Common Fees During Refinancing

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 3rd, 2022

Common Fees During RefinancingAs interest rates fluctuate, you might think about refinancing your mortgage. This is the cost of taking out a new home loan to replace the one you currently have. If you get a significantly lower interest rate, you could save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage. On the other hand, you need to think about potential expenses you might incur during the refinancing process. Because you are taking out another home loan, you may need to pay closing costs a second time. What are some of the most common expenses you might have to pay?

The Mortgage Application Fee

One of the most common expenses is the mortgage application fee. Essentially, this is a fee that the lender will charge for opening up a new application on your behalf. The fee can vary significantly depending on the lender you use, but it is usually a few hundred dollars.

A Home Appraisal

When you took out your first mortgage, the lender probably required you to get your home appraised. The lender wants to make sure they are not financing a home that is not worth as much as its price tag. You still need to get your home appraised again if you decide to refinance your mortgage. The lender wants to make sure they understand how much the house is worth before they give you a loan for it. A typical home appraisal is also a few hundred dollars.

Title Search And Title Insurance

The lender might also require a title search and title insurance. This is important for making sure you protect yourself in the event someone else still holds the title to your house. A title search is usually a few hundred dollars, and title insurance could be $1,000 or more.

Loan Origination Fee

Most lenders charge a loan origination fee that is approximately one percent of the value of the loan. Again, this can vary from lender to lender as well. 

Understand These Fees

There are lots of potential fees that a lender might tack on. Fortunately, you do not necessarily need to pay for all of them. Always ask the lender whether they might be willing to waive some of these fees to make the cost less expensive. 

 

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What Are The Top Signs You Need To Refinance?

Posted in Homeowner Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 29th, 2022

What Are The Top Signs You Need To Refinance?You might have heard that more people are refinancing these days. During the refinancing process, you essentially take your current home loan and replace it with a different one. You can reduce your mortgage payments, shorten the life of your loan, or withdraw cash you can use for other purposes. What are a few of the signs that indicate you should consider refinancing? 

You Can Secure A Lower Interest Rate

If you think you can secure a lower interest rate on your mortgage, it might be time to refinance. There are a number of reasons why you might be able to get a lower interest rate on your home loan. Your credit score may have improved, you may have paid off some of your other loans (which will improve your debt to income ratio), or the average home loan interest rate may have dropped. If you can get a lower interest rate on your home loan, you may want to refinance and save money. 

Your Income Has Increased Significantly

If your income has gone up significantly since you purchased your house, you might want to pay off your house more quickly. Therefore, you might want to refinance and use larger payments to pay down your home loan more quickly. The bank might also give you better terms if you are willing to make larger payments.

You Are Concerned About Your ARM Mortgage

If you have an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), you might be concerned that the interest rate on that mortgage could go up. Therefore, you can refinance your home and convert your ARM mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage. If you can lock in an interest rate with a fixed-rate mortgage, you do not have to worry about your interest rate increasing in the future. This could save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. 

Consider Refinancing Your Home

These are just a few of the signs that you should consider refinancing your mortgage. Everyone is in a slightly different financial situation, so you should work with a professional who can figure out if this is right for you. That way, you can secure the best possible terms for your home loan. 

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What To Know About Property Values and Refinancing

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 30th, 2021

What To Know About Property Values and RefinancingThere are many people who are thinking about refinancing their homes. For example, some people may be interested in reducing their monthly payments, while other people may be interested in tapping into the value of the home to fund a home improvement project. What is the relationship between property values and refinancing? There are several important points to keep in mind. 

Property Values Tend To Rise

First, it is important for homeowners to understand that property values tend to rise during the life of a mortgage. For example, someone may purchase a home valued at $250,000. Then, fifteen years later, the home might be valued at $350,000. This might mean that homeowners have access to an extra $100,000 in equity. They might use some of this money to put towards a new home when they sell their current home. Or, they might refinance their home and access that equity to complete a home improvement project. 

Monthly Payments Might Go Up

If homeowners decide to refinance their houses and take all of the equity out of the home, they might be starting their 30-year mortgage over again. Then, because the property is worth more money, they may end up with a higher monthly payment. That is why homeowners need to work with a professional who can help them figure out how the refinancing process may impact their finances in the future.

Why Property Values May Rise

There are several reasons why property values may go up. First, there might not be enough homes in the local area. Therefore, the ones that are available might be worth more money. The popularity of a specific location might increase as well. There might be a new company moving to the area with attractive job opportunities. Finally, home improvements might also increase the value of the property. 

Why Refinancing Might Make Sense

There are several reasons why it might be a good idea to refinance a home. First, homeowners might use some of the equity to pay off existing debt, such as medical bills. Some homeowners like to refinance their homes to reduce their monthly payments with a lower interest rate. Finally, there are homeowners who refinance to complete home renovation projects. 

 

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Deciding Whether To Move or Refinance: Which Is The Better Option?

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 24th, 2021

Deciding Whether To Move or Refinance: Which Is The Better Option?There are a lot of people who are wondering if now is the right time to move or refinance their current home loan. With interest rates still favorable, a lot of homeowners have the potential to save a lot of money if they are able to secure a home loan with a lower interest rate. There are two ways homeowners can secure a home loan with a lower interest rate. The first is to refinance. The second is to move. Which option is better? There are a few key points to keep in mind.

Taking A Closer Look At Refinancing

There are a lot of homeowners who have an abundance of equity currently built up in their homes, making this a great time to refinance. With a refinance, there are multiple options available. Some homeowners might refinance to access the equity in their homes, allowing them to complete a project. Some homeowners might refinance in an effort to pay off their home loan sooner. If homeowners are trying to access more equity, or are trying to shorten the term of the loan, then refinancing might be the smart move.

Looking At The Option Of Moving

The other option is to get a new home loan entirely by moving. This is an attractive option for homeowners who might have a dream house they would like to move to. In particular, any homeowner who currently has a home loan with a high interest rate should consider moving into their dream home now. Because mortgage rates are low right now, this is a chance for homeowners to move into a larger house while keeping their mortgage payments the same or less by obtaining a lower interest rate.

Every Situation Is Different

In the end, every situation is different. Because interest rates right now are so low, now could be the time for homeowners to consider moving or refinancing. Switching to a home loan with a lower interest rate could save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Anyone with questions or concerns should reach out to a professional for help.

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Looking at Home Mortgage Refinancing in 2021

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 20th, 2021

Looking at Home Mortgage Refinancing in 2021In 2019 many people expected that the home lending market was going to eventually grow more expensive. Instead, 2020 spent its entire 12 months becoming more affordable when it came to financing a personal home, moving in the opposite direction of what was expected. Not only did the loan cost drop break previous records, but it also presented an additional opportunity for homeowners to reposition and take advantage of lower borrowing costs again.

The General Advantages of a Home Loan Refinance

The refinancing of a mortgage has traditionally been three-fold. First, it is a chance to renegotiate the loan on a home purchase for a lower interest rate, which means more of the borrower’s payment goes to the loan and less to an interest charge. Second, it gives people an option to change the interest rate charged to a shorter payment period, which can also save considerable money. A borrower will pay dozens of thousands less on a 15-year loan versus a 30-year mortgage. Finally, refinancing allows a borrower to tap into home equity to use that cash value to consolidate debt, pay for other big costs, or make renovations to the home without paying out of pocket for them.

Why 2021 Provides a Good Window

By the time 2020 ended, mortgage rates overall were running at all time lows on a conventional 30-year fixed mortgage, an amazing opportunity for the cost of borrowing and probably the lowest possible in 50 years. The dip won’t last forever, as many people have been trying to project, and eventually what goes down also goes back up. Some amount of rising rates is a firm prediction from the National Association of Realtors® for 2021 which has already occurred, and that loan interest rate cost is expected to eventually go somewhat higher by the end of the year if the economy speeds up again. So, the 2021 window for a valuable refinancing opportunity is clearly the beginning half of the year.

Comparing Current Status to “What If”

Obviously, just chasing a mortgage refinance for minimal gain is silly. The amount paid in closing costs can be expensive. However, when the shift can easily be a percentage point difference or more, then it is worth considering. Many people locked in homes at higher rates in the past and are still paying that amount, especially on an adjustable-rate mortgage. Grabbing a fixed mortgage refinance in the current rate environment is definitely worth the work and time, potentially paying for itself in a handful of years or by consolidating higher cost debt into the home loan.

There is no perfect formula that applies to everyone, but 2021 has already shaped up to be the year that the majority of homeowners can definitely benefit from, especially given the need for financial reserves and a bit of personal finance reorganization after 2020.  As always, consult with your professional mortgage advisor for details on your personal situation.

 

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The Top Tricks For Updating A Home On A Tight Budget

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 4th, 2021

The Top Tricks For Updating A Home On A Tight BudgetThere are a lot of people who are looking for ways to get the most money out of their property when they put it on the market. One of the tricks to doing this is to update the home before it goes on the market. Unfortunately, this can also be expensive.

Even though it is true that many homeowners will be able to recoup the price of the renovations when they list the home on the market, we still need to pay for these updates out-of-pocket. This can be incredibly expensive and could take money from other important areas, such as a car or someone’s education. Fortunately, there is a way for people to update their home without spending any money out of pocket. 

Refinance The Home And Free Up Some Cash

The first option the people need to consider is the opportunity to refinance the home while also freeing up some cash. Those who have been in their home for several years might have some equity built up in the home. They may be able to refinance their home, reducing their monthly payment while also getting a little bit of cash they can use to complete the renovation without paying anything out of pocket. Those who are interested in this option should speak with their lender about some of the ways they might be able to finance their renovation project.

Set Up A Payment Plan With The Contractor

Another option that homeowners might want to consider a set up a payment plan with the contractor. A lot of contractors are willing to provide homeowners with very low interest rates, or 0 percent interest rates, on the home renovation project. Most contractors understand that a lot of families are operating on a budget and might not have money to pay for the project in its entirety up front. This is another topic that homeowners should discuss.

Finance A Home Improvement Project On A Budget

These are just a few of the many ways that homeowners can finance a home renovation project without spending an exorbitant amount of money out-of-pocket. Think about these options ahead of time and make that next home improvement project more affordable.

 

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Getting A Lower Interest Rate During A Refinance

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 22nd, 2020

Getting A Lower Interest Rate During A RefinanceThere are a lot of people who have spotted the record-low mortgage rates right now and are wondering if they can refinance successfully. While many people apply for a refinance of their current home loan, not everyone will be approved. Furthermore, a home refinance is not the best option for everyone. Those who want to qualify for record-low refinance rates need to keep a few key points in mind.

Be A Strong Refinance Candidate

First, homeowners need to make sure that it is actually worth their time to refinance to a lower home mortgage rate. In general, homeowners want to make sure they are able to save at least three-quarters of a percentage point when compared to their current home loan to make a refinance worth their while. If they cannot save this much money on their home loan, then they may end up spending more money on the refinance in closing costs.

Act Quickly

The real estate market is volatile right now. Therefore, home refinance rates are often moving targets. As a result, the interest rates that are published this week could change in the span of a few days. By the time loan packages are returned to the lender, the rates might not even be accurate anymore. Therefore, all homeowners need to be willing to act fast. Have pay stubs, bank statements, and tax returns ready to go when the lender asks for it.

Have The Money For Closing Costs

One of the most common reasons why homeowners lose out on the best interest rates is that they do not have the money ready to pay closing costs. By the time the homeowners get the money together, the refinance rate might have passed them by. Usually, closing costs fall somewhere between two percent and five percent of the total loan amount and this amount is usually due at signing.

Qualify For The Best Mortgage Rates During A Refinance

With mortgage rates falling to record lows, now is a good time for many homeowners to refinance. On the other hand, homeowners need to set themselves up to qualify for the lowest mortgage rates. Following these steps can place homeowners in a position to be successful when they apply for a refinance.

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How To Finance Your Home Improvement Project

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 8th, 2020

How To Finance Your Home Improvement ProjectIf you have been spending a lot of time at home recently, then you might be getting tired of staring at the same four walls. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for you to switch it up by financing a home improvement project. At the same time, home improvement projects can be expensive, particularly if you are targeting the kitchen. Therefore, you might be wondering how you are going to be able to pay for them. There are plenty of ways that you can finance a home improvement project, so take a look at a few of the options below. 

Consider Taking A Cash-Out Refinance

One way that you can free up some extra cash is to carry out something called a cash-out refinance. Right now, due to the coronavirus pandemic, mortgage rates are at historic lows. Therefore, you might be able to complete a refinancing plan that can free up some cash for the home improvement project. When you refinance your loan, you essentially change the terms of your mortgage to free up some of the equity that you already have in your home. Then, you can put this equity toward your home improvement projects. 

Take Out A Home Equity Line Of Credit

You might also be able to tap into the equity you have in your home directly by creating a line of credit. This is a common option when it comes to home improvement financing. The money that you receive from this home equity line comes directly from the equity in your home. If you have been paying into your mortgage for several years, then there is a high chance that you have built up an equity line of credit. At the same time, remember that this is very much like a second mortgage, so you are essentially putting up your house as collateral.

Finance Your Home Improvement Project

Even though you can always put your home improvement project on a credit card or take out a personal loan, it might be better for you to tap into the equity in your home. By accessing a lower interest rate, you might be able to save a significant amount of money while still accomplishing your home improvement project goals.

 

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Should You Get A Second Mortgage To Pay For College?

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 17th, 2019

Should You Get A Second Mortgage To Pay For CollegeCollege is expensive and everyone needs to think about how they are going to cover the costs. Some of the costs include tuition, room and board, meals, books, and spending money.

In order to pay for college, some people consider taking out a second mortgage instead of taking out a student loan. How can someone know if taking out a second mortgage is the answer for them? There are several factors to consider.

The Interest Rate

One of the factors that people need to consider is the interest rate on the second mortgage. The higher the interest rate, the more expensive the second mortgage is going to be.

The total cost of the second mortgage, including the interest rate, points, origination fees, and other expenses, must be weighed against the cost of attending college, which often comes in the form of a student loan. Which is going to be more cost-effective? The second mortgage or the student loan?

The Size Of The Loan

Another factor to consider is the size of the loan. Ultimately, the size of the loan is going to impact the final cost of attending college. The larger the loan, the more someone will have to pay in terms of interest. The size of the student loan should be compared to the cost associated with a second mortgage. 

The Tax Implications

Another aspect people need to consider is the tax implications. The interest on a first mortgage is tax-deductible. This is often the largest tax deduction that someone claims. People might assume that the interest on their second mortgage is going to be tax-deductible as well.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Interest on a second mortgage is tax-deductible only if the proceeds from that mortgage are going to be used to pay for the property. If they are being used to pay for education, they are not tax-deductible.

People need to compare the tax implications of a student loan versus the implications of a second mortgage.

Using A Second Mortgage To Pay For College

These are a few of the factors that everyone needs to think about when trying to finance the cost of higher education. These decisions can have significant impacts on someone’s financial future.

Consult with your trusted home financing professional for a review of your personal situation. They can guide you through the process to make the best decision for your family.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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Is Now a Good Time to Cash Out Your Home Equity?

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 17th, 2019

Is Now a Good Time to Cash Out Your Home EquityFor many Americans, their home is their primary investment. The equity stored in your residence can be a source of available cash for home repairs, upgrades, or for financing the purchase of investment properties. However, few homeowners really understand the process that results in home equity. 

What Is Home Equity?

Your monthly mortgage payment goes towards two different amounts. The first is the interest that you pay for the loan. The other is your principal payment or the amount that counts against the initial amount that you borrowed for the purchase. Depending on the details of your loan contract, each payment is generally split between these two types of charges.

Over time the amount that you’ve paid towards the loan’s principal grows your equity position. With each payment, your equity grows as well. Once enough equity is accrued, many lenders allow homeowners to access those funds via an equity line of credit, home equity loan or a cash-out refinance. 

You’ll have to pay interest on any monies you withdraw from the second mortgage or higher loan amount upon your refinance. With home equity lines, however, these loans only charge interest on the money that you actually use. You can secure a home equity line of credit for a certain amount and not be liable for a penny in interest until your first withdrawal.

How Can You Calculate Potential Equity?

There are 4 main factors to consider when calculating your home’s equity.

  • Home value.
  • Monthly mortgage payments.
  • Down payment.
  • Any liens or additional mortgages on the property.

Imagine your home is currently valued at $300,000. With cash down payment of 20%, your home’s starting equity is equal to your initial $60,000 payment. Each payment slowly increases your equity until you have full financial ownership of your home.

Talk to your lender to understand how interest in applied to each payment. For fixed rate loans, you can easily figure out how much of your mortgage payments are immediately applied to the loan’s principal. An easy way to see this equity build up on a monthly basis is to reference an amortization schedule. Your lender should be able to provide this for you at no charge.

For property owners with liens and additional mortgages, add the value of those items to what’s still due on your primary mortgage loan before completing the calculations.

Home equity is a flexible financial tool that you can use to improve your property, expand your business, or treat yourself to something special. Plan carefully to get the most out of your home equity line of credit.

If you are interested in a buying a new home or listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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