The Mortgage Refinancing Process and Why You Should Refinance

By Kelly Richardson Columnist

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Fixed rate loans. Adjustable rate mortgages. 80/20 buy downs. A collection of confusing mortgage talk that can scare you off if you're thinking about refinancing. But with some straightforward and practical advice, the decision to refinance doesn't have to be all that difficult. In fact, it's probably a good move.

In technical terms, refinancing is the process of applying for a second loan that will take the place of a first loan using the same assets for collateral. Most often found in the mortgage industry, the process of refinancing can be quite involved. Typically, lawyers and lending agents are the professionals who make the decisions and move the process along for the interested parties. It is also their responsibility to explain every aspect of the refinance process so that all parties understand the financial arrangement.

What Does it Mean to Refinance?

  • » Mortgage Analysis. A couple of key things will let you know its time to refinance. One is if your mortgage rates increased significantly. Another is if you have plans to use the equity in your home.
  • » Appraisal. Your mortgage professionals will have your home appraised for its current market value and bring that number to the bargaining table.
  • » Closing. Just as if you were buying a new home, you will need to go to a lawyer's office to sign your refinancing papers for your mortgage refinancing deal.
If you are considering entering into an interest only arrangement, it's helpful to know the options that you have available to you. Interest only products change frequently, but these are the major types.

The Benefits of Mortgage Refinancing

  • » Lower Rates. Mortgage refinancing is perfect for those homeowners who would like to lock in a lower fixed rate and escape the uncertainty of an adjustable rate mortgage.
  • » Cash Out. If you have a great deal of equity stored up into your home, mortgage refinancing will allow you to readjust your terms so that you can pull out that money for home improvements or debt consolidation.
If you have always wondered if mortgage refinancing might help your financial situation, talk to a lender that you trust about the process.

About the Author
Kelly Richardson covers the real estate scene in major cities across the country. His articles appear in educational journals, periodicals, and e-zines.

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