If you haven’t heard interest rates are still near record lows. So if you have a mortgage and haven’t refinanced in the last year, there’s a good chance you can refinance into a lower rate (generally a good idea 🙂 and may consider getting cash out, so here are five things to consider. First we will start with the pros…. Low Rates and Lower Rates. As we said rates are low now – like really low. And if you’re considering a HELOC or home equity line of credit, rates on a mortgage refi are often lower. So you can lock in a low rate and have lower payments – sounds good right? Debt Consolidation If you have a lot of high interest debt (i.e. credit cards), you can pay that off and potentially save thousands in interest payments! Cash On Hand We are definitely in uncertain times and you might want a cash cushion to help pay bills and also if you’re income in the near future is uncertain. Or you can use that for home improvements like maybe a new home office or gym (this can often be used as a deduction as well). And Some Cons Don’t Rinse and Repeat Ok we are trying to say don’t get the cash out and repeat the same debt spiral. If you’re cashing out and taking advantage of today’s great rates make sure you take advantage of the opportunity and avoid the temptation to go on an amazon shopping spree and run up the bills again. Closing Costs and PMI Make sure to check your closing costs aren’t more than the new savings! Also if you currently aren’t paying PMI and refi to more than 80% of the home value you may have to start paying PMI! In general if you’ve been considering a cash-out refinance or just want to see if you can lower your monthly payments – contact us today and we’ll give you a run-down of your options and see what best fits your needs!
We all know the housing market has been on a tear and some people take might want to take a pause, but here are five reasons why it’s a good time to buy!
1. Increases in inventory – one of the reasons housing prices have been surging is a lack of inventory but we are seeing increased inventory nationally over the summer according to national association of Realtors.
2. Price increases maybe moderating – forecasts expect prices to continue to go up but at a more moderate level.
3. Rates are expected to stay low – forecasts for rates to stay low through the end of the year and perhaps into next year
4. Rates are near record lows – we are still at record low interest rates so borrowing has basically never been cheaper.
5. Start building equity – as we forecast home values to continue rising you can start building equity now.
Of course every situation is different and forecasts may change but those are five good reasons. Fill out our quick home buying analysis on our website and we can get you a customized quote to see what best fits your needs.
Should you refinance for less than half a percent difference on your current loan?
You’ve probably heard that interest rate are at record lows and if you’re current rate is one percent higher than today’s rates then we would usually say refinancing is a no-brainer. But what if you already have a low rate and its less than half a percentage point less than your current rate, should you refinance then?
There are a few key factors to consider.
1. Do have an Adjust Rate (ARM) Mortgage?
Getting into a lower fixed rate mortgage can definitely make sense in this case as you’ll lock in a lower rate, as the ARM rate may rise in the future.
2. Do you have a high loan balance?
If your loan balance is $500,000 a quarter percent difference could mean over $300 dollar less in monthly payments!
3. Do you plan on staying in the house more than a few years?
There will be closing costs to pay when you refinance so in order to get see the savings you’ll generally need to stay in the house for a few years.
Of course when in doubt make sure to contact us, we can crunch the numbers see how much you’ll save and if it makes sense for you!
If you are thinking about selling your home and want to maximize your value without taking on major renovations here are some quick and (relatively) easy things you can do.
1. Update the hardware – if you have dated or weathered knobs, mirrors, handles, faucets switching them out with more modern ones can make things look a lot fresher.
2. Paint – this is one of the most obvious ones but a fresh coat of paint (or two) can work wonders.
3. Go Green – adding plants can make things look a lot livelier.
4. Deep clean the bathrooms – if you have grout or stains they can be a big eye sore.
5. Deep clean the outdoors – a power washer can make a huge difference on a dirty house as well as walkways and patios.
6. Smarten things up – a wifi doorbell, cameras and lights are very popular add-ons.
7. Roll out the welcome mat – literally – a new mat and freshening up the entrance really helps.
8. Don’t forget the backyard – if you have a sad lawn and furniture make sure they get some tlc too.
9. Precision landscape – if you have bare patches on the lawn, re-sod them, if things are looking less then lively consider a few new plantings.
10. Get rid of the clutter – if you have a lot of things piled up in the house consider making some goodwill runs – it will make walk throughs more open and appealing.
Are we entering the optimal time to buy a home? Obviously the market has risen a lot this year, so that may sound irrational. However if you are looking at the time of year, spring and summer are seen as most competitive but traditionally according to Realtor. com between now and October 17 is when buyers will see less competition and can get better prices.
Of course every listing and market is unique and these past two years have been unusual to say the least but typically homes sell at discount and as the days get shorter houses actually linger on the market longer.
You can lock in a mortgage rate after you’ve made an offer on a house and have a signed purchase agreement. The mortgage rate lock, means that you have a specific mortgage rate “locked in” for a period of time (typically 30 or 60 days).
This rate lock means you’ll get that rate even if rates move higher or lower during the time your loan is being processed. Rate locks do expire and can cost a fee (basis points) depending on the rate and period.
With today’s rates near historic lows, a rate lock can be a good idea but a keen eye on closing dates is important as well.
Give us a call or schedule a meeting on our site and we can review your situation and see what best fits your needs!
If you haven’t refinanced and maybe have been procrastinating here are five quick tips to help see if a refinance is right for you.
1. Check Your Rate – Rates are still near historic lows so even half a point can mean substantial monthly savings.
2. Check Your Equity – many home values have increased in equity in the past year so you may be eligible to refinance with cash out.
3. Check Your Debt – if you have a other high interest debt, you may consider consolidating that debt with a lower rate refi. Of course beware the revolving the debt cycle!
4. Check Your Calendar – if you want to pay of your home faster, you can refinance into a 15 year mortgage with extremely low rates.
5. Check Your Calendar II – if you are planning on moving shortly refinancing may not be the best move as there is generally a break even point on refinances with the amount of time you need to make the refinance – that is savings equal or are greater than the costs associated with refinancing.
You may not be familiar with a joint mortgage – this is where there are two or more parties on a mortgage. Commonly friends, family or a partner will combine their incomes and assets to buy a house. This is often done when one party cannot qualify or can’t afford a property on their own. Unlike a typical mortgage all parties are on the mortgage and all assume responsibility for paying it.
The main benefit of a joint mortgage is being able to afford or qualify for more of home than one party is able to on their own.
As you may have guessed this creates a more complicated situation where you can have co-ownership, and may be dependent on multiple parties making payments. Further you could have one party wanting to sell or refinance in the future. It can also affect one parties ability to get a loan in the future as they are tied to the joint mortgage.
So its best to be aware of all the requirements and scenarios before applying. And make sure you have a strong relationship between both parties including having similar interests and goals regarding the property.
PMI is private mortgage insurance. If you’re getting a conventional loan and are making of down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price, you generally need to purchase PMI.
This insurance is designed to protect the lender in case of default on the loan and it also allows the borrower to buy a house when they can’t afford to make the traditional 20% down payment.
PMI is provided by a third party, requirements and rates will be provided before the closing. Once you reach 20% equity in the home – either through mortgage payments or rising home values, the PMI will be terminated.
PMI rates are generally between 0.5 percent and 1.8 percent of the original loan amount. According to Freddie Mac, it estimates that most borrowers pay between $30 and $70 each month for every $100,000 borrowed.
The key factors in determining the PMI rate are the loan to value ratio. If you put down 5% you are typically going to have a higher PMI rate than if you put down 15%. The other key factor is the borrower’s credit score.
There are different types of mortgage insurance and borrowers normally make an annual lump sum payment or pay in monthly installments.
Of course we can give you a more detailed explanation of what to expect and your options based on your borrowing needs.
We are seeing refinancing potentially get a little cheaper, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dropped a 50 basis point fee instituted to protect against projected losses during the Pandemic.
The fee was as much as one eighth of a point when refinancing. This means borrowers could potentially save $20 a month on a $300,000 loan refinance. With the pandemic fee waived, we are seeing rates again near record low territory.
So fill out our one minute refinance consultation on our website and we see how much you can lower your monthly payment or get cash out or both.