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Photo credit: http://www.sabinabecker.com

Photo credit: http://www.sabinabecker.com

With rates for 30-year mortgages hovering below 4 percent since last October, all kinds of homeowners are trying to get their monthly mortgages reduced, say lenders and mortgage experts.

Along with months of record-breaking low interest rates, other factors are driving the refinancing boom: a competitive lending market and changes in some federal refinancing programs for struggling homeowners.  It’s prompted many established homeowners with old-school, high-interest mortgages to decide it’s time to refi.

  • To determine whether you should refinance, look at how long you plan to be in your current home and whether the upfront costs outweigh the monthly savings.  Generally the primary reasons for refinancing a mortgage are to:
    • Lower monthly mortgage payments.
    • Eliminate the unpredictability of an adjustable-rate mortgage by switching to a fixed rate.
    • Free up home equity cash for home improvements, college costs or other expenses.
    • Shorten the loan term, say from a 30- to a 15-year mortgage, which can save thousands in interest payments.
  • It pays to compare quotes from several lenders because they offer different rates and fees. Start with your current lender or sit down with a local loan originator. You can also do refinance comparisons online, using mortgage calculators at sites like Bankrate.com or those of individual banks and lenders.
  • If you’re a struggling homeowner, ask your lender about changes in the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program and FHA refinance programs that have made refinancing options more plentiful.

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For all your real estate needs
Email or call today:

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
Civil Engineer
General Contractor
(530) 263-1091
Email jodell@nevadacounty.com

DRE#00669941

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While many large financial institutions are facing backlogs of mortgage applications as more homeowners take advantage of low interest rates and the government-sponsored Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), borrowers looking to accelerate the refinancing process are finding some relief from brokerages and community banks that are not servicing HARP loans.

  • HARP borrowers typically refinance with the banks that originally serviced their loans, because those banks already have their information and, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, “There’s potential for it to be a less painful process.”
  • Still, tighter lending standards precipitated by the mortgage crisis have made for an arduous application process.
  • Mortgage brokers are reporting an increase in business from those looking to streamline the process.  According to one broker, a benefit of working with a mortgage broker is that they have direct contact with the banks and can keep track of the application as it goes through many hands at the bank.
  • Borrowers also might want to consider refinancing with a community bank, especially those that do not service HARP-eligible borrowers and are able to respond quicker to non-HARP refinance requests.

Read the full story 

 

For all your real estate needs
Email or call today:

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
Civil Engineer
General Contractor
(530) 263-1091
Email jodell@nevadacounty.com

DRE#00669941

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