Here are my top 5 things to know when buying a house in MD.
1- Maryland is a “wet state”. This means everything happens at the settlement/closing table. Money is exchanged as well as keys. Traditionally, in Maryland, we don’t use lawyers to write the contracts. The lawyers have created templates, but the Realtors fill in all of the term. The settlement company has a lawyer, but they represent the contract – not buyer or seller.
2- Always ask for the Reissue rate when it comes to title insurance. To get the reissue rate, you need a copy of the seller/owner title insurance. This can save you a LOT of money. Make sure your agent (hopefully its me :-), does this for you. We go over this more in the video. Closing costs for buyers is around 2.5-3% of purchase price if you have a loan. This could be a bit more if you’re paying mortgage insurance. This does not include your down payment. Another thing people get very confused about is the difference between down payment and earnest money deposit or EMD. DP is the amount you are putting down in reference to your loan. The emd is a good faith deposit to that payment that will be a credit on your closing statement.
3- Closing costs include transfer and recordation taxes. First time Maryland home buyers don’t pay transfer state tax. Things that are paid outside of closing are appraisals and inspections.
4- Different counties and cities have additional taxes. They also have different cultures. The good and the bad about that is you can travel throughout our little state and experience everything from the big, bustling city of Baltimore where people may call you “hon” to the historic seaside of Annapolis. Here in Montgomery county, we tend to align more with DC when it comes to local rules, restrictions, snow days and present mask mandates.
5- Make sure your info is from a local to get the real 411 on each area. We’re known for our public schools in Maryland – especially here in Montgomery county. There are 2 websites – great schools and niche. My advice is to look at them sure, but if you join our local Facebook groups, you’ll really get the down low info on whichever school/area you’re considering.
Make sure you watch this video for all the great info!