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Refinancing a Home
Refinancing Basics - Refinancing your home can be a cost-effective move, but it's not for everyone. Information in this section addresses home value estimation, timing a refinance, mortgage interest deductions and more. Use our calculator to compute your breakeven level.
- Should You Refinance Your Home Mortgage - Take into account these factors before making the choice to refinance your home.
- Simple Ways to Estimate Home Value - One of the most easiest ways to estimate the value of your home is to use the freely available online tools.
- Consider Refinancing Regardless of Rates - Be sure to examine your mortgage in light of today's rates and with a view towards making sure your mortgage matches your plans.
- Refinance Breakeven - Should you refinance your mortgage? Use this calculator to determine when you will break even.
- Don't Get Flattened by the Refi Stampede - Be sure to follow these basic refinancing tips to ensure a quick rate lock and a smooth closing.
- When Is the Right Time to Refinance? - Refinancing a home loan should be all about saving money now, or preventing increased costs in the future.
- Before You Get a Second Mortgage, Evaluate Your First Mortgage - Make sure you understand the terms of your primary mortgage before refinancing or taking a second one.
- Cash In, Not Cash Out - Putting cash into a refinanced loan is a great way to lower your monthly payments and reduce the amount of interest you pay.
- Bottom Line: Payback - A number of factors go into deciding whether to refinance, but one of the main considerations is the payback period on the refinance.
Refinancing Options - Refer to this section for information on home equity loans and credit lines, FHA loans, cash-out refinance, low equity refinance, no cost refinance and more. Our calculators compute bi-weekly payments for existing mortgages and blended rate mortgages.
- Home Equity Loans - A Powerful Financial Tool - The equity you have in your home can be a powerful tool in managing your overall financial situation.
- Home Equity Lines of Credit - Understanding Home Equity Lines of Credit.
- Refinancing with an FHA loan - It is possible to refinance an existing loan into an FHA loan. It offers many advantages.
- Pros and Cons of Cash-Out Refinancing - Weigh the benefits and disadvantages of cash-out refinancing.
- Bi-weekly Payments for an Existing Mortgage - This calculator shows you the possible savings by starting to pay your current mortgage with biweekly payments, instead of monthly payments.
- Blended Rate Mortgage Calculator - This calculator helps you determine the effective, or blended, interest rate you would pay if you use a first and a second mortgage to finance the purchase of a home.
- If You Can, Go With a Shorter Term - When refinancing, consider a shorter term loan, which can save you from paying a significantly higher amount in interest.
- Saving Without Refinancing - Instead of refinancing, consider applying an extra payment to the principal each year. You could save thousands in interest and shorten the term of your loan.
- Refinance But Leave Your Payment the Same - If you can afford to, consider refinancing but sending in the same amount for your monthly payment.
- First Mortgage Plus Second Mortgage = No PMI - Private mortgage insurance (PMI) covers the lender against borrower default.
- What is Mortgage Recasting? - Recasting a mortgage is a fairly simple concept.
- Loan Modification - A loan modification is like a revised home loan.
Understanding the Refinancing Process - This section provides simple answers to complicated questions. Subject areas include appraisal basics, proper documentation, escrow issues, low interest options, good faith estimates, title preparation and much more.
- All About Appraisals - A better of understanding estimating the value of a home also known as appraisal.
- What You'll Need - Here are some ideas of documents you might need for refinancing your mortgage.
- To Lock Your Rate or Not to Lock Your Rate - Either Way, Be Prepared - It should prompt holders of ARMs to consider whether it is time to lock in their mortgage rates.
- Consider the PMI Impact - Lenders require Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) when a borrower puts down less than 20% on a home loan.
- Before You Refinance - Check for Prepayment Penalties - If you are shopping for a new mortgage, try to avoid mortgages that include prepayment penalties under any circumstances.
- The Good Faith Estimate Could Be Your Best Friend - Mortgage lenders are required by law to provide borrowers with a document called the Good Faith Estimate (GFE).
- Save on Title Preparation - The cost of a title search and title preparation is usually covered by the buyer so why not try to reduce the cost?
- Signed, Sealed, Not Always Delivered - The Right of Rescission is a protection given to borrowers under the Truth in Lending Act.
Optimizing Your Refinancing Opportunities - Refinancing your home can generate big payoffs if you understand the process. Learn here about the best improvement projects, insurance concerns, energy credits, down payments, and tax credits and issues.
- Improvement Projects with the Biggest Payoff - Check with your insurance agent before renovating to find out if your project can help you save some money.
- Don't Forget to Review Homeowners Insurance - Don’t overlook your homeowners’ insurance after you renovate or make other improvements to be sure that it reflects the new value of your home.
- Down Payments Make Refinancing Easier - In some cases a down payment may result in a lower interest rate and making the loan easier to qualify for.
- Tax Credits for Improvements - When you refinance to make improvements, keep in mind tax credits are available for improvement projects that make your home more efficient or green.
Refinancing Mistakes to Avoid - Even the best refinance strategies may have pitfalls. This section offers valuable information on home office tax deduction issues, adjustable-rate mortgages and balloon notes, and problems with cash-out refinance.
- Don't Let Your Balloon Burst - A balloon mortgage has a fixed interest rate for a specific number of years, usually seven to ten.
- Cash-Out Refinance? Don't Forget the PMI - PMI is generally required on a home loan with a balance of eighty percent or more of the value of the home.
- Do Your Refi Homework - Before you begin to search for a lender to refinance your home, do your homework to learn exactly what your borrowing limit is.
- Don't focus purely on interest rates - Getting the lowest interest rate is important, but if you lose sight of the total cost of your refinance, it can cost your big time.