Daily Dupaco

Friday, May 13, 2011

Should you refinance your mortgage?

By Emily Kittle

If you thought you missed your window of opportunity to refinance last year when the rates were at historic lows, think again.

This week, the average for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.63 percent, while the average for the 15-year fixed-rate loan is 3.82 percent, according to Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Market Mortgage Survey. Those rates are even lower locally.

"I don't know if a lot of people still realize the rates are that low," says Jeann Digman, Dupaco's vice president of mortgage lending. "They've been slowly declining over the last six months. Some people who missed the boat last year still have a chance to refinance at a low rate."

Are you on the fence about refinancing? Digman offers this advice:

Think twice if you're moving. Refinancing comes with closing fees. If you're not planning to stay in your home for more than four to five years, it might not be worth refinancing. It typically takes about that long to recoup those fees.

Do the math. Dupaco's mortgage calculators can help you decide whether you're better off refinancing and show you the costs associated with doing so.

Pay attention. Much like stock prices, mortgage rates can fluctuate throughout the day. Monitor the rates regularly.

Just ask.Each homeowner's situation is unique. If you don't know whether refinancing is appropriate for you, talk to your financial institution.

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