Refinancing Your Mortgage – Hidden Benefits

Key Takeaways

  • The benefits to refinancing your mortgage are savings on interest over time, getting rid of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), receiving cash for the difference, and using the savings from the reduced monthly mortgage to pay off other debts or save money.
  • Consider refinancing if it takes 1-2 years to break even on the closing costs versus monthly savings, if the new interest rate is a ¼ % lower or better, you have a credit score of 740 or greater, and you’ve got all the necessary documents for loan underwriting.
  • The goal of refinancing your mortgage is to get the best terms and the best interest rate.

Home Improvements – Now and Later

Key Takeaways

  • Think about making your home improvements in terms of immediate, short term, and long term.
  • Planning, budgeting and financing your home improvements are three important steps in ensuring you are able to make the improvements you need to enjoy your home, as well as to get a better return on your money when you sell it.
  • You can do some improvements yourself to save some money, but leave the complex work to professionals who know the codes, regulations and can ensure the work is done right so you don’t run in to issues when you go to sell your home.

The American Dream —Your First Home

Key Takeaways

  • Before you embark on the dream of owning your own home, make sure there are no errors in your credit score or financial history.
  • If you can’t come up with a 20 percent down payment, you can often still buy a home—but you’ll typically need mortgage insurance.
  • Many new homebuyers underestimate how much they’ll pay in ongoing maintenance—budget $1 per square foot per year in addition to PITI.