Home improvements can be expensive, even if you do all the work yourself. Many people find themselves needing extra money to accomplish renovations that will increase the resale value of their home investment. Others financed their home at a time when interest rates were higher and are consequently paying higher interest rates that some of their neighbors who purchased their home more recently. In these two situations, refinancing a home can make good dollar sense.
In general, refinancing your home makes since if:
The first step in refinancing is essentially the same as applying for a first mortgage. First, shop around for the lowest rate possible. Once deciding on a lender, that lender can help you get through the actual application process. You will need the same information you needed for the first mortgage application: documentation of identification, income, amounts owed. The lender will look at your ability to repay the loan using your Debt to Income Ratio, employment history, and other financial information.
Interest rates are significantly lower since your first mortgage was secured.
You need to use the equity that's built up in your home to increase the home's value.
You want to reduce your mortgage payment period.
You want to switch from an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage, or the reverse.
You will have to contact your current mortgage holder to provide a payoff statement that shows how much remains to be paid on your current mortgage. Your home will need to be appraised in value and an interest rate will be locked in for a period of 60 days. You will be asked to sign release forms allowing your current mortgage company to release the necessary information. You will also have to show documentation of your homeowner's insurance coverage.
When your application and all paperwork is collected and deemed in order a tentative closing date will be given to you by a registered title company. The money from a refinance is received at closing. In most cases, homeowners may borrow up to the home's equity or the difference between the amount owed on the current mortgage and the home's value at the time of refinancing. If you are refinancing to pay the cost of home improvements that will increase your home's value, resist the temptation of borrowing more than what is needed to fund those improvements.
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