Now’s the best time to refinance | Just Ask Jan

Dear Jan: We have our house on the market but it has not sold yet.

Dear Jan: We have our house on the market but it has not sold yet.

We have learned that interest rates are much lower than when we bought the house a few years back.  In the event that we have to stay here longer than we thought, we’d like to know if we can refinance at these low rates so that our payments will be lower.  What are your thoughts?
— LL

Dear LL: Great question, as today’s interest rates are at historic lows. Anybody who needs to refinance should be doing it now. It is predicted that later in 2012 the rates will start to climb.

There are costs to refinancing, so you really need to talk to a mortgage lender to see if the costs pencil out for you. You need to disclose to your mortgage lender that your house is on the market and in the MLS. If you go forward, they will order an appraisal of the property. The lenders/appraisers don’t want to see that the property is for sale. Therefore, you will need to cancel your listing with your real estate firm. There may be fees associated with that also, so be sure to ask. Once the refinance is complete and the loan has closed, you can relist with the same real estate firm.

Ask your local real estate broker for the name of a mortgage lender that they would trust to do the refinance for you. They know who the good ones are!

Hope your home sells soon.  
— Jan

— Jan Zufelt is an agent with John L. Scott Real Estate in Kingston. Contact her at janz@johnlscott.com.