Refinancing your home is a major decision not to be taken
lightly, even in this era of low interest rates and easy
money. While every mortgage company in town is touting the
strategy of getting a new loan before rates rise again,
there are several things you'll want to be mindful of before
you go about refinancing your home.
In my view the key to refinancing your home isn't just the
rate they're offering you: it's the total package looked at
not only in terms of today, but a few years down the road.
Many people have taken out new loans that really weren't
quite right for their long term situations, thinking they'd
be able to refinance again in the not-too-distant future.
That may or may not prove to be true. No one has a crystal
ball that'll give you a definitive idea of just where rates
will be even a year from now, so try to approach this with a
somewhat more long-termed view. It's very easy to get
tempted by the prospect of easy, fast cash, but in the end
you end up giving it all back in terms of higher payments,
and worst case, be unable to make your payments and lose
your home. Just look at all the costs associated with this
new loan, determine what the payments will be in 2, 5 and 10
years, or whatever your timeline is, and make an informed
decision unfettered by a mortgage broker's "opinion" what's
"best" for you. They have a vested interest in getting you
into a loan, any loan, and WILL NOT, repeat, WILL NOT, have
your best interests at heart when you go about refinancing
Some things to consider when refinancing your home would be
the type of loan,(fixed,ARM, etc.) the rate, the term, the
costs associated with the loan, any cash equity you'd like
to take out, and the time and documentation necessary for
refinancing your home. This is a wildly competitive market,
and please do yourself a favor and shop around. The same
loan one lender will offer you can vary greatly from another
just down the street as far as total costs go. Don't be
afraid to say no: they're not doing you a favor by "giving"
you this loan. They're reaping many thousands of your
dollars in interest, so make sure you get what you want, not
what they want to sell you. Remember, you're refinancing
your home, not their summer vacation!
All in all, when refinancing your home, take your time. Shop
around, compare, and you are the customer, and what was that
they say about the customer always being right? You are, as
long as you do your homework when refinancing your home.
Keith Thompson is a real estate investor and webmaster at Mortgage Loans
Today where you can find more information and resources
for refinancing your home