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Tread Carefully When Refinancing Your Home Mortgage

by Gabriel  Traverso
Mortgage Directory Columnist

In the world of carpentry there is an old adage: measure twice, cut once. These words of wisdom should be taken into consideration if you're thinking of tapping into your home equity--consider your options carefully before you apply for a refinance.

Reasons You Might Refinance Your Home

There are a wide number of reasons why you might want to access your home equity and refinance your mortgage, such as:
  • Paying for a vacation
  • Making home improvements
  • Paying for college education
  • Supplementing retirement costs
  • Lowering payments or interest rates
The problem now is that our current housing market is going through transition and in many areas of the country home prices are falling. Last month the National Association of Realtors predicted the median home price will drop by 1.3% this year and in some markets prices may fall as much as 8.9% this year! In the past, homeowners could count on steady appreciation to serve as a counterweight to the risk of borrowing against home equity, but the past few years have skewed the perspective of home refinancing. In fact, during the height of the housing boom some homeowners refinanced their mortgage simply because they could.

Get the Most for Your Home Equity

When you refinance your mortgage, make sure you've given careful thought to your reasons for the refinance, as well as the possible consequences. In some markets, home loan refinancing has resulted in homeowners actually owing more for their homes than their homes are worth. Can you afford being tethered to a costly mortgage with no way out?

Carefully evaluate your options for home loan refinancing and shop around with multiple mortgage lenders to get the best deal. Talk it over with your significant other and make sure you're confident in your actions before you actually do anything.

CNN Money About the Author
Gabriel Traverso is a freelance writer, independent musician, and artist. He resides in Reno, NV.

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