refinance My Mortgage?
Deciding to refinance your home can be very beneficial especially if you bought when interest rates were high or you chose a more creative financing option such as an adjustable rate mortgage which matures after. There are several factors to consider before you choose to refinance.
Reasons to refinance:
- To lower the interest rate on your mortgage, reducing your monthly payments and overall cost
- To reduce the term or length of your loan, doing so can save you thousands of dollars in interest
- To consolidate your debt
All of these are excellent reasons to pursue refinancing, but several issues should be considered first.
Refinancing is similar to the process you encountered when you closed on your first mortgage. It requires an application, credit check, new survey and title search, as well as an appraisal and inspection fees. As you know, this process can be quite lengthy and expensive.
As a rule of thumb, it pays to refinance if you can get an interest rate at least two percentage points lower than what you are currently paying. However, every situation is different. Some lenders are offering reduced fees or no points. Asking yourself a few questions may help you determine if you can save money:
- How much can I lower my current monthly payment?
- How long do I plan to stay in the house after I refinance?
- How much will I pay in refinancing costs?
Once you ask yourself these questions, the next thing you need to do is figure out what you still owe on the house, how much you're paying each month, and how much you initially paid for the house. Itemize all the expenses of the refinance and estimate your new monthly payments. With this, you can figure out where you break even and when you begin saving money.