Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA
RE/MAX Leading Edge | 781-944-6060 | marilynellis@remax.net


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 1/4/2018

Before you meet with lenders to refinance your home, thereís certain steps that you should take to make sure that you are ready to refinance and that the entire process will go smoothly. Whether you want to do a renovation or just get a lower interest rate, refinancing can be useful. These tips will be very helpful to you in making an informed decision.  


The Numbers Wonít Lie


Just like when you first purchase a home, youíll need to take a look at your own financial situation to see if refinancing actually makes sense for you. If youíre less than 30 years from retirement, you may want to rethink getting another mortgage that starts from scratch. You can always consider a 15-year mortgage, knowing that your monthly payments will be higher, giving you some breathing room from another 30 years of mortgage payments.  


Know Your Credit Score


You should be checking in on your credit report periodically in order to catch any red flags early. Youíll also know and understand any weak spots in your credit. Youíll have time to eliminate any errors and give your score time to readjust. 

You should also get an idea of where you stand with your credit score. Credit card companies often provide this. Thereís also a few free services that exist to help you obtain your credit score. Knowing this information can be very helpful when youíre looking to refinance a home.


Find Out Your Homeís Value


Lenders want to know that you donít owe more than 80% of what your home is worth. An appraisal will be a part of the refinance process, but before you even start, it will be helpful to know how much you owe versus how much your home is worth. If you owe more than your home is worth, you may want to reconsider doing the kitchen over or going for that lower interest rate. Moving might be a better option financially.  


Get Your Finances Straight


A lender likes to know that youíre in good financial standing before they grant you a loan. Work on paying down your credit card balances and donít max out any cards that you do have. All this can hurt your credit and your chances of obtaining a loan. You can even talk to some lenders beforehand in order to see if refinancing is a good idea. 


Do Your Homework


All lenders are not created equal. You can start with your current lender when it comes to refinancing. Since they want to keep your business, your lender will hopefully have some good deals for you. Youíll need to take some time to compare rates from different companies and find the lowest rates available. If you do your homework, youíll be able to get the best deals and not regret your refinancing decision.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 3/16/2017

 

Two thirds of American homeowners are somewhere in the process of paying off a mortgage. It may seem like common sense that everyone should try to pay off their mortgage sooner rather than later. However, there are circumstances when it benefits a homeowner more to hold onto their mortgage longer.


In this article, weíll offer some tips on paying off your mortgage, when you should refinance, and offer some tools that will help you along the long road to debt-free homeownership. If youíre a homeowner and find yourself asking these questions, read on.

I can afford to pay more each month on my mortgage, but should I?

In many cases, paying off your home as quickly as possible saves you money in the long run. A shorter loan term means less interest applied to your loan which could save you thousands of dollars in accrued interest.


What many people donít think about is whether that money could be better spent elsewhere. If your mortgage interest rate isnít too high, you might be better off allocating that extra income toward investments or retirement funds where they could earn you more in the long run.


This technique is typically most beneficial for younger homeowners. In your 20s and 30s you stand the most to gain from long-term investments, especially tax-benefitted retirement funds. Ultimately youíll have to do the math, which is tricky because circumstances change; markets vary, our income goes up and down, etc. However, a good starting place is to determine whether you could earn more in retirement and investments than you could by paying off your mortgage sooner and therefore saving on interest. 

Iíve owned my home for a few years now, should I refinance?

Refinancing is a term that has become ubiquitous for homeowners. There are a few important things to understand about refinancing. First, lowering your monthly payments is not always ideal if it means youíll end up paying more interest in the long run. Ideally, refinancing your mortgage will help you pay the least amount in total.

One way this can be accomplished is by refinancing to a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage which often darry slightly lower interest rates. This option is designed for people who have improved their credit and increased their income since signing their first mortgage.

Math isnít my strong suit. How can I figure out my finances?

If all of the numbers and percentages associated with mortgages and refinancing seems overwhelming--youíre not alone. Fortunately, there are mortgage and refinancing calculators that will give you a good idea of where you stand if you decide to increase your payments or to attempt to refinance your loan. Here are some great tools:
  • Use this mortgage calculator for determining how much you would save by making extra payments.

  • This refinance calculator will help you understand the potential benefits of refinancing your mortgage.

  • To determine how much you could earn through investments (rather than paying more toward your mortgage) use this helpful tool.

  • You might be able to increase your savings by creating a better budget for yourself. This website will help you make a detailed budget and hold yourself accountable each month.






Tags: mortgage   home   finance   refinancing  
Categories: Uncategorized