Property values and refinancing.

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jay H, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I'm considering refinancing my 20 year fixed to a 15 year fixed (at a lower % APR (about 1 full point less now)). The only thing holding me back is determining if it is worth it based on property values and PMI. I need 80% which I can use the equity in my house to avoid PMI. I've only been paying my mortgage since Dec'05 and spoke to a consultant who estimated that if my property value went up to X amt, that I would be fine, otherwise, I would have to put cash down on the refinance to get the PMI-avoidance.

    Basically I need to decide whether it is worth the risk of paying for an appraisal if I don't want to put money down... Is there a tool to find the general trend of property values in my general area (northern NJ) somewhere? We're not talking a lot I don't think but I do seem to need to have my property gain in value over the 3 years I've been here. I have not done any major work on the place other than installing a wood stove, and some minor renovations inside.

    Jay
     
  2. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    It's a great time to refinance if you can. We just refinanced at 4.875% 30 year fixed. I thought about doing 20 or 15 years, but I prefer to have the lower payment where I can always pay more each month if I want to.

    I was concerned about the appraisal value too with the housing market as it is. But in the end it appraised higher than it did a few years ago. I'd just get the appraisal done and go from there.
     
  3. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    I'm looking into this right now too (as did some co-workers), and one co-worker friend suggested checking zillow.com to get a preliminary idea on estimates for your property value. Don't know if there's any better (free) web resource, but zillow seems useful enough.

    _Man_
     
  4. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    In certain areas, of which I believe NJ is one, you can use PropertyShark - Real Estate Maps, Foreclosures, Property Reports and Comparables which is much more detailed than zillow. It uses real data from various county assessor's offices. In many places you can pull up PDF's of mortgage documents and deeds! [​IMG] For example, I found a friend in LA had refi'ed into a $715K mortgage in early 2007. So much for privacy. [​IMG]
     
  5. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Ooooh! Thanks for that pointer. And yeah, seems like they're providing a bit much in terms of details. [​IMG]

    _Man_
     
  6. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    For those who haven't tried it yet, you can really investigate things with Property Shark. It's meant as a pay-for service for Realtors, but anyone can get a free limited account which lets you pull records for up to 6 properties a day.

    For example...there was some loser guy at work who bragged about how "he" bought a house in pricey Los Altos. I pulled the file on his house on Property Shark and found out his father-in-law's name was on the mortgage. I guess I know who wears the pants in his family! [​IMG]
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Did you pay points, or was a normal rate? I (crudely) estimate I need 4.5% or better to make refinancing worthwhile, and your rate is getting there.
     
  8. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    No points. It was the normal rate. It actually dipped as low as 4.75% about a week before I was able to lock in the rate I did. But I'm certainly not complaining about 4.875%.
     
  9. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    thanks, I have seen 15 year fixed rates going for around 4.7% APR so I am very much interested in refinancing my 20 year fixed at 5.875%...

    Jay
     
  10. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    There was one day when rates hit 4.625% with 0 points. I managed to lock in on that day for a 30-year fixed. Here's to hoping that my appraisal next week pans out.
     
  11. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    As Maxwell Smart would say, we "missed it by that much".
    I swear, I must have the worst timing in the world, we refinanced from an ARM into a 30yr. fixed at 6% in late October. I would have been very happy at 4.875.
     
  12. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    I just checked in to mine. Currently I am at 6.7% and today I will try to lock in at 4.3% for a 15 year. I don't want a longer one because I would like to have the house paid off before I am 60. Tanks for the idea! [​IMG]
     
  13. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Is there a "typical" refi costs estimate I can use (for NY) to better estimate if/when I should refi? So far, I've done basic estimates ignoring any closing costs or fees or whatever, but that's not realistic.
     
  14. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    I believe that your bank is required to give you a "good faith" estimate before you proceed. In KY it was around $2K the last I refinanced. This included survey, appraisal, and bank fees.
     
  15. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    My current refi is costing about $1,600.


    Join the club. We finished construction and needed to square away our mortgage in July 2007-- just as rates were peaking at and just above 7% around here. We ended up getting 7.00% which sucked. Rates only peaked there for the short period of time, but it was the wrong time for us.

    On the bright side, it just makes it that much more sweeter, now that I'm refinancing from 7.00% to 4.875%! Of course, with my terrible timing, this just means that rates will be in the 3 percent range soon. [​IMG]
     
  16. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    I need to recheck mine to see how long it would take to recoup costs again. I fully intend on refi'ing again.



    [/quote] Of course, with my terrible timing, this just means that rates will be in the 3 percent range soon. [​IMG][/quote]

    No kidding! At the time our broker told us that all indications were that rates were going up, now I call him back up, protesting about it and to see if there was anything he could do about it. He says to wait that rates are going to go even lower but I am thinking about requesting some kind of a floatdown where they can work the new rate into the old loan without incurring all the C.C. He also knows I can go elsewhere so we'll see how far that gets me.
     
  17. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    I'll have recouped my refi costs in just 6 months.
     
  18. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Thanks for the #s. With those in mind, I looked at BankRate's refi calculator. I need a 4.5% or lower rate to be worthwhile (in my view). Best case, would be to refi at 4% and 15 years, but that's just daydreaming [​IMG]
     
  19. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I'm at 6%, 6 years into a 30-year, so I'm also not doing all that better with a refi at 4.5% into a 15-year or 20-year, so I may need to see if rates really do drop down into the 3's.
     
  20. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    3's???? OK, now your dreaming!! I see 4 but I have been wrong before!
     

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