By Robbie T. James
If you are like most of us, your home mortgage represents your largest monthly expense – likely requiring you to spend 20-35% or more of your income every month just to make your payments.
The fact that homeowners spend so much of their hard-earned money on their home is done with good reason. The home means something unique and personal to each of us. For most people, our home is our shelter, a place to put our things, and a place to entertain and take care of those we care about . . . a place to be proud of. It is also a big financial investment. This investment vehicle role of the home is another aspect altogether, and one to be taken seriously.
Being such a large investment, however, your home is something that you have to work very hard to financially support and maintain. Even if you exclude monthly home-related expenses like utilities and repairs, the monthly mortgage payments alone are enough to place a strain on most people’s finances.
If you are feeling the pain of your mortgage payments or just would like to see if you can get a better interest rate, refinancing might be in your near future.
Refinancing Your Mortgage Can Be A Smart Move
There are a number of advantages to refinancing your home. In particular, refinancing can:
a. allow you to reduce your monthly mortgage payment amount
b. reduce the total cost of your loan c. give you the chance to cash out some of your equity for use toward other big expenses like college or home improvements
How Does Refinancing Work?
Essentially, refinancing works much like it does to get a mortgage the first time around. However, with refinancing you already own the home and have a mortgage in place. So, you are basically just swapping out one mortgage for a better one.
To refinance, the process goes something like this: you will need to find a low-rate lender – one willing to offer you a better interest rate than you have now. You most likely will get your home appraised (the cost of which can often be rolled into your new loan). And, you specify the terms you want, such as a 10 year, 20 year or 30 year loan. Longer terms means cheaper monthly payments but paying more in interest costs over the life of the loan.
How To Know When To Refinance
There is no single-best time to refinance. However, for most people, the best time to refinance is when you notice that interest rates in the market are down. Or, if you have a better credit score than you did when you got your current mortgage, it could be a good time to refinance. You never know for sure, however, until you apply and get your first offer.
Refinance Mortgage Interest Rates: 3 Tips
Here are three tips for getting the best interest rates when you refinance your home:
1. Get a quote from your current lender last: Your current lender already has an “in” with you. They have a little extra influence and they know it. That is why it is always important to ask them for a refinancing quote last. That way, when you approach them later, you will have in your back pocket 2-3 excellent alternative offers from other firms. Make your current lender work to keep your business!
2. Check your credit score: Before calling around or applying online for a new loan, be sure to run your credit report first. Knowing your score before you call gives you an advantage. Also, it allows you to fix any glitches or mistakes in your credit report.
3. Get quotes from at least 5 lenders: Make sure you spend the extra hour or two required to research multiple lenders. By getting quotes from multiple lenders, you will only be increasing your chances of landing an offer. You should consider accepting the best offer you get, as long as the new interest rate is at least 0.5% to 1% lower than your current rate.
Follow these 3 tips to secure the best refinance mortgage rates.
About the Author: Get access to some of the lowest mortgage refinance rates around at: Home Mortgage Refinance Rate Offers.
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