Back when Washington mortgage interest rates plummeted by 46% in less than four years, it precipitated a sort of refi tsunami. The volume of Washington refinancings was nothing short of enormous. For the first time in a long time, the benefit for homeowners who could lower their Washington mortgage interest payments had become all but irresistible to everyone whose home loan predated the plunge. Lenders were swamped—and they loved it!
The current climate for Washington refi’s is much calmer and considerably less well publicized. Nonetheless, it still holds out the prospect of real savings for homeowners whose current Washington home loan terms are less favorable than those offered on today’s market. If you fall into that category, it will be worthwhile to do some investigating. In fact, if you follow what industry experts recommend, you’ll take the bit in your teeth and became a Refi Warrior!
Most busy homeowners expect that applying for a refi will consist of gathering answers to the expected questions, filling out the forms, and awaiting an offer. Refi Warriors have a different mindset: they don’t just passively apply to the first lender who advertises a low rate. Instead, they go after offers from multiple lenders.
The inventors of the FICO credit risk score that lenders use agree wholeheartedly. On their myFICO.com web site you can find what might be called the Refi Warrior’s Rules of Combat:
- •Shop Around. That is, get offers from multiple lenders.
- •Compare details. Interest rates aren’t the only consideration; take all the details into account.
- •Let ‘em compete! Don’t be shy about sharing what you’ve been offered by others. As FICO puts it, “In most cases, the lender will be willing to work with you— especially in areas that other lenders are already offering you.”
This aggressive consumer attitude may not come naturally, but since even the guiding lights at FICO recommend adopting it, there is no reason why it’s not worth a try. The object is to get the best offer from every candidate—and the first offer is not necessarily that!
Your home is more than just the family’s operational headquarters—and a timely refinancing can be an excellent way to maximize its value as an investment. For help and advice whenever Washington real estate matters arise, I’m standing by to offer help and advice!