Factors to Consider Before You Refinance Your Home
It’s no secret that the best time to finance a home is when mortgage interest rates are low. You could save thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your mortgage if you finance at the right time. With interest rates still being low, some wonder why more people aren’t refinancing their homes, especially if doing so would save them $100 or more a month on their mortgage payments.
Although low interest rates are a primary reason to consider refinancing a home, it’s not the only reason. Other reasons to consider refinancing include:
- Ready to adjust length of the loan – Refinancing your home could allow you to extend the number of years that you have to pay for your house, potentially lowering your monthly installments. Just be careful that you don’t end up paying higher interest rates in the long term. Of course,you could also shorten the length of your loan. Generally, this option will find you paying less interest over the lifetime of your loan.
- Moving to a fixed rate mortgage – Adjustable rate mortgages may start out low, but they don’t always remain low. Even with a fixed rate mortgage, you could spend more on your house each month due to an increase in home owner association fees or property taxes.
- Improved credit scores – Stronger credit scores could help you to get a better adjustable rate mortgage.
If you’ve had your mortgage for several years, you may have paid on a good deal of the principal. Refinancing and starting with a new loan could backfire, causing you to pay more interest. If you have a lot of equity in your home but you’re struggling to stay current on your monthly mortgage payments, consider renting out a room at your house.
You could also work a part-time job, even if you work a remote job from home, until you become current in your payments. A few months of work change could save you money and headaches down the road if you only need $200 or less each month to make your mortgage. Other alternatives would be to become more energy efficient and to create and stick to a budget. Think short and long term gains.
Depending on your existing mortgage, you may or may not be charged a fee to refinance your home. Some mortgages charge a prepayment fee to refinance. Simply because you’re paying the loan off early, you could be assessed the fee. Definitely check with your lender to see if such a clause is in your mortgage contract.
Take your time shopping around for a better mortgage. Regardless of the lender that you refinance your home through, you may pay refinancing fees. Some lenders may also require you to pay for another home inspection, application fee,origination fee and closing costs. Factor in all charges and fees that you will incur if you refinance your home before you sign on the dotted line.
If your home no longer meets your family’s needs, moving to a new house might be a better option than refinancing. Another time when you might not want to refinance your home is if your kids are getting ready to start college and you’ll be taking on student loans.