2010 Refinances

I am now firmly convinced that gremlins are real. Like most mornings, this morning I ate my breakfast and pondered the world around me and within a couple of minutes had thought of something to write about for today. I typed a bit, ate some cereal, typed a bit more, checked the bond market and about 15 minutes later had a completed blog entry for today. And then the gremlins struck without warning. They ate my blog entry. I picture my gremlins as green little creatures with big eyes, sharp fangs and green skin. Completely cheesy looking – as if they came out of a scrapped Star Trek episode back in the 1960s. And yet, I can’t call them cute. They did, after all, eat my blog entry.

So here I am typing out today’s information yet again. Maybe the gremlins are trying to suppress the message? I can’t imagine that refinances will be a threat to them but who knows? To be on the safe side Sara purchased some Raid Gremlin be gone and I plan on thoroughly spraying this post with it to ensure that they won’t gobble it up again.

In 2008 and in 2003 I found myself saying that rates would never get lower. In each of these years I figured that I would never again in my lifetime see rates so low again. And as of this week, I am wrong. Rates have trended even lower than what they were in either of those two years. Although I don’t want to build a career out of it, sometimes it’s very good to be wrong.

Unlike 2008 and 2003, 2010 has some unique challenges. First, values have been trending lower and are (more or less) at levels we haven’t seen since around 2004. Every neighborhood is different but overall most of us would be shocked to see what has happened to the equity we had in our homes. This does present a real issue for getting a refinance. In previous years when values were trending higher, it was pretty easy to incorporate all fees into the new loan. This is no longer the case. In addition, we don’t have as many options. Gone are stated income loans, sub-prime loans, option ARMs etc. Most would say good riddance until they find that the elimination of these programs is hurting them personally.

If you are thinking of refinancing, you may want to check out the following link: http://makinghomeaffordable.gov/loan_lookup.html Fannie and Freddie loans are eligible for some enhanced guidelines through the HARP program. It’s worth checking out in any case. FHA and VA loans also have some streamline refinance possibilities that make refinancing easier.

If you do have any questions involving refinances, please feel free to contact either Sara or myself. As far as I know, gremlins seem to take no interest in phone calls or emails so feel free to contact us either way.


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