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7 Facts on Mortgage Refinancing

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Getting a refinance on your mortgage is common practice nowadays due to the drop in interest rates and the receptiveness of borrowers toward the idea of refinancing. Although many have vouched for its benefits, house owners should evaluate their personal preferences, financial standing, and current mortgage status and compare these with the various options available before planning their next move.

There are many facts surrounding the concept of refinancing and this article will provide you with an insight of important aspects which you need to know in order to make an informed decision. Refinancing your mortgage is for the long-term and thus needs to be a choice that is thoroughly considered.

1. Penalty Costs
The process of refinancing basically means paying off your current mortgage and obtaining another mortgage at a different interest rate (usually at an adjustable rate) and loan term. This causes penalty costs to be imposed on your current mortgage by your current lender, as you have opted to pay off your loan earlier than agreed upon. Occasionally, depending on the status of your current loan, penalties incurred may be higher than the cost savings obtained from refinancing your mortgage, therefore making the idea of refinancing no longer attractive.

2. Savings on monthly repayments
When you refinance your mortgage, you may most likely switch to a new mortgage structure that will benefit you in the long run, especially with lower monthly repayments. With the availability of Adjustable Rate Mortgages, interests incurred are relatively lower than the traditional Fixed Rate Mortgages, which has been incentive enough for home owners to switch their mortgage loan plans. However, although interest rates may seem to be lower at first glance, home buyers should practice due diligence in tabulating the actual amounts paid over the long term in comparison with their current mortgage repayments.

3. Transactions costs
As with any mortgage transactions, a refinancing exercise will involve transaction costs such as attorney fees, points, appraisal fees, inspection fees and prepayment penalties. All these hike up the cost of refinancing, which need to be balanced out with the cost savings obtained from switching loans in the first place. As a rule of thumb, if you plan to stay in your current property for the long-term, transaction costs will be offset with savings in repayment amounts over the long-run. Therefore, refinancing will then be a good option for you.

4. Tax deduction possible
Refinancing may help you regain tax deductions on interest if you have already used up your allocated amount for tax deductions. Therefore, with a new mortgage, you will be able to deduct interests paid from your taxable income, thus helping to reduce your taxes payable.

5. Get cash out of your equity
If you have paid up most of your outstanding equity, refinancing will be a good way for you to acquire cash out of your high value equity, incorporating increases in the market value of your property as well. This way, you will have the flexibility to use the extra cash for children education, short term debt repayments or renovations.

6. Increase your home equity
On the flip side, refinancing your mortgage can also work for you if you decide to pay more on monthly repayments and pay off your home equity within a shorter period of time. Another benefit of a shorter loan term is the cost savings gained from lesser total interests paid to the lender.

7. Alternatives to refinancing
Refinancing may not always be the only option for everyone. Other financing products such as a home equity line, allows you to keep your current mortgage but instead have the flexibility to withdraw up to a certain percentage of the current value of your home equity, minus the unpaid portion of your equity. Interests are only charged on the amount withdrawn and not on the approved line of credit. Another option would be to take up a second mortgage, which will be based on a shorter loan term, but with higher interest rates.

About the author:
Chris Edison is a successful author and regular contributor to http://www.mortgage-traps.coma home mortgage loan information site, that reveals mortgage traps for home buyers.


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