Is Now the Time to Refinance?

Planning Your Future Owning a Home

The benefits of refinancing locally could make the difference.

Interest rates on home mortgages have plunged to historic lows. But if you’ve been following mortgage rates of late, you likely have noticed that they seemingly rise and fall in a blink of an eye, fluctuating as much as half a percent in a single day. The lows make for a prime opportunity to refinance or purchase a new home, but rate fluctuations—not to mention current market volatility—can be disorienting.

“The combination of a worrisome economy and significant shifts in rates can give pause to someone who is considering a refinance or a home purchase,” said Mike Lavender, SELCO’s Mortgage Manager. “But the rate environment is generally favorable for someone who wants to refinance or buy a new home. Knowing when to lock in a rate, and understanding Oregon’s specific real estate market, can really help save money in the long run.”

Is refinancing right for you right now?

Even with current fluctuations, rates are rarely this enticing. And with COVID-19 putting so much pressure on the economy, the monthly savings from a refinance could add a helping of security. The additional savings can also be helpful in building up an emergency fund.

Young couple meet with real estate agent

Before making a decision, ask yourself some questions that are always useful before choosing to refinance:

  • What would the monthly payment savings be if you refinance to a lower rate?
  • What will a refinance cost in terms of fees and other closing costs?
  • How long do you plan on staying in your home?
  • How many years remain on your current loan?
  • Will the savings over time from a lower interest rate make up for the additional upfront costs of refinancing?

SELCO’s mortgage calculator can get you started on answering those questions, but “some refinance questions are undoubtedly more difficult to answer right now than in a less volatile environment,” Lavender said.

“This is when experienced, local help is particularly valuable,” he added. “And SELCO is uniquely positioned to help you understand and manage the volatility.”

SELCO’s experienced mortgage team can help secure the best rate, offering expert advice on the best loan options and terms for you.

But rates are only part of the overall refinance equation.

At SELCO, we work hard to keep fees lower than the Oregon average. And in highly qualified cases, the appraisal could be waived, saving hundreds of dollars from the refinance cost.

“This is important because if lending fees and closing costs are too high, they can overwhelm the benefits of a lower interest rate,” Lavender said.

The local advantage

All real estate is local by nature. Refinancing locally can ensure that your new loan is done on time, correctly, and with as little stress as possible. And when the real estate market is in flux, knowing the community can help get the deal done.

Because SELCO Loan Officers have built local relationships over time, they use local appraisers who will value your property correctly based on unique local market dynamics, so you won’t lose your approval based on a faulty valuation. In addition, familiarity with state rules and title companies guarantees that necessary paperwork is prepared properly and on time.

“We know the communities that we work in because we all live in them,” Lavender said.

In an ever-changing mortgage environment, SELCO Community Credit Union’s expertise will help you navigate otherwise choppy waters.

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