Refinance Mega Thread

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
WaffleCone
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:48 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by WaffleCone »

ZMonet wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:43 pm Anyone else having trouble closing with Watermark? I'm at almost 11 weeks since I initiated the loan (no cost, 2.25%, 15 years) and am way past the lock period. I've always gotten them any document they requested in less than 24 hours, and usually within a couple of hours. The loan is in the "closing" stage but I haven't been sent final documents or been given a hard date.
I bailed on WM. Closing was more than a month delayed and nobody showed up when it was ultimately scheduled. Processing was not only slow but the internally the communication is very bad. Would not recommend.

Went to a broker I used previously used and he matched their rate. 3-4 weeks to close.
shockwavesfan
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:44 am

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by shockwavesfan »

Just closed on my mortgage refinance this morning with better.com

Since this thread has been so helpful, thought I would share my data/experience with you:

I was 6 years in to a 30 year fixed mortgage at 4.25% (with escrow)

I refinanced with better.com to a 15 yr fixed mortgage at 2.25% (no escrow)

Total closing costs (A through F) of $2,272 (PA has expensive title services)

Will receive Amex $2,500 credit so this more than covers the closings costs.

-Rate was locked on 8/3
-Title Cleared on 9/8
-They then told me I needed to get an appraisal after previously telling me I wouldn't need one - I refused to pay for it so they said they would waive the cost
-Closed on 10/14

Overall a pretty good experience.
IamLaura
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:30 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by IamLaura »

presto987 wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:38 pm
IamLaura wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:02 pm
Minty wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:27 pm
IamLaura wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:23 pm Is it always better to take the zero fee option?
My vote is yes.
But what if the zero fee option has a higher interest rate? I'm so confused trying to figure out how to compare all the options with points, fees, credits, interest rates...
Points, fees, and credits ultimately add up to a single dollar number. If this number is positive, you are paying to refi. If it's zero, that's what you're referring to as the "zero fee option". And if it's negative, then you are essentially being paid to refi. There is always a tradeoff between this number and your interest rate. You can get a lower interest rate by paying more. Or you can pay less (and potentially even make money) by taking a higher interest rate.

How do you decide? Well, suppose you knew you were going to keep the mortgage for X years. That is, you would neither sell the house nor refi again during this time. Then it is a simple decision: do the interest savings of the lower rate option over X years (in today's dollars) exceed the incremental fees you pay today? If yes, then go with the lower rate option.

But the reality is that you don't know you are going to keep the mortgage for X years. You might sell the house sooner than that, or later. You might refi again before X years are up. In the future, mortgage rates can go up and they can go down. If they go down then you will probably want to refi again.

The issue with a refi that requires you to pay fees (after any lender credit) is that those fees are gone from your pocket no matter what. If you refi again, which could even happen a few months from now, then any fees you paid today were only useful insofar as they saved you some interest during the intervening time period. If you refi with zero fees, then you have lost nothing if you refi again. That is why most people here would prefer the zero fee option. In fact, some of us are taking this logic a step further and opting to go with higher interest rates that give us a net credit after all fees. This way, we are making money through every refi.

So is it always better to take the zero fee option? In most cases, I would say yes. But if you know you'll keep your house for a while AND don't want to refi again (or you are convinced that interest rates won't fall further), then it may make sense to pay to refi. A specific example is if you're refinancing your primary residence that you plan to convert to a rental. Once it becomes a rental, your pricing on refis won't be as good. So you may be willing to pay something now in order to lock in a lower rate.
Thanks for the detailed explanation. I am trying to figure out how to compare the different quotes. Maybe I need to ask lenders to apply credits to make their offers zero fees so that I have a point of comparison. Does anyone have a calculator that can tell me how long I would have to stay in my mortgage to make paying a low fee for a lower interest rate worthwhile? I can’t find any that do that.
dfeucht
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:04 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by dfeucht »

ZMonet wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:43 pm Anyone else having trouble closing with Watermark? I'm at almost 11 weeks since I initiated the loan (no cost, 2.25%, 15 years) and am way past the lock period. I've always gotten them any document they requested in less than 24 hours, and usually within a couple of hours. The loan is in the "closing" stage but I haven't been sent final documents or been given a hard date.

Anyone else with similar experience? I was given the hard sell, like others, that I shouldn't shop the loan and they were turning away people from Bogleheads/Slickdeals. I'm fine with that if it goes through, but this is the other side of why it is likely best to keep fighting for the best deal in terms of quote and time to closing.
I locked on 8/4 and closed 9/24 (51 days). There definitely was no proactive communication, but I emailed my loan officer every few days to make sure everything was moving and to make sure they had what they needed from me and they always quickly responded. HAd to upload documents a coule of different times through the process. We did have a closing snafu - had it scheduled for 9/22 and the notary didn't show up so I called the notary who was told closing was cancelled, despite the fact that I (and apparently my loan officer) was not told. They did quickly reschedule and we closed 9/24 and funded 9/29. Not the smoothest process and communication was not great, but it was by far the best rate I could find at that time in MN (2.25% 15 year, net cost of $280, no escrow).

I'd probably give them a C/incomplete - rate was great, had to do a lot of reaching out to make sure I felt things were actually moving. Closed and funded. Now just need to get set up with servicing (the incomplete part of my grade)

A lot of the other lenders that seem to drive rates down on this site (Better, Loan Cabin) don't operate in MN and LenderFi and Loan Depot weren't close to start and I admittedly wasn't someone who wanted to do the back and forth and the rate I had was pretty good by standards here, so I didn't work them.

It does seem we locked at a similar time, so not sure why you would be at 11 weeks while I closed a few weeks back. Has your loan officer given you any indication of what the issue is? I hope this finalizes for you soon.
prosperosdaughter
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:27 am

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by prosperosdaughter »

Started a refi with Better today. At what point do you ask for the appraisal waiver or for title service price matching?

Any suggestions for a title company now that Radian isn't taking new applications?
User avatar
BrandonBogle
Posts: 3295
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:19 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by BrandonBogle »

sunny_socal wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:23 am
yakk0 wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:45 pm For people reading this thread, you aren't going to get the best rates for zero work and wanting to have zero inconvenience to yourself. If the inconvenience really is too much for you, then you will probably be stuck at 3%+ rates or hefty closing costs.
Call it 'hustle' if you want, but I'm not going to deal with anyone who doesn't return phone calls or emails. I call it 'hassle.'
That is your prerogative. But then understand why some of us are getting great deals and you may be having trouble finding such deals. I honestly wish you the best of luck in doing so.
presto987
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:58 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by presto987 »

IamLaura wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:44 am Thanks for the detailed explanation. I am trying to figure out how to compare the different quotes. Maybe I need to ask lenders to apply credits to make their offers zero fees so that I have a point of comparison. Does anyone have a calculator that can tell me how long I would have to stay in my mortgage to make paying a low fee for a lower interest rate worthwhile? I can’t find any that do that.
Yes, you can ask lenders what the fees/credits would be at a couple of different rate levels. For example, if one lender is offering 2.75% at no cost and another is offering 2.625% at some cost, you can ask the first one what would happen at 2.625% and the second one what would happen at 2.75%.

The fees that you care about are the ones that show up in sections A, B, and C of the loan estimate. (E also matters but will wind up being the same across all lenders even if it looks different initially). And you care about the lender credit.

In my recent experience, usually it takes 0.4-0.6 points to move the rate down by 0.125%. This corresponds to roughly a 4 year breakeven.

As far as the calculator goes, you can go look for an amortization schedule, but an easy way to estimate it is to calculate the 1-year interest savings based on the interest differential. For example, if you have two options where the rates differ by 0.125% on a $500k loan, then the first year's interest difference will be around $625. If the points required to get to the lower rate are $2500, then that means it takes around 4 years to break even (2500/625 = 4).

If you post your options here, we can try to help you evaluate them as well.

From the other thread, it looks like you're in CA. If your LTV is < 60%, you may want to check out Interactive Mortgage. They are advertising a no-cost 30-year at 2.5%.
keystone
Posts: 611
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:34 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by keystone »

dfeucht wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:47 am We did have a closing snafu - had it scheduled for 9/22 and the notary didn't show up so I called the notary who was told closing was cancelled, despite the fact that I (and apparently my loan officer) was not told. They did quickly reschedule and we closed 9/24 and funded 9/29.
Yes, there is clearly some communication issues, especially with the notaries. I was told the notary would be getting in touch with me to schedule the closing on 10/5. I didn't hear back so I reached out to Watermark on the afternoon on 10/5. They acted surprised but gave me the notary's contact info. I called the notary and she told me I had an appointment schedule for that evening. I had no idea, nobody told me that. A friend of mine also refinanced recently through WM and had almost the exact same experience.
pnwlazy
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri May 19, 2017 9:37 am

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by pnwlazy »

rascott wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:40 am
pnwlazy wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:28 am
tommy85 wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:05 pm
pnwlazy wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 5:52 pm I am torn - I have wanted to refi for months, was hoping my current lender would lower rates / offer a no fee refi ..

I don't want to give better.com my ss#

LenderFi wants ~$1600 more in closing costs

I read another thread saying the increasing tbills should mean current mortgage rates are as low as they will go ( I am convinced, depending on election, and covid, and stimulus plans - we will have another housing crash ) so do I lock in now, or wait...

Just curious, why don't you want to give your SSN to Better
Better.com has already sent me 3 emails, I haven't even made it through ANY of the application process.

I know many people have had good luck with them, but I just categorically traditionally refuse to work with companies who can't even show basic numbers without requiring a ssn and an email and sending out spam in the meantime.. No thanks..

Everyone keeps saying "free refi" - I only see "credits" or "fees" - no middle of the road "free" - I mention this because I don't necessarily want to pay points, and nothing in life is "free" so these credit offers are going to somehow hit me sooner or later.

A free refi means just that..... the lender is giving you enough credits to offset the inevitable fees that are part of the mortgage process (title insurance, closing fee to title company, appraisal fee, e.t.c)

You can pay these out of pocket if you prefer, for a slightly lower interest rate, typically. But most don't want to do that.... since it takes a while to recover those fees in interest savings (often several years). And if rates drop again in a few months, you'll not be able to refi again and recapture those costs. They are sunk

If you are satisfied with the lower rate for the long- term, it may be better to pay the points and fees upfront.... but most here aren't taking that trade-off on hopes of an even better rate in the near future.

It's true.... nothing in this game is free. If these are as low as rates ever go..... getting the "free" refi is likely less than perfect for someone that's staying in their mortgage for longer than a few years.


Went a little deeper down the rabbit hole with better.com - So far we're at 7 phone calls, 3 emails, 4 texts

Better.com has higher rates listed than lenderfi and my current mortgage provider, will have to see what their willingness is to match when I have more time..

Now I am seeing new replies here where people are being sent $2500 american express gift cards to offset fees? Where do I sign up for that???!!!

Then again, I don't really want $2500 in credits because that means my apr/apy will be higher ( at least from what I am seeing on the rate comparison charts )

... update ...

I guess since I didn't answer the 7 phone calls or 4 texts, better.com is not interested ? I mentioned my credit union had lower rates, mentioned my current lender had lower rates - better simply replies "Sounds like you have a lot of great offers, keep an eye on our current rates in your portal and let us know if we can help in the futuer." no mention of a "price match" ..

Time to go a little deeper with lenderfi maybe?
Last edited by pnwlazy on Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
IamLaura
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:30 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by IamLaura »

presto987 wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:10 pm
IamLaura wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:44 am Thanks for the detailed explanation. I am trying to figure out how to compare the different quotes. Maybe I need to ask lenders to apply credits to make their offers zero fees so that I have a point of comparison. Does anyone have a calculator that can tell me how long I would have to stay in my mortgage to make paying a low fee for a lower interest rate worthwhile? I can’t find any that do that.
Yes, you can ask lenders what the fees/credits would be at a couple of different rate levels. For example, if one lender is offering 2.75% at no cost and another is offering 2.625% at some cost, you can ask the first one what would happen at 2.625% and the second one what would happen at 2.75%.

The fees that you care about are the ones that show up in sections A, B, and C of the loan estimate. (E also matters but will wind up being the same across all lenders even if it looks different initially). And you care about the lender credit.

In my recent experience, usually it takes 0.4-0.6 points to move the rate down by 0.125%. This corresponds to roughly a 4 year breakeven.

As far as the calculator goes, you can go look for an amortization schedule, but an easy way to estimate it is to calculate the 1-year interest savings based on the interest differential. For example, if you have two options where the rates differ by 0.125% on a $500k loan, then the first year's interest difference will be around $625. If the points required to get to the lower rate are $2500, then that means it takes around 4 years to break even (2500/625 = 4).

If you post your options here, we can try to help you evaluate them as well.

From the other thread, it looks like you're in CA. If your LTV is < 60%, you may want to check out Interactive Mortgage. They are advertising a no-cost 30-year at 2.5%.
Thanks. I knew there was another lender people here had talked about but hadn't remembered the name. It looks like Interactive can offer me a lower rate and no costs, so maybe I can stop trying to do calculations!
Xrayman69
Posts: 602
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:52 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by Xrayman69 »

Update:

Locked with LD around 8/10/2020 at 2.25%, 15 year fixed conventional with LTV around “40%”, waived appraisal as they accepted the home value at just short of 1M (actual likely appraisal 50-60% higher). 2.4K in credits for close. No points. $25 credit check to start.

All paperwork submitted and accepted around 10 days later, but another 10 days later they had to “clear up” some potential issues with our second home in which there was about 120K left on mortgage (this was cleared up after about another 10 days). First week of September our on-line file was “completed” and awaiting something or other.

Nothing from LO for over 1 month and no change in the on-line file status.

Received phone call yesterday that the file is now advanced to the next step and we should be closing later this week or early next week. (I’m betting late next week at earliest).

In summary about 2.5 months from first email to hopeful closing with LD.

Overall satisfied with ease of the process and the end result.
therealhunter
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2020 4:08 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by therealhunter »

fuzzball wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:38 pm Has anyone had experience w/ Closing USA? They are the recommended title agent by Loan Depot.

They have been unresponsive, difficult to reach. Was wondering if anyone can tell me if the commission fees that they list in the good faith estimate is a fee that's built into the estimate or is it separate fee that comes out of my pocket? No one at LD knows. They've been trying to get the answer for the past week.
I'm working with LD but never had to work with title agency directly. I received a CD from LD recently and I must agree their entire process was very slow and tiring. It took total of 11 weeks from locking rate to closing date. I did a get a good rate so I have no reasons to complain. I'm not sure what exactly do you mean by "commission fees". Below are the fees that they charged me in Section B+C. Hope it helps.

01 CREDIT REPORT FEE to FIRST AMERICAN CREDCO 20.36
02 FLOOD CERTIFICATE FEE to SERVICELINK NATIONAL FLOOD LLC 10
03 TAX SERVICE FEE to CORELOGIC 70
04 TITLE–CPL FEE to CLOSING USA, LLC 75
05 TITLE–ENDORSEMENT FEE to CLOSING USA, LLC 50
06 TITLE–ENVIROMENTAL PROTECTION to CLOSING USA, LLC 25
07 TITLE–LENDER TITLE INSURANCE to CLOSING USA, LLC 1,696.00
08 TITLE–NJ UPPER COURT SEARCH to CLOSING USA, LLC 12
09 TITLE–SETTLEMENT/CLOSING FEE to CLOSING USA (SETTLEMENT) 500
Bluekayal
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:48 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by Bluekayal »

Our 2.5% for 30 yrs got funded today. Better beat a Watermark quote. We got some cash towards taxes too. LTV <60%. Thanks to all the wisdom on this thread.
cost.basis
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:06 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by cost.basis »

NEED HELP/Advice. I decided to go with loandepot for 2.25 percent VA streamline refinance. The experience has been terrible. I provided documents and responses to all requested documents within 24 hours. For whatever reason, they were unable to obtain a loan payoff statement for weeks and my rate lock expired on 30 Sep. I was able to call my bank directly and obtain the elusive pay off statement within 2 hours. Loandepot agreed to extend till 15 October. Loan depot cancelled my notary appoint for today and now the notary is stating that she cannot be available tomorrow. I am quite frustrated and asked loan depot for an additional lender credit for all the issues I am going through. My rate lock extension expires tomorrow. Has this been a normal experience with current refis? I have refinanced before and this has been the absolute worst refinance experience. Is there anything else I can do?
presto987
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:58 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by presto987 »

^ I don't know about VA streamline refi's, but in general, many lenders have been taking a long time to close refi's. It is currently common for lenders, including LoanDepot, to overshoot the lock date, but it seems that in almost all cases, lenders are extending the lock at no cost.

If LD canceled your notary appointment, then I would expect them to honor an additional rate lock extension. It sounds like you're very close to being done with this, so I would just try to get closed in the next few days. LD should extend you, but I'd advise reviewing your closing disclosures carefully to make sure the numbers haven't changed for the worse.
cost.basis
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:06 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by cost.basis »

presto987 wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:51 pm ^ I don't know about VA streamline refi's, but in general, many lenders have been taking a long time to close refi's. It is currently common for lenders, including LoanDepot, to overshoot the lock date, but it seems that in almost all cases, lenders are extending the lock at no cost.

If LD canceled your notary appointment, then I would expect them to honor an additional rate lock extension. It sounds like you're very close to being done with this, so I would just try to get closed in the next few days. LD should extend you, but I'd advise reviewing your closing disclosures carefully to make sure the numbers haven't changed for the worse.
I took a look at the closing disclosures. They are about the same but for property taxes and recording fees are now being rolled over the loan (I wanted to pay these fees upfront-oh well). My loan principal will be higher. However, I intend to use whatever I get refunded from my old mortgage escrow account as an additional principal payment. I never thought a streamline (no income verification) would be so hard.
User avatar
BrandonBogle
Posts: 3295
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:19 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by BrandonBogle »

cost.basis wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:03 pm
presto987 wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:51 pm ^ I don't know about VA streamline refi's, but in general, many lenders have been taking a long time to close refi's. It is currently common for lenders, including LoanDepot, to overshoot the lock date, but it seems that in almost all cases, lenders are extending the lock at no cost.

If LD canceled your notary appointment, then I would expect them to honor an additional rate lock extension. It sounds like you're very close to being done with this, so I would just try to get closed in the next few days. LD should extend you, but I'd advise reviewing your closing disclosures carefully to make sure the numbers haven't changed for the worse.
I took a look at the closing disclosures. They are about the same but for property taxes and recording fees are now being rolled over the loan (I wanted to pay these fees upfront-oh well). My loan principal will be higher. However, I intend to use whatever I get refunded from my old mortgage escrow account as an additional principal payment. I never thought a streamline (no income verification) would be so hard.
Just as a note, I would recommend not making that additional principal payment until your second monthly payment. Between closing and your second monthly payment, your loan is likely to be sold and transferred to a new servicer. Given all the hassle you have already had, I would recommend waiting on the additional principal until you can pay that directly to the new servicer.

I saw this because it is common for anything outstanding principal from the normal payment schedule and payment terms to show up first at a new servicer (as they can gleam this info from the loan's note) and any extra payments, escrow, and other details to show up later when that actually gets to the new servicer from the old one, which can sometimes take two weeks. One less thing to keep track of and worry about.

Take a deep breath and good luck! You are almost to the finish line!
xerxes101
Posts: 360
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:25 am

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by xerxes101 »

I talked to a better.com agent last week and he said that the AMEX offer is now $500 and you are supposed to present the e-mail offer from AMEX in order to qualify. Curious if that is what others are experiencing as well.
presto987
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:58 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by presto987 »

When you go to better.com/amex, it redirects you to a page that says "this offer has expired" but offers a $500 credit.

This is totally different from the Amex offer though. This $500 credit simply shows up as additional lender credit on Better's rate sheet, unlike the true Amex offer where you got a credit on your card.

Maybe this is what the agent was talking about, though there is no email.

It doesn't hurt to go to the link so that your initial offers are $500 better, but I presume if you ask for a price match then the benefit goes away.
Immelmann
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2020 6:49 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by Immelmann »

Interactive, home in CA: Locked 2.5% 0 pts 0 fees (well, per diem interest and they want my property taxes paid a couple months early). 30 yr fixed. 618K, value > 1.1M.

I have a 2nd mortgage that I will need to get rid of before we can close. That was proving to be expensive/problematic for a low-cost refi. Hoping for no hiccups.

THANK YOU for the folks on this thread, Interactive was off my radar.
jb3
Posts: 191
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:27 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by jb3 »

I locked my second no-cost refi this year with LenderFi today.

30-year at 2.625. NJ.

Couldn't be happier with them.
DoubleComma
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:23 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by DoubleComma »

pnwlazy wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:26 pm
rascott wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:40 am
pnwlazy wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:28 am
tommy85 wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:05 pm
pnwlazy wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 5:52 pm I am torn - I have wanted to refi for months, was hoping my current lender would lower rates / offer a no fee refi ..

I don't want to give better.com my ss#

LenderFi wants ~$1600 more in closing costs

I read another thread saying the increasing tbills should mean current mortgage rates are as low as they will go ( I am convinced, depending on election, and covid, and stimulus plans - we will have another housing crash ) so do I lock in now, or wait...

Just curious, why don't you want to give your SSN to Better
Better.com has already sent me 3 emails, I haven't even made it through ANY of the application process.

I know many people have had good luck with them, but I just categorically traditionally refuse to work with companies who can't even show basic numbers without requiring a ssn and an email and sending out spam in the meantime.. No thanks..

Everyone keeps saying "free refi" - I only see "credits" or "fees" - no middle of the road "free" - I mention this because I don't necessarily want to pay points, and nothing in life is "free" so these credit offers are going to somehow hit me sooner or later.

A free refi means just that..... the lender is giving you enough credits to offset the inevitable fees that are part of the mortgage process (title insurance, closing fee to title company, appraisal fee, e.t.c)

You can pay these out of pocket if you prefer, for a slightly lower interest rate, typically. But most don't want to do that.... since it takes a while to recover those fees in interest savings (often several years). And if rates drop again in a few months, you'll not be able to refi again and recapture those costs. They are sunk

If you are satisfied with the lower rate for the long- term, it may be better to pay the points and fees upfront.... but most here aren't taking that trade-off on hopes of an even better rate in the near future.

It's true.... nothing in this game is free. If these are as low as rates ever go..... getting the "free" refi is likely less than perfect for someone that's staying in their mortgage for longer than a few years.


Went a little deeper down the rabbit hole with better.com - So far we're at 7 phone calls, 3 emails, 4 texts

Better.com has higher rates listed than lenderfi and my current mortgage provider, will have to see what their willingness is to match when I have more time..

Now I am seeing new replies here where people are being sent $2500 american express gift cards to offset fees? Where do I sign up for that???!!!

Then again, I don't really want $2500 in credits because that means my apr/apy will be higher ( at least from what I am seeing on the rate comparison charts )

... update ...

I guess since I didn't answer the 7 phone calls or 4 texts, better.com is not interested ? I mentioned my credit union had lower rates, mentioned my current lender had lower rates - better simply replies "Sounds like you have a lot of great offers, keep an eye on our current rates in your portal and let us know if we can help in the futuer." no mention of a "price match" ..

Time to go a little deeper with lenderfi maybe?
I think its all about time a place.

I did 3 loans with Better; Jan/2018 vacation home purchase, Q3/2018 primary home refi (now paid off) and Jan/2020 sold vacation home and purchased a new one. The first two were effortless, very little hassle especially the refi. The second vacation home purchase was a lot more hassle; tons of documentation requests and letters explaining why I sold a vacation home so quickly only to buy another. Caused me to extend the sale contract because they couldn't communicate with the local title company effectively, but in the end we closed and all was well.

By summer 2020 rates had tanked and they were reaching out asking me to refi so I started exploring. Thanks to this site I learned of LenderFi and the back door application. Ultimately LenderFi got the business, was slow, but easy with nearly no documentation required. Better didn't even get a chance because they didn't want to be competitive with rates; I had 30 year 3.625, better was dug in at 3% and Lenderfi went to 2.625. This wasn't Zero cost, both options were costing about $1100.

My gut says this was the last loan I'll have, as much as many disagree, I'm hyper focused on paying this house off too and don't plan to borrow money again....with a little planning I shouldn't need to.

I bring this up, because when I told Better what I was getting from LenderFi they basically told me I should take it. Essentially I got the feeling they were so busy, like all lenders, they just didn't care and it wasn't worth it to them to price match or even get competitive.
presto987
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:58 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by presto987 »

People's experience with a lender can be HIGHLY dependent on what LO and Loan Processor they get. When I completed a refi with Better, every single person I dealt with was responsive and excellent, even though they were extremely busy (this was in August). They beat a competing LE, and I closed in a little over 3 weeks.

I started another application with Better recently, and the situation was the opposite. The LO was unresponsive -- it took many tries for me to get in touch with him, even when I called and left messages with his team. (Turns out he was overloaded after returning from vacation). He said he couldn't price match a competing LE. I decided to lock anyway and try my luck with the Processing Expert. Sent her a different competing LE (with a higher rate and more lender credit than the previous one). I followed up at least 3 times and never got a response.

I had a similar experience with LoanDepot. Dealt with an unhelpful and useless LO there. He called me after I submitted an application. I told him what my other offer was, and he said, "that's a good offer, why don't you take it?", then hung up. Then I called a local LD Loan Consultant with good Yelp reviews. Nice guy, but couldn't offer me any rates below 3%. He was shocked when I told him what other offers I had. Later I found a much better LO who was super helpful and had a can-do attitude. She was very aggressive about wanting to beat any offer I had (and was able to do so).

My point is that there is a lot of luck in the process. To the extent you can find specific LOs who are good, that will serve you well. (This strategy doesn't work for Better as you cannot pick your team).
jb3
Posts: 191
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:27 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by jb3 »

There's also luck in the timing of the quote in my experience.

The rate changed while I was on the phone with Lenderfi trying to lock (or so I was told). This was at the beginning of the pandemic when things were crazy.
jimmyrules712
Posts: 587
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:36 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by jimmyrules712 »

Quick question for the group. I'm like 75 days into my Loan Cabin refinance and they just asked me if they could charge $285 to my credit card to get "condo disclosure documents" and a "condo certification" from my HOA because they said that's what my HOA quoted them for the documents they requested. I'm confused because I'm not refinancing a condo. It's a single family house.

I told my loan agent this and he said it doesn't matter their underwriter still requires these "condo documents". I have already uploaded an HOA account balance statement to their loan portal so I don't really get what they're looking for. Anyone know what this is all about?
kbjeffrey
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:55 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by kbjeffrey »

I refinanced yesterday (10/15) with a local mortgage broker in Chicago that was recommended by friends. I was 5 years into a 30 year mortgage at 3.5% and I refinanced to a 30 year mortgage at 2.75% with a $1,500 lender credit and the appraisal waived. The mortgage is for $347,800, my house is valued around $950,000. The mortgage has been sold to Wells Fargo.

The process has been challenging, mostly because so many people are refinancing right now. My mortgage broker says that they are doing 10 times more refinances right now than in a typical year. It seems like it is effecting everyone in the pipeline. My home insurance info that was sent by Liberty Mutual to my mortgage broker was incorrect, but happily my broker caught it. The person doing the closing met with me at 5 in the afternoon and had four more closings after mine.

In case you're wondering why I went for another 30 yr mortgage... I was hesitant to commit to a higher monthly payment. My plan is make extra payments toward the principal and get the mortgage down to 15 years.
Jagger
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:05 am

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by Jagger »

Hey there Boglehead refinancers! Query what rates folks are closing at currently for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at low- or no upfront cost. Yesterday the St. Louis Fed posted an all-time-low 2.81% national average for the 30-year. https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MORTGAGE30US

I see that some of us are achieving, like DW and I did in late August, a 2.50% low-cost refi. Is anyone doing better? Is anyone getting 2.375% or 2.25% for a no-cost 30-year mortgage?

Given that the 10-year Treasury yield has backed up to the 0.75% range in anticipation of a Biden presidency, do Boglehead refinancers think that the all-time lows in 30-year mortgage rates are behind us?
User avatar
F150HD
Posts: 3198
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:49 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by F150HD »

batpot wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:32 pm
In addition, you have to "catch" a low rate...they very daily, and you can see them change throughout the day as well!
My best catch is 2.5% 30 year with $1k to close...and I'm going for it.
December is looming, and rates will uptick when that fee gets applied.
from reading (and from reading this thread) that 12/1 fee is baked into the rates you're seeing already.
presto987
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:58 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by presto987 »

Jagger wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:18 am Hey there Boglehead refinancers! Query what rates folks are closing at currently for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at low- or no upfront cost. Yesterday the St. Louis Fed posted an all-time-low 2.81% national average for the 30-year. https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MORTGAGE30US

I see that some of us are achieving, like DW and I did in late August, a 2.50% low-cost refi. Is anyone doing better? Is anyone getting 2.375% or 2.25% for a no-cost 30-year mortgage?

Given that the 10-year Treasury yield has backed up to the 0.75% range in anticipation of a Biden presidency, do Boglehead refinancers think that the all-time lows in 30-year mortgage rates are behind us?
Yes, Interactive Mortgage was advertising 2.375% no-cost 30-year for people in CA with certain parameters. They've since gone up to 2.5%, likely because they are now pricing in the 0.5% refi fee.

Others have been able to do even better and get 2.375% with net credit coming back through Loan Cabin and LoanDepot. LC became less competitive after they started pricing in the 0.5% fee. Recently LD has been the most competitive if you give them another strong offer to beat. At least one person was able to get 2.25% at no cost (actually a few hundred dollars in net credit).

The problem is that it's hard to get initial offers that are as good as they were several weeks ago, because now everyone is pricing in the 0.5% fee.
tj
Posts: 3359
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by tj »

The lowest rates on Redfin ("Sebonic Financial") have dropped to 2.615. First State Mortgage is 2.625. Last week, I think the lowest was 2.75?
User avatar
F150HD
Posts: 3198
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:49 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by F150HD »

tj wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:30 pm The lowest rates on Redfin ("Sebonic Financial") have dropped to 2.615. First State Mortgage is 2.625. Last week, I think the lowest was 2.75?
https://www.foxbusiness.com/money/today ... er-16-2020
3of10
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:37 am

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by 3of10 »

yakk0 wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:45 pm For people reading this thread, you aren't going to get the best rates for zero work and wanting to have zero inconvenience to yourself. If the inconvenience really is too much for you, then you will probably be stuck at 3%+ rates or hefty closing costs.

To get the sub-2.75 rates with zero closing costs or lender credits, with most lenders you are going to have to give up your information, and let lenders call/text/e-mail you. You are going to have to go back and forth with most of them, which yes, it means talking to lending officers on the phone. They have plenty of business right now, so they aren't greatly incentivized to chase you down (a lot of the texting/e-mailing is automated and initial calls are by their assistants). But if they know you are serious, and not just window shopping (this is why some ask for a lot of information up front, they want to see that you are committed), the aggressive lenders can give you good deals.

If not for this thread, I wouldn't know these better rates and credits exist because I would have gone for the easy instant-quote online rates that don't require personal info, and assume that's the best they can offer. They probably snag plenty of people who end up with above market rates because of that. But if you can spend some time doing the work, you can most likely save a good amount. It isn't a "free lunch" considering you likely have to give up some time and effort.

Just trying to temper some of the expectations when new people to this thread wonder why they aren't getting the same offers off the bat (although some states do seem to be much more difficult).
+111111 Well stated. Unfortunately, there are many out there who are not willing to put in the effort, but they still want the results. Also, the process of obtaining a LE is getting more difficult. Online lenders such as Better and LenderFi have no problem in quickly producing a LE. But, for others, it's like pulling teeth. I've had a local bank, and credit union who have refused to provide a LE.
jrobo
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:32 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by jrobo »

Working on a cash out refi with loan depot and better... Both are coming in around the same rate/price... Not impressed by the results compared to what I've seen shared here. Is it the cash out element? or maybe the 150k total amount is not high enough?

3%/3.25% apr for about 1.5pts and several thousand in additional fees

150k total loan on 225k value
<45k remaining balance with 100k cash out
Excellent credit 800+

Any suggestions on getting a better rate or does this seem reasonable?
presto987
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:58 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by presto987 »

Unless you're really in need of the cash, obviously it doesn't make sense to pay thousands in fees for a 100k cash-out.

The cash-out aspect is going to contribute around 0.5-1 point toward the cost. Beyond that, the small loan size is definitely an issue.

You also might need to check with more lenders. Better is typically not competitive unless you ask them to price match someone else. LoanDepot can be very uncompetitive or very competitive depending on the loan officer. (Even if you get a good LO, LoanDepot is best if you can ask them to beat another offer). I literally spoke to two people at LoanDepot within a few days of each other. One couldn't offer me anything below a 3% rate on a 30-year, while the other one offered 2.5% with enough lender credits to net me $3600 after all closing costs. The former was a "Loan Consultant" in a local office who had great Yelp reviews. The latter was a "Licensed Loan Officer" who does not operate out of an office.

Have you looked at other lenders who are licensed in your state?
DoubleComma
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:23 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by DoubleComma »

jrobo wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:19 pm Working on a cash out refi with loan depot and better... Both are coming in around the same rate/price... Not impressed by the results compared to what I've seen shared here. Is it the cash out element? or maybe the 150k total amount is not high enough?

3%/3.25% apr for about 1.5pts and several thousand in additional fees

150k total loan on 225k value
<45k remaining balance with 100k cash out
Excellent credit 800+

Any suggestions on getting a better rate or does this seem reasonable?
It’s the cash out, that certainly adds significantly to rate in my experience. $150k is still a typical loan in a lot of places, that wouldn’t be the issue.
Tenesmus83
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:32 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by Tenesmus83 »

For investment properties, are online lenders just as good vs brick and mortar lenders? Are there any advantages to brick and mortar lenders?
User avatar
F150HD
Posts: 3198
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:49 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by F150HD »

I know one shouldn't take out a 'loan' during a purchase/refi, but what about selling a stock in taxable?

Would this have any effect on a refi after you lock and are doing all the paperwork?

Selling stock meaning, break even or a capital gain, not a capital loss.
tommy85
Posts: 185
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:11 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by tommy85 »

I am supposed to get a few hundred dollars from the closing. Our loan was disbursed yesterday. Anybody know how long before I get my money?

Thanks in advance
Mr. Market is Bipolar.
presto987
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:58 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by presto987 »

F150HD wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:39 pm I know one shouldn't take out a 'loan' during a purchase/refi, but what about selling a stock in taxable?

Would this have any effect on a refi after you lock and are doing all the paperwork?

Selling stock meaning, break even or a capital gain, not a capital loss.
Should not be an issue. Taking out a loan is a problem because that affects your credit situation, i.e. you have more debt that needs to be repaid.

The only reasons your taxable brokerage account could matter at all is if (1) you are relying on showing the dividend income as a key part of your ability to pay the mortgage or (2) you reported the account as part of your assets that you would use to pay closing costs. But in the first case, they are probably using your tax returns to verify dividend income rather than the holdings of your brokerage account. And in the latter case, selling a stock wouldn't affect the account balance if you kept the proceeds in the account.
portfolio123
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:36 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by portfolio123 »

Anyone able to find / seen a 30 year fixed jumbo at below 3.00% right now?
barberakb
Posts: 287
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:14 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by barberakb »

Tenesmus83 wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:28 pm For investment properties, are online lenders just as good vs brick and mortar lenders? Are there any advantages to brick and mortar lenders?
yes they are just as good just shop around
bluebolt
Posts: 1246
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:01 am

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by bluebolt »

jimmyrules712 wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:24 am Quick question for the group. I'm like 75 days into my Loan Cabin refinance and they just asked me if they could charge $285 to my credit card to get "condo disclosure documents" and a "condo certification" from my HOA because they said that's what my HOA quoted them for the documents they requested. I'm confused because I'm not refinancing a condo. It's a single family house.

I told my loan agent this and he said it doesn't matter their underwriter still requires these "condo documents". I have already uploaded an HOA account balance statement to their loan portal so I don't really get what they're looking for. Anyone know what this is all about?
I'm guessing they need the HOA to certify that you are up-to-date on fees and assessments and that they have no liens on your property.

The condo language is probably just generic for any HOA.
jm1495
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:06 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by jm1495 »

dfeucht wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:47 am
ZMonet wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:43 pm Anyone else having trouble closing with Watermark? I'm at almost 11 weeks since I initiated the loan (no cost, 2.25%, 15 years) and am way past the lock period. I've always gotten them any document they requested in less than 24 hours, and usually within a couple of hours. The loan is in the "closing" stage but I haven't been sent final documents or been given a hard date.

Anyone else with similar experience? I was given the hard sell, like others, that I shouldn't shop the loan and they were turning away people from Bogleheads/Slickdeals. I'm fine with that if it goes through, but this is the other side of why it is likely best to keep fighting for the best deal in terms of quote and time to closing.
I locked on 8/4 and closed 9/24 (51 days). There definitely was no proactive communication, but I emailed my loan officer every few days to make sure everything was moving and to make sure they had what they needed from me and they always quickly responded. HAd to upload documents a coule of different times through the process. We did have a closing snafu - had it scheduled for 9/22 and the notary didn't show up so I called the notary who was told closing was cancelled, despite the fact that I (and apparently my loan officer) was not told. They did quickly reschedule and we closed 9/24 and funded 9/29. Not the smoothest process and communication was not great, but it was by far the best rate I could find at that time in MN (2.25% 15 year, net cost of $280, no escrow).

I'd probably give them a C/incomplete - rate was great, had to do a lot of reaching out to make sure I felt things were actually moving. Closed and funded. Now just need to get set up with servicing (the incomplete part of my grade)

A lot of the other lenders that seem to drive rates down on this site (Better, Loan Cabin) don't operate in MN and LenderFi and Loan Depot weren't close to start and I admittedly wasn't someone who wanted to do the back and forth and the rate I had was pretty good by standards here, so I didn't work them.

It does seem we locked at a similar time, so not sure why you would be at 11 weeks while I closed a few weeks back. Has your loan officer given you any indication of what the issue is? I hope this finalizes for you soon.
I had a very similar experience with Watermark. You've got to keep on them unfortunately. If I ever need a refi again I won't use them.
jimmyrules712
Posts: 587
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:36 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by jimmyrules712 »

bluebolt wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:04 am
jimmyrules712 wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:24 am Quick question for the group. I'm like 75 days into my Loan Cabin refinance and they just asked me if they could charge $285 to my credit card to get "condo disclosure documents" and a "condo certification" from my HOA because they said that's what my HOA quoted them for the documents they requested. I'm confused because I'm not refinancing a condo. It's a single family house.

I told my loan agent this and he said it doesn't matter their underwriter still requires these "condo documents". I have already uploaded an HOA account balance statement to their loan portal so I don't really get what they're looking for. Anyone know what this is all about?
I'm guessing they need the HOA to certify that you are up-to-date on fees and assessments and that they have no liens on your property.

The condo language is probably just generic for any HOA.
Wouldn’t the title company be responsible for doing that?
User avatar
BrandonBogle
Posts: 3295
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:19 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by BrandonBogle »

jimmyrules712 wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:24 am
bluebolt wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:04 am
jimmyrules712 wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:24 am Quick question for the group. I'm like 75 days into my Loan Cabin refinance and they just asked me if they could charge $285 to my credit card to get "condo disclosure documents" and a "condo certification" from my HOA because they said that's what my HOA quoted them for the documents they requested. I'm confused because I'm not refinancing a condo. It's a single family house.

I told my loan agent this and he said it doesn't matter their underwriter still requires these "condo documents". I have already uploaded an HOA account balance statement to their loan portal so I don't really get what they're looking for. Anyone know what this is all about?
I'm guessing they need the HOA to certify that you are up-to-date on fees and assessments and that they have no liens on your property.

The condo language is probably just generic for any HOA.
Wouldn’t the title company be responsible for doing that?
The title company would be responsible for checking if the HOA has any liens against the property, but you can have fees and assessments due that aren’t liens.

For instance, my uncle had a property once that needed to do a major repair after years of hurricanes. Each homeowner got a “special assessment” of an extra $100/mo for two years or so to pay for it. Such assessments wouldn’t be in the regular HOA fees and would not be liens unless the HOA pursued you for non-payment.

Now, many underwriters may feel the lack of a lien would be sufficient proof you are current, but that is an assumption on their part (reasonable as it is).
yogesh
Posts: 493
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:20 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by yogesh »

2.375 with $1K (A+B+C+E-Credit) for 30-fixed at LD last week.
Any lender giving 2.25 or 2.375 no cost?
Emergency: FDIC | Taxable: VTMFX | Retirement: TR2040
exoilman
Posts: 766
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:38 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by exoilman »

Reference
FreddyC
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:25 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by FreddyC »

jimmyrules712 wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:24 am Quick question for the group. I'm like 75 days into my Loan Cabin refinance and they just asked me if they could charge $285 to my credit card to get "condo disclosure documents" and a "condo certification" from my HOA because they said that's what my HOA quoted them for the documents they requested. I'm confused because I'm not refinancing a condo. It's a single family house.

I told my loan agent this and he said it doesn't matter their underwriter still requires these "condo documents". I have already uploaded an HOA account balance statement to their loan portal so I don't really get what they're looking for. Anyone know what this is all about?
After 75 days, I’d be concerned that the finish line is still not in sight. I would let them know the fee can be part of closing costs (paid at closing - though even this is a concession from what you initially agreed to) but that you will not pay the fee unless it is part of the closing package.
3of10
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:37 am

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by 3of10 »

presto987 wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:16 pmPeople's experience with a lender can be HIGHLY dependent on what LO and Loan Processor they get.
I agree. If you had a successful refi with a good LO, then if you refi again, you should contact that LO and request that your refi gets transferred over to their group.
DeaconSig
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:17 am

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by DeaconSig »

Is it normal for pre-paid escrow to increase dramatically from original LE to Pre-Closing Disclosure, particularly on taxes? State: NC, 15% fixed from LenderFi if it matters.

Original section G:
Homeowners $113 x 5 months = $565
Property $326 x 4 months = $1304
Total:$1869

Updated:
Homeowners $113.42 x 7 months = $794
Property $324.82 x 12 months = $3898
Aggregate Adjustment ($794)
Total: $3898

My property taxes are paid in August, so the updated schedule creates a cushion of 9 months. I realize these are pre-paids, however I'm still tying up my cash, with an opportunity cost that partially offsets interest saved in my mind. I've asked my loan processor why they need a cushion this big. I also asked if it's too late to not do escrow, but I suspect that's a no-go.

Thanks in advance for any tips!
Post Reply