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What to Know About Refinancing Before Paying Additional Costs

by Kristi  Shibata
Mortgage Directory Columnist

As interest rates on flexible mortgages reset, some homeowners armed with flexible mortgages are feeling the pain of increasing monthly payments. Refinancing mortgages to a fixed-rate option is becoming more desirable. But as much time and care went into financing your first mortgage, should also be used to determine if refinancing can really save you money.

Refinancing Comes with a Price

Whether looking to find a better deal or refinancing to make your first mortgage a fixed-rate loan, it is always advised to shop around and compare prices from different lenders. One of the most important items to discuss with your lender upfront is the refinance cost:
  • What is the application fee?
  • What are the estimated closing costs?
  • Are there appraisal fees?
  • Are there loan or origination fees?
Compare your refinancing costs with what you would save each month, and determine how long it would take to break even; based on this, you should assess whether refinancing is worthwhile.

Finding a Mortgage Lender

Lenders are able to negotiate prices and rates and by asking around, you can find the best rate for you. Start off with the company or institution that financed your first mortgage. Since you have established a relationship they might be able to waive fees or otherwise reduce estimated closing costs. You can also search online and find a service that provides refinancing options.

Nothing comes free these days, so it is important to find out how much is going to be taken out of your wallet for closing costs before you have committed to paying them.

Sources: About the Author
Kristi Shibata is a public relations and communication specialist and regular Mortgage Directory columnist. She graduated from University of California, San Diego, with a BA in Communications.

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