I received a call from an older couple last week who wanted my thoughts regarding a refinance of their current mortgage.
So, I asked them a few questions to better understand their situation and to grasp the goals they wished to accomplish. Basically, they wanted to reduce the time they payed off their home from 13 years down to 10 years. Now in some instances, refinancing is definitley a good thing.
However, the more we talked, the more I realized this couple did not need to refinance at all. By paying just an extra $100/month towards their principal, they could achieve their financial goals without spending an additional $4000+ in fees!
While we were chatting, I went to www.daveramsey.com and clicked on "Tools" from the menu bar. Then, I selected "Mortgage Calculator". I used the "advanced version", because I believe it is actually more user-friendly. ;) I entered their current amount owed on the home, time period left for the mortage payoff, current interest rate, extra payment amount (this couple was comfortable with $100/month extra), and the date these extra payments would begin. Clicked on "SHOW RESULTS" and presto! You have your amount of time saved, amount of money saved, and a graph showing your original payoff vs. the accelerated payoff!
This tool is great for buyers also! For example, suppose John and Jane buy their first home this spring and obtain a $150,000, 30 year mortgage at 4% interest. John and Jane figure they can contribute an extra $150/month towards their principal payment. John and Jane will save roughly $33,700 and pay off their home 8 years, 5 months early!
SONJA PATTERSON with Executive Real Estate Services
713.303.9463 www.har.com/SPatterson email@example.com