Is Re-Financing Always Worthwhile?

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By , June 27, 2022 11:23 pm

This is a very important question which all homeowners should ask themselves both at the start and towards the end of the process of re-financing. The answer to this question can spur the homeowner to investigate re-financing further or convince the homeowner to table the thoughts of re-financing for the moment and concentrate on other aspect of owning a home.

Establish Financial Goals

This should be the first step in the process of determining whether or not re-financing is worthwhile. Without this step, a homeowner cannot accurate answer the question of the worth of re-financing because the homeowner may not fully understand his own financial goals. While financial goals may run the gamut from one extreme to another the most basic question to ask is whether the more significant goal is long term savings or increased monthly cash flow. This is important because re-financing can usually achieve these two goals.

Do You Want to Save Money in the Long Run?

Homeowners who establish a goal of saving money in the long run should consider re-financing options such as lower interest rates or shorter loan terms. Both of these options can considerably lower the amount of interest the homeowner is paying on the loan. This is significant because paying less interest will result in a greater cost savings.

Consider an example where a homeowner has an existing debt of $100,000, an interest rate of 6.25% and a loan term of 30 years. Just by reducing the loan term to 15 years the homeowner can significantly decrease the amount which is paid in interest during the course of the loan. However, this option will also result in an increase in the monthly payments made by the homeowner. Therefore this type of re-financing option may only be available to those who have enough cash flow to compensate for the increase in monthly payments.

Do You Want to Increase Your Monthly Cash Flow?

Some homeowners may have a chosen goal of increasing their monthly cash flow. For these homeowners the overall cost savings may not be as important as having more money available to them each month. These homeowners might consider a re-financing option in which they are able to extend their loan terms. This means they will be repaying the existing debt over a longer period of time. The homeowner will pay more in interest in the long run but will achieve their goal of lower monthly payments and an increased cash flow.

How Will Re-Financing Affect Tax Deductions?

This is another serious consideration for homeowners who are interested in investigating the possibility of re-financing. The interest paid on a home loan is often tax deductible. A homeowner who re-finances in a manner which results in less interest being paid annually may adversely affect their tax strategy. The implications of this type of chance can be amplified for homeowners who were previously just below a significant tax break line. A significant decrease in the amount of interest paid will mean a significant decrease in the deduction the homeowner is allowed to take. This reduced deduction can put the homeowner in an entirely different tax bracket and could end up costing the homeowner money in the long run. For this reason, homeowners who are considering re-financing should have a tax preparation professional determine the ramifications re-financing will have on their tax return before a decision is made.

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Buying Guide for Timeshare Resale

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By , June 24, 2022 3:55 pm

Are you on a hunt for timeshares? Are you tired of listening to the lengthy presentations of timeshare companies? Here is the solution, go buy a timeshare resale. Almost non-existent a decade ago timeshare resale industry is waking up to the call and catching up slowly and steadily. Timeshare resale takes place through classifieds, auction sites and also many reputed firms have joined this emerging market. The reason why anybody should look at buying timeshare resale is that they cost 30%-50% less than the new timeshare. The reason why new timeshares are expensive is the timeshare companies spend a lot on advertising. Sometimes the cost of advertising is higher than the value of resale. That is why timeshare resale is much cheaper option than new timeshare. But one should remember certain things while buying timeshare resale.

Do not believe on word of mouth if the seller tells you that the timeshare is in a great location. It is advisable to see the timeshare yourself or at least tell your friend or family member if they live close to the location to go and see it. Timeshare is indeed a great investment in your life provided you know you are buying a right one. And also consider things like whether the timeshare is in a high demand area and in close proximity to grocery stores, malls, restaurants and other amenities. And also find out whether there are any major attractions nearby. Also buy your timeshare in a prime season which gives you more options for exchange later on.

Also do not ignore the floor plan. Some units are converted from motels into timeshare units, while some may be outstanding but some may turn out to be very bad. Look for well designed and well planned unit. And also see if the units are well maintained. If it’s clean and free from dust, structural damages and squeaking doors it speaks a lot about the management. Well maintained and well kept units represent a good management. This also adds to the value of the unit.

The low prices of timeshare resale overshadow the underlying cost sometimes such as maintenance fees, property taxes and if there is any special assessment this year. Clearly ask the seller if all these have been paid up to date otherwise the price of owning a timeshare resale increases and makes no sense in buying. Also buy a timeshare resale unit in a timeshare resort which has low maintenance fee, as this is an annual fee it keeps on adding if you pay any extra money.

If you are buying through a broker, do not fall into the trap of buying through an unlicensed broker. The timeshare industry has witnessed many scams and frauds related to timeshare resale. So always go to a licensed broker because they have much at stake compared to a non-licensed broker. Also put the money in an escrow account until the time you get the timeshare unit.

The foremost important criterion is the price, so do your homework and research the prices of timeshare units in the area you are interested in buying. A timeshare is an investment for a better life. Keep in mind that the prices of timeshare resale units are as low as 30% to almost half the price of the new units. You can do the research on internet auction sites like eBay and bidshare.com. If you are buying through a broker you can ask the broker to show a comparative analysis of prices.

The bigger the unit, the better the value and chances of exchanging. Most people are happy if they buy big units as it also accommodates big families and friends and also big gatherings. Also do not forget to ask the seller the reason why they are selling their units. It can be due to some problems related to management or inconvenience. This information will be crucial to you as you might be able to gauge whether you can handle those issues later on or not.

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Timeshare Tips for Buyers

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By , June 21, 2022 9:33 am

Every individual waits for that time of the year, a much deserved time off from the hectic activities of day to day life. And when the time comes you keep wondering where to go? Where to stay? Etc. And each time you think I should have planned it out before itself. Smart people plan their vacations long before they actually go out for one. And even smarter people buy timeshare property for vacations to have a peace of mind and a place where they love to enjoy and cherish most beautiful memories in the comfort of your home like atmosphere. Everyone wishes to have a timeshare property at their favorite vacation place. While it may be easy to buy for some, but for some it may be their lifetime savings or hard earned money. So, nobody would like to invest their money in a losing proposition. Here we discuss some of the important things that you have to remember while buying a timeshare.

The first thing to do before buying any timeshare is to understand the types of timeshare. There are basically two types of timeshare plans. A deeded plan, in which you actually buy a piece of real estate property and own it along with other owners but, you can use it only according to the timeshare agreement. A fixed unit, fixed week, deeded timeshare allows you to own a specific timeshare at a specific time each year. A floating time agreement allows you to be flexible about the dates that you can use your timeshare. But reservations may be only first come first serve as many owners would like to go for that option. Right to use timeshare or a non-deeded timeshare is a leased timeshare. Again it is classified into fixed unit and floating time just as in the case of deeded timeshare. You no longer have rights to the property after the lease expires.

Before investing in a timeshare do your homework about the location first. Do a good research about the location, whether you can go there on a yearly basis. Also it wouldn’t hurt if you research the prices of other alternative accommodations in that place. If you are paying for the timeshare then why buy timeshare if an alternative costs you less. But at the same time you should weigh in your comfort factor also. The alternative accommodation might not provide you with the same comfort as the timeshare accommodation. So, it all depends on what criterion is important to you, cost or comfort.

Always find out your timeshare rights before buying. Your rights may be violated in some cases. In most of the cases the timeshare properties are governed by legal documents known as Covenants, Codes, and Restrictions. It establishes rights for real estate property owners and governs how the timeshare should be managed.

Also important thing to consider before buying a timeshare is to decide whether you want to buy it for vacation purpose only or as an investment. If you want to buy it as an investment you should rethink. Timeshares are not one of the most lucrative properties for reselling. Generally timeshare properties don’t have good resale value and the resale is also difficult due to competition from the original seller himself.

While you may think that the cost of buying a timeshare is simply the cost of buying only the real property. You may be wrong. Because you should always calculate the total cost of time share which includes mortgage payments, maintenance fees, taxes, travel cost, closing cost, broker commissions, financing charges etc. That will definitely raise your hair. Compare the cost of alternative accommodation with the total cost of owning a timeshare now. Go with whichever is cheaper.

Also do not forget to read each and every document carefully before signing any agreement. Never ever believe on promises made by word of mouth. Request everything in written. Also find out about the reputation of the seller and whether he is a licensed timeshare seller. Also never accept properties with unfinished facilities, if you do so take a written commitment from the seller that they would be finished within a specific time frame.

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How to avoid a Timeshare Fraud

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By , June 18, 2022 2:40 am

As with any kind of investment, the chances of your timeshare investment ending up in a fraud or scam are very much possible. A fraud or a scam can prove devastating for you both financially and mentally. It may take a while for you to recover from its backlash. Those of you who have already been a victim of these notorious frauds and scams can understand the trauma that they have experienced and gone through. That dream vacation that you may have been planning since a long time ended up being a nightmare for you.
But if you think you are the first person to have been scammed hold on there are many more people may be in hundreds who have been the victim of this unscrupulous behavior of some individuals.

As a matter of fact the timeshares are one of the safest ways of experiencing many popular vacation places. How about a secluded journey to the geographical wonders of the world? How about that romantic getaway in a beach resort? Sounds exciting, but these are one of the marketing tactics used by the scammers to lure people into thinking about buying a timeshare. In fact this is their first victory in setting a trap for you. This does not mean that every timeshare company who uses this tactic would be a scammer. The essence of that is to be precautious and not get impulsive about it in the first go. Always think and rethink before making a decision on buying a timeshare. Restrain yourselves to the maximum.

One of the important criterions is selecting a right timeshare company. As a rule of thumb, always go with large, well established timeshare companies who have been in the business for years. In this way you know their history very well and their reputation in the market. They are less likely to fraud a person than a new or a small company. This is applicable when it comes to the resale of your timeshare property.

Many times the catchy style of marketing techniques of these scammers can easily raise red flags and you can avoid being scammed. It first starts with an invitation to a timeshare presentation. They offer you a gift if you attend the presentation which may look expensive but in reality is not. Sometimes they may also inform you that you have won a gift and you can claim it by attending the free presentation. And then once you fall prey to it and attend the presentation which turns to be nothing more than a gimmick, they start using pressure selling techniques and they won’t let you go out unless they have you sign something just like dealers selling used cars who say “we will sell you this car for this much price if you buy it today”. They may say the property is only 5 minutes walk from the beach but in reality it may turn out to be 15 minutes away from the beach. Sometimes the property might not be the same they described in their presentation taking advantage of the fact that nobody would go to Florida or Carolina to see the property themselves before buying it. And in some rare cases the property might not even exist at all. What we learn from this is to read the fine printed lines in the invitation if you are sent one. Never ever succumb to their pressure tactics and refuse to sign any kind of paper.

A much better idea is to consult a lawyer before signing any contract documents and see if all the promises that were made verbally are being fulfilled or not. Do your home work before buying a timeshare by researching the market prices in the location you are buying. And also ask for contact numbers of the previous customers. Make sure you call them and find out everything you want to know about the company and their properties.

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The Decision to Re-Finance

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By , June 14, 2022 6:56 pm

The decision to re-finance a home mortgage is a serious decision which should not be taken lightly. Homeowners should give this decision a great deal of consideration to ensure they are making the best possible decision for their financial situation and personal needs. Some factors to consider when deciding whether or not to re-finance is the type of loan to choose, the lender to choose, the costs associated with re-financing and the hassle of the process.

Consider All of the Options

Homeowners who are seriously considering re-financing owe it to themselves to consider all of the options available to them. They may have a friend who recently refinanced with a specific type of loan but this might not be the solution for all homeowners. Each homeowner should consider their situation to be individual and not likely to closely mirror the situations of others.

Some of the options to consider include the type of re-financing loan. The basic options are fixed interest rates and adjustable interest rates. There are also mortgages which combine these two options. The homeowner may have a specific type of mortgage in mind but the lender may or may not be willing to offer the homeowner this type of loan. Lenders are more likely to offer fixed interest mortgages to homeowners with good credit and adjustable rate mortgages to homeowners with poor credit.

Consider the Lender

Homeowners will also have to carefully consider the lender they select. This is important because not all lenders are going to be willing to offer the same interest rates and terms to the homeowner. Homeowners may have to receive quotes from several different lenders in a short period of time to make an accurate comparison. This is important because interest rates can change without notice and homeowners who wait too long to make a decision may find the rate they were originally quoted is no longer available to them.

When selecting a lender the homeowner should also consider how responsive the lender is to their questions. This is important because a lender who does not pay attention to the homeowner or respond to their inquiries in a timely fashion can make the process of re-financing considerably more stressful than necessary. Selecting a lender who offers slightly higher rates but is more responsive may be warranted.

Consider the Cost of Re-Financing

Re-financing is not cheap. There are certain costs associated with re-financing. These costs are typically very similar to the closing costs associated with securing an original mortgage on a property. These costs may include application fees, loan origination fees, property taxes, appraisal fees and other miscellaneous items. These costs can be quite extensive and homeowners may find they are often left paying more than the benefits they are going to gain from re-financing. In this type of situation the homeowner should make the decision not to re-finance because it is not a financially sound decision.

Consider the Hassle of Re-Financing

Let’s face it; re-financing can be an absolute hassle. The time and energy spent researching different re-financing options and contacting lenders to see who will offer the most favorable rates can be quite taxing. A homeowner should consider the time and effort required for this endeavor in deciding whether or not to re-finance. Simply stated, refinancing is a hassle and homeowners may better spend their time with family and friends rather than running around trying to find the best rates in town.

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Timeshare: Is it right for you?

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By , June 11, 2022 12:42 pm

Many people buy timeshares after a lot of research and analysis. But same is not true with some people who simply buy timeshares hearing the buzz surrounding it with poor perception and ignorance about timeshares. Buying a timeshare is a huge investment and thus should be dealt with utmost importance. Before buying a timeshare you have to first question yourself whether is it really for you? How often do you go for vacation? Is that place right for you to go year after year? Do you want to buy a timeshare just for vacation purpose or you are buying it as an investment?
Even if you decide to buy a timeshare property you should start your research at least nine months before you buy a timeshare. But let us weigh in various factors to know whether timeshare is really for you or not. A vacation home might be a minor financial investment for few rich and wealthy but to many middle class people it is possible only in dreams. Middle class people badly needed an alternative to this costly investment. The search for an alternative resulted in the discovery of timeshare in Europe in 1970’s. This was a welcome relief to many people who could not afford to buy an expensive vacation home. This concept gained huge popularity with every passing year and today over two million Americans own timeshare properties which is a big number.
A timeshare is nothing but a real estate property split into many ownerships. The cost is shared among the owners. Timeshares are basically classified into two types of plans, deeded and non-deeded. In a deeded plan the owner buys the timeshare unit and the unit for 30-40 years. It can again be classified into fixed use and flexible use. A fixed use allows only a specific time and specific number of years where as a flexible use timeshare allows you to choose vacation at any time of the year but only on first come first serve basis as many people would like to go for that option. The other types of plan called non-deeded plan is also called right to use plan which is like a lease, you have the same facilities but only for specific period and you lose all the rights after the lease expires.
Having understood what a timeshare is and different types it is also important to dig into the facts of timeshare. Timeshares are usually common in a tourist place. The cost depends on the location and season of the year. Apart from cost of timeshare you have to pay the maintenance and various other fees also. This also may vary depending on the location. But one good thing about timeshare is that you don’t have to worry about the upkeep and maintenance of your timeshare unit. But you have to think is it really worth to pay hundreds of dollars every year in addition to the thousands you have already paid to buy the timeshare and that too to spend only one or two weeks in a year. This may be reasonable only if the maintenance fee is low which is generally not.
But if you see the other side of the coin, in long term a timeshare will be cheaper than a hotel or vacation home. If you add up the cost of hotel for thirty years and compare it with timeshare it will be way higher. But then again, if you decide to go to a different vacation spot every year hotel may be ideal for you. Although timeshare offer exchange of properties with other owners across the states and countries it may not be that easy to do it. Also one should compare the other alternatives to a timeshare available in that place. In some seasons timeshares could really be expensive due to their close proximity to beach fronts etc. So a quick market survey to find cheap alternative should never be ruled out.
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Timeshare Selling Alternatives

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By , June 8, 2022 5:12 am

Many people simply buy timeshares thinking that they would be able to take out some time from their busy schedule and go for vacation. But many end up not using their timeshares at all. So they start considering selling their timeshares. But if you think selling a timeshare is as easy as any other real estate property then you are completely wrong. Selling a timeshare is real pain in the neck taking several months to sell. Even when it finally sells, it sells at 40%-50% less than the original price. You might think is it really worth selling your timeshare or is there a better alternative to selling it. The answer is yes, there are alternatives to selling your timeshare. We discuss those in detail in the paragraphs to follow.

One of the best alternatives to selling a timeshare is to rent your timeshare instead. You can either work this out with your timeshare developer if he can do it. The developers usually have special classifieds for timeshare, it would be a good idea to put an advertisement in those classifieds as they target people interested in timeshares. You can also search for a real estate agency specializing in renting timeshares or vacation homes. Most popular travel destinations have agencies that specialize in this. But remember there can be a fee if you choose to rent your timeshare through a real estate agency. You can also sell your timeshares by yourself by either advertising directly in classifieds or telling your friends, neighbors, family members and colleagues to see if anyone is interested in buying a timeshare. If not, internet is the best place to find out where you can put your timeshare for rent. There are many popular auction sites like eBay which has timeshare rental section on their auction website.

Another alternative to selling your timeshare is timeshare exchange. Timeshare exchange is getting popular with many people facing problems with fixed schedule. And also many people get bored of going to the same place over and over again and they want a change. Timeshare exchange enables them to exchange their timeshare unit with similar unit at other timeshare location and at different time. Most timeshare companies have this facility and offer free exchange in the first year and charge a free from there on. But you can also go directly to a good exchange company and place your unit for exchange. But you have to remember that you can trade in only similar units only. You can’t trade in a one bedroom for a two bedroom. Also you cannot rent the exchanged timeshare to somebody else. You may also be charged a fee for this service and you will get a timeshare in exchange depending on availability.

Last but not the least, instead of selling your timeshares why not donate your timeshares to a charity if you don’t want to for through the hassle of selling, paying huge upfront fee and much more. The donation is just like how you donate your cars, boats or stocks. Donating your timeshares to charity is tax deductible. But be sure to donate it to a right charity organization who can utilize its full potential. You can compare this with any losses you may incur if you sell your timeshare, donating a timeshare could bring you a handsome tax deduction.

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Benefits of Re-Financing

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By , June 4, 2022 10:42 pm

There are a number of benefits which may be associated with re-financing a home. While there are some situations where re-financing is not the right decision, there are a host of benefits which can be gained from re-financing under favorable conditions. Some of these benefits include lower monthly payments, debt consolidation and the ability to utilize the existing equity in the home. Homeowners who are considering re-financing should consider each of these options with their current financial situation to determine whether or not they wish to re-finance their home.

Lower Monthly Payments

For many homeowners the possibility of lower monthly payments is a very appealing benefit of re-financing. Many homeowners live paycheck to paycheck and for these homeowners finding an opportunity to increase their savings can be a monumental feat. Homeowners who are able to negotiate lower interest rates when they re-finance their home will likely see the benefit of lower monthly mortgage payments resulting from the decision to re-finance.

Each month homeowners submit a mortgage payment. This payment is typically used to repay a portion of the interest as well as a portion of the principle on the loan. Homeowners who are able to refinance their loan at a lower interest rate may see a decrease in the amount they are paying in both interest and principle. This may be due to the lower interest rate as well as the lower remaining balance. When a home is re-financed, a second mortgage is taken out to repay the first mortgage. If the existing mortgage was already a few years old, it is likely the homeowner already had some equity and had paid off some of the previous principle balance. This enables the homeowner to take out a smaller mortgage when they re-finance their home because they are repaying a smaller debt than the original purchase price of the home.

Debt Consolidation

Some homeowners begin to investigate re-financing for the purpose of debt consolidation. This is especially true for homeowners who have high interest debts such as credit card debts. A debt consolidation loan enables the homeowner to use the existing equity in their home as collateral to secure a low interest loan which is large enough to repay the existing balance on the home as well as a number of other debts such as credit card debt, car loans, student loans or any other debts the homeowner may have.

When re-financing is done of the purpose of debt consolidation there is not always an overall increase in savings. Those who are seeking to consolidate their debts are often struggling with their monthly payments and are seeking an option which makes it easier for the homeowner to manage their monthly bills.

Additionally, debt consolidation can also simplify the process of paying monthly bills. Homeowners who are apprehensive about participating in monthly bill pay programs may be overwhelmed by the amount of bills they have to pay each month. Even if the value of these bills is not worrisome just the act of writing several checks each month and ensuring they are sent, on time, to the correct location can be overwhelming. For this reason, many homeowners often re-finance their mortgage to minimize the amount of payments they are making each month.

Using the Existing Equity in the Home

Another popular reason for re-financing is to use the existing equity in the home. Homeowners who have a considerable amount of equity in their home may find they are able to cash out some of this equity for other purposes. This may include making improvements to the home, starting a business, taking a dream vacation or pursuing a higher degree of education. The homeowner is not limited in how they can use the equity in their home and may re-finance a home equity line of credit which can be used for any purpose imaginable. A home equity line of credit is different from a loan because the funds are not disbursed all at once. Rather the funds are made available to the homeowner and the homeowner can withdraw these finds at anytime during the draw period.

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Is It Time to Re-Finance?

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By , June 1, 2022 3:39 pm

Whether or not to re-finance is a question homeowner may ask themselves many times while they are living in their home. Re-financing is essentially taking out one home loan to repay an existing home loan. This may sound odd at first but it is important to realize when this is done properly it can result in a significant cost savings for the homeowner over the course of the loan. When there is the potential for an overall savings it might be time to consider re-financing. There are certain situations which make re-financing worthwhile. These situations may include when the credit scores of the homeowners improve, when the financial situation of the homeowners improves and when national interest rates drop. This article will examine each of these scenarios and discuss why they may warrant a re-finance.

When Credit Scores Improve

There are currently so many home loan options available, that even those with poor credit are likely to find a lender who can assist them in realizing their dream of purchasing a home. However, those with poor credit are likely to be offered unfavorable loan terms such as high interest rates or variable interest rates instead of fixed rates. This is because the lender considers these homeowners to be higher risk than others because of their poor credit.

Fortunately for those with poor credit, many credit mistakes can be repaired over time. Some financial blemishes such as bankruptcies simply disappear after a number of years while other blemishes such as frequent late payments can be minimized by maintaining a more favorable record of repaying debts and demonstrating an ability to repay existing debts.

When a homeowner’s credit score improves considerable, the homeowner should inquire about the possibility of re-financing their current mortgage. All citizens are entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. Homeowners should take advantage of these three reports to check their credit each year and determine whether or not their credit has increased significantly. When they notice a significant increase, they should consider contacting lenders to determine the rates and terms they may be willing to offer.

When Financial Situations Change

A change in the homeowner’s financial situation can also warrant investigation into the process of re-financing. A homeowner may find himself making considerably more money due to a change in jobs or considerably less money due to a lay off or a change in careers. In either case the homeowner should investigate the possibility of re-financing. The homeowner may find an increase in pay may allow them to obtain a lower interest rate.

Alternately a homeowner who loses their job or takes a pay cut as a result of a change in careers may hope to refinance and consolidate their debt. This may result in the homeowner paying more because some debts are drawn out over a longer period of time but it can result in a lower monthly payment for the homeowner which may be advantageous at this juncture of his life.

When Interest Rates Drop

Interest rates dropping is the one signal that sends many homeowners rushing to their lenders to discuss the possibility of re-financing their home. Lower interest rates are certainly appealing because they can result in an overall savings over the course of the loan but homeowners should also realize that every time the interest rates drop, a re-finance of the home is not warranted. The caveat to re-financing to take advantage of lower interest rates is that the homeowner should carefully evaluate the situation to ensure the closing costs associated with re-financing do not exceed the overall savings benefit gained from obtaining a lower interest rate. This is significant because if the cost of re-financing is higher than the savings in interest, the homeowner does not benefit from re-financing and may actually lose money in the process.

The mathematics associated with determining whether or not there is an actual savings is not overly complicated but there is the possibility that the homeowner will make mistakes in these types of calculations. Fortunately there are a number of calculators available on the Internet which can help homeowners to determine whether or not re-financing is worthwhile.

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