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Refinancing – Don’t Run To the Bank Just Yet

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You can tell when interest rates are low because you see a long line of homeowners flocking to the bank. Well, maybe it is not that extreme, but home owners do flock to their lending institution to refinance as soon as rates lower. Unfortunately most never stop to think whether or not refinancing actually makes sense for them. Often because they don’t understand how it would or wouldn’t make financial sense. They see a lower rate and assume that it is the most important factor in their home loan. Honestly, that is just a portion of the overall picture.

If you refinance your home every time rates drop you could be adding on more expense than you are saving. You could be adding more principal to the end of the loan as well as extending the term of the loan.

A refinanced loan is basically a new loan taken out by the borrower to pay off the original loan. If someone has already refinanced (sometimes many times) then the refinance pays off THAT loan instead.

There are additional costs involved in refinancing. You may very well incur more cost through taking out the additional loan than what you will recover through the new lower interest rate. Before jumping into it, add up all the fees that you will incur to take out the new loan (this should include everything from admin fees to closing costs). Find the difference between your new loan payment and your old one. Divide the difference into the fees of the loan to find how long it will take you to break even from the loan fees alone. You may be surprised at what you find. If your loan fees are going to cost $5000 and the monthly savings will only bee $100, you won’t even break even until your 50th month!

Prepare for you mortgage to increase. If you roll all the costs of the loan into the loan itself, you just blew up your loan. This takes away from equity. Additionally if you plan to take cash out you loan balance again will increase. This is called a cash-out refinance. The reason some borrowers do a cash-out refinance is to pay off unsecured purchases like a new stove, or furniture. Think of it this way: are you prepared to pay on that stove or furniture for 30 years? It may only have a life expectancy of half that time.

Do you want a longer amortization period? Even though the option is there to shorten your amortization period, you may not qualify the a higher payment. For example, if you refinance a loan with only 25 years left for a new 30 year loan, you just turned a 30 year loan into a 35 year loan. Consider the time that you have already paid? Do you really want to back-track?

Consider every aspect, do your research, and above all, crunch the numbers.

Written by admin

August 11th, 2008 at 8:05 am

Posted in Refinance

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