Refinance now or wait? With rates coming down as they have, some borrowers may want to delay a refinance, hoping that rates will improve further. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees rates will go even lower, and more critical, borrowers forget about the savings they forgo while they are waiting for rates to move lower potentially.
To make sure I don’t get in trouble with my company marketing policy, I will not talk about specific rates and instead will talk about the difference between your current rate and a new rate.
Say your current mortgage payment is $1,775 a month. And based on a new rate, you could lower your monthly payment by $350 a month. You are in no rush and think rates will stay where they are or possibly go lower! Let’s assume by waiting another six months, you can score a .25% lower rate than today. The incremental savings you would see from a slightly lower interest rate would take a significant period to recoup the savings you would have been guaranteed by locking in that new rate today.
If you waited six months and could get a 0.25% rate lower than the rate you could get today, you would save $58 a month. But based on the $2,130 in savings you would have guaranteed by refinancing today, it would take over 3.5 years to make up for the forgone savings. If the rate were only better by 0.125%, it would take more than seven years to breakeven. And again, remember there is no guarantee that rates will move lower.
SECRET WEAPON – You Pick the New Term!
Get a tailored mortgage if your lender offers it! If you are managing your monthly payment just fine and have a goal of paying off your mortgage earlier by aggressively paying down your principal balance, this may be your secret weapon. For example, I have a client who purchased their home four years ago and wants to take advantage of a lower rate but does not want to start over with a new 30-year term, which eats into their long term savings.
We did the math and were able to lock them into a new 22-year mortgage while keeping their monthly mortgage payment roughly right where it is now. In essence, our client was able to shave-off four years of payments without increasing their monthly cash flow. Be creative and take the time to run these numbers with your lender.