Refinancing...be ready to be patient!

paulflyboyFebruary 20, 2009

Thought I would post my refinancing experience on here FWIW to others. I have lurked around here for a good while and got lots of good information, so thanks!

Bought our house about a year and a half ago, got a 30 yr fixed at 7.375. Never truly really considered refinancing until rates hit in the upper 4 range, then it was "duh" I can't afford not to refi. Don't know why it didn't occur to me earlier.

Long story, but we went in on Jan 5th and did the app, FHA 30 yr fixed. Next day, got approved for 4.875 (no points) so we locked. Next had to get the appraisal, termite letter, all that good stuff done. Just seemed like it was one thing after another, and of course it takes a day or two to get a response and then there was always something else they(the underwriter) needed. I will admit it was very frustrating at times. I understand that "all loans are a little different" and I am a very understanding person, but sometimes it is a little ridiculous. My file was at least 3" thick.

I couldn't believe my ears when I was told that I needed a letter from my wife stating that I have access to the joint banking accounts. Had to shake my head and roll my eyes on this one...."wait a minute, my wife has to write a letter saying that I have access to our joint banking accounts.....bank statements/credit reports aren't enough?" This has to be a joke right?....I wish it was.

Anyway, we finally closed on Feb 18th. What a relief. It was a long, and painful process, and to their credit, the banks are swamped. There were times I felt like saying the hec with it, but that would have been a BIG mistake knowing how much we are going to save over the long run.

Thanks to all of those on here for their advice, I was reading a learning a lot. Several major things learned from my my first refi experience were if you lock, make sure you give yourself enough time. Nothing like having your lock about to expire and not knowing if your going to be able to close in that time frame (again banks are/were really busy with refi's).

Another thing learned is trying to time the rate. Dave and others have posted a lot on this. For me it was pretty simple....right now anything is better than 7.3% Obviously, the lower the better, but who knows what the future holds? As Dave has said, and I found out true, the process can take a while to complete so get the paperwork done and lock when you feel the time is right.

Thought it might help someone to post my experience on my first refinance. I have lurked and learned, so time to pay that fwd.

Paul

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petunia_grow

Boy can I relate to paulflyboy. I went with a friend of a friend and will never do that again. He is a mortgage planner and financial planner. I started the refi process in November. The paperwork is still not done and I finally told him forget it, give me all my paperwork back and I will shop around for someone else that will work for me.

I gave him all the information in Nov that was on the checklist to refi. I didn't hear from him for about 3 wks and then finally emailed on an update. Oh he told me he was working on it but all his appraisers are booked. So I finally found an appraiser on my own who charged 300.00, I think this is high. The appraiser told me he would send the appraisal to my mortgage planner. That took about 3 weeks.

I kept emailing him and asking him about my refi "We are waiting to hear back from the bank....blah...blah....blah.

Finally on Febuary 18 he asked if I had time to meet with him and I told him of course, I was tired of waiting. When I got to his office him and his business partner talked about financial planning, nothing about my refinance. They want me to put my extra money from my refinance into a financial planning savings plan. I am like no way I just want my refi done and I will decide what I want to do with my money. They talked to me about 2 hrs and the next day sent me a questionaire about the financial planning. I told him I am not interested I just want my refi done. Long story short he called me today and kept pressuring me into his financial planning. I got fed up, hung up on him and wrote him an email to give me all my paperwork back. Here is my email:

I need all of my paperwork back from you as soon as you are available. I am going to shop around for someone else to do my refinancing. It has taken way to long and you keep pushing me to do your financial planning and I am exhausted. Last time I refinanced it did not take this long and I got answers. When I met with you on Wednesday I thought we would be discussing my refinancing but I feel pressured into your financial planning and I am not happy right now.

That was end of letter. Now at this point I am so frustrated I don't even want to start this process again so yes I can relate to the refi nightmare.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 5:41PM
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kec01

We've used the same mortgage company for 4 purchases and about 8 refis over the last 13 years. We're refinancing again now and will close Monday or Tuesday, I hope. This process has taken about 7 weeks now and this is the longest we've experienced. Companies are swamped and standards are tighter.

We've been asked for more documentation and this is the first time ever that an appraiser has actually come in the house. It's been more tedious, but hopefully we sign soon.

I'd walk if someone was trying to pitch new services to me as well. Find a reputable lender - there are plenty out there.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 6:14AM
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logic

paulflyboy: "I couldn't believe my ears when I was told that I needed a letter from my wife stating that I have access to the joint banking accounts."

LOL!! We are refinancing (not FHA) down two points...and we had a similar request. I had to write a letter stating that hubby has access to the joint account...even though HE is the primary account holder...

This is the type of info as well as the time frame it took when we bought our first house in '87...but not when we bought our current home...or even the first refi on this home to bring down the original interest rate...which of course if it had continued all along we would not all be in the mess we are in now....

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 11:42AM
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eal51

We just did a re-fi with our bank, 4.25% fixed for 15 years. This is the same bank we have had for the last 20+ years. We have our savings, checking and mortgage with them for all those years. It took about 4 weeks to complete which is similar to what we had experienced several years ago on another house.

We did have to file all the documentation - W2's, tax statements, employer letters, bank statements and the like. Same as we did when we took out the mortgage for purchasing our present house. No exceptions just because we bank with them. We have a joint account and no statement from the spouse was needed.

We also had an inspector come out and do his appraisal thing. No big deal. On a side here, the appraisal came in about $80K lower than our town's appraisal. Go figure.

All in all, the experience was just fine.

Enjoy the journey.
eal51 in western CT

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 1:29PM
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ncrealestateguy

Paul,
It only took you about 40 days for a business to loan you a ton of money at a super rate. Sounds to me that all went fairly smooth and according to plan.
Enjoy your new rate.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 8:15AM
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paulflyboy

glad to hear I'm not the only one. ncrealestateguy, that is very true, thanks for the different perspective.

paul

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 10:09AM
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huskyridor

quote" We just did a re-fi with our bank, 4.25% fixed for 15 years. "quote

AWESOME!!!!

We're fixing to close our re-fi at 4.5 for 15 fixed, coming from 24 1/2 years left on a 30 at 6 1/8, I'm pumped!!!
My biggest obstacle was a low (625) credit score, it really made it difficult on my situation.
The only thing that truly helped was that we're re-fi'ing 157 on an appraised 385.
THANK GOD we put every penny of our profit from the previous home as a down payment.
Our agent said we wouldn't of been able to do it if we didn't have such great equity into the property because of my score.

It sucks having bad credit, LOL!!!

See ya,
Kelly

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 1:59PM
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ncrealestateguy

Paul,
It can get very frustrating, for sure.
A lot of lenders are now requesting that we do not write up a contract for less than a 60 day close.
Congrats on your super rate.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 7:12AM
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mollymcb

We learned a big lesson in our refi. We built last year and closed at 6.0 on a 30 yr. Recently we locked 4.875 for 30 yr, 0 pts. After moving in, we finished our bonus room and added another 350 sf to our house, which we thought would really increase the value--and help us increase our line of credit, which we wanted to use to do a few more things to the house. To our surprise, the house appraised at $5K LESS than it did when we closed on our new build a year ago w/ 350 SF less! We were hoping to sell in a few years but it looks like we may be stuck here for a while until the values increase. I am just REALLY THANKFUL that we sold our old house before the bubble burst!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 8:14PM
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