It wasn’t one week after we closed on our mortgage refinance that my wife and I got our next “big break” on our expenses. As I’ve spoken about before, part of my annual budget is to pick a handful of expenses each year and see what I can do to reduce them. Sometimes this takes a fair amount of work and research as was the case with the mortgage refinance. But ironically, this next one came from an unlikely source: Junk mail. … [Read more...] about Another Expense Reduced – Refinancing Your Auto Loan
As if understanding all the basics of a mortgage like interest rates, amortization, escrow, and PMI weren’t complex enough, there comes one more product that really convolutes the entire process even further: points. Like all of the items mentioned above, knowing whether or not to purchase points can have significant long-term implications on how much money you may actually save or lose throughout the life of the mortgage. This post is going to explain how all that works and I’ll even give you a Microsoft Excel worksheet to try it out yourself. … [Read more...] about Which is Better – Points or No Points on Your Mortgage?
We’ve got big news: We applied for a refinance! What’s New It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated this series. Since my last post in Chapter 3, a lot has happened - a lot of good things! … [Read more...] about Adventures in Refinancing, Chapter 4
Since my last post on refinancing, I have visited a great deal of posts and articles on the web and have learned that we have something is common: • Many of us have the same problem with trying to get a refinance. That problem is: 1) We are underwater (our house is worth less than what we still owe). In mortgage terms, our loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is above 100%. 2) We faithfully make our payments on time 3) We have no other home equity or liens against our property 4) We have private mortgage insurance (PMI) Number 4 is the real kicker. In most instances, this is where all the government help you see advertised all over hits a brick wall. … [Read more...] about Adventures in Refinancing, Chapter 3
My quest to get our mortgage refinanced started off with great promise – like a hot air balloon up and off into the sky. But … it didn’t take long for it to come crashing back down onto the ground. Here are my experiences this week: Local Mortgage Company: The first place I called was a local mortgage company that was recommended to me by my neighbor. I have a very strategic reason for choosing this company: • My neighbor and I have the same exact model house. Our neighborhood is a new-build subdivision built around 8 years ago. My neighbor is also getting a home appraisal right now and that will give me a very good idea about what my house is worth (say to +/- 10%). After answering some initial questions, the agent gave me three … [Read more...] about Adventures in Refinancing, Chapter 2
I’ve recently decided that I should take a hard look into getting a home refinance loan. Home interest rates are the lowest they have ever been in history and I need to take advantage of this opportunity before it is too late. However, the road may not be easy given how much I still owe on my house and what I think it is worth. I feel a lot of people are probably in this situation and curious about what options they may have. With that said, hopefully you find this series of posts useful towards your own efforts. … [Read more...] about Adventures in Refinancing, Chapter 1