Tag Archives: Housing Finances

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

    How to Save for a House in 8 Steps

    When you buy a home, you’re making an investment in yourself and your future. You’re building financial stability, equity, and experience. You have a place to call your own and you can customize the space just how you want. Yet, you might be wondering how to get to that point — this is why saving up is so important.

    There are some upfront costs to owning a home — primarily a down payment. Find out how much you should budget using a home loan affordability calculator and figure out how to save the amount you need. After all, the best way to save for a house is to formulate a budget that helps you work towards your house saving goals step by step. Soon enough, you’ll be turning the key and stepping into a home you love.

    How to save for a house

    Step 1: Calculate Your Down Payment and Timeline

    When figuring out how to save for a house, you may already have a savings goal and deadline in mind. For instance, you may want to save 20 percent of your home loan cost by the end of the year. If you haven’t given this much thought, sit down and crunch the numbers. Ask yourself the following questions:

    • What is your ideal home cost?
    • What percentage would you like to contribute as a down payment?
    • What are your ideal monthly payments?
    • When would you like to purchase your home?
    • How long would you like your term mortgage to be?

    Asking yourself these questions will reveal a realistic budget, timeline, and savings goal to work towards. For instance, say you want to buy a $250,000 house with a 20 percent down payment at a 30-year loan term length. You would need to save $50,000 as a down payment; at a 3.5 percent interest rate, your monthly payments would come out to be $898.

    Step 2: Budget for the Extra Expenses

    Just like a new rental, your home will have fees, taxes, and utilities that need to be budgeted for. Homeowners insurance, closing costs, and property taxes are a few examples of cash expenses. Not to mention, the cost of utilities, repairs, renovation work, and furniture. Here are a few more expenses you may have to save for:

    • Appraisal costs: Appraisals assess the home’s value and are usually ordered by your mortgage lender. They can cost anywhere from $312 to $405 for a single-family home.
    • Home inspection: A home inspection typically costs $279 to $399 for a single-family home. Prices vary depending on what you need inspected and how thorough you want the report to be. For instance, if you want an expert to look at your foundation, there will likely be an additional cost.
    • Realtor fees: In some states, the realtor fee is 5.45 percent of the home’s purchase price. Depending on the market, the seller might pay for your realtor fee. In other places, it might be more common to contract a lawyer to look over your purchase agreement, which is usually cheaper than a realtor.
    • Appraisal and closing costs: Appraisals assess the home’s value and are usually ordered by your mortgage lender. They can cost anywhere between $300 and $400 for a single-family home.

    Step 3: Maximize Your Savings Contributions

    Saving for a new home is easier said than done. To stay on track, first create a savings account that has a high yield if possible. Then, check in on your monthly savings goal to set up automatic contributions. By setting up automatic savings payments, you may treat this payment as a regular monthly expense.

    In addition to saving more, spend less. Evaluate your budget to see what areas you could cut down or live without. For instance, creating your own workout studio at home could save you $200 a month on a gym class membership.

    Step 4: Work Hard for a Raise

    One of the best ways to boost your savings is to increase your earnings. If you already have a job you love, put in the extra time and effort to earn a raise. Learning new skills by attending in-person or virtual training seminars or learning a new language could increase your earning potential. Not only could you land a raise, but you could add these skills to your resume.

    Sometimes, putting in the extra effort doesn’t always land you a raise, and that’s okay! When getting a raise is out of the question, consider looking at other opportunities. Figure out which industry suits you and your skillset and start applying. You may end up finding your dream job, along with your desired pay.

    Step 5: Create More Streams of Income

    Establishing different income streams could help your house savings budget. If one source of income unexpectedly goes dry, having other sources to cut the slack is helpful. You won’t have to worry about the sudden income change when paying your monthly mortgage.

    For example, creating an online course as a passive income project may earn you only $5 this month. As traffic picks up, your monthly earnings could surpass your monthly income. To create an abundant financial portfolio, there are a few different ways to do so:

    • Create an online course: Write about something you’re passionate about and share your skills online. Sell your digital products on Etsy or Shopify to earn supplemental income.
    • Grow a YouTube channel: Start a YouTube channel and share your skills to help others within your industry of expertise. For instance, “How to start a YouTube channel” could be its own hit.
    • Invest in low-risk investments: From CD’s to money market funds, there are a few types of investments that could grow your cash with low risk.

    Paying down debt

    Step 6: Pay Off Your Biggest Debts

    Before taking on more debt like a mortgage, it’s important to free up your credit usage. Credit utilization is the percentage of available credit you have open compared to what you have used. If you have $200 in debt, but $1,000 available on your credit card, you’re only using 20 percent of your credit utilization. A higher credit utilization could potentially hinder your credit score over time. Not only can paying off debts feel satisfying, but it could also increase your credit score and prepare you for this next big purchase.

    To pay off your debts, create an action plan. Write out all your debt accounts, how much you still owe, and their payment due dates. From there, start increasing your payments on your smallest debt. Once you pay off your smallest debt in full, you may feel more motivated to pay off your next debt account. Keep up with these good habits as you take on your mortgage account.

    Step 7: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help

    Whether your touring homes or want help adjusting your budget, don’t hesitate to ask for help. If you’re trying to figure out what your budget should look like, research budgeting apps like Mint to build a successful financial plan.

    If you’re curious about additional mortgage expenses, your budget, or investment opportunities, reach out to a trusted professional or utilize government resources. Not only are they able to help you prepare for your next big step, but they could also help you and your finances in the long term.

    Step 8: Store Your Savings in a High Yield Saving Account

    While you may have a perfect budget and a home savings goal, it’s time to make every dollar count. Before you add to your account, research different savings accounts and their monthly yields. The higher the yield, the more your savings could grow as long as your account is open.

    In September of 2020, the national average interest rate on savings accounts was capped at 0.8 percent. If you were to deposit only $100 into a high yield savings account with an APY of 0.8 percent, you could earn $80 off your investment over the year. This helps you save extra money by just putting your money into a savings account.

    In Summary

    • First, set a savings goal to match your estimated down payment and mortgage monthly payments. Then add your contributions to a high yield savings account to grow your money overtime.
    • Don’t forget to budget for extra mortgage expenses like appraisal costs, home inspections, realtor fees, or closing costs. Keep in mind, your monthly utilities and fees may also be more expensive than your current living situation.
    • Prepare for the additional costs by increasing your earning potential and optimizing additional income stream opportunities.
    • Free up your credit utilization by paying off as much debt as possible before buying a house. Keep up these good habits throughout the length of your mortgage term.

    When you purchase a home, you’re building a piggy bank for your future. Every month you pay your mortgage, you pay part of it to yourself because you own the home. Instead of paying rent to someone else, you reap your own investment when you sell. Most importantly, though, you’ll have a place that’s truly your own.

    Sources: Interest

    The post How to Save for a House in 8 Steps appeared first on MintLife Blog.

    Source: mint.intuit.com