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Refinance Articles
Refinance Considerations
When you're making your decision, there are several things in mind.

Refinance Once Then Do It Again
When rates fall steadily, refinancing may make sense even if you have done so once already. Bob and Michelle Barbo of Kirkland, Wash. refinanced twice within three months in 1998.

Build Home Equity Faster

Many borrowers use a refinance to shorten the term of the mortgage. And brace yourself: Even at low rates, a shorter term means a higher monthly payment. The benefit is that you'll build up equity faster and pay far less in total interest over the life of the loan.

Get Your Hands on Some Cash
Another way to make a refinance work for you is to refinance for more than the balance remaining on your old mortgage -- in effect, tapping your home equity, or "cashing out," in mortgage speak.

Trade Your ARM For a Fixed Rate
By switching to a fixed-rate loan, you will not only reduce your payment, you will also likely lock in an attractive rate for as long as you own your home.

Mortgage Refinance Costs
When you refinance your mortgage, you usually pay off your original mortgage and sign a new loan. With a new loan, you again pay most of the same costs you paid to get your original mortgage.

Analyze Your Savings
Check the market closely to determine the available rates and the costs associated with refinancing. These costs can include items such as an appraisal and other various fees and points.

Paying Points For a Lower Rate
In refinancing, a mortgage company usually offers a range of interest rates at different amounts of points. A point equals one percent of the loan amount. For example, three points on a $100,000 mortgage loan would add $3,000 to the refinancing charges.

Your Personal Income Taxes
With a lower interest rate on your home loan, you will have less interest to deduct on your income tax return. That, of course, may increase your tax payments and decrease the total savings you might obtain from a new, lower-interest mortgage.

Consider Other Mortgage Programs
If you are thinking about refinancing your mortgage, you might want to consider other types of mortgages. For example, you might want to look into a 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage.

Deciding To Refinance
Traditionally, the decision on whether or not to refinance has meant balancing the savings of a lower monthly payment against the costs of refinancing. But in recent years, companies have introduced "no cost" and low-cost refinancing packages that minimize ...


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