Current real estate dilemma:
Is the market so hot that we should sell the house?
Sure, right now we could sell our house for at least double what we paid for it four years ago, probably even more. That would be such a nice little nest egg when going from partial to full retirement.
But where would we move to? What with current bidding wars, there’s no way we could afford another house in a nice neighborhood, and who knows what kind of neighbors we might get? We love our current neighbors.
And there’s the dog. Puppy Cody is a good dog, but she’s still a 44-lb dog. Most apartments will not accept a dog of that size, if they accept dogs at all. Even if they did, we’re back to the most basic of questions: What kind of neighbors might we wind up with? and: Where will Cody run?
And there’s the fact that we put so much money into this house over the last four years and finally have it pretty much livable. (Anyone who’s ever owned a house knows the work is never completely done.) I, personally, love my house and don’t ever want to leave. When hubby and I can no longer do yard work, lawn mowing and snow removal, we can hire someone to do it for us. Downstairs are both a large bedroom and a full bath, so it would be possible to live in this house without ever having to climb the stairs to the second floor, should we become too decrepit to do so.
Long story shorter: We agreed to check into refinancing.
When we purchased, we were forced due to economic circumstances to accept an FHA mortgage loan, and I’m really, really tired of paying those FHA insurance premiums every month – especially now that we have significant equity in the house (thank you, crazy housing market!). Under an FHA loan, you can never remove those premiums even when you reach that magic 20% equity level.
So, conventional loan it is.
Long story still shorter: After obtaining written, itemized offers from three different lenders, which were all pretty much identical, we opted to stay with my current bank. They can save us $116 a month on the payment and reduce the interest rate down to 2.75%, with no points. The closing costs are substantial but considering the savings, will be recouped in about three-and-a-half years. Assuming we can stay in the house another four years, refinancing seems to make sense. If we can stay longer than four years, the savings will be significant, and none of the money will be going to mortgage insurance premiums we really don’t need to be paying. That alone, will make me happier.
I think it’s a win-win. The financial documents have been submitted to the bank.
Wish us luck.
If any of you are trying to purchase or refinance a house, I wish you luck, too. This seems to be the time to go for it.
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Image by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio