It’s no secret the the Puget Sound region has been experiencing a very hot real estate market… so hot in fact that it may be causing some home buyers to feel a little burned from competing with multiple offers as well as renters contending with rapidly rising rents. Recently KOMO 4 News shared that that Seattle currently has the nations hottest housing market. This is not only good news for those who are wanting to sell their homes, it’s also good news for home owners who may benefit from a refinance.
You may have heard that last week, Congress passed and President Obama signed the 2014 Tax Increase Prevention Act. It has some good news for home owners who currently pay various forms of mortgage insurance. If you pay mortgage insurance, including private mortgage insurance (pmi), or VA, FHA or USDA forms of mortgage insurance during 2014, you may be able to deduct that on your 2014 income taxes.
Before you get too excited, this act does not extend the mortgage insurance deduction past 2014.
So if you are paying any form of mortgage insurance, especially if it’s private mortgage insurance or FHA mortgage insurance, it still makes sense to see if you can eliminate or reduce your payment with a refinance as you will not be able to deduct your mortgage insurance during 2015 (as things currently stand).
If I can help you with your refi or home purchase on property located anywhere in Washington state, please contact me!
Over the past few years, home owners have enjoyed deducting private mortgage insurance (pmi) premiums from their income tax. This is also true for government forms of mortgage insurance (aka funding fee or guarantee fee) with FHA, VA and USDA mortgage loans. This benefit is coming to an end effective on 2014 tax returns.
It’s back… the 80/10/10 mortgage program which allows home buyers to put just 10% down and avoid having private mortgage insurance via a second mortgage/home equity line of creedit. The second mortgage/home equity line of credit technically does not have to be at 10% with the first mortgage at 80% of the loan to value (sales price). Often times, the mortgages may be structured around conforming loan limits, as long as the total combined loan to value is 90%.
If you have been waiting for Congress to pass HARP 3.0 or have been previously turned down for a refinance because of lost equity in your home, you might consider trying to refinance again.
I currently pay PMI on my mortgage, if I refinance under HARP 2.0, after refinance, will the PMI still exists? Would the PMI premium be lower since the amount refinanced is lesser than the previous mortgage?
Yes, if you currently pay PMI on your HARP 2.0 eligible mortgage, you will also have private mortgage insurance in your new mortgage payment with your new refinanced mortgage. It will be based on the same coverage (percentage) amount as your existing pmi. So if your mortgage balance is lower, the monthly pmi payment may be slightly lower as well.
I recommend comparing your existing payment (PIMI) to the proposed new payment, factoring in when your existing PMI may drop off. If you’re within months from your existing pmi dropping off, it could be worth delaying refinancing, however, if t’s after December 2013 (when HARP 2.0 is currently scheduled to terminate) it’s probably in your favor to refinance now.
If your home is in Washington state, where I am licensed to originate, I’m happy to help you.
This is a question that I’m often asked by Washington home owners who are considering refinancing their current conventional mortgage using the HARP 2.0 program. The answers I’ve received from private mortgage insurance companies vary from “it’s up to the mortgage servicer” to “when the new loans principal reaches 78% loan to value”.
If your current loan to value is triple-digit because of being underwater, the thought of paying private mortgage insurance for years may not sound appealing. Here are some points I encourage my clients to consider:
- determine when your existing private mortgage insurance is set to terminate. If it’s before December 2013 (assuming the HARP program is not terminated early, which Fannie and Freddie have reserved the right to do) you could consider delaying your HARP refi so that you won’t have PMI on the new loan.
- compare your existing principal and interest payment (excluding the private mortgage insurance) to the proposed HARP payment including principal, interest plus mortgage insurance. Many of my clients are saving hundreds of dollars each month – even with keeping their mortgage insurance.
- consider how long you plan on keeping your home and what your alternatives may be. If you are underwater and are planning on staying in your home or eventually converting it to a rental property, reducing your payment now may be beneficial. If you are planning on doing a short sale, then refinancing at this time would probably not pencil out.
With HARP 2.0 refinances, when you have private mortgage insurance, most pmi companies are transferring the pmi certificates over to the new lender without any issues. The pmi rates stay the same so if you’re currently paying private mortgage insurance monthly, you can estimate that the new pmi payment will be roughly the same with your new mortgage payment.
If you have lender paid mortgage insurance, often times it was paid for upfront and there will be no private mortgage insurance for the home owner to pay. Sometimes the lender paid mortgage insurance (LPMI) was being paid monthly by the lender and in those cases, the pmi company may convert the policy to “paid monthly” so the borrower can assume it.
If you’re interested in a mortgage rate quote for a HARP 2.0 refinance for your home located anywhere in Washington state, contact me.