Home to the famous Naval Academy at Annapolis as well as a number of federal government institutions, Maryland may be a small state in terms of land size but it ranks 19 in population size. The state serves a major role in functions of Washington D.C. as well as a major port as well. The concentrated population centers actually make up the western side of the state while the eastern side, split by a large water bay, is predominantly rural. Large city zones include Baltimore, Columbia, Germantown and Silver Spring. Industries include tourism, agriculture, services, legal industry, manufacturing, mining, and shipping.
Maryland is the 19th most populous state in the union, with a total population of nearly 6 million. The state itself is quite small, making MD the 5th most densely populated American state. Though there is no precise estimate for gross state product - Maryland prefers to measure well-being instead - it is likely in the $250 billion range, and households in the state are the wealthiest in the nation.
Not surprisingly, homes in MD can be expensive. As of this writing, the average home is worth nearly $250,000, a 6-7% increase over 2012 and in line with other expensive nearby states like New Jersey and Virginia. If you're looking for a relative bargain, the cities of Cumberland and Salisbury both have median sales prices below $200K. More expensive areas, like Potomac and Bethesda, can run into the millions of dollars for the average home. Here's one journalist's ranking of the top 10 cities to raise a family in the state.
Many Americans only know Baltimore from the hit cable television show "The Wire", which did not always paint a pretty picture of MD's largest city. Indeed, Baltimore is a struggling American city, with about 1/3 of the population living in poverty and an unemployment rate in the double digits. However, it's a popular tourist destination with the National Aquarium, Mount Vernon, and Fort McHenry among its more popular destinations.
Columbia, MD's second largest city, is unique in that it is a planned community. Created in the 1960s, the city was carefully designed to maximize the happiness of its residents. The plan seems to have worked, as Columbia makes frequent appearances on "Best Places to Live" lists. The US Federal Government is the largest employer in the city.
Germantown is not technically a city, but if it were it would be the 2nd or 3rd largest in Maryland. In the past 10 or so years, Germantown's population has grown by an amazing 55%. This can largely be accounted for by Germantown's proximity to Washington D.C. - it is only 25 miles away, making it something of a DC suburb.
We at RateZip tend to obsess over banking, but we also appreciate that you want a solution that works and doesn't require you to obsess as well. That's why it's crucial to make a solid, informed decision when picking a financial institution, one that you can comfortably put on auto-pilot for years to come. Below, you will find an assortment of options, from community banks & credit unions to major players in the banking industry who have ATMs and brick and mortar branches in Maryland.
The local, community banks:
The credit unions of MD:
The mega banks with local branches:
As a rule of thumb, a local institution will offer quality service and a commitment to the community while a big bank will offer convenience and great technology. Of course, getting the best rate possible helps as well, and RateZip makes comparing interest rates fast and simple.
Because Maryland is so varied in geography and development, many different types of homeowners are attracted to the state. RateZip.com provides a critical advantage, serving as a detail database of mortgage rate information for the entire state. The most popular variety of home loan in MD is the fixed rate mortgage. When you obtain a fixed rate loan, you lock in an interest rate and monthly payment - hence fixed - for the entire life of your loan. These come in 15, 20, and 30 year varieties.
Another option to consider is the adjustable rate mortgage, a loan that adjusts annually after an initial period of lower rates. Many consumers fear ARMs, especially after the recent financial crisis, but this type of loan has gotten an unfair rap. ARMs can be an excellent financial tool in the hands of someone who plans on moving in a short time horizon, such as a first time home buyer who wants to move up in the next few years. For example, if you planned to sell your house within 3 years, a 3/1 ARM might actually make the most financial sense.
Today, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures about 27% of residential mortgages in the United States. These FHA home loans offer lower down payments and more flexibility for those with less than perfect credit. If you're a first time home buyer or don't have the credit score to qualify for a traditional program, an FHA mortgage may make sense for you.