I don’t usually ask for your comments right in the first sentence, but I have been talking to many clients, friends and neighbors about refinancing their home mortgage these days. And the stories have been fascinating especially since fixed rates are near 4.0% or less.
When I originally wrote the post about Virginia’s recordation tax exeption (for home owners refinance with the exact same lender) I was surprised how often that one post was viewed. And this one cost savings has been the basis for all of my starting answers to “is it a good time…” because it saves most people over $1,000.
A local real estate attorney back in 2011 cautioned “It’s my understanding that Fairfax County is checking the MERS website on every same-lender refi and if the website shows there is an investor (e.g. Fannie Mae) then they will not allow the reduced recording fee.”
Two interesting local refinance stories…
A couple of months ago a friend called me because Chase Mortgage (his lender) had sent him a letter stating that, because he was a good customer, that they would adjust his rate (recast) for $500. The shocking thing was that it would not require an appraisal, no new loan application or documentation was needed, and that his rate would drop over 1.5%. The offer was authentic and he signed up saving him a lot of money every month.
A neighbor came to me seeking advice. His confession of taking out a home equity line and then spending it “irresponsibly” was brutally honest. As it turned out, his loans were with Chase too. So I suggested that he contact Chase first, just to see what they could offer. And guess what, they sent him a letter agreeing to consolidate his loans at a lower rate too. he was so excited to tell me that they will save almost $500 a month.
Now, both of these people had been paying their mortgages on time and they seem like “no-haggle” refi’s, recasting really. Yes, they were living in desirable areas, Vienna, VA and McLean, VA but they were facing financial issues that could have snowballed into future problems for the bank… and they already have too many problems. But in each case the homeowner was pro-active .
It’s good business to keep existing customers
So Virginia home owners should call the 1-800 numbers on their current mortgage statements or go to their lender’s web site because, like Chase, that lender may be more flexible that you may believe. It’s worth a try.
Leave a comment about your experience refinancing with your current lender because it may give someone else the courage to take action.
The Washington Post published an article 11/4/2010 discussing how the criteria (identical lender) is even complicated for the Fairfax County clerk of the court to keep track of to make sure everything is done properly.