Susan Deierling, Assoc. Broker
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Realty Executives Northern Arizona
Tag Archives: Refinance
To refinance a mortgage means to pay off your existing loan and replace it with a new one.
There are many reasons why homeowners opt to refinance, from obtaining a lower interest rate, to shortening the term of the loan, to switching mortgage loan types, to tapping into home equity.
Each has its considerations.
Lower Your Mortgage Rate
Among the best reasons to refinance is to get access to lower mortgage rates. There is no “rule of thumb” that says how far rates should drop for a refinance to be sensible. Compare your closing costs to your monthly savings, and determine whether the math makes sense for your situation.
Shorten Your Loan Term
Refinancing your 30-year fixed rate mortgage to a 20-year fixed rate or a 15-year fixed rate is a sensible way to reduce your long-term mortgage costs, and to own your home sooner. As a bonus, with mortgage rates currently near all-time lows, an increase to your monthly payment from a shorter loan term may be negligible.
Convert ARM To Fixed Rate Mortgage
Homeowners with adjustable-rate mortgages may want the comfort of a fixed-rate payment. Mortgage rates for fixed-rate mortgages are often higher than for comparable ARMs so be prepared to pay more to your lender each month.
Access Equity For Projects, Debts, Or Other Reasons
Called a “cash out” refinance, Sedona homeowners can sometimes use home equity to retire debts, pay for renovations, or use for other purposes including education costs and retirement. Lenders place restrictions on loans of this type.
A refinanced home loan can help you reach specific financial goals or just put extra cash in your pocket each month — just make sure that there’s a clear benefit to you. Paying large closing costs for small monthly savings or negligible long-term benefit should be avoided.
Many lenders offer low- or no-closing costs options for refinancing. Be sure to ask about it.
As part of the federal Truth-in-Lending Act, refinancing homeowners are granted a 3-day “cooling off” period post-closing during which they retain the right to rescind, or “cancel”, their recent refinance without penalty or cost.
The Right To Cancel is protection against surprises at closing and/or a change of heart. It’s also a safety valve for homeowners signing paperwork under duress. With 3 days to revisit and rethink the terms of a loan, a homeowner can maintain tighter control of his/her financial situation.
If you ever have the wish (or need) to execute your right to rescind, be aware that the process is a formal one. The required steps must be completed on-time, and in order, or else your request will be invalid.
The process starts with a document labeled “Right To Cancel”. It’s included in your closing package and lists the terms of a rescission in straight-forward language. Among the key points :
- You have 3 business days during which to cancel your loan
- When you cancel the refinance, the entire transaction is cancelled
- You must submit your Right To Cancel in writing
“Business day” is defined by the government to be every day, save for Sundays and federal holidays. A loan that closes on a Monday, therefore, must be rescinded prior to Friday at 12:00 AM.
Typically, rescission requests are faxed to the settlement agent, notary, or title company assigned with the refinance. It’s good practice to ask for an acknowledgement of receipt as proof of delivery, too.
There are some refinances for which the Right to Cancel does not apply, however. This includes refinances linked to an investment property, and loans not collateralized by residential real estate. There are other conditions, too, that may supersede your right to rescind so be sure to ask your lender.
According to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey, for 13 straight weeks, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage has held below 4.000% for mortgage applicants willing to pay up to 0.8 discount points plus a full set of closing costs.
These are the lowest mortgage rates in history and now — with a bevy of loan programs for the nation’s 11 million “underwater homeowners” including HARP, the FHA Streamline Refinance, and the VA IRRRL — millions of U.S. homeowners can exploit the current mortgage rate environment.
In this 4-minute clip from NBC’s The Today Show, you’ll learn about today’s mortgage market and your refinancing opportunities in AZ.
The video begins by telling us that 14 million credit-worthy Americans have yet to refinance their respective mortgages, and are leaving an average of $471 in “wasted savings” on the table each month which adds up to more than $5,600 annually.
That’s a big number.
Some of the video’s other key points include :
- Refinancing is “worth the hassle” when mortgage rates are as low as they are today
- The best rates are reserved for homeowners with the highest credit scores
- Comparison shop — your current mortgage lender may not offer you the best rates
Furthermore, the video reveals the characteristics of the homeowner type most likely to benefit from a refinance. These traits include having with 20% equity in the home; have plans to live in the home for at least the next 36 months; carrying a current mortgage rate of 5 percent or higher.
It should also be added that, with a zero-closing-cost or low-closing-cost mortgage, even a small reduction in your mortgage rate can make a refinance worthwhile.
Mortgage rates are low but can’t stay low forever. If you haven’t participated in the Refi Boom, talk with a loan officer and review your mortgage options. You may be able to save hundreds of dollars per month with just modest closing costs.
Falling mortgage rates make owning a home more affordable. Mortgage rates are directly tied to monthly mortgage payment so as mortgage rates drop, so does the cost of home-ownership.
It’s a money-saving time to buy a home in Sedona — or to refinance one. Mortgage rates have never been this low in history.
According to Freddie Mac, last week, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 3.87% nationwide for borrowers willing to pay an accompanying 0.8 discount points plus closing costs. 0.8 discount points is a one-time closing cost equal to 0.8 percent of your loan size, or $800 per $100,000 borrowed.
This represents an incredible value as compared to February of last year.
It was exactly one year ago that mortgage rates begin their long slide lower. On February 11, 2011, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage reached its peak for the year, reading 5.05% in Freddie Mac’s nationwide survey. If you are among the many U.S. households that bought or refinanced a home around that time, you could choose to replace your current home loan with a new one and save close to 13% on your monthly mortgage payment.
13 percent saved on your mortgage is a noteworthy statistic.
Look at this 30-year fixed rate mortgage payment comparison over the last 12 months :
- February 2011 : $539.88 principal + interest per $100,000 borrowed
- February 2012 : $469.95 principal + interest per $100,000 borrowed
Because of falling mortgage rates, a homeowner with a $250,000 30-year fixed rate mortgage would save at least $175 per month just by refinancing into a new loan at today’s mortgage rates. That’s $2,100 in savings per year.
Even after accounting for discount points and closing costs, the “break-even point” on a mortgage like that can come relatively quickly.
We can’t predict mortgage rates so there’s no promise rates will stay like this forever. If you’re planning to buy a home or refinance one, the best way to keep your monthly payments down is to lock your rate while rates are still low.
The market looks ripe for that now.