Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Interest rates are low ... but beware of REFI's

I have some friends who decided to refinance their home. With interest rates being back down in the high to mid 4's it is a good time to save some cash.

He asked me to have some coffee with him and look over his "GFE". The first thing I looked at was his closing costs of which was a little over $9,000. THIS WAS ON A $200,000 HOME WITH NO BUY DOWNS!!! I of course referred him to a couple lenders that I trust to get a second opinion (on top of my own).

The next day my friend called the lender who gave him the original good faith estimate. He was a little upset and was going to call him out of several charges that ended up being close to $3,000 more than what he should have been charged. The secretary answered the phone and stated that "he is no longer with us". This lender attempted to scam my friend out of $3,000 and even tried to pressure him into signing the paperwork ASAP (which of course was a red flag).

The fact is, this lender actually met the three stipulations that my friend had~

~He was looking for a lower monthly payment
~He was looking to save money over his 30year loan
~He didn't want to pay any money out of pocket

With those three criteria met I can see how someone might look over some important things... LIKE CLOSING COSTS! Not everyone knows exactly what closing costs SHOULD look like so make sure that you get second and third opinions. Ask a Realtor and more importantly ask several lenders. Don't be afraid to bring your good faith estimate to another lender. Worst case scenario you will have several lenders competing for your business.

Stephen Strickhausen

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