What is your mortgage interest rate? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: What is your mortgage interest rate?
2.0 or under 2 2.63%
2.1-3.0 6 7.89%
3.1-4.0 26 34.21%
4.1-5.0 23 30.26%
5.1-6.0 13 17.11%
6.1-7.0 5 6.58%
7.1-8.0 0 0%
8.1-9.0 0 0%
9.1 or higher 1 1.32%
Voters: 76. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 44 Old 02-26-2012, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just curious what rate most of us are paying on our mortgages...

And I keep looking at refinance interest rates of 2.5% and feel like there MUST be a catch, so wondering how many people actually have rates that low... We called our current lender (which is a state first-time homebuyer program) and their refinance rates are 5.5, which is the same as our current rate, I'd think they'd off the lowest rates...

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#2 of 44 Old 02-26-2012, 11:57 AM
 
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We are at 5.25. We could refinance and go lower, but hesitate because we want to move and don't want to waste money on closing costs (unless it's for another house). 

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#3 of 44 Old 02-26-2012, 01:03 PM
 
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Keep in mind that if you are planning to stay put and pay off your mortgage then you can lower your rate simply by pre-paying.  By making modest additional payments every month that go directly to principal you can take years off the length of the mortgage and pay much less interest over the life of the loan.    Since the principal is reduced sooner, each month's payment contains more principal and less interest. This reduces the effective interest rate.

 

The upside to this method - no paperwork, no closing costs, you are not starting out by paying mostly interest as you do on a new loan, and you can cut back on the extra payment at any time if needed.

 

 

 

 

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#4 of 44 Old 02-26-2012, 01:27 PM
 
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We are paying 5.625% for a mortgage taken out 8 years ago. I too have been eyeing the lower rates and wondering about refi. I've crunched the numbers and it makes sense to do it. And yet, I simply don't want to. DH and I have decided to just go crazy paying off the mortgage. I think it might actually save us money even so, to refi, over the time it will take us to pay it off but I just. Don't. Want. To. (and can't fully justify why not).


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#5 of 44 Old 02-26-2012, 01:46 PM
 
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We are paying 4.875% from when we refinanced in 2003.  I know there have been lower rates for quite some time, but I am (irrationally) opposed to paying for another assessment.  Since you already have gone through the mortgage process, you know what to look for--- points paid, if the rate is fixed, prepayment penalties, etc...  Good luck--- sounds like a great deal!

 

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Originally Posted by MonarchMom View Post

Keep in mind that if you are planning to stay put and pay off your mortgage then you can lower your rate simply by pre-paying.  By making modest additional payments every month that go directly to principal you can take years off the length of the mortgage and pay much less interest over the life of the loan.    Since the principal is reduced sooner, each month's payment contains more principal and less interest. This reduces the effective interest rate.

 



To be clear, this doesn't actually lower your interest rate you are simply paying the same rate on smaller amount of money.  You end up paying less in interest but that is because you have borrowed the money for a shorter amount of time, not because you are paying at a lower rate.


 

 

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#6 of 44 Old 02-26-2012, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Keep in mind that if you are planning to stay put and pay off your mortgage then you can lower your rate simply by pre-paying.  By making modest additional payments every month that go directly to principal you can take years off the length of the mortgage and pay much less interest over the life of the loan.    Since the principal is reduced sooner, each month's payment contains more principal and less interest. This reduces the effective interest rate.

The upside to this method - no paperwork, no closing costs, you are not starting out by paying mostly interest as you do on a new loan, and you can cut back on the extra payment at any time if needed.

This is what we are currently doing... but I still can't help but think, what if I could get that 3% rate I see advertised? Then we'd save even more (& could still continue to pre-pay). But I do feel like the mortgage we have now gives us a lot of security because it's an organization that actually wants to keep people in their homes. They offer free programs like deferring a portion of your mortgage payment during the winter so you can pay for heat. We've never taken advantage of those things but it is nice to know they are there & the company is likely to work with us if we ever had trouble paying... I don't even know if we COULD refinance because local home values have sunk so much so ours might appraise for less than we owe. But I guess I'm just curious whether those low rates are too good to be true.

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#7 of 44 Old 02-26-2012, 04:10 PM
 
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6.42% on a 30-year here (ouch!) -- we starting building our home in 2003 and moved in early half of 2004.  We're in the middle of looking at refi.  DH was on our bank's site and saw under 2% 15-year fixed rate mortgage, with closing costs in the thousands.  We also have more than half the appraised value of our home in equity.  I was actually planning to call them to get more details tomorrow.  We're already pre-paying around $300 / month now and are wondering about the same trade-off.


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#8 of 44 Old 02-26-2012, 05:04 PM
 
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Ours is 4.25% on a 20 loan with 19 years left smile.gif

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#9 of 44 Old 02-26-2012, 06:04 PM
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Anything lower than 3.4% is going to be a variable (not fixed) rate.  


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#10 of 44 Old 02-26-2012, 06:58 PM
 
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Why not do a no closing costs loan?  We have done several and they are no more complicated than a regular refi.  You will pay a slightly higher interest rate - think 1/8 of a point - so 4.625 instead of 4.5 - and you pay zero in closing costs.  The lender or broker pays, and they get paid by your slightly higher rate.  You will have to fund your escrows - which means you prepay taxes and about 1/2 month of interest, but once you close you skip one mortgage payment and get refunded your escrow from your old lender, so as long as you have the liquid $$ to do this, you are not out of pocket any $$.  We haven't even had to pay our appraisal costs.  As I said, we've done it several times.  Once in the 5s, once in the 4s, and once in the 3s.  You don't have to worry about capturing the absolute lowest rate because you are not investing closing costs in the new rate...so if rates drop, you can do another refi in 6 months or a year.  Most mortgage brokers will offer a no cost loan.  I think people don't really know about them. 


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#11 of 44 Old 02-27-2012, 12:38 AM
 
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Ours was 5.5%.  It wasn't great and we wanted to refinance when the rates got lower.  Then we found out that we had one of the highest possible penalty that's still legal associated with it.  If we refinanced we wouldn't have saved any money, especially since there's not much time left in that term.  So we'll keep it at the rate until the term is over.  (In Canada mortgages are usually 25 years with interests signed for 4 or 5 years at a time, renewed a few times.)  My dad just got a new mortgage for 2.99.  Though I think that was some limited time offer.


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#12 of 44 Old 02-27-2012, 07:31 AM
 
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We just refinanced for 3.8%  fixed for 20 years, with no escrow and closing costs bundled in, through our local bank.  It is saving us a lot of money and 2 years of payments.  We have a pretty small income so it is a life changing amount for us, actually.  Interest rates are the lowest they have been in decades right now so maybe that is why you are hearing about people with crazy rates?  TBH though, I don't know anyone else with a rate like ours, at least not yet.   Anyway, for anyone thinking about it at least crunch the numbers.  It has been a very simple process for us, we've probably spent an hour total on it, all we have left to do is close.

 

 


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#13 of 44 Old 02-27-2012, 09:21 AM
 
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Our is 0.7 below prime with firstline mortgages.  I voted below 2.0% but I looked at prime and it is 3.0 today so we are actually at 2.3 so I voted wrong.  I am also in Canada.  

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#14 of 44 Old 02-27-2012, 09:27 AM
 
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Ours is somewhere between 3.5-4% on a 15-year. We refinanced in 2010 from a 30-year to get that. I wish we had not. The increased amount of the payment is just a little too tight to be comfortable. I wish we had stuck with our 30-year (which was still between 4-5%) and just make extra payments as we could afford. We are house-rich and cash-poor right now.


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#15 of 44 Old 02-27-2012, 01:07 PM
 
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OK, locked in our application at just under 3.3% 15-year fixed.  Closing costs incorporated in the loan, we bring under $100 to the big event. 

 

If this goes through, our monthly payments stay the same but we pay off the loan six years sooner.

 

Conditionally approved, so stay tuned.


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#16 of 44 Old 02-27-2012, 08:04 PM
 
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Now is a really good time to refinance.


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#17 of 44 Old 02-28-2012, 04:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK so question for those who did refinance -- did you have to get an appraisal?

The town has valued our property at $80K below what we bought it for. However, that's just based on current home values in our area, they haven't set foot inside our house. We've done a major remodel, virtually every room in the house was redone, though the bedroom is still a little unfinished. We put in a driveway, too. The kitchen remodel was BIG and makes the house seem much better. So I'm guessing we'd appraise at least a little higher than what the town has us valued at... but I doubt we'd get all the way up to the amount we owe, since local housing values have sunk so much. And I don't believe we're eligible for HARP. So how do we do this? Is there a way around the appraisal, any lenders that don't require it? I'd hate to spend time & MONEY on this process and not be able to do it in the end... but I want the lower interest rates too!!!

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#18 of 44 Old 02-28-2012, 05:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

OK so question for those who did refinance -- did you have to get an appraisal?
The town has valued our property at $80K below what we bought it for. However, that's just based on current home values in our area, they haven't set foot inside our house. We've done a major remodel, virtually every room in the house was redone, though the bedroom is still a little unfinished. We put in a driveway, too. The kitchen remodel was BIG and makes the house seem much better. So I'm guessing we'd appraise at least a little higher than what the town has us valued at... but I doubt we'd get all the way up to the amount we owe, since local housing values have sunk so much. And I don't believe we're eligible for HARP. So how do we do this? Is there a way around the appraisal, any lenders that don't require it? I'd hate to spend time & MONEY on this process and not be able to do it in the end... but I want the lower interest rates too!!!


Ours is requiring an appraisal (like a physical, come through the house appraiser type).  This even though we have both the original loan (<10 years old) and home equity line of credit (<5 years ago), both with full appraisals, through the same bank.

 

I hear you about falling home values:  our cost of construction in 2003-04 came to $399,000, and the city currently has us appraised at less than $215,000.  We haven't made any improvements, though.  I hope the work you've done helps you with that!


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#19 of 44 Old 02-28-2012, 08:02 PM
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We have a VA loan so we didn't need an appraisal, but without a VA loan we would have needed one. And yeah, if you're upside down in your house, you probably won't be approved for the refinance. It doesn't make sense but that's typically the way it is.

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#20 of 44 Old 02-29-2012, 06:57 AM
 
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My interest rate is 5.1.

I have owned my house for almost three years and have considered re-financing for a 3% rate (@ 15 years). What I have read is one needs a rate that is at least 1.5 - 2% lower then their current rate to make it worth the cost of money you need to pay for re-financing.   I toss around paying approx 3000 for refinancing versus just putting the 3000 on the balance.  So far I have decided to not bother with the hassles, but I AM looking at buying a different home and then selling mine ... so I may get that lower rate afterall.

I also recently read that these rates are supposed to stay low until the end of 2014, so there is no rush.


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#21 of 44 Old 02-29-2012, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
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I also recently read that these rates are supposed to stay low until the end of 2014, so there is no rush.

This is good news. Maybe we can work on paying down the principal over the next 2 years and see if we can it down to what the house is valued at. And even if we can't, we'll still be getting ahead. We plan to stay in this home forever so I guess there's time...

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#22 of 44 Old 03-02-2012, 10:59 AM
 
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Ours is 4.875 from 2005....We have not made extra payments, but are getting close to paying off CC debt.  I want to start to prepay each month by doubling my principal based on the amortization schedule, however if I understand it correctly this would change the principal for the next month, and each month would further affect the next.  So I would have to re-calculate each month in order to continue to correctly double the principal.  Am I understanding this correctly?  How do I calculate this?  I've been searching for an online tool but can't seem to find one.  Seems it would be a a PIA to have to call the mortgage company every month to re-calculate.  Has anyone found an online tool or figured out an accurate formula?  Any help would be appreciated! 


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#23 of 44 Old 03-02-2012, 11:32 AM
 
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Well, yes, the amount of principal changes each month because it's calculated to be a flat payment, and each month the amount of interest goes down (unless you've made a really bad loan, I guess) and the principal goes up.

 

Make it a little easier on yourself, if you really want to double the principal every month, settle for just doubling LAST month's principal (which you can find on your statement or logging into your online account). Close enough for government work.

 

Or, you could not sweat the concept of the doubled payment and simply throw everything you've got at it. Or just add a flat amount every month.


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#24 of 44 Old 03-02-2012, 06:53 PM
 
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We just refinanced last month and got 3.25 on a 15 year fixed (down from a 20 year fixed that had 17 years left on it).  We saved only 10$ a month, but cut two years off our mortgage, which is huge, in the long run.

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#25 of 44 Old 03-03-2012, 11:44 AM
 
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We've got 2.85 at the moment. It's a variable rate.

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#26 of 44 Old 03-05-2012, 05:29 AM
 
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Thanks laohaire, I do tend to over think things!  Do we agree that I should first pay off debt before putting anything extra towards the mortgage?  I'm working hard to finish paying of about $5500 on 2 credit cards.  I believe we will be paid off at the end of the summer.  Then I want to start putting about double on the principle, start a Roth IRA and a vacation fund!  I'm so excited that I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, it has been a long haul to get this far and once we are paid off I really want to get things in order so that we don't make the mistakes that we have made in the past.


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#27 of 44 Old 03-05-2012, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookiePie View Post

Do we agree that I should first pay off debt before putting anything extra towards the mortgage?

Yes, that's probably best if you have credit card debt, the interest rates on that can be sky-high, plus what it does to your credit rating...

If you have low-interest debt like school loans, I'd consider paying extra on the mortgage before paying of those debts, though.

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#28 of 44 Old 03-05-2012, 09:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookiePie View Post

Do we agree that I should first pay off debt before putting anything extra towards the mortgage?  I'm working hard to finish paying of about $5500 on 2 credit cards.  I believe we will be paid off at the end of the summer.  Then I want to start putting about double on the principle, start a Roth IRA and a vacation fund!  I'm so excited that I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, it has been a long haul to get this far and once we are paid off I really want to get things in order so that we don't make the mistakes that we have made in the past.



Financially, the first thing to prioritize should be your highest interest rate item (assuming you plan on paying them all off eventually).  If you itemize your taxes, remember to take that into account when determining your interest rate on both mortgage and student loans.

 

Once you are ready to start paying down your mortgage/ starting savings, I would really encourage you to start with the Roth first (depending, of course, on your current retirement investments).  I only say this because once the time passes for saving for retirement (there is a limit each year) you cannot get that opportunity back.  You can always pay additional on your mortgage, though, so that is not a time limitied issues.

 

It sounds like you're doing great--- good luck!

 


 

 

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#29 of 44 Old 03-05-2012, 12:37 PM
 
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Thanks!!!  I'm feeling very motivated to set some goals once the CC's are paid off!


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#30 of 44 Old 03-05-2012, 03:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

OK so question for those who did refinance -- did you have to get an appraisal?
The town has valued our property at $80K below what we bought it for. However, that's just based on current home values in our area, they haven't set foot inside our house. We've done a major remodel, virtually every room in the house was redone, though the bedroom is still a little unfinished. We put in a driveway, too. The kitchen remodel was BIG and makes the house seem much better. So I'm guessing we'd appraise at least a little higher than what the town has us valued at... but I doubt we'd get all the way up to the amount we owe, since local housing values have sunk so much. And I don't believe we're eligible for HARP. So how do we do this? Is there a way around the appraisal, any lenders that don't require it? I'd hate to spend time & MONEY on this process and not be able to do it in the end... but I want the lower interest rates too!!!



I'm in Canada so the answer may not be helpful.  We JUST refinanced from a 3.9% variable to a 2.9% fixed rate (locked in for 4 years).  We didn't have to get an appraisal or anything like that done.  We can still make 1 extra payment per year on the mortgage (for as much as we want) without penalty.  And since we have a sizable home line of credit balance (used to reno the house) we're going to prioritize paying that off ahead of the mortgage anyway.  It also did not cost us anything to do the refinancing (no charges, etc.)

 


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