Here is a picture of Mojo, Why did Mojo suffer when he had a loving companion?

Here are 5 tips to consider when refinancing your mortgage.

Is it the right move?

When conditions are right, financially and economically, you might be considering a refinance of your mortgage. Before you jump into what seems like a good idea, it's best to know exactly what the refinancing process is, and just what it entails. You should know that when you are going to refinance, it involves starting the loan application process right from the start, as if you are buying a new home. Will you be taking the loan with a new lender, setting up a new deal, or should you shop around and see what's on offer from other loan providers? The best person to lead you through what is now a veritable minefield of lenders, is your mortgage broker. They are far more up to date with what's on offer than if you spent hours scouring the internet looking for the best deals.

Why Refinance?

What are your reasons for refinancing? There could be a variety of reasons. Lower interest rates on offer? A difference of a point or two in the rate may seem small when you look at it, but that couple of points can save you thousands over the years because your repayments will go on for 15 to 30 years for a typical mortgage.

Another reason some may decide to refinance is to get a shorter term, which also saves thousands of dollars. For example, things have never looked rosier personally, and both you and your partner are working, and your income is higher. So, a change in your financial situation can be used to save money on higher monthly payments. Conversely, you might be after a lower monthly payment or have that fixed rate changed to a variable rate, or vice versa.

Refinancing Costs

There are some obvious things to look at when considering refinancing. One of the first things is the actual cost of refinancing. Look at the fees you will be paying and divide it by the months of your mortgage and see whether there is a saving as a result of the refinancing. Sometimes you are ahead straight away, other times you might have to work out when you will hit the break-even point.

Penalties

Are there any penalties in your mortgage terms and conditions that apply if you pay out the mortgage early? Lenders do NOT like mortgages paid out early. Remember, when you refinance, you are paying off one loan and applying for another completely new loan. Add any penalties to your total costs for refinancing and calculate that break-even point again. Be certain that you are not losing money overall when you refinance.

Your Equity

An important factor in this whole process is to work out the equity you have in your home. A negative equity is when you owe more on the home than what the house is worth. If you have been in your home for a number of years, the annual increase in your home's value will stand you in good stead. But if this is a refinance taken out after only a short time into your mortgage, price fluctuations may have worked against you. If your lender is offering less than the equity, you will not be able to get the refinance, unless, of course, you have the money to pay the difference. Current markets indicate an overall rise in prices, but there have been some downward movements as well over the year and that may have had a negative effect on your home's value.

See your Mortgage Advisor

With so many variables to look at with a refinance, you can get some quick answers by putting it into the lap of your Mortgage Choice advisor who probably got you the initial loan. With up to date calculators and current interest rates available from many lenders, you can get a fast answer to any refinance query.

ELDERLY AND ANIMAL AWARENESS ALERT!

Here is a picture of Mojo. This sweet little boy has crossed the Rainbow Bridge simply because he lived with an elderly person who suffered from dementia. Why did Mojo suffer and die when he had a loving companion? Because his loving companion forgot he was there on a daily basis and forgot to feed and water him. Mojo did nothing wrong as well as his companion, who did nothing wrong.

This is an ALERT to all humans. We have many of God’s elderly’s out there (more than ever) that do not have a family or friends. They have no one to check on them. They are totally alone! Do you have someone(s) in your neighborhood? Do you even know? Have you looked? Are you aware?

This ALERT is to ask you, as an individual, to take it upon yourself to scan your neighborhood or town for elderly people who could use a friend. There are so many elderly people that are left alone. This is a huge danger in our society – Let “us” help this aging population and their animals to stay SAFE so Mojo’s life is not in vain. He will have served his purpose in this life.

We are calling you (yes, YOU) to seek out the aging population in your area and maybe put together a neighborhood group with an active agenda to check on this person or persons every day to make sure they are safe, have food, have food for their loving animal companion (which we know gives them much comfort), that their companion is fed, that they have or have taken their medicines, etc. Whatever their need may be. That they are not “ALONE.”

The simple act of caring is heroic.
Caring for our seniors is perhaps the greatest gift we have.
The vast majority of homebuyers use some sort of mortgage, in order to be able to afford, buying their home. Since one's house, is their single, biggest financial asset, wouldn't it make sense, to clearly identify, issues which might impact the borrower, and be ready, willing and able to proceed, in the best possible manner. With this in mind, this article will briefly attempt to examine and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, some of the potential PITFALLS of any specific mortgage, and, hopefully, assisting these individuals, in being, as well prepared, as possible.

1. Points: When comparing various, available mortgages, naturally, one hopes to pay the lowest, possible interest rate, he qualifies for, and is available! However, one of the most misunderstood items, is something, known as, paying, points. In mortgage lingo, a point translates to something pre - paid, to lower the overall, monthly rate, to be paid. One point equals 1% of the amount of the mortgage principal. For example, on a $500,000 mortgage, one point would amount to pre - paying $5,000, upfront!

2. Interest rate: Consider the stated interest rate. Is it a fixed amount, for the life of the loan, or variable (which means, will change, after certain periods, and adjust)? Monthly mortgage payments consist of a portion for principal repayment, another for interest, and another part, for escrow (which equals real estate tax, insurance, etc)

3. Term: How long is the term, of the loan? Most fixed mortgages have either 30 or 40 - year, terms (although 30 years, is prevalent), while 15 - year mortgages, generally carry a lower interest rate (but higher monthly payments). If a variable mortgage is used, identify, the initial term of the guaranteed rate, as well as how often the rate changes, after the first period. Also, discover and know, how this adjustment might be based/ determined!

4. Fixed (versus variable): Know the advantages of a fixed, versus a variable loan, and vice versa! There is often a lower rate, for variable loans, but fixed ones are guaranteed, at a specific rate, for the life. Which is best for you, is often determined, by how long, you plan, to remain in the house!

5. Aims: Do you plan to live in this house, for an extended period, or is your aim, to move - on, in a relatively shorter period of time? Knowing your aims, helps you best decide, what type of loan, you should seek!

6. Length: Mortgage terms vary in length. While some are 30, or even 40 years, in recent times, many have used 15 - year loans, in order to pay, far less, total payments, over - time! Variable - term mortgages, often, vary in length, with most either being, known as 7/ something, or 10/ something! The second number refers to, how often, after the initial period, the rate changes, etc.

7. Liquidity: These days, there are very few pre - payment penalties. Some loans might be transferable, and if so, this might help, in marketing the house, in the future!

8. Serve your needs: There is no such thing, as one - size, fits - all, when it comes to determining the best mortgage, to serve your personal needs and circumstances!

If you understand, fully, the PITFALLS, of securing the best financing, for your home, you will be, best prepared, to be a happier, homeowner! Will you be as ready, as you might possibly, be?

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