Monday, May 10, 2010

Cut Costs With Home Refinancing

Home refinancing often makes good financial sense, but it's important to understand the basics to make sure you obtain the best rates and terms. Learn how with these home refinancing tips designed specifically for today's difficult economy:

Home Refinancing Tips

  • Keep good credit. Although it is possible to get home refinancing with less than perfect credit, a good credit score is helpful to obtain the best rates. Obtain a copy of your credit score three to six months in advance to have plenty of time to review it for errors prior to actually applying for refinancing.
  • Shop for rates. Compare the total cost of home refinancing including interest rate, closing costs and other fees to find the best deal. It's also a good idea to sign up for an email alert to be notified when rates reflect your target interest level then Lock-in a rate as soon as possible. Remember, rates can change rapidly so be prepared to act quickly. Work with a broker or online quote agency to locate the best rates for your area.
  • Keep your home in good repair. In order to refinance the bank will perform a current appraisal as well as inspection and/or survey; depending upon how recently the home was purchased one or all of the above will be necessary. Make sure your home looks its best in order to appraise at a high enough value to reflect equity in the home. This is especially important for homes located in markets which have experienced dramatic drops in the market value of homes over the past 18 months. By keeping your home in good repair and performing regular maintenance it will be more likely to show a strong appraisal value.
  • Compare the total cost of home refinancing. When comparison shopping for home loan rates it is important to compare the interest and additional fees including closing costs, appraisals and other related expenses. Points that you pay in order to reduce the interest rate can also add thousands to the final cost. Many seemingly low interest rates actually require the homeowner to purchase points in order to obtain that favorable interest rate. In some cases, what appears to be a higher initial rate may actually cost less in the long run if you don't need to purchase points. Take time to closely compare both the long term interest rate and APR or annual percentage rate.


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