Well, there were a number of hurdles, but my refinance is finally complete.
I have to say, I’m not a huge fan of the brokerage I used. As of 5 pm the night before my closing, I still didn’t have my HUD1, so I didn’t know how much money I had to bring to the closing. My closing was scheduled for 9am, which meant that I didn’t have time to get a certified check. And the brokerage never answered my question as to whether or not a personal check was fine. I had to bring less than $4000 to the table (a large chunk of that being the already paid tax bill that would be refunded), so I crossed my fingers and hoped it all worked out.
And it did.
Amusingly, half an hour after closing, I got a call from my broker asking if I had any questions before closing. I laughed and reminded her that the closing had already occurred. Thankfully it all went off without a hitch.
I received my refund for the tax bill last week, and I received confirmation from my old mortgage company that the mortgage was paid in full.
Next month, I make my first payment to the new company. It was a lot of work, but I’m saving a few hundred dollars a month and something like $90,000 over the life of the loan, and that’s if I don’t make any extra payments.
Ideally, I would be paying the same amount every month and paying down the mortgage much more quickly, but right now, I’m just going to see how my finances play out. I’d like to be able to use that money to continue the work I’m doing on the house. At some point, my fence is actually going to fall down and will need to be replaced, for example.
I hit my first hurdle in my refinancing process.
Half of my annual tax payment is due at the end of September, the other half is due at the end of December. I don’t escrow my taxes, so when the bill showed up, I logged in to the online account and scheduled my payment for September 25. Easy enough, right?
Well, apparently, I can’t have any outstanding tax bills to close on the refinance. And the closing is scheduled for before September 25. And I can’t cancel the payment.
My mortgage broker can’t tell me if I have to have the full amount paid before closing or just the part due at the end of the month (I fear it’s going to be the full amount). If it’s not the full amount, I can just pay the second half immediately, so that when the September 25 payment hits, it will mean that I have made two payments and the bill is paid in full. If it is the full amount, I may have to pay half immediately and give the other half to the mortgage company and they will reimburse it when my account reflects as paid (I strongly dislike this plan).
I’m hoping that because they can see online that the payment is scheduled and can’t be canceled that it will be enough. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee that my account has the funds in it, etc. So the odds are not good. You’d think that someone with my credit history and bill paying record shouldn’t have this kind of problem.
All in all, a small hurdle. Just a frustrating one.
I just got back from a week+ trip to Ireland. It was amazing. And exhausting. But mostly amazing. Gorgeous country.
I was over there for the Notre Dame v. Navy football game (yes, two US college teams played in Ireland for some reason) and the number of tourists there was staggering. We wondered how the locals felt about that, but the general perception was “thank you for coming and helping our economy.” I can’t even imagine how much money came into the country over the past two weeks.
In reading a local news article about the event, one thing I found amusing was the discussion of the “uber-rich Americans” who came in for the game. Of course, they chose to profile the people staying in the highest of high-end hotels, the ones who took private jets to Ireland, etc. There was a note about a 15-year-old whiskey that a bar usually sells about half a bottle of per year and they went through multiple bottles in one night due to the celebrating. Which doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to me, but it was apparently newsworthy.
It wasn’t a cheap trip, but I certainly didn’t travel like the uber-rich! I stayed in normal hotels and flew coach the whole way (which meant it took me nearly 24 hours to get home on Wednesday). But it was sort of one of those once-in-a-lifetime things. I would love to get back to Ireland sometime, but I don’t know that I’ll ever be back for something of this caliber.
I got my appraisal back this week, and I was so thankful to see that it’s good! It’s actually only $1000 under my purchase price from last February. Of course, that’s $3000 under where it appraised at that time.
Thoughts on this?
Well it’s frustrating to see that I put money into improving the house since the first appraisal and to see the “value” drop.
But on the other hand, I’m not looking to sell anytime soon. I didn’t buy this house as an investment property – I bought it as a place to live. So in general, I am just trying to be happy that the refi is going well and I will be saving money every month!
Still working on the mortgage refinancing process. Earlier this week, I emailed in 54 pages of signed documents. That was fun.
Yesterday, the appraiser showed up. I had about 20 hours notice on that, which meant that my house was not in the condition I would want it to be in for someone to come and take pictures. I was so apologetic about the mess. My house is clean, but cluttered as I have a couple of projects going on, so items have been moved from their permanent place to a temporary holding spot. He said that the week before, he had appraised a true hoarder house, so this was nothing. But it was still embarrassing.
One thing that the appraisers are looking for is any sort of real damage to the house, which was incentive to get to patching the bathroom wall. It’s still a work in progress – I’ll probably finish it by the end of the weekend – but at least this way it didn’t look so bad. Was a tiny bit of wall damage going to lower my value? Probably not, especially since I had gotten the roof repaired, so this was really just cosmetic damage. But I wanted it done.
I’m starting to wish I had locked in sooner. I’m getting a good rate – 3.625% (we had a slight scheduling issue and had to do a 45 day lock) – but rates were lower. I don’t know what kept me from going for it.
I’m definitely going to keep my eye on the rates from now on though. For our economy’s sake, I hope they don’t drop significantly, but if they do, I’m taking advantage!