Should I Refinance my 4.5% Mortgage?

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I'm pricing out a scenario for one of my returning clients where I helped them with their refinance for their home in Seattle in May of 2009 to a 4.5% 30 year fixed rate. During that time, 4.5% was the lowest rate any of us had seen. Now mortgage rates have been in the high 3s to low 4s depending on current pricing and scenarios.  I thought it would be interesting to share the quotes I've provided my client because I know many others have rates around 4.5% and may be wondering the very same thing: should I refi?

This Seattle home owner has excellent credit (scores above 740) and has an estimated loan to value of 80% or lower. It's possible they may qualify for a Home Affordable Refi since Fannie Mae has securitized their mortgage, however they closed right at the time where it's possible the mortgage may not have been securitized before the May 31, 2009 cut-off. Once we run the loan through Fannie Mae's automated underwriting system, we'll know whether or not it qualifies to have the appraisal waived. At this point, I'm assuming not and therefore an appraisal fee is factored into the APR. 

Here's what I quoted as of 10:30 this morning on February 2, 2012:

3.750% will reduce the monthly payment by $150 and has estimated closing cost of $5620 (apr 3.909). My client will return to their current principal balance in approx. 15 months per the amortization schedule.

3.875% will reduce the monthly payment by $133 and has an estimated closing cost of $3660 (apr 3.891). My client will return to their current principal balance in approx. 14 months.

4.000% will reduce the monthly payment by $121 per month with estimated closing cost at $1779 (apr 4.080). My client will return to their current principal balance in approx. 11 months.

NOTE: Mortgage rates change constantly. For your personal rate quote on your Washington home, please click here.

The monthly savings is only one consideration. If this client were to sell in the near future, retaining his existing mortgage may be the better route as the payoff would most likely be lower with the existing mortgage for this scenario. However, if the home owner does not have plans on selling or is considering converting his home into a rental in the distant (more than 12 months) future, or if the home owner is going to use the extra monthly savings to pay off high interest credit card debt or to build savings, the refinance gains more value.

Whether or not someone should refinance is a personal decision where short and long term financial plans should be reviewed. 

If you are considering refinancing your home located anywhere in Washington, I'm happy to help you. Click here for your personal rate quote.

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