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Home Mortgage Refinancing


    A home mortgage refinancing (Refi) loan is simply another mortgage you take on to replace your old one, with the main difference between the two being that in a refinance, the property remains in your possession. You may decide you want to refinance if you can find another mortgage with a lower interest rate, thus saving you money. Other reasons to refinance include wanting to swap your volatile ARM for a fixed rate mortgage, or if you want to pull out money from the equity you've accrued on your home for major expenses like putting your kids through college.

    An old rule of thumb, known as the 2 percent rule, states that you should refinance if there is a 2 percent difference between your current mortgage's interest rate and the new loan's rate. The reasoning behind this is that the larger the difference between your current loan's interest and that of the new loan, the more money you will save, and the faster you will recoup your refinancing charges.

    Though the 2 percent rule is generally a good rule to follow, it can sometimes be beneficial to refinance even when the interest rate difference is smaller. Even a 1 percent difference can save you a lot of money, but it will just mean that that it will take longer to recover the refinancing costs. If you plan to stay in your home for a while, this may not be a big deal, and you can always refinance again if interest rates continue to drop.

    Typically, home mortgage refinancing involves the same steps and fees that were involved in obtaining the original mortgage. You may even be able to negotiate with the lender to get the refinancing fees waived. Beware of lenders who advertise "no-costs" refinancing, as it will usually be at the expense of a higher interest rate.

    Whether you decide to make a new home mortgage refinance or not will usually depend on two factors: how much money you will save on interest rates, and how long it will take you to recoup refinancing costs. For example, if refinancing costs you $3,000, and your monthly savings are $150, it will take you 20 months to break even. If you are not planning to stay in your house that long, it wouldn't make sense to refinance.

    When does refinancing Make Sense?








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