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Mortgage Rates and Refinancing

from: Mortage & Debt Facts

Homebuyers should know what kind of mortgage they need and what kind of mortgage rates they are going to be paying.

The difference between a 30 year fixed mortgage and an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) could be thousands of dollars. If you have an ARM and the rate goes up at the next rate adjustment, that could make your monthly payment go up and you may be paying back a lot more money than if you went with a 30 year fixed mortgage.

Often, homeowners that have been paying on their mortgage for a number of years decide that they want to refinance their home to lower their payments. Essentially, a re-fi loan is a new loan taken out to pay off the existing loan.

Because you are borrowing money to pay off the balance of your mortgage loan, the amount borrowed is smaller and the mortgage rates may also be lower. Besides knowing what your mortgage rate will be, borrowers need to get an estimate on the total amount you will need to borrow, because there are closing costs to refinancing, just like with the first mortgage loan.

There has to be an appraisal of the home, and numerous other fees, including state and federal taxes. With all the costs involved, homeowners have to decide if it is the right time to refinance; the mortgage rate may be the appealing factor.

As mortgage rates drop, refinancing becomes more affordable. To be sure of what your monthly payment will be, you can get an idea by using an online free mortgage rates calculator, or you can ask your lender to figure it out for you. To find out how long it will take you to break even with the closing costs, divide the costs of refinancing by the amount of money you will be saving in your monthly mortgage payments.

Mortgages and mortgage rates vary. The reasons that people refinance their mortgage loans vary too; most people refinance to lower their rates. You lender will help you decide which rates are the best option for you. An ARM may or may not be the best option. If your loan is a short one that will be paid in full in about 5 years, an ARM may be the best option. However, if your loan is much longer than 5 years the mortgage rates could go up and that would cost you a lot of money. Fixed mortgage rates are probably going to be your best option if you plan to have a longer loan contract.

You may want to refinance so that you can flip the house and make a profit on it. If you can stay in your house a couple of years to pay the mortgage off, and then sell it, you will have made a very good investment by borrowing with adjustable mortgage rates. For whatever reason you want to refinance, choose the rates that work for you, rather than against you. The money that you save in interest payments could be used on other things, such as paying off credit cards or taking a vacation with your family.

Often people with fixed mortgage rates on 30 year mortgages want to build up their equity in a shorter length of time. They can do this by refinancing and making higher payments over a 15 year mortgage. The principal will be paid down much faster, and the amount of interest paid will also be much less.

To build up equity in your home is like saving money in a bank.