Now is the Time to Refinance Your Home
As a home owner, market volatility can surprisingly be your best friend. After Britain’s infamous Brexit vote to leave the European Union recently, the housing market was shaken up and mortgage rates plummeted. This means that you, a home owner, are in a prime position to consider your refinancing options. You can finally bring down that interest rate or align your mortgage to your long term financial goals. Now is the time to refinance your home.
Because of the aforementioned events, The New York Times recently reported that several marketplaces have seen over a 130% surge in refinancing applications. It was also reported that mortgage rates are the lowest they’ve been in years with a solid prediction that the rates will stay low for the rest of the year. That, of course, does not mean that you should drag your feet on refinancing. But it does give you time to do thorough market research and get your paperwork ready for the application process. With more applications being submitted nationally, there are also more rejections.
We’ve compiled an easy guide for you to prepare your paperwork for financial success.
The first step in deciding to refinance is to consider your goals. The most common reasons for a modern refinance are:
1.) Lower your monthly payment
2.) Pay off your mortgage faster
3.) Get cash from your home
4.) Consolidate your debt
5.) Earn more from your investment property
If you’re still on the fence about whether this is the right financial path for you, talk to a Home Loan Expert for more information.
What Will I Need to Refinance?
We’ll assume you’ve found a reputable and friendly mortgage company and want to move forward with the refinancing process. Most mortgage lenders will require several documents. We’ve listed them here so you can prepare them in advance to ensure a smooth application process.
- Proof of Income – Usually pay stubs, last 30 days or longer.
- Copy of Homeowners Insurance – Most lenders want proof of sufficient coverage.
- Copies of W-2s
- Copies of Asset Information – Statements of savings, checking and 401 K accounts, and any investment records for mutual funds or stocks.
- Copy of Title Insurance – This helps verify things like taxes, titles, and property descriptions.
- And finally, lenders will want your credit report, so now is the time to make sure it’s in tip top shape (Forbes has a great article on how to improve that 3-digit score here).
Now is the Time to Refinance: Prepare
So now that you are motivated and ready to move forward with the refinancing process, here’s a Step-by-Step guide so you know what to look for and are armed with information:
1.) Determine Your Goal – Make sure that your goals align with the list above.
2.) Learn Your Credit Score – The better your score, the better rates you’ll be offered by mortgage companies.
3.) Research Your Home’s Current Value – Check online for surrounding neighborhood recent home sales to see where local property values are at.
4.) Shop for Your Best Mortgage Rate – Always shop around, not just for rates, but for a reputable mortgage company.
5.) Know Your Fees – Be aware of hidden costs like application fees, appraisal fees, document processing fees, underwriting fees, credit report charges, title research, recording fees, tax transfers and points, the list goes on. Make sure that your mortgage company is upfront about all fees, which ties back into finding a reputable mortgage lender. Do not get suckered into the “no cost” or “low cost” refinance scam, because it means they’re just moving your fees into the actual loan in the form of higher interest rates. Do your research and avoid these scams.
6.) Get Your Paperwork Ready – As mentioned above, you’ll need to gather your statements, paystubs, and whatever else your lender will require.
7.) Have Cash on Hand – You’ll most likely need cash at closing to pay property taxes, insurance, closing costs, and any other unplanned expenses, so be sure to have some set aside for this. Luckily, (as stated in our first blog post) you are protected as a modern home buyer and mortgage lenders are required to list all expenses in your loan estimate paperwork.
Follow these steps with a great mortgage company and the refinancing process will set you up for long-term financial success.