When should I refinance my Home ?

Low interest rates and liberal underwriting guidelines caused a surge of home ownership in the US over the last 7 years. Interest rates have stayed relatively low as well. In 2004 interest rates hit a all time low around 4%. This made it very possible for lots of families to afford home ownership. As the years passed lots of families were put into adjustable rate arms (ARMs). Some families were just simply taken advantage of and were put into high rate loans when the market in fact allowed lower interest rates. Here is what to look for in order for a refinance to make financial sense.

Reasons for a home refinance & FACTS

1. To lower rate at least a minimum of 1.5%
2. Must stay in home for at least 10yrs to recoup refinance costs
3. ARM about to expire
4. Got a escrow shortage
5. Need to take out equity for cash to pay down debt

As you can see there are some steps to determine whether a refinance will make sense for you. Despite the commercials you see about no closing cost loans, believe me you are paying for it some how. There are closing costs involved in a refinance, so you want to make sure you stay in your home for a minimum of 10 years before selling or moving. The reason for this is it takes about 10 years to recoup the cost of a refinance on a home. You definitely don’t want to refinance your home unless you can lower the interest rate at least 1.5%, otherwise it’s not worth it. Families are loosing their homes all over the U.S. because they don’t have the value or the credit to refinance their home out of a costly ARM. My advice would be not to tap into any retirement to save the home, just let it go. It’s not worth touching your 401k, IRA, or any kind of retirement savings. Another problem is having escrow shortages, or the lender sold you on a no escrow loan. These two situations can get you in trouble real quick. Escrows in case you did not know are the taxes and insurance typically collected into an account and paid by the bank. If you find yourself behind on this stuff make sure you pay it as soon as possible.

Watch out for too good to be true advertisements
On TV and in the mail you probably see this really low interest rate, and typically it’s got a catch to it. Normally the low interest rates are going to cost you to get that rate, and in some cases it’s some creative loan that is very complicated. There is no miracle out there when it comes to low interest rates; most lenders have the same interest rates across the board. If a particular lender sticks out like a soar thumb because their rates are extremely low, it’s probably because it’s a gimmick to get you to call.

Author: Mike Clover

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