Should You Refinance Your Mortgage?
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Give your mortgage an annual once-over:
If the last time you looked at your mortgage was when you closed on your loan, it's time to take it out for an annual once-over. New loan programs and opportunities to leverage your home equity can bring you lower mortgage payments and new investment opportunities. Don't forget to look at your Mortgage Insurance as there have been dramatic changes with lower rates that will lower your payments even if your interest rate doesn't lower (FHA Streamline). FHA lowered the Mortgage Insurance premiums by .5% in January of 2015, so refinancing could save you hundreds.
Is a fixed-rate mortgage the best choice for you?
Many of us opt for the certainty of a 20-year or 30 years fixed-rate mortgage when we get our first mortgage. If you are considering refinancing you might want to consider a 15 year or a 10-year loan to save interest and take advantage of the historic low interest rates. The savings you receive can well be worth switching to a 10 or 15-year loan. This could be a great retirement planning tool as well.
Are you paying for Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) Or FHA MMI?
There are a lot of new loan programs available that can help you eliminate PMI, even if you have less than 20% equity in your home. The monthly savings adds up quickly. This money can be put to better use to help you achieve other short-term and long-term financial goals. In addition in January of 2015, FHA lowered the monthly mortgage insurance premium by .5%, which coupled with lower interest rates could save hundreds a month and thousands over the life of the loan.
Are your taxes and insurance up to date? Due December 10 and April 10
Even though your mortgage servicer is responsible for paying your taxes and insurance out of your escrow account, it just makes sense to periodically check to see that these payments are being made properly. While you're at it, you'll want to review your homeowner's insurance policy. It's a good idea to review your policy every two to three years to make sure it covers recent home improvements and replacement costs for the contents of your home, and that its reconstruction coverage is keeping pace with inflation.
Was Your Original Loan a High Balance Loan?
A high-balance loan is one that exceeded FNMA and FHLMC (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) standard Loan limits. If your original loan was one these loans limits raise every year so you might be able to get a lower rate just because the loan limits have raised. We now have conventional low-rate loans up to 565,000 with rates in the 2's and 3's.
Tailor Make the Term of your new loan the same or less than your existing Loan.
Maybe you think you have paid a few years on your loan and don't want to take it back to a 30-year loan if you only owe 28 or less. We can make the term of the loan fit your existing loan or make it less to save you money on interest over the long term. This is a smart refinance. Be financially smart and get ahead by choosing a shorter-term mortgage.
Do you have a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) for emergencies?
Many homeowners are making the proactive choice to secure a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) for emergencies. A HELOC is a revolving line of credit that only charges interest when you actually draw money from the line of credit. As you repay the balance of the draw, the credit becomes available again. Securing a HELOC in advance can be a great help if you're ever laid off or have unexpected medical or other emergencies. Although these are very tough to find in today's world they can still be effective.
How's your credit report?
The information in your credit report has a huge impact on whether or not you will again qualify for a mortgage loan. That's why it?s important to periodically check your credit report. We have a credit repair company that we refer people to that have had challenged credit so give us a call and we can direct you to a higher credit score and better interest rates.
Now it's even easy to do so. A recent amendment to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) mandates that each credit reporting company provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once a year. To request your free credit report, visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com. (Free reports are being phased in over a nine-month period, rolling from the west coast to the east beginning December
1, 2004. By September 1, 2005, free reports will be accessible to all consumers.)
Is it time to refinance?
The timing might be right to refinance your mortgage loan. New low rates may help you significantly lower your monthly payment. Or you might want to cash out some of the built-up equity in your home, which you can use to consolidate debt, improve your home, take a vacation - whatever! Perhaps by refinancing, you can even pay off your mortgage sooner!
Do you need to improve your home or pay for college?
Maybe your heating and air system need replacement. Has your roof reached its useful life? Is your kitchen and bathrooms in need of updating? The equity in your home can be used to upgrade these and more. We offer energy-efficient mortgages to help upgrade your home so that your utility bills will be lower. We can also finance a solar system if you wish to add one to your home.
We'll work with you to determine if the timing is right to change your loan program. Or if you are considering your cash out of your home and how likely you are to sell your home in the near future, and what effect refinancing might have on your future plans.
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