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Real Estate: Is it a Mistake to Re-Finance?

Many homeowners make the mistake of thinking re-financing is always a viable choice as highlighted on simple real estate contract. This is not always true and homeowners can actually make a significant financial mistake by re-financing at an inopportune time. There are a few classic examples of when re-financing is a mistake.

This occurs when the homeowner does not stay in the property long enough to recoup the cost of re-financing and when the homeowner has had a credit score which dropped since the original mortgage loan. Other examples are when the interest rate has not fallen enough to offset the closing costs connected with re-financing.

Recouping the Closing Costs

To determine whether or not re-financing is worthwhile, the homeowner should think about how long they would have to retain the property to recoup the closing costs. This is important especially in the case where the homeowner intends to sell the property in the near future.

There are re-financing calculators readily available that advise homeowners how long they will have to retain the property to make re-financing worthwhile. These calculators require input such as the balance of the existing mortgage, the existing interest rate and the new interest rate. The calculator returns results comparing the monthly payments on the old mortgage and the new mortgage and also presents information about the amount of time required for the homeowner to recoup the closing costs.

When Credit Scores Drop

Most homeowners think a drop in interest rates immediately signals that it is time to re-finance the home. However, when these interest rates are combined with a drop in the credit score for the homeowner, the resulting re-financed mortgage may not be favorable to the homeowner.

Therefore homeowners should carefully consider their credit score at the present time in comparison to the credit score at the time of the original mortgage. Depending on the amount interest rates have dropped, the homeowner may still benefit from re-financing even with a lower credit score, but it is not likely. Homeowners can take advantage of free re-financing quotes to get a rough understanding of whether or not they will benefit from re-financing.

Have the Interest Rates Dropped Enough?

Another common mistake homeowners often make in regard to re-financing is re-financing whenever there is a substantial drop in interest rates. The homeowner must first carefully evaluate whether or not the interest rate has dropped enough to result in an overall cost savings for the homeowners. Homeowners often make this mistake because they neglect to think about the closing costs associated with re-financing the home.

These costs may include application fees, origination fees, appraisal fees and a variety of other closing costs. These costs can add up quite quickly and may eat into the savings generated by the lower interest rate. In some cases the closing costs may even exceed the savings resulting from lower interest rates.

Re-Financing Can Be Beneficial Even When It is a “Mistake”

In reality, re-financing is not always the ideal solution, but some homeowners may still opt for re-financing even when it is technically a mistake to do so. This classic example of this type of situation is when a homeowner re-finances to gain the benefit of lower interest rates even though the homeowner winds up paying more in the long run for this re-financing option. This occurs when either the interest rates drop slightly but not enough to result in an overall savings, or when a homeowner consolidates a significant amount of short term debt into a long term mortgage re-finance.

About Emma Gilbert

Working in the marketing industry since 2002. This blog is one of my hobbies.

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