Refinancing your mortgage refers to the process of renegotiating your current mortgage agreement for a variety of reasons. Essentially, allowing you to pay off your existing loan and replace it with a new one that better suits your needs. Some reasons you might consider refinancing include, but are not limited to, the following:
- You want to leverage large increases in property value
- You want to get equity out of the home for upgrades or renovations
- You are looking to consolidate your debt
- You have kids headed off to college
- You are going through a divorce
- You want a better interest rate
- You want to convert your mortgage from fixed to variable (or vice-versa)
When done properly, mortgage refinancing can result in a host of great benefits to further your financial success. Not only can it help to reduce financial stress and help get you back on track for your financial future, but additional benefits include:
In addition to these items to keep an eye out for, there are also a few specific questions you should be asking your realtor, including: deadline for offers, number of offers that have been made, why the sellers are moving, any concerns they may have, whether or not there is a homeowner association with fees, and how old the home is.
- Access a Lower Interest Rate: One reason to refinance your mortgage is to get a better interest rate. While a low interest rate isn’t everything (you also want to consider your mortgage terms, penalties, etc.), there is no harm in looking around! As your dedicated mortgage professional, I have access to dozens of lenders and can shop the market for you to see if there is a better mortgage product to fit your needs!
- Consolidate Your Debt: There are many different types of debt from credit cards and lines of credit to school loans and mortgages. But, did you know that most types of consumer debt have much higher interest rates than those you would pay on a mortgage? Refinancing can free up cash to help you pay out these debts. While it may increase your mortgage, your overall payments could be far lower and would be a single payment versus multiple sources. Keep in mind, you need at least 20 percent equity in your home to qualify.
- Modify Your Mortgage: Life is ever-changing and sometimes you need to pay off your mortgage faster or change your mortgage type. Maybe you came into some extra money and want to put it towards your mortgage, or maybe you are weary of the market and want to lock in at a fixed-rate for security. It is always best to do this when your mortgage term is up, but talk to a mortgage specialist about potential penalties if waiting is not possible.
- Utilize Your Home Equity: One of the biggest reasons to buy in the first place is to build up equity in your home. Consider your home equity as the difference between your property’s market value and the balance of your mortgage. If you need funds, you can refinance your mortgage to access up to 80% of your home’s appraised value in cash!
While refinancing can help you tap into 80% of your home value, it does come with a price. If you opt to refinance during your term, it is considered to be breaking your mortgage agreement and it could end up being quite costly. It is always best to wait until the end of the mortgage term before any refinancing is conducted, but make sure you’ve planned several months in advance so you have to time to weigh your options before you need to renew.
In addition, refinancing can prevent you from qualifying for default insurance which in turn can limit your lender choice. Lastly, you’ll be required to re-qualify under the current rates and rules (including passing the “stress test” again) to ensure you can carry the refinanced mortgage.
If you are stuck or wondering if mortgage refinancing is right for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me today! I would be happy to review your current mortgage, financial goals and future plans to help determine the best solution to fit YOUR needs.
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