pasadena CDP||Anne Arundel||25,895||24,287||1,608||6.62%||14.94||1,733.27|
|Middle River CDP||Baltimore||25,816||25,191||625||2.48%||7.78||3,318.25|
|North Potomac CDP||Montgomery||24,087||24,410||-323||-1.32%||6.52||3,694.33|
|Suitland CDP||Prince George's||23,824||25,825||-2,001||-7.75%||4.25||5,605.65|
|Fort Washington CDP||Prince George's||23,611||23,717||-106||-0.45%||13.79||1,712.18|
|Landover CDP||Prince George's||23,218||23,078||140||0.61%||4.07||5,704.67|
|Arnold CDP||Anne Arundel||22,574||23,106||-532||-2.30%||10.82||2,086.32|
|North Laurel CDP||Howard||22,217||4,474||17,743||396.58%||1.23||18,062.60|
|Langley Park CDP||Prince George's||21,049||18,755||2,294||12.23%||0.99||21,261.62|
|Camp Springs CDP||Prince George's||20,339||19,096||1,243||6.51%||7.69||2,644.86|
|Lake Shore CDP||Anne Arundel||19,375||19,477||-102||-0.52%||13.45||1,440.52|
|Calverton CDP||Montgomery & Prince George's||18,747||17,724||1,023||5.77%||4.6||4,075.43|
|Ferndale CDP||Anne Arundel||18,612||16,746||1,866||11.14%||3.98||4,676.38|
|Ballenger Creek CDP||Frederick||18,490||18,274||216||1.18%||10.82||1,708.87|
|Oxon Hill CDP||Prince George's||18,437||17,722||715||4.03%||6.62||2,785.05|
|Beltsville CDP||Prince George's||18,306||16,772||1,534||9.15%||7.16||2,556.70|
|White Oak CDP||Montgomery||17,975||17,403||572||3.29%||3.78||4,755.29|
|Seabrook CDP||Prince George's||17,839||17,287||552||3.19%||3.02||5,906.95|
|Glassmanor CDP||Prince George's||17,552||17,295||257||1.49%||2.35||7,468.94|
|Maryland City CDP||Anne Arundel||17,060||16,093||967||6.01%||7.74||2,204.13|
|Parole CDP||Anne Arundel||16,764||15,922||842||5.29%||10.27||1,632.33|
|East Riverdale CDP||Prince George's||16,242||15,509||733||4.73%||1.62||10,025.93|
|Adelphi CDP||Prince George's||15,547||15,086||461||3.06%||2.74||5,674.09|
|Hillcrest Heights CDP||Prince George's||15,383||16,469||-1,086||-6.59%||2.49||6,177.91|
|Brooklyn Park CDP||Anne Arundel||14,042||14,373||-331||-2.30%||4.2||3,343.33|
|19||Havre de Grace||Harford||13,527||12,952||575||4.44%||5.5||2,459.45|
|Riviera Beach CDP||Anne Arundel||13,466||12,677||789||6.22%||2.63||5,120.15|
|Kettering CDP||Prince George's||13,195||12,790||405||3.17%||5.5||2,399.09|
|Glenn Dale CDP||Prince George's||13,108||13,466||-358||-2.66%||7.12||1,841.01|
|21||New Carrollton||Prince George's||12,868||12,135||733||6.04%||1.53||8,410.46|
|Lexington Park CDP||St. Mary's||12,642||11,626||1,016||8.74%||5.62||2,249.47|
|Summerfield CDP||Prince George's||12,403||10,898||1,505||13.81%||3.63||3,416.80|
|Kemp Mill CDP||Montgomery||12,285||12,564||-279||-2.22%||2.54||4,836.61|
|California CDP||St. Mary's||12,228||11,857||371||3.13%||12.78||956.81|
|Mays Chapel CDP||Baltimore||11,774||11,420||354||3.10%||3.71||3,173.58|
|Accokeek CDP||Prince George's||11,617||10,573||1,044||9.87%||27.43||423.51|
|Rosaryville CDP||Prince George's||11,348||10,697||651||6.09%||9.18||1,236.17|
|Forestville CDP||Prince George's||11,298||12,353||-1,055||-8.54%||3.92||2,882.14|
|Walker Mill CDP||Prince George's||11,293||11,302||-9||-0.08%||3.16||3,573.73|
|Annapolis Neck CDP||Anne Arundel||11,084||10,950||134||1.22%||6.95||1,594.82|
|Ocean Pines CDP||Worcester||11,025||11,710||-685||-5.85%||6.66||1,655.41|
|Largo CDP||Prince George's||11,015||10,709||306||2.86%||3.06||3,599.67|
|Lanham CDP||Prince George's||10,967||10,157||810||7.97%||3.53||3,106.80|
|Linthicum CDP||Anne Arundel||10,699||10,324||375||3.63%||5.46||1,959.52|
|Brock Hall CDP||Prince George's||10,635||9,552||1,083||11.34%||13.61||781.41|
|Mitchellville CDP||Prince George's||10,475||10,967||-492||-4.49%||5.05||2,074.26|
|Marlboro Village CDP||Prince George's||10,457||9,438||1,019||10.80%||3.86||2,709.07|
|Lake Arbor CDP||Prince George's||10,414||9,776||638||6.53%||3.01||3,459.80|
|Fort Meade CDP||Anne Arundel||10,137||9,327||810||8.68%||8.1||1,251.48|
|Chesapeake Ranch Estates CDP||Calvert||10,111||10,519||-408||-3.88%||4.32||2,340.51|
|Coral Hills CDP||Prince George's||9,842||9,895||-53||-0.54%||1.5||6,561.33|
|White Marsh CDP||Baltimore||9,797||9,513||284||2.99%||5.31||1,845.01|
|North Kensington CDP||Montgomery||9,768||9,514||254||2.67%||1.53||6,384.31|
|Friendly CDP||Prince George's||9,708||9,250||458||4.95%||4.88||1,989.34|
|Edgewater CDP||Anne Arundel||9,583||9,023||560||6.21%||2.99||3,205.02|
|Chevy Chase CDP||Montgomery||9,450||9,545||-95||-1.00%||2.39||3,953.97|
|Marlton CDP||Prince George's||9,391||9,031||360||3.99%||5.94||1,580.98|
|23||Mount Airy||Carroll & Frederick||9,374||9,288||86||0.93%||4.12||2,275.24|
|Brandywine CDP||Prince George's||9,309||6,719||2,590||38.55%||21.01||443.07|
|Leisure World CDP||Montgomery||9,227||8,749||478||5.46%||1.09||8,465.14|
|Cape St. Claire CDP||Anne Arundel||8,862||8,747||115||1.31%||2||4,431.00|
|Mayo CDP||Anne Arundel||8,779||8,298||481||5.80%||5.62||1,562.10|
|27||Mount Rainier||Prince George's||8,455||8,080||375||4.64%||0.65||13,007.69|
|Four Corners CDP||Montgomery||8,421||7,945||476||5.99%||1.46||5,767.81|
|South Kensington CDP||Montgomery||8,394||8,462||-68||-0.80%||2.08||4,035.58|
|Temple Hills CDP||Prince George's||8,023||7,852||171||2.18%||1.41||5,690.07|
|Woodlawn CDP||Prince George's||7,973||6,334||1,639||25.88%||1.16||6,873.28|
|Baltimore Highlands CDP||Baltimore||7,703||7,019||684||9.74%||1.73||4,452.60|
|Jessup CDP||Anne Arundel & Howard||7,671||7,137||534||7.48%||5.25||1,461.14|
|Bryans Road CDP||Charles||7,458||7,244||214||2.95%||15.38||484.92|
|Forest Glen CDP||Montgomery||7,374||6,582||792||12.03%||1.03||7,159.22|
|Westphalia CDP||Prince George's||7,349||7,266||83||1.14%||13.27||553.81|
|29||Riverdale Park||Prince George's||7,304||6,956||348||5.00%||1.65||4,426.67|
|Shady Side CDP||Anne Arundel||6,440||5,803||637||10.98%||6.76||952.66|
|Stevensville CDP||Queen Anne's||6,372||6,803||-431||-6.34%||6.44||989.44|
|Bowleys Quarters CDP||Baltimore||6,124||6,755||-631||-9.34%||3.15||1,944.13|
|36||District Heights||Prince George's||6,017||5,837||180||3.08%||0.93||6,469.89|
|Hillandale CDP||Montgomery & Prince George's||5,936||6,043||-107||-1.77%||2.06||2,881.55|
|Spring Ridge CDP||Frederick||5,899||5,795||104||1.79%||2.64||2,234.47|
|Fountainhead-Orchard Hills CDP||Washington||5,737||5,666||71||1.25%||4.41||1,300.91|
|Fairwood CDP||Prince George's||5,707||5,031||676||13.44%||3.72||1,534.14|
|Ashton-Sandy Spring CDP||Montgomery||5,684||5,628||56||1.00%||10.27||553.46|
|Marlow Heights CDP||Prince George's||5,676||5,618||58||1.03%||2.03||2,796.06|
|Naval Academy CDP||Anne Arundel||5,630||4,802||828||17.24%||0.55||10,236.36|
|Silver Hill CDP||Prince George's||5,182||5,950||-768||-12.91%||1.34||3,867.16|
|Deale CDP||Anne Arundel||5,095||4,945||150||3.03%||5.29||963.14|
|Chester CDP||Queen Anne's||4,952||4,167||785||18.84%||5.09||972.89|
|Friendship Heights Village CDP||Montgomery||4,872||4,698||174||3.70%||0.06||81,200.00|
|Peppermill Village CDP||Prince George's||4,785||4,895||-110||-2.25%||0.75||6,380.00|
|43||Seat Pleasant||Prince George's||4,769||4,542||227||5.00%||0.73||6,532.88|
|West Ocean City CDP||Worcester||4,554||4,375||179||4.09%||3.78||1,204.76|
|48||Capitol Heights||Prince George's||4,545||4,337||208||4.80%||0.8||5,681.25|
|West Laurel CDP||Prince George's||4,388||4,230||158||3.74%||2.28||1,924.56|
|Woodmore CDP||Prince George's||3,911||3,936||-25||-0.64%||6.55||597.10|
|National Harbor CDP||Prince George's||3,837||3,788||49||1.29%||1.45||2,646.21|
|Riva CDP||Anne Arundel||3,817||4,076||-259||-6.35%||2.46||1,551.63|
|Marlboro Meadows CDP||Prince George's||3,657||3,672||-15||-0.41%||6.09||600.49|
|Pleasant Hills CDP||Harford||3,555||3,379||176||5.21%||4.36||815.37|
|Golden Beach CDP||St. Mary's||3,380||3,796||-416||-10.96%||3.78||894.18|
|Grasonville CDP||Queen Anne's||3,349||3,425||-76||-2.22%||5.52||606.70|
|56||Berwyn Heights||Prince George's||3,275||3,123||152||4.87%||0.69||4,746.38|
|La Vale CDP||Allegany||3,265||3,551||-286||-8.05%||2.67||1,222.85|
|Prince Frederick CDP||Calvert||3,240||2,538||702||27.66%||3.66||885.25|
|Andrews AFB CDP||Prince George's||3,226||2,973||253||8.51%||6.92||466.18|
|St. James CDP||Washington||3,160||2,953||207||7.01%||6.04||523.18|
|Drum Point CDP||Calvert||3,149||2,731||418||15.31%||1.66||1,896.99|
|Croom CDP||Prince George's||3,107||2,631||476||18.09%||34.19||90.87|
|Springdale CDP||Prince George's||2,992||2,994||-2||-0.07%||0.81||3,693.83|
|Braddock Heights CDP||Frederick||2,831||2,608||223||8.55%||4.69||603.62|
|Melwood CDP||Prince George's||2,763||3,051||-288||-9.44%||2.82||979.79|
|Herald Harbor CDP||Anne Arundel||2,726||2,603||123||4.73%||1.68||1,622.62|
|66||University Park||Prince George's||2,659||2,548||111||4.36%||0.5||5,318.00|
|Paramount-Long Meadow CDP||Washington||2,605||2,571||34||1.32%||2.18||1,194.95|
|Gambrills CDP||Anne Arundel||2,583||2,800||-217||-7.75%||7.6||339.87|
|67||Forest Heights||Prince George's||2,577||2,447||130||5.31%||0.48||5,368.75|
Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division
Release Date: May 2017.
As of 2018 the conforming loan limit across the United States is set to $453,100, with a ceiling of 150% that amount in areas where median home values are higher. Loans above these limits are considered jumbo loans. Jumbo loans typically have a slightly higher rate of interest than conforming mortgages, though spreads vary based on credit market conditions. The following are HERA high-cost area across the state.
|County||Metropolitan Designation||1 Unit Limit||2 Unit Limit||3 Unit Limit||4 Unit Limit|
|Anne Arundel||Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Md||$517,500||$662,500||$800,800||$995,200|
|Baltimore City||Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Md||$517,500||$662,500||$800,800||$995,200|
|Prince George's||Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, Dc-Va-||$679,650||$870,225||$1,051,875||$1,307,175|
|Queen Anne's||Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Md||$517,500||$662,500||$800,800||$995,200|
Several different types of home loans are available in the Free State. Fixed-rate loans are very common, and the terms include thirty, twenty, fifteen, and ten years. The longer the life of the mortgage, the lower the monthly payment will be, which is why the 30-year loan is the most popular. The downside of this, however, is that the APR is higher compared to shorter-term loans. The difference can be as large as a full percentage point.
In addition to conventional 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, lenders offer a wide variety of adjustable rate mortgages (ARM’s). While these instruments have lost some of their attractiveness during the recession, there are still circumstances where they offer the only way for a borrower to qualify. Properly structured (that is, with strict limits on how much the rate can fluctuate), such loans are still a legitimate way for borrowers to purchase a home and start building equity while establishing their credit so as to qualify for conventional loans upon the ARM’s expiration. These loans provide interest rates that fluctuate, as the name implies. The APR is usually fixed for an initial term, such as three, five, seven or ten years. Then the rate adjusts depending on the performance of a referenced index rate, usually once per year; but it can change more frequently. The loan agreement may state in detail how frequently the APR can change, and it may also include a rate cap to prevent large changes.
Balloon mortgages are another route for aspiring homeowners. Balloon mortgages are when a large portion of the borrowed principle is repaid in a single payment at the end of the loan period. Balloon loans are not common for most residential buyers, but are more common for commercial loans and people with significant financial assets.
A few lenders in the state offer interest-only loans, but usually only for periods of three years. These are mortgages where payments are applied only to interest for a period of time. The loan's principal isn't paid down, so the monthly payments are very low. The low monthly payments only lasts a few years, however. Typically, it's about three years. After this period, monthly payments spike because the loan's principal hasn't been reduced & the remainder of the loan must be paid off in a compressed period of time. For example, on a 3 year IO 30-year loan, the first 3 years are interest only payments, then the loan principal must be paid in full in the subsequent 27 years.
When qualifying for a loan, a credit score of 720 or better can help secure a favorable loan. Some mortgage lenders in strong markets have approved borrowers with credit scores around 640. The best rates and deals will be obtained with a score above 740. There is a lot of competition among lenders, and this environment can create nice perks for borrowers. For example, some banks will offer special deals on closing costs for borrowers who qualify. The cost might be added to the mortgage or the bank will pay the closing costs but add a few basis points to the APR.
A debt-to-income ratio of 40% and a down payment of 20% are what most banks want to see on a home loan application. They will accept worse numbers, but fees and APR's could go up as a result. Also, a down payment of less than 20% typically results in required mortgage insurance. This down payment requirement does not apply for Federal assistance programs such as FHA, in which applicants can have a lower credit score and income but still receive financing.
The piggyback loan is another type of mortgage which is simply two mortgages in one. The piggyback loan can eliminate the need for private mortgage insurance by covering 80% of the home's value with the first loan, while the second loan helps to pay for part of the down payment.
Prospective home buyers who don't find what they're looking for at one of the state's private banks may want to take a look at some of the mortgage options the federal government offers. One of them is the loan program at the Veterans Administration, which provides mortgages with zero down. On top of that great deal, VA loans do not require private mortgage insurance. The agency does, however, charge a funding fee, and this varies from 1.2% to 3.3%. Making a voluntary down payment will reduce this charge. And in case you're wondering, yes you do have to be a qualified veteran to get one of these unbeatable deals.
If you're not a vet, you may want to consider the Federal Housing Administration's home loan services. The FHA offers loans to people who have a credit score of at least 580 and who can put at least 3.5% down. The government agency also offers mortgages for lower credit scores, but it requires more money down with these loans.
USDA loans can help people with low incomes in rural parts of the state qualify for a subsidized low-interest loan. Given the low population density throughout most of the state, most areas qualify.
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development offers a variaety of assistance programs including the Maryland Mortgage Program. Some options include:
People buying properties in Baltimore they plan to rehab may want to check out Healthy Neighborhoods to explore low-interest mortgages with no insurance premiums. The GBBR shared a number of other programs which apply to people living in Baltimore City or Baltimore County.
The Housing Choice Voucher Program offers to subsidize the rent of low income individuals. To qualify, the applicant must have an income that is fifty percent or less of the area median income. The MD Housing Search website helps people find housing that suits them and offers a twenty four hour hotline to answer housing related questions and concerns.
Homeowner's insurance policies typically cover financial damages from most natural disasters other than flooding & earthquakes. The state has a very low risk of earthquakes. All other natural disasters are covered below.
Much of the state of Maryland has a substantial flooding risk. Here are the counties where the risk of flooding or hurricane storm surges are above very low.
Homeowner's insurance policies typically do not cover flooding.
Home buyers with mortgages in high-risk areas are required to buy flood insurance. Most flood insurance policies are sold by the United States federal government through The National Flood Insurance Program. Under-priced flood insurance in high-risk areas act as a subsidy to wealthy homeowners.
The NFIP does not charge nearly enough to cover the expected costs of its liabilities. The assessments are not sufficient to build any buffer to cover an extraordinary year, such as what occurred with Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Because homeowners dont incur the full cost of building in a flood zone we end up with more houses there than if homeowners incurred the full cost of the flood risk, which exacerbates the governments costs in the next disaster.
Typically, homes built after 2002, when building code regulations tightened, are subject to lower insurance rates than older homes. On the other hand, homes without hurricane straps, with roofs that do not meet current standards for wind, with older plumbing or with outdated electrical systems may be difficult or very expensive to insure.
Homeowners who live in lower risk areas & are not required to purchase flood insurance heavily cross-subsidize homeowners who are in areas where floods are more common.
Most of the western portion of the state is considered to have a moderate tornado risk. Here is a list of counties with a risk above very low.
Most of the state has a very low risk of wildfires, while Dorchester county has a moderate risk & Somerset county has a high risk.
Most of the state has a very low risk of hail. The following counties have a risk level above very low.
In 2016 Maryland had an average property tax assessment of 1.05%, which cost about $3,437 on a median property due to relatively high local property rates. Rates vary by county and are assessed at the highest rate across the state in the city of Baltimore at 1.43%.
Maryland is what is known as a recourse sate. This means that if a house is foreclosed on and the sale price doesn't cover the initial loan amount, the lender can seek action against to borrower to recover their loan. The lender can get a deficiency judgement against the borrower, which orders the borrower to pay back the money.
Lenders have up to three years to take recourse action for the loan balance after a foreclosure sale. For example, if you are foreclosing on a $500,000 mortgage but the property sells in foreclosure for only $400,000. If the lender wins in court, you will still owe the lender the remaining $100,000 balance on the original mortgage. The court will set the new payment terms.
Maryland is a nonjudicial state, meaning that most foreclosure procedures do not go through the court system. If the lender proceeds to sell a home, but the sale does not cover the loan costs, the lender can seek a deficiency judgement against the borrower. To avoid this, the lender must waive their right to a deficiency judgement when agreeing to the loan.
In Maryland, lenders can also use judicial foreclosure in which a court action is sought. The lender files a petition, after which the foreclosure begins in 90 days of the date of default when no notice is provided, and in 45 days when the lender notifies the borrower. In instances where criminal activity like fraud is involved the foreclosure can begin immediately.
The borrower can stop the default up to 1 day before the foreclosure sale by paying up all the past due payments together with any penalties incurred thereby reinstating the loan. If the foreclosure sale is insufficient to cover the loan, the lender has recourse to a deficiency court action for the remaining balance of the loan.
The court decides on the period of redemption, or the period in which the original owner has the right to buy back the home from whoever purchased it during foreclosure
Resourceful links regarding the housing market in Maryland: