There is much more than a lower rate and payment to determine whether to refinance a mortgage. Lenders try to make refinancing as attractive as possible by rolling the closing costs into the new mortgage so there isn’t any out of pocket cash required.
The closing costs associated with a new loan could add several thousand dollars to your mortgage balance. The following suggestions may help you to reduce the expense to refinance.
- Tell the lender up-front that you want to have the loan quoted with minimal closing costs.
- Check with your existing lender to see if the rate and closing costs might be cheaper.
- Shop around with other lenders and compare rate and closing costs.
- If you’re refinancing an FHA or VA loan, consider the streamline refinance.
- Credit unions may have lower closing costs because they are generally loaning deposits and their cost of funds is less.
- Reducing the loan-to-value so mortgage insurance is not required will reduce expenses and lower the payment.
- Ask if the lender can use an AVM, automated valuation model, instead of an appraisal.
- You may not need a new survey if no changes have been made.
- There may be a discount on the mortgagee’s title policy available on a refinance.
- Points on refinancing, unlike a purchase, are ratably deductible over the life of the loan ($3,000 in points on a 30-year loan would result in a $100 tax deduction each year.)
- Consider a 15-year loan. If you can afford the higher payments, you can expect a lower interest rate than a 30-year loan and obviously, it will build equity faster and pay off in half the time.
A lender must provide you a list of the fees involved with making the loan within 3 days of making a loan application in the form of a Loan Estimate and a Closing Disclosure Form. Every dollar counts, and they belong to you.
Moisture is mold’s best friend and it thrives between 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit which is why it is commonly found in homes. Mold spores float in the air and can grow on virtually any substance with moisture including tile, wood, drywall, paper, carpet, and food.
Moisture control and eliminating water problems are key to preventing mold. Common sources of moisture can be roof leaks, indoor plumbing leaks, outdoor drainage problems, damp basements or crawl spaces, steam from bathrooms or kitchen, condensation on cool surfaces, humidifiers, wet clothes drying inside, or improper ventilation of heating and cooking appliances.
- Control the moisture problem
- Scrub mold off hard surfaces using soap and water or other cleanser; dry completely
- Do not paint or caulk moldy surfaces
- Discard porous materials with extensive mold growth
- Avoid exposing yourself or others to mold
- Periodically, inspect the area for signs of moisture and new mold growth
The EPA suggests that if the moldy area is less than ten square feet, you can probably handle the cleanup yourself. If the affected area is larger than that, find a contractor or professional service provider.
Increasing ventilation in a bathroom by running a fan for at least 30 minutes or opening a window can help remove moisture and control mold growth. After showering, squeegee the walls and doors. Wipe wet areas with dry towels. Cleaning more frequently will also prevent mold from recurring or keep it to a minimum.
A simple solution to clean most mold is a 1:8 bleach/water mixture. Since homes have thermostatically controlled temperatures and water is used all day long in the kitchen and bathrooms, the environment is conducive to mold.
See Ten things you should know about mold written by the EPA.
It’s understandable; you’re excited; you’ve found the right home, negotiated a contract, made a loan application and inspections. Closing is not that far away, and you are making plans to move and put personal touches on your new home.
Even if you have an initial approval on your mortgage, little things can derail the process which isn’t over until the papers are signed at settlement and funds distributed to the seller. The verifications are usually done again just prior to the closing to determine if there have been any material changes to the borrower’s credit or income that might disqualify them.
Most lending and real estate professionals recommend NOT to:
- Make any new major purchases that could affect your debt-to-income ratio
- Buy things for your new home until after you close
- Apply, co-sign or add any new credit
- Close or consolidate credit card accounts without advice from your lender
- Quit your job or change jobs
- Change banks
- Talk to the seller without your agent
Your real estate professional and lender are working together to get you into your new home. It’s understandable to be excited and feel you need to be getting ready for the move.
Planning is fine but don’t do anything that would affect your credit or income while you’re waiting to sign the final papers at settlement.
Mortgage rates have risen 0.5% in 2018 on 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages and experts expect them to continue to increase. Buyers paying attention to the market understand the relationship that inventory has on pricing; when the supply is low, the price usually goes up. Rising interest rates can affect the cost of homes also.
When interest rates go up, fewer people can afford homes. Lower numbers of buyers can affect the demand, which could cause prices of homes to come down. The question is how much do the interest rates have to go up to affect demand?
As the rates gradually go up, the affect may not be noticeable at all except for the fact that the payments for the buyer have increased.
A ½% change in interest is approximately equal to a 5% change in price. A $300,000 mortgage at 4.5% for a 30-year term will have a $1,520.06 principal and interest payment. If the mortgage rate goes up 0.5%, it would affect the payment the same as if the price had gone up 5%. The difference in payments for the full term of the loan would be $32,547.
There are some things beyond buyers’ control, but indecision isn’t one of them. If they haven’t found the “right” home yet, it is understandable. However, when that home does present itself, the buyer needs to be ready to make a decision. If they are preapproved and have done their due diligence in the market, they should be able to contract before significant changes occur in the mortgage rates.
If it’s not broken, why would a homeowner consider replacing something as expensive as a toilet when there may be other things in the home to replace that provide more aesthetic appeal. Don’t be too quick to ignore the functionality and the reliability of this basic convenience.
The first rationalization might take place at the economic level. A water-saving model could easily pay for itself in a few years and then, there is the good feeling of participating in the conservation of our natural resources.
Having to plunge a toilet more than once a week could motivate a homeowner to spend money on a replacement especially, if having made repairs to the flapper and fill valve didn’t solve the issue.
Maybe your existing toilet has ugly scratches that make it difficult to clean. Maybe there are cracks in the tank or bowl that you’re concerned will develop into a leak at the worst possible time.
The average cost to replace a toilet is around $400 with models ranging more and less based on the features and brands. Round toilet bowls tend to take up less room, are less expensive and better suited for children. Elongated bowls generally take more room, have more powerful flushing action, more comfortable, more stylish and cost more.
Replacing the shut-off valve for the toilet could be a good thing to do while you’re replacing the toilet. Generally, it is as old as the toilet and having a reliable valve that works could be very convenient in a future repair or emergency.
There are a variety of videos on YouTube that could give you the confidence to do it yourself or simply, to have a better understanding of the scope of the project
You maybe planning that last minute summer get away, along with all the planning of what you’re going to do and where you’re going to stay, consider this checklist to make you feel more comfortable while you’re away from home.
- Ask a trusted friend to pick up your mail, newspaper and keep yard picked up to avoid an appearance of not being at home.
- Stop your mail (USPS Hold Mail Service) and your newspaper.
- Don’t post about your trip on Facebook and other social media until you return; some burglars look for this type of announcement to schedule their activities.
- Do notify police or neighborhood watch – especially if you’re going to be gone for more than just a few days. Let your monitoring service know when you’ll be gone and if someone will be checking on your home for you.
- Light timers make it look like someone is home. Set multiple timers for various times to better simulate someone at home. There are plug-in modules for lights and appliances that would allow you to control them from your phone while your out of town.
- Do unplug certain appliances – TV, computers, toaster ovens that use electricity even when they’re off and to protect them from power surges.
- Don’t hide a key; burglars know exactly where to look for your key and it only takes them a moment to check under the mat, above the door, in the flower pot or in a fake rock.
These easy-to-handle suggestions may protect your belongings while you’re gone while adding a level of serenity to your trip.