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What to know before you refinance your home

Published On: Aug 05 2013 02:56:33 PM CDT
welcome doormat at front door of house

iStock / akurtz

With lower interest rates available, home owners might be tempted to refinance their mortgages.

Before you start the refinancing process, keep these tips in mind.

-          Calculate how long it will take you to break even. There are often high costs associated with refinancing a mortgage. To find out if you’re really saving in the long run, calculate how long it will take to recover the costs spent on the refinancing by figuring out how much you’re actually saving a month.

-          Opt for a fixed-rate mortgage. Financial experts recommend getting a fixed-rate mortgage rather than an adjustable-rate mortgage.

-          Know how long you want your mortgage for. Homeowners can try to reduce the length of their mortgage by paying more each month instead of signing up for a 30-year mortgage. Others prefer smaller payments so they might want a 30-year mortgage. Financial experts say 15-year mortgages are becoming more popular with the lower interest rates, but they warn that only people with good job security should opt for a 15-year loan because it will make the monthly payments high.

-          Do you need mortgage insurance? Because the prices of homes have dropped over the past several years, many people may find themselves owing more on their loan than their home is worth. People in this position may need mortgage insurance.