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It’s been a tough couple of years. And with incomes stretched tight, some homeowners may have entered a forbearance on their mortgages. This special agreement between lender and borrower gives homeowners a little breathing room, allowing them to delay or reduce mortgage payments to their lenders over a certain period of time.
With interest rates still near all time lows, you may be thinking about refinancing your existing mortgage into a new one. As a homeowner, there are good reasons to consider this option: to get a lower interest rate, to drop private mortgage insurance, or to pull cash from your home’s equity to consolidate debt or make home improvements. The short answer, of course, is to have more money each month for groceries, car payments, and the orthodontic bill. "You may have the potential to save hundreds of dollars on your monthly payments by refinancing," said Bryan Maddex, a loan officer with our Amerifirst Charlotte, N.C., branch. "While it's not right for everyone, it doesn't cost you anything to talk to a loan officer who can review your current mortgage and let you know your options."
This is a story about how I used the refinance remodel option to get a new kitchen. Once upon a time I wanted a new kitchen. My wife and I looked around our house and realized that we'd be here for a long time, and it was time to invest some money in one of the rooms where we spent most of our time. When friends come over, we end up shooting the breeze in the kitchen. Between food prep, cooking and clean-up we're in the kitchen almost every night for at least a couple hours it seems like. So as we looked around the kitchen that looked like it was built and decorated in the 1980s we decided it was time for a remodeling project. The problem: cost.
The USDA has announced a great opportunity for homeowners with a rural development mortgage. This zero-down mortgage option is great for first time home buyers because of the 100% financing. With homeowners who went this route a few years ago, interest rates were decent - in the 8% range - but those rates have fallen near 4% now. The only problem is that in that same time period, home values have dropped so refinancing is difficult with no equity. Enter the rural development refinance program.
A homeowner who loves their house may still look around and see opportunities to upgrade. Maybe you've outgrown your kitchen. Maybe you're in desperate need of an extra bathroom. Check your windows - are they too old and in need of replacing? Paying for any or all of these projects can get to be a daunting endeavor. Sure, many projects can be done in a do-it-yourself (DIY) weekend with minimal money. But what happens if the work is beyond your skill set, time and money? That's when it's time to consider a refinance mortgage to upgrade your home.