It happens thousands of times every month; homeowners look to refinance their current mortgage into a new loan that will put them in a better financial position. The good news for homeowners is that the refinance process is much easier than when they bought them. For one thing, you don’t have to deal with a seller and there is a lot less paperwork.
That being said not everyone looks to refinance their mortgage, even though a new loan will improve their finances because they’re not sure how to go about the process. Or they had such a bad experience when they purchased the property that they don’t want to go through that again (even though it’s a much simpler process).
What You Need To Know:
When you refinance your current mortgage it’s important to remember the simple fact that you don’t have to work with the person who sold you the home. That alone should save you hours and hours of time. And because you don’t have to deal with a seller when you are refinancing a mortgage you have far fewer documents to complete and sign.
Here are the steps you need to take to ensure an easy and quick refinance transaction.
- If you don’t know the basic terms and phrases used in the mortgage industry take 10 minutes to learn the basics. It will really help with your search for a new mortgage.
- Establish a plan of action. Why are you refinancing? If you’re taking cash out to consolidate debt or improve the home then great! If it’s to move from a 30 year fixed rate mortgage to a 20 or 15 year fixed rate mortgage then good for you. Or maybe you have a high rate mortgage now and rates are much lower; that’s a great time to take advantage of the market. Whatever the reason is to establish your plan of action and never refinance unless you’re better off after the refinance.
- Put together your income documentation, along with your homeowner’s insurance and mortgage statement. Having these ready will show the Loan Officer you have a good understanding of the process and that you are prepared.
- Review your credit history (get a free credit report from one of the three credit bureaus) and review the homes that have sold in your area (Zillow is a great website for this).
- Find a great company to work with that has the highest rating on various review sites (Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Zillow, etc). And make sure your Loan Officer has more than two years of experience.
Doing these things will really help your loan process and give you the best chance to locate a low rate mortgage at great terms.
How Long Does A Refinance Take:
I think this is probably one of the top questions most people have when it’s their first refinance. Understandably because the home buying process can seem like forever. Some escrow periods (purchases) are 45-90 days but don’t worry; a refinance should not take that long.
In most cases, the length of a refinance is significantly shorter than that. In fact, sometimes a refinance is completed in two-three weeks. Certain refinance programs allow for a very fast process. For example, the FHA Streamline Refinance loan program is super easy and really fast – no income docs, no appraisal and it really does not get easier than that.
Don’t have an FHA loan currently?
No problem! Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issue appraisal waivers and some lenders will verify your income independently (so no income docs) and if you qualify you too can get a speedy refinance done.
Whatever your choice is knowing that a refinance of a current mortgage is a great opportunity to help your current financial position. Saving on a monthly payment, home improvements or shorter-term are just a few of the examples discussed that could provide a huge benefit to you and your family.