When rates are rising should you consider refinancing your mortgage loan? When rates are falling this is a moot question. Of course you should consider doing a refinance whether it be a fixed loan or home equity loan. When rates are rising you should, in my opinion, only consider refinancing if you want to take cash out of the equity in your home or if you feel now is the time to lock in a fixed rate.
If the market appears to be on a longer rise, locking in a fixed rate now can save you money in the future. Homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages can rise at the end of the initial low rate ARMs charge for the first twelve months. This currently means your rate can rise 2.75 points or so based on your original agreement. This translates to much higher payments than you currently are paying.
When refinancing, you should take the actual cost of refinancing into consideration. The amount of money you spend to arrange the financing takes time to recoup. Are you planning to live in your property long enough for this to be a wise decision now? If not, I would suggest looking for very low cost home equity loans. If you have a good working arrangement with your Banker, he can perhaps get your costs reduced on a home equity line of credit or loan. Just ask, it does not cost you money to investigate the possibilities.
If you are in a position that requires you have a fixed mortgage payment to maintain your peace of mind, then you should do it. Rates rise for a while, then remain stable for a while before they start coming down. A shift in the market attitude and consumer spending will have to happen for the Fed to reduce rates.
Don’t refinance your loan if you don’t have a good reason. Paying for a new vacation or luxury is not, in my opinion, a good thing to do with the proceeds of a loan when rates are rising. If you need to pay off debt, give it some thought before your proceed.
Ask questions, seek out your friends who are knowledgeable, talk to your bankers or investment people, just do something. You can reduce your mortgage payment or just get a fixed payment if that is your goal.
Nan is an Accountant and Real Estate Professional. Visit her
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