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Sometimes we need some extra cash, but it is not always easy to come up with it. That vacation or home renovation might be just out of reach, but do not let those dreams go away. One solution might be to refinance your mortgage. This will give you that extra cash without a large repayment plan that can come with personal loans or lines of credit.
In residential real estate, the conventional wisdom applies the "2-2-2 rule": if interest rates have fallen two points below the existing mortgage, if the owner has already paid two years of the mortgage, and if the owner plans to live in the house another two years, then refinancing is feasible. However, this approach ignores the present value of the related cash flows and the effects of the tax deductibility of interest expense and any related points.
Therefore, a better analysis of a mortgage refinancing decision should be conducted as follows: 1) Calculate the present value of the after-tax cash flows of the existing mortgage; 2) Calculate the present value of the after-tax cash flows of the proposed mortgage; 3) Compare the outcomes and select the alternative with the lower present value. The interest rate to be used in steps one and two is the after-tax interest cost of the proposed mortgage.
There are several benefits to refinancing. You can take this opportunity to consolidate any high interest loans or credit cards. Another benefit of refinancing your mortgage is that you may be able to get a far better interest rate than your current one.
Most fixed-term debt contains penalty clauses (known as "call provisions") that are triggered by an early payment of the loan, either in its entirety or a specified portion. In addition, there are also closing and transaction fees typically associated with refinancing debt. In some cases, these fees may outweigh any savings generated through refinancing the loan itself. Typically, one only rationally considers refinancing if the potential for a substantial cost savings exists, or if there is a need to extend the loan due to weak cash flow or other non-recurring commitments.
In addition, some refinanced loans, while having lower initial payments, may result in larger total interest costs over the life of the loan, or expose the borrower to greater risks than the existing loan, depending on the type of loan used to refinance the existing debt. Calculating the up-front, ongoing, and potentially variable costs of refinancing is an important part of the decision on whether or not to refinance.
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