Refinance Considerations

When you’re making your decision, there are several things to keep in mind.

If your current interest rate is significantly higher than today’s lowest rates, you may be able to roll your loan costs into the loan and still get a lower rate than you have today, thereby reducing your interest payments and saving money immediately.

Second, if you are planning to stay in your home for at least three to five years, it may make sense to pay “points” (a point equals 1% of the loan amount) and closing costs to get the lowest available rate.

And third, you can avoid laying out cash and still get a low rate by adding the points and closing costs to your new mortgage. Does that mean shouldering a lot of extra debt? Not necessarily. If you’ve had your current mortgage for at least three years, you’ve probably reduced your balance by several thousand dollars. So you may be able to tack your closing costs onto your new loan and still end up with a mortgage that’s smaller than your original one — plus, of course, a lower rate and lower monthly payment.

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.

Mortgage Refinance Costs

When you refinance your mortgage, you usually pay off your original mortgage and sign a new loan. With a new loan, you again pay most of the same costs you paid to get your original mortgage. These can include settlement costs, discount points, and other fees. You also may be charged a penalty for paying off your original loan early, although some states prohibit this. The total expense for refinancing a mortgage depends on the interest rate, number of points, and other costs required obtaining a loan.

To obtain the lowest rate offered, most mortgage companies will charge several points, and the total cost can run between three and six percent of the total amount you borrow. So, for example, on a $100,000 mortgage, the company might charge you between $3,000 and $6,000. However, some companies may offer zero points at a higher interest rate, which may significantly reduce your initial costs, although your payments may be somewhat higher.

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.

Deciding to Refinance

Traditionally, the decision on whether or not to refinance has meant balancing the savings of a lower monthly payment against the costs of refinancing. But in recent years, companies have introduced “no cost” and low cost refinancing packages that minimize or completely eliminate the out-of-pocket expenses of refinancing. (These refinancing packages compensate with a higher interest rate, or by including some of the costs in the amount that is financed.)

With traditional refinancing, the most often cited rule of thumb is that the interest rate for your new mortgage must be about 2 percentage points below the rate of your current mortgage for refinancing to make sense. However, with the newer low and no cost refinancing programs, it can be worth your while to refinance to obtain a smaller reduction in interest rates.

How long you expect to stay in your home is also a factor to consider. If you’ll be moving in a few years, the month to month savings may never add up to the costs that are involved in a refinancing.

Please visit our Disclosures page for more details for all loan types.

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.

Appraisal Needed To Obtain Loan

This post is a part of the “Ultimate Guide to Home Financing” blog series.

Usually, individuals applying for a loan are only interested in obtaining the loan and unfortunately are not worried about the prudence of buying the property at the agreed price. In fact, many purchasers will try to encourage appraisers to increase the appraised value so that they can purchase the home regardless of its value.

The majority of real estate appraisals are requested by mortgage companies to validate the property’s purchase price for loan purposes. Except for periods of very low interest rates when everyone is refinancing, most loans are for the purchase of real estate and ordered after a sale price is negotiated. Purchasers mistakenly assume that mortgage companies are looking after their interests in the purchase transaction.

The law states that if the mortgage company orders the appraisal, the appraiser is responsible only to the mortgage company. We expect mortgage companies to be prudent and they should be, but being prudent is protecting their interest, not necessarily the purchaser’s. The mortgage company’s position is:

  • It has two sources of repayment: the purchaser’s income and the property.
  • The responsibility to repay the loan is not based upon the property’s value, so the purchaser is obligated to pay the note even if the property value declines to zero.
  • The loan may be insured or guaranteed by a government agency.
  • The government does not promise to pay the purchaser’s debt if the property value is wrong.
  • If the loan is greater than 80% of the value, a portion of the loan may be insured by a private mortgage insurer.
  • There is no decrease in risk for the purchaser regardless of the loan to value ratio. The investment by the purchaser is the same; a mixture of personal cash and a loan that must be repaid.

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.

Appraisal Methods

This post is a part of the “Ultimate Guide to Home Financing” blog series.

 

An appraisal is an opinion of value or the act or process of estimating value. This opinion or estimate is derived by using three common approaches, all derived from the market.

  1. The cost approach to determining value is to estimate what it would cost to replace or reproduce the improvements as of the date of the appraisal, less the physical deterioration, the functional obsolescence and the economic obsolescence. The remainder is added to the land value.
  2. The comparison approach to determining value makes use of other “benchmark” properties of similar size, quality and location that have been recently sold. A comparison is made to the subject property.
  3. The income approach to determining value is of primary importance in ascertaining the value of income producing properties and has little weight in residential properties. This approach provides an objective estimate of what a prudent investor would pay based upon the net income the property produces.

Then, after thorough analysis of all general and specific data gathered from the market, a final estimate or opinion of value is correlated.

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.

Appraisal Basics

This post is a part of the “Ultimate Guide to Home Financing” blog series.

An appraisal of real estate is the valuation of the rights of ownership. The appraiser must define the rights he intends to appraise. The appraiser does not create value, the appraiser interprets the market to arrive at a value estimate. As the appraiser compiles data pertinent to a report, consideration must be given to the site and amenities as well as the physical condition of the property. An appraiser may spend only a short time inspecting the property, however, this is only the beginning.

Considerable research and collection of general and specific data must be accomplished before the appraiser can arrive at a final opinion of value.

Due to the many types of value, such as fair market value, insurance value, tax value, and value in use, the need to precisely define the purpose of the appraisal is essential.

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.