How Long Does It Take to Refinance a House (+ 5 Ways to Speed Up the Process)

We’re all looking for ways to cut down on expenses — especially fixed expenses that lock us into a contracted bill month after month. One common way to spare your budget is to decrease your living expenses, including your house payment. Refinancing your loan could help cut down on your mortgage payments and could update your loan terms, saving you money. If you’re considering refinancing, you may ask, “how long does it take to refinance a house?”

Refinancing your home can be tedious but it could help your budget in the long run. Luckily, we’re here to help by sharing the typical refinancing process and detailing how to make it as efficient as possible.

How Long Does It Take to Refinance?

How Long Does It Take to Refinance?

Typically, refinancing a house takes 45 days, but it may vary depending on your financial situation and your lender vetting process. Preparing your financials early and picking the appropriate lender for your case are a few factors that could help the timeline of your updated mortgage loan. To speed up the refinancing application process, skip to our section below or keep reading to refinance your home in seven steps.

Steps to Refinance Your Home

Refinancing your mortgage has its positives and potential negatives. You could decrease your monthly mortgage payments, get a shorter loan period, or lock in a better interest rate. But you could also end up spending more on application fees or face prepayment penalties. Before speaking with a lender, research the refinancing process, requirements, and added costs that could deter your ideal result.

The 7-Step Home Refinancing Timeline

Step 1: Define Your Financial Goals

Start by asking yourself what you’d like to get out of a refinancing loan agreement. Do you want to shorten your loan term? Do you want to secure an interest rate lower than your current rate? Or, do you want both? Determine your ideal end result, verify your investment choice, and seek a lender that supports your goals.

Step 2: Compare Lenders (and Reviews)

Ask around or search online to find the right lender for you and your goals. Pick out a few professionals you’d be interested in working with and ask them their rates, terms, and requirements. To help narrow down your lender options, seek out reviews online or ask for referrals in your network to ensure you pick the right choice.

Step 3: Double-Check for Additional Fees or Costs

Refinancing a loan can rack up a bill you may not be aware of until after you start the loan process. Attorney, application, inspection, appraisal, and title searches are a few refinancing tasks that you could be charged for. To budget for these expenses, save a bit extra from each paycheck or assess your current savings account using our app. If you have enough saved, start inquiring about this loan. If you don’t, put extra cash into savings each month until you have enough to cover the extra charges.

Mortgage Refinancing Documents

Step 4: Apply for Your Best Loan Estimate

Once you’ve found the right loan for your financial goals, the next step is to fill out your application.. To submit your application, you may have to provide proof of income, assets, debts, and other forms that complete your financial portfolio. These documents may be helpful in the application process:

  • Proof of income: W2 earnings statements, 1099 DIV income statements, Federal tax returns for the last two years, bank statements for the last few months, recent paycheck stubs.
  • Credit information: your credit score and your credit reports from the last three years will be pulled for you, upon your approval.
  • Proof of assets: reports from your checking, savings, retirement, and other investment accounts.
  • Proof or insurance: providing evidence of your homeowners and title insurance.
  • Debts statements: statements of any debt accounts open — student loans, credit cards, current home loan, auto loans, etc.

Step 5: Start the Loan Process and Appraise Your Home

It’s now time to begin the loan process and appraise the value of your home. Once you’re approved for your loan, it’s time to get your home inspected, appraised, and conduct a title search. To ensure you’re on track with your timeline, prepare all your documents ahead of time. Skip to our section below for more ways to speed up this process.

Step 6: Wait for Underwriters to Cross-Reference

Now, the underwriters take it from here. Underwriters double-check your financial information to ensure everything is accurate before approving your loan. Your creditworthiness and debt-to-income ratio are generally the key factors underwriters will look at. Your property details, including when you bought your house and your home’s value, are a few other determining factors. This process may be the longest time constraint, taking a few days up to a few weeks.

Step 7: Close Your Loan to Lock in Your Interest Rate

Once your loan is approved and you’ve agreed upon your terms, it’s time to lock in your rate. This stage is commonly known to stretch your timeline as well. It can take your lawyer anywhere from one day to two months to settle your current loan and redeem your property. Keep in mind, this is typically where you pay the brunt of your fees whether you’re approved or denied. These fees may include closing costs and application fees.

Ways to Speed up the Application Process

credit score of 620 or higher, it may be the right time to check in on your score. Use our app to see your credit score, your credit history, and helpful tips to boost your ranking.

  • Avoid taking on more debt: Your credit score is impacted by your debt. Maxing out your credit card could negatively impact your credit score and cost more in the long run. Focus on paying off debts and only spending your readily available money to free up more credit utilization.
  • Stay away from applying for new credit: Additionally, inquiring about new debt opportunities could drop your credit score up to eight points. Next time you’re offered a new credit card or a deal on a car loan, take a few days to analyze the potential credit changes that could impact your refinanced mortgage.
  • Do what you can to accommodate your appraiser and lender: During this process, you may run into a couple issues — such as needing different paperwork or extra signatures. While life can get busy, do your best to make your appraisers and lenders live’s easy. Doing so could speed up your process and earn you a better home loan in no time!
  • Refinancing your home takes time, but it can be well worth it in the long run. Getting a lower interest rate and a shorter term length could lessen your payments going towards interest. Use our app and our loan calculator to see what refinancing could do for your budget.

     

    The post How Long Does It Take to Refinance a House (+ 5 Ways to Speed Up the Process) appeared first on MintLife Blog.

    Source: mint.intuit.com

    Former OPI Exec Lists Italian-Style Villa in Beverly Hills for $33 Million

    Miriam Schaeffer, a former executive at nail polish giant OPI Products, is looking to sell her Italian-style villa in Beverly Hills, CA — and won’t settle for just any amount.

    The nail polish mogul — who is also the former wife of George Schaeffer, founder of the popular nail polish brand — is asking a hefty $33 million for her opulent home set in one of the most sough-after streets in the area, Roxbury Drive, a historically popular address among celebrities.

    Located on N. Roxbury Drive, the property has a rich history and has been considerably upgraded and expanded in recent years. In fact, Schaeffer invested heavily in the property, expanding its footprint by roughly 40% and significantly boosting the amenity roster.

    Originally built in 1926 by the architectural firm Camduff and Camduff as one of the partners’ own homes, the architectural masterpiece was revamped by renowned architect Richard Manion in 2016. The current owner worked alongside the architect to add amenities like a media room and a wine cellar, and to expand the beautiful grounds. 

    Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive
    Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency

    The combination of Spanish, Italian, and Mediterranean revival architecture is probably why this property is also known as Casa California. It’s a perfect representation of relaxed California living, featuring a long list of fun amenities that includes a fitness studio, a media room, a spa, and a swimming pool. 

    The property offers roughly 210 feet of frontage along N. Roxbury Drive, also known as ‘street of the stars’ (a highly popular destination for celebrities living in Beverly Hills), but it also offers privacy from prying eyes via a gated and hedged entrance.

    The mansion has 7 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, and an impressive total of 13,765 square feet of living space. The rear grounds are home to the pool, the spa, a guest house, and a fitness studio, all surrounded by complete privacy and tranquility.

    Inside, a two-story entry greets visitors, leading to a living room with a stunning fireplace and doors that open to the front grounds. There is also a state-of-the-art chef’s kitchen, complete with a breakfast room and a wood-paneled family room that opens to the pool. 

    Living room of ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive
    Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency
    Kitchen of ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive
    Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency
    Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive
    Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency
    Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive.
    Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency

    Upstairs, there is a gorgeous master suite that incorporates a sitting room, custom-made closets, and a terrace with fabulous views. There’s no shortage of space for family or friends, as the upper levels also include no less than 5 guest suites. 

    Bedroom of an ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive.
    Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency

    Additional amenities include a wine cellar, an elevator, an entertainment room, and a bar, making this house perfect for any type of entertaining. 

    Entertainment room of an ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive.
    Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency

    This luxurious N. Roxbury Drive property is marketed by The Agency, with Jacob Dadon handling the listing. The current owner is Miriam Schaeffer, the former wife of George Schaeffer, who founded the popular nail polish brand OPI. 

    Schaeffer bought OPI (then Odontorium Products Inc.) in 1981 in Calabasas. At the time, the company was in the dental supply business, but Schaeffer and partner Suzi Weiss-Fischmann turned the brand into a global nail polish giant. The brand’s products were used in movies like Legally Blonde 2 and Alice in Wonderland, and they are known for their chip-resistant formula and bright colours. The company was acquired by Coty, Inc. in 2010, and Schaeffer stepped down as CEO in 2013. 

    Miriam Schaeffer, George Schaeffer’s ex-wife, once worked as an executive and treasurer for the brand. She reportedly purchased the opulent house in 2012 for $14 million, according to Mansion Global, and invested in expanding its footprint by nearly 40%, alongside architect Richard Manion. 

    More beautiful homes with famous owners

    Chrissy Teigen & John Legend Buy $17.5M Beverly Hills Mansion After Cashing Big on Previous Home
    Morgan Brown Re-Lists Stunning West Hollywood Home Amid Split from Actor Gerard Butler
    Kendall Jenner Gives Us a Tour of her Peaceful, Art-Filled Home
    For $35K/Month, You Could Join the Ranks of the Hollywood Celebs Renting This House in Malibu

    The post Former OPI Exec Lists Italian-Style Villa in Beverly Hills for $33 Million appeared first on Fancy Pants Homes.

    Source: fancypantshomes.com

    7 Tools for Protecting Your Walls

    Protect Your Walls from Cracks

    Before driving a nail into a plaster wall, place a small piece of tape over the spot you’re working on. This simple prep step will prevent cracking in the plaster.

    Patch It Up

    To make a putty for quick patches, combine a tablespoon of salt with a tablespoon of cornstarch.

    Mix them together with just enough water to make a paste. Apply while still wet.

    Crafty Use for Old Gift Cards

     

    In need of a thin yet sturdy household tool for scraping grout, repairing holes in walls, or filling scratches in wood? Use a used-up gift card (or expired credit card) for the job—any unusable hard plastic card will do. And if you’re anything like us, you have plenty of those!

    Wall Hole Solution

    You’re moving out of an apartment and need to fill in the holes in the wall caused by nails. Just grab a bar of white soap and rub across the hole until the soap fills it. It’s not a permanent fix, but it will make the walls look clean until they can be repainted.

    Another Wall Hole Solution

    Before spackling small holes in your wall caused by nails, first cut a Q-tip in half and insert in the hole, stick end first. Then spackle as you normally would. The Q-tip will completely fill the hole and ensure you won’t have to go back for a second pass.

    Finding Imperfections

    Filling and sanding every hole in the wall before you paint can be enough of a pain, but sometimes it’s hard to find every crack, hole, and imperfection. Make your job easier by turning off the lights in a room, then slowly running a flashlight over the entire surface of the wall. The light will cast different shadows in these areas, making them easier to see than they would have been in the daylight.

    Got a Screw Loose?

    You’ve just struggled to remove a stripped screw from the wall. Now how do you fix the hole? Use a wooden golf tee! First, squirt some wood glue into the hole, then insert the tee as far as it will go, tapping it in place with a hammer. Next, use a utility knife to cut the tee flush with the wall. You’ve now made a stable base for the new screw. Drill a pilot hole into the golf tee, and insert your new screw. Problem solved!

     
    For everyday tips and lifehacks, tune in to the Who Knew podcast on iTunes and Stitcher! And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

    Source: quickanddirtytips.com

    Butt Marker? Flat Bastard File? 9 Weird Home Tools and What They’re Used For

    weird toolsNA / Getty Images

    There are a few key factors that set us humans apart from the other mammals out there: self-awareness, language, and empathy among them. But according to Live Science, “The way humans make and use tools is perhaps what sets our species apart more than anything else.”

    What may differentiate us even further from our warm-blooded friends: the kooky names we come up with for some of those thousands of tools humankind has invented. You may know a Phillips head screwdriver from a flathead, but do you know what a double cat’s paw wrecking bar is used for? We sure didn’t.

    To help introduce you to the wild world of tools at your disposal as a homeowner, here’s a rundown of the strangest we’ve found, and what they’re used for. Consider this your cheat sheet so you can confidently tell a butt marker from a flat bastard file!

    1. Flat bastard file

    Flat bastard
    Perfect for baking into a cake

    HomeDepot.com

    It sounds like a slim, secret dossier someone might keep on people they don’t like—or an insult in a classic gangster movie. Yet this heavy-duty flat bastard file is used by machinists and engine builders who need to remove metal from anything from axles to lawn mower blades.

    2. Butt marker

    Butt marker
    Is this tool just used in the bathroom?

    HomeDepot.com

    Where to begin with a tool called the butt marker? We don’t want to make it the butt of an easy joke, but it’s probably found in the rear of your local hardware store.

    And what does the tool with a funny name do? It helps mark the correct hinge size and mortise depth for accurate door installation.

    3. Double cat’s paw wrecking bar

    Double Cats Paw Wrecking Bar
    Is this used in a catfight?

    HomeDepot.com

    Adorable cats and utter destruction usually don’t go together. But somehow the double cat’s paw wrecking bar exists as a demolition tool used for prying up joists. And bonus for anyone doing a major demo out there: The claws are slotted to easily remove any type of fastener while you can remain comfortably in a standing position rather than stooping down.

    4. Flute chucking reamer

    Flute Chucking Reamer
    Do not try to play this flute.

    HomeDepot.com

    Can this tool be found in the woodwind section of your toolbox? Or is it something breakout flute player Lizzo uses on her projects at home? OK, OK.

    A flute chucking reamer is actually used primarily in machine shops to enlarge or finish an existing drilled hole to a more exact size to achieve a precision fit.

    5. Pigtail hook

    Pig tail hook
    * Not a real pigtail

    HomeDepot.com

    Last time we checked, pigtails are a swine-y shade of pink. So what gives with this bright yellow? The pop of color is because this tool puts safety first and is used by roofers hauling buckets up from the ground. Adding the twisty pigtail hook to the end of a rope keeps the heavy buckets in place.

    6. Spokeshave

    Spoke shave
    Don’t use this on your face.

    HomeDepot.com

    The spokeshave may sound like it’s meant to get rid of a guy’s 5 o’clock shadow, but the reality is it’s a woodworking tool designed to carve curves into wooden furniture, such as shaping chair seats and legs. While most DIYers won’t have this in a toolbox, many woodworkers will have a spokeshave in their shop.

    7. Spud wrench

    Spud Wrench
    A spud is a narrow spade used for digging up root vegetables.

    HomeDepot.com

    You say potato, I say potahto. And still other people—mostly plumbers—say spud and buy this spud wrench instead. Yet it is not used on splitting taters, but for making radiator valve repairs.

    8. Bull-nose rabbet plane

    Bullnose Rabbet Plane
    Do not put a ring through this bull nose.

    HomeDepot.com

    A rabbet—as opposed to rabbit—is a step-shaped recess cut along the edge of a piece of wood, typically formed to match the edge—or tongue—of another piece of wood. And the bull-nose rabbet plane? It has a blade flush with the edges of the plane, allowing a woodworker to trim right up to the edge of a piece.

    9. Nail eater extreme

     Nail Eater Extreme
    Much better than the regular nail eater!

    Sunriseequipment.com

    For all the nail biters out there who want to take their compulsion a step further, try the nail eater extreme!

    OK, actually this bit is typically used by linemen to eat through existing nails in wood as it drills. But homeowners with tough remodel projects can also count on this bit to chew through multiple layers of material (think aluminum siding on top of wood siding).

    The post Butt Marker? Flat Bastard File? 9 Weird Home Tools and What They’re Used For appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

    Source: realtor.com

    How to prepare your home for a winter open house

    The winter season can be a great time to sell your house, but while your competition is reduced, success during this time can still depend on a successful open house. To help make your open house as effective as possible, follow these tips.

    • Take down your decorations. The holidays are over, but if you’re the type that likes to leave the decorations up for a time, taking them down before your open house is a good idea. Prospective buyers may not celebrate the same holidays as you and you don’t want to alienate them.
    • Clear the clutter. If you haven’t put those holiday gifts away yet, now’s the time. Prospective buyers should be able to focus on your home instead of the collection of things crowding it. Give them nice open spaces to move about and they’ll be appreciative.
    • Turn up the heat. Warm and cozy is more than a catch phrase during the winter. Bring the temperature up in your home slightly during your open house to keep your guests comfortable. If they are too cold in your home, they aren’t apt to stay long.
    • Plan for winter apparel. Be it jackets or boots, take extra steps to prepare your entryway for the added material your buyers will bring with them. A designated spot to place these items can make guests feel welcome and keep your home cleaner during the showing and beyond.

    The post How to prepare your home for a winter open house first appeared on Century 21®.

    Source: century21.com