See those low low low interest rates? Anyone doing a refi? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 36 Old 08-28-2010, 12:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are. With the low rates, we found out we can do a 20 yr instead of our 30 yr loan and the payment is $10 per month, but it will shed 8 yrs off our current loan.

Anyone else checking out a refi or buying to take advantage right now?

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#2 of 36 Old 08-28-2010, 09:43 AM
 
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Yep. Did it earlier this summer -- dropped a full point, eliminated our PMI, and went from 30 to 20 year loan. And the best part -- our mortgage payment went down a bit. I calculated the end payments and even after paying refi fees, we are much better off with this loan.

And this is our 'forever' home, so we expect to pay off this mortgage.

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#3 of 36 Old 08-28-2010, 09:48 AM
 
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We did one about a year ago. DH works pretty closely with the loan officer through his work and she called him up with a great offer. We were able to go to a 15 year and it feels incredible! I can just feel that extra money in my pockets! Okay, not really.

I am just so thankful I have a very money-wise spouse. If it were up to me, I couldn't do half as much and would probably be in the hole majorly.

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#4 of 36 Old 08-28-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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We renewed our mortage early (in Canada you have a 5-year term on a 25 year old mortgage) and ended up shaving about 6 years off the length of it so we'll be paid off in about 11 years. Woo hoo.

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#5 of 36 Old 08-28-2010, 12:25 PM
 
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Yup. Our monthly payment is going down by $400 with only 5 months to break even on the closing costs. God willing, we'll have this place paid off in 5 years.

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#6 of 36 Old 08-28-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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We closed 2 days ago. Our monthly payment went down 25% for a shorter term. It should save us about $150k in the end. And we had good terms to start with.
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#7 of 36 Old 08-28-2010, 01:48 PM
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We re-fied about six months ago.

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#8 of 36 Old 08-28-2010, 06:23 PM
 
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We just closed on our new house in april, and we got a nice rate of 4.875, so it wouldn't be worth it for us right now. I'd love to see them drop even more so it would make sense though!

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#9 of 36 Old 08-28-2010, 07:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nadia105 View Post
We just closed on our new house in april, and we got a nice rate of 4.875, so it wouldn't be worth it for us right now. I'd love to see them drop even more so it would make sense though!
That's what our rate is, and I've been watching rates closely to see if they go down even more. Right now I've been seeing rates half a point lower than that, but I think it needs to be down more than that to make any sense.

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#10 of 36 Old 08-28-2010, 08:52 PM
 
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It looks like around here the current rates are about 1/2 a point lower than our rate too. And we only closed ~4 years ago so I hate to do all that again so soon. I really wish we could take advantage of lower rates though. :-/ Our mortgage is high (high COL & low incomes around here it seems.)

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#11 of 36 Old 08-28-2010, 11:01 PM
 
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I'm impressed that you guys are having such nice luck refinancing! Our housing values have dropped dramatically since we bought 5 years ago. Our house is worth about 33% less than what we paid (and we haven't paid that much of hte mortgage), so it makes it hard to refinance.
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#12 of 36 Old 08-28-2010, 11:38 PM
 
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We bought in November at 5.5% and just signed the refi for 4.875% on Wednesday. Our broker called us an d offered the refi with no fees and they would even pay our prepaids. Can't beat that.
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#13 of 36 Old 08-29-2010, 12:57 AM
 
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How did you guys go about refi-ing? Just call your current mortgage company?
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#14 of 36 Old 08-29-2010, 12:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
I'm impressed that you guys are having such nice luck refinancing! Our housing values have dropped dramatically since we bought 5 years ago. Our house is worth about 33% less than what we paid (and we haven't paid that much of hte mortgage), so it makes it hard to refinance.
Call your current mortgage company and see what happens. We went back to the same one we already had, so they didn't require an appraisal.
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#15 of 36 Old 08-29-2010, 12:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
I'm impressed that you guys are having such nice luck refinancing! Our housing values have dropped dramatically since we bought 5 years ago. Our house is worth about 33% less than what we paid (and we haven't paid that much of hte mortgage), so it makes it hard to refinance.
Our appraisal was very tight. We had an appraisal done a year ago and the house valued too low to refinance. We were lucky and a house sold up the street from us and we jumped at the chance to refi while we had a current comp. But it was squeaky tight.

Also, our good credit helped things move along smoothly. Refinancing is tough right now unless your credit is stellar.

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#16 of 36 Old 08-29-2010, 01:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by New Mama View Post
That's what our rate is, and I've been watching rates closely to see if they go down even more. Right now I've been seeing rates half a point lower than that, but I think it needs to be down more than that to make any sense.
Are you looking at 30-yr or 15-yr rates? We’re locking in at 3.8% with our credit union for a 15-yr loan.

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How did you guys go about refi-ing? Just call your current mortgage company?
Start there, but get bids from other credit unions, mortgage companies, or banks. In theory, your current lender should waive some of the closing costs for you, which would make it a better deal to stick with them. In theory. Our lender, meanwhile, is charging TWICE in closing costs as our credit union…and they’re not willing to negotiate their many junk fees. It’s no mystery who we’re going with. So definitely go comparison shopping.

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#17 of 36 Old 08-29-2010, 03:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by seeing_stars View Post
We bought in November at 5.5% and just signed the refi for 4.875% on Wednesday. Our broker called us and offered the refi with no fees and they would even pay our prepaids. Can't beat that.
heh, same here, sort of. bought in the 90's, but refi'd (no cost) in nov at 5.25%, and just signed weds (again no cost) at 4.875%, for a 30y fixed rate.

i think rates will sit low for a while. any raise will totally tank the "recovery," so the fed will continue to support low rates, probably even inch them lower. although they're running out of room for that; can't get much lower than 4% unless they start making the prime rate negative!

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#18 of 36 Old 08-29-2010, 06:33 PM
 
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We were lucky enough to get a the best rate we've seen in our adult lives when we closed last year. Still nothing better has been available.

4 kids under 10
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#19 of 36 Old 08-30-2010, 12:59 AM
 
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We did a refi earlier this summer. Went from 6% on a 30 yr fixed to 4.125% on a 15 yr fixed and our payment amount didn't change [since we had been paying more than the min on the 30 yr; and we're still paying more than the min on the 15 yr, but not as much more]. We originally purchased 10 years ago this month @ 8% for a 30 yr fixed. Our long-term plan is to have the mortgage paid off by the time our DD goes off to college (theoretically, since she may choose otherwise) in 9 years, which will be 19 years total. That, of course, presumes we'll stay in this home....which is a loose plan, but not a set-in-stone plan.

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#20 of 36 Old 08-30-2010, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by rose angel View Post
How did you guys go about refi-ing? Just call your current mortgage company?
We have done that in the past, just called the current at the time mortgage co that held our loan. When we bought our current home, we went thru a broker that my realtor recommended. She did a great job. A year later, we refinanced thru Chase (who is our bank and also held the mortgage) and it was a complete nightmare. And this was someone who was highly recommended. I would NEVER recommend Chase.

So they hold our current one and the broker from 3 years ago is doing the current refi we are doing. With our luck, Chase will pick up this loan LOL.

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#21 of 36 Old 08-30-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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Anyone have tips/info on refinancing without the traditional income verification? Our situation is that we farm and and are able to manage our income and expenses to show very little taxable income. So when the refi people look at our tax info it shows we make less than $20,000 a year and want to refi a $230,000 mortgage...which obviously gets us automatically disqualified. In reality we make much more a year and have never been late on our mortgage in the five years we've had it. I'd really like to take advantage of the current rates. Thoughts?

ETA: Our current mortgage is with Chase, who as PPs have mentioned are less than stellar to work with.
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#22 of 36 Old 08-30-2010, 06:41 PM
 
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we are! If we do, it's going to make a huge difference in feeling secure about SAH next year!

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#23 of 36 Old 08-30-2010, 06:53 PM
 
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I am just so thankful I have a very money-wise spouse. If it were up to me, I couldn't do half as much and would probably be in the hole majorly.
Same here! DP rocks with money and is slowly teaching me but I don't know what we'd do if he didn't have that knowledge.

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we are! If we do, it's going to make a huge difference in feeling secure about SAH next year!
Same here We are considering adding another baby to our family in the next year or so and, if that happens, I'll be a SAHM for at least the first year. We are going to re-fi anytime now (dp is working on that). It will save us a little every month, which we'll take any extra monthly income we can right now!

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#24 of 36 Old 08-30-2010, 08:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rose angel View Post
How did you guys go about refi-ing? Just call your current mortgage company?

Check with places other than your current mortgage company, too. Call around (get recommendations from locals, local message boards, check bankrate.com and use BBB to make sure it's a good company, etc.) and ask for a good faith estimate (GFE) based upon your numbers. The rates should be relatively the same, but you want to see where you stand with each of them. Also, check with your local bank, too.

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Originally Posted by sunnysandiegan View Post
...Our long-term plan is to have the mortgage paid off by the time our DD goes off to college (theoretically, since she may choose otherwise) in 9 years....

Okay, I never thought about this as a goal and it's quite smart!

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#25 of 36 Old 08-31-2010, 03:20 PM
 
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Yep, DH works for a developer with a mortgage division, and they offered their employees a good rate with low closing costs, so we re-fied to 4.25 (I think? It may even be lower now). I wanted to go to a 15-year too, but things are a little precarious right now, and we were worried about managing the higher payment each month, so we stuck to the 30-year and will prepay as we're able. As it is, we're saving over $300 a month! So happy about that

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#26 of 36 Old 09-04-2010, 02:58 PM
 
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We've been holding off on refinancing because we're in the middle of finishing our basement. With the real estate market the way it is, we feel that having the basement finished will help greatly with the appraised value of our home.

BUT, DH is doing the work himself. And although he's been working on it in his spare time, it is taking forever. He promised me it would be done by the beginning of the summer, and now at the end of the summer it is nowhere close to being finished. I'm not even sure if it will be done by *next* summer. Sigh.

I've been hesitant to go ahead and attempt a refi and pay for an appraisal that might not come in high enough. But as low as rates are now, I think I'm going to go for it. We've been in our house for 3 years, and rates are almost 2% lower now. That's HUGE! For us, it would over $400/month difference on a 30year mortgage. A 15year mortgage would be a bit higher than our current payment, and I'm not if we'd want to extend ourselves that way.

Farmer's Wife- our situation is different than yours, so I can't advise you. That said, if you end up going with a local bank and it works out well, I'd love to hear about it. I think we'll start with our current lender (Bank of America), and maybe apply to a few local banks as well.

Everyone else- if you've used an internet lender, how has it worked out? Who have you been happy with? I have a friend who just refinanced and used Lending Tree to find a lender, but I believe that the friend's financial situation is a bit more precarious than mine. Is LendingTree still a good idea if I have excellent credit?

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#27 of 36 Old 09-05-2010, 02:12 AM
 
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Our credit union has been our only lender. Every time we have "shopped" re-fi's, they've had the best rate/points/process/etc. We've had the original loan plus two refinances now.

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#28 of 36 Old 09-07-2010, 02:30 PM
 
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We're calling around today and I think we're going to go ahead and do it. We've got 23 years left on this loan and I really want to switch to a 15 year. We looked into a 10 year, but that's $500 a month more than we're currently paying and I'm just not comfortable with that big of a payment.

On one hand I'm thrilled at the thought of having the house paid off before the first kid goes off to college, but I'm also a little scared of losing our line of credit. We have a 40K line of credit that we have always looked at an our emergency buffer. We'll most likely lose that when they appraise the house for the new mortgage.

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#29 of 36 Old 09-07-2010, 03:10 PM
 
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Is it possible to refinance when you've only owned a home for a year and a half? We bought our home November 2008 at 6.25%, but I see our bank is down to 4.25%. I think our home is worth about the same as we paid for it (based on zillow which I know isn't reality!!). What do you guys think?

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#30 of 36 Old 09-07-2010, 03:50 PM
 
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We just refinanced. We had 23 years left on our 30 year mortgage and we decided to go with a 15 year this time.

Our payments went down $10 a month from what we were paying before and basically shaved 8 years off our payments.

It felt so amazing to be able to do that!
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