Refinance Mega Thread

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karwosts
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:42 am

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by karwosts »

TCG236 wrote: Fri Oct 08, 2021 9:03 am Calculate monthly P&I for each scenario.

You get $2,078 more credits going from 2.875% to 3%. Divide $2,078 by (P&I at 3% - P&I at 2.875%). This gives you the number of months it'll take to recoup the lost credits by going with 2.875%.
You get $2,920 more credits going from 2.75% to 2.875%. Divide $2,920 by (P&I at 2.875% - P&I at 2.75%). This gives you the number of months it'll take to recoup the lost credits by going with 2.75%.
I don't think this calculation is correct to calculate breakeven. You don't want to use P&I to calculate breakeven, just the difference in I only.

I'll give you an example using my mortgage. For my $756000 loan, I looked at 3% vs 2.75%. The P&I for 3% was $3,187, and for 2.75% was $3,086, a difference of $101. I was given the option of an $8000 credit for 3%, and 0 for 2.75. If I used $8000 / $101, I would have got a breakeven of 79 months.

However this calculation ignores that the smaller loan amoritizes faster, e.g. for each payment on the lower rate loan I pay more towards pricipal than on the larger rate loan. For the 2.75% loan, each payment pays $1353 to principal, versus $1297 for the 3% loan. So that's an extra $56 towards my net worth each month by taking the smaller loan, which was ignored by taking the difference between P&I.

If I look at the difference using interest payments only, ($1890/month for 3% vs $1732/month for 2.75%), that means the larger loan is actually costing me $157/month more than the smaller loan, which is significantly worse than the $101 difference in P&I amount. Using this number, the breakeven comes out to a significantly shorter 50 months, not 79.
Investor1986
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2021 5:23 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by Investor1986 »

I finished my refinance process with Better last week. All went very smooth and I am happy with the experience so far. Went from 3.25% to 2.75% for a 30 year, with just 700$ in closing costs after discounts and various credits. Currently waiting for the $2,000 Amex promo to hit in. For people who are refinancing with Better, be aware that on top of Amex $2000 there are further $500 you can get with a referral code from someone who closed recently with them (I got one from someone here in the forum, and I was given one after closing that I can share with others, feel free to send me a PM).
:sharebeer
saltyWaterfall87
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Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2021 9:39 am

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by saltyWaterfall87 »

Investor1986 wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:05 pm I finished my refinance process with Better last week. All went very smooth and I am happy with the experience so far. Went from 3.25% to 2.75% for a 30 year, with just 700$ in closing costs after discounts and various credits. Currently waiting for the $2,000 Amex promo to hit in. For people who are refinancing with Better, be aware that on top of Amex $2000 there are further $500 you can get with a referral code from someone who closed recently with them (I got one from someone here in the forum, and I was given one after closing that I can share with others, feel free to send me a PM).
:sharebeer
According to what I read elsewhere in another forum, the offers can't stack so that appears to not be the case. I finished up last week as well (funding) and my now former servicer shows as paid off. I am also going down to a 2.75% 30 year but my first one was at 4.375% so I was really overdue for a refi. Factoring in the 2k Amex I'll be profiting about $1400.
Investor1986
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Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2021 5:23 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by Investor1986 »

saltyWaterfall87 wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:33 pm
Investor1986 wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:05 pm I finished my refinance process with Better last week. All went very smooth and I am happy with the experience so far. Went from 3.25% to 2.75% for a 30 year, with just 700$ in closing costs after discounts and various credits. Currently waiting for the $2,000 Amex promo to hit in. For people who are refinancing with Better, be aware that on top of Amex $2000 there are further $500 you can get with a referral code from someone who closed recently with them (I got one from someone here in the forum, and I was given one after closing that I can share with others, feel free to send me a PM).
:sharebeer
According to what I read elsewhere in another forum, the offers can't stack so that appears to not be the case. I finished up last week as well (funding) and my now former servicer shows as paid off. I am also going down to a 2.75% 30 year but my first one was at 4.375% so I was really overdue for a refi. Factoring in the 2k Amex I'll be profiting about $1400.
Glad to hear that. Well, I can only speak for my experience, got both of them so can't be happier. Similar to you, profit around $1300. That's fantastic, being paid to lower your loan...
MrJedi
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by MrJedi »

I think it depends on how far you negotiate down the rates with bankrate, competing offers, etc.

I sent Better a competing offer that beat the bankrate quote and they came back with a $100 better offer.

I actually have a friend who works at Better who gets $1000 friends/family discounts. I tried to sneak that in too but they said my offer already had maximal discounts applied. I take that to mean I already ate into the amount of headroom that was available to give up through the offer matching/negotiation process.
DMB41
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Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:55 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by DMB41 »

Is there any value and trying to go with a local title company (section C and E) for closing? I'm shopping around, but currently Better has every place beat. I could see a local place being more familiar with all the local tax and law related stuff, but I don't know if that is really true or if it is worth the increased cost if it is true. Currently Better has Vantage Point Title selected.
midebo
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Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:17 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by midebo »

Hi folks,

Devoted lurker here, immensely thankful for all the tips on getting the best deal via Better and wanted to share my experience now that we have closed:

This was our 2nd refi in 18 months -- our first one, in the early weeks of the pandemic, took us from a 4.05% 30yr to a 3.25% 30yr. This time -- with lower rates, an increase in our household cash flow, and a desire to build equity faster -- we were able to move to a 20yr.

We ended up at 2.25% with $1,018 lender credit on a ~$540,000 loan on our single family primary residence in DC. Roughly 60% LTV, credit in 760s, appraisal waived. A+B+C+E=$1,905. We ended up writing a small check at close to keep our P&I at a nice even $2,800.

The whole process went smoothly from lock on 9/17 to close on 10/7. Loan was funded, as expected, on 10/13. I will update when AmEx credit is posted.

A couple notes:

Don't apply through the AmEx portal. Because I did, the LO knew from the get-go I was aware of and interested in the AmEx offer and she declined to match quotes from other lenders with higher credits (LenderFi, Loan Cabin, Loan Depot) because she noted I would still be coming out ahead with the AmEx offer. Best to apply directly from Better.com then start negotiating, asking for the AmEx offer only after you have locked.

Make sure you are locking the most advantageous Bankrate offer even if you have no intention of choosing that particular product. Yes, this will be repetitive to longtime followers of this thread but I did not wrap my mind around it until after I had locked: You are locking an entire rate table not just a single rate for a single product. Make a simple spreadsheet with the rate and associated points/credits for each product offered on Better's website (15yr/20yr/30yr) vs. the lowest zero-point offers for each corresponding product on Bankrate. Find the product with the biggest point/credit delta, and ask your LO to match that one. You will end up ahead on all the other products.

If you screw something up, just ask. When I realized I left about $1,000 on the table by asking my LO to match the wrong rate, I sent her a polite email saying I felt nagged that I had not gotten the best possible rate and pointed out -- again, politely -- that left a bad taste in my mouth in light on Better's stated emphasis on transparency. I asked if she could meet halfway with $500 in credits, and lo and behold she gave me basically 100% of the credits I would have gotten had I locked the most advantageous Bankrate offer. I was pleasantly surprised because rates had ticked up in the interim and they would have been wholly justified in telling me to pound sand.

Hope this is helpful -- especially to those who might not have the time or patience to sift through 3-to-4 months of posts on this extremely helpful thread.
karwosts
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:42 am

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by karwosts »

For anyone who's tried to take a second bite of Better/Amex's apple (after 6 months), how did you time it?

Do you wait 6 months after funding to apply again? Or can you apply at ~5 months, and time it so that your second closing/funding occurs 6+ months after the first closing/funding?

Since the lock window expires 9/13/22, wondering if I'll get a chance to get two more refinances with credit next year, might be tight. Assuming inflation and rates aren't up to 10% by then :shock:
Jyn
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:49 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by Jyn »

I've been reading this thread for a couple of months (not the whole 250 pages, but maybe 100 pages). I'm a first time homeowner and this will be my first refinance. Going through with Better and just had the guy match offers from Bankrate. Also just applied for an AmEx to get the credits.

Thank you everyone for sharing your experience, tips, and suggestions. I just got married, so going down to a 15-year from a 30-year mortgage for basically no change on my month-to-month (4% previous to 2.6%) is going to help us out a bunch.
GoldenFinch
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by GoldenFinch »

Jyn wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 5:12 pm I've been reading this thread for a couple of months (not the whole 250 pages, but maybe 100 pages). I'm a first time homeowner and this will be my first refinance. Going through with Better and just had the guy match offers from Bankrate. Also just applied for an AmEx to get the credits.

Thank you everyone for sharing your experience, tips, and suggestions. I just got married, so going down to a 15-year from a 30-year mortgage for basically no change on my month-to-month (4% previous to 2.6%) is going to help us out a bunch.
Nice!
3of10
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by 3of10 »

karwosts wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:59 pm For anyone who's tried to take a second bite of Better/Amex's apple (after 6 months), how did you time it?

Do you wait 6 months after funding to apply again? Or can you apply at ~5 months, and time it so that your second closing/funding occurs 6+ months after the first closing/funding?

Since the lock window expires 9/13/22, wondering if I'll get a chance to get two more refinances with credit next year, might be tight. Assuming inflation and rates aren't up to 10% by then :shock:
It's really up to your Better LO. I contacted my LO before the 6 month expiration period and was told that I could do another refi.
"You don't stop playing because you're old. You're old because you've stopped playing"
mesaverde
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by mesaverde »

Last month I refinanced with Better. They require you to pay for an appraisal upfront, regardless of whether you will actually need it or not (they can check and tell you whether the appraisal can be waived before you apply to refinance). Before I applied I was told I wouldn't need an appraisal and it would be refunded soon after I went to closing (I closed on Sept. 10).
The $550 charge for an appraisal was never refunded. Of course I should not have trusted their word but I did not check to see if it was refunded.. this week I received a message from my credit card saying I missed a payment (I don't use the card). I contacted Better and after a 2 day wait they said it would be refunded "in 10-14 business days" so I disputed the charge with my credit card provider. As a result I won't do business with them again. Beware.
"Learn from the past, live in the present, plan for the future"
juice421
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by juice421 »

Not true. I just closed on a b2b refi last week with Better and both refi's appraisal was waived right from the get go. It depends on your location and your numbers such as the estimated home value you enter.
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BrandonBogle
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by BrandonBogle »

mesaverde wrote: Sat Oct 16, 2021 8:42 am Last month I refinanced with Better. They require you to pay for an appraisal upfront, regardless of whether you will actually need it or not (they can check and tell you whether the appraisal can be waived before you apply to refinance). Before I applied I was told I wouldn't need an appraisal and it would be refunded soon after I went to closing (I closed on Sept. 10).
The $550 charge for an appraisal was never refunded. Of course I should not have trusted their word but I did not check to see if it was refunded.. this week I received a message from my credit card saying I missed a payment (I don't use the card). I contacted Better and after a 2 day wait they said it would be refunded "in 10-14 business days" so I disputed the charge with my credit card provider. As a result I won't do business with them again. Beware.
juice421 wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 9:32 am Not true. I just closed on a b2b refi last week with Better and both refi's appraisal was waived right from the get go. It depends on your location and your numbers such as the estimated home value you enter.
It all depends on the specifics. I've had it where it was waived from the get-go, where it was charged to lock but was refunded during processing, and where it was charged to lock but refunded during the closing stage (prior to the closing table though). The refund is manually processed, so it's all a matter when the person sit down to do that.
atwnsw
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by atwnsw »

I have an Amex Marriott Bonvoy (old SPG) card and my wife has Amex Plat Personal and neither card has this benefit listed. Her card does have the identical Rocket Mortgage offer but we are trying to apply for the Better.com offer.

Any ideas how we can get it for either of our accounts? I don't mind calling but wasn't sure who to call and the best method to get this offer.

Thanks in advance.

(P.S. Sorry if this has been answered but I couldn't find it in the 280 page thread)...
drk
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by drk »

atwnsw wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 8:27 pm I have an Amex Marriott Bonvoy (old SPG) card and my wife has Amex Plat Personal and neither card has this benefit listed. Her card does have the identical Rocket Mortgage offer but we are trying to apply for the Better.com offer.

Any ideas how we can get it for either of our accounts? I don't mind calling but wasn't sure who to call and the best method to get this offer.

Thanks in advance.

(P.S. Sorry if this has been answered but I couldn't find it in the 280 page thread)...
Try going to the promotional page: https://better.com/with/amex
MrJedi
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 11:42 am

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by MrJedi »

atwnsw wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 8:27 pm I have an Amex Marriott Bonvoy (old SPG) card and my wife has Amex Plat Personal and neither card has this benefit listed. Her card does have the identical Rocket Mortgage offer but we are trying to apply for the Better.com offer.

Any ideas how we can get it for either of our accounts? I don't mind calling but wasn't sure who to call and the best method to get this offer.

Thanks in advance.

(P.S. Sorry if this has been answered but I couldn't find it in the 280 page thread)...
Just tell your loan officer to add the Amex promo to your loan. They will add a task in your Better web portal to submit your Amex card number.
atwnsw
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by atwnsw »

Thank you.
masrepus
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by masrepus »

Wanted to throw out my recent refi with Better. Refi'ing a 2.75 30 year for 240k on a 600k house. Excellent credit. Ended up in a 15 year 2.00% no cost + amex 2k credit.

9/22/21 started the better.com rodeo. Initial steps on website, presented with the really bad rates. Went to bankrate, to see the no-points rate, sent screen shots to better and they provided a slightly better rate sheet. I think it was maybe a 2.625 30 year no-cost, not including the 2k AMEX credit. But the 15 year was looking good, 2.00 15 year with 1500.00 or so in costs, 900 lender credit, which would be 1500.00 back after AMEX. So I went with the 15 year, no escrow, as I have been paying on a 15 year schedule anyway. House is like 40% LTV so better from the start said no appraisal and did not ask for anything. The AMEX credit was always listed on the LE's.

I started from the AMEX offer page so that was always on the loan. I wonder if I had asked to add it later and negotiated without it, if it would have mattered. I don't think I would have got much since they did match the bankrate offer. Rates were also starting their rise this week and next but better kept the rate sheet a couple days so I got in at a decent time and was losing any leverage.

10/12/21 closed. Got back 100 bucks or so. Loan paid 6 days later on 10/18/21. Waiting on The Money Source servicing rodeo to start.

One thing I wish I had known earlier is the costs if using Hyatt/MetLife legal. The LE from better had the section c costs around 1500.00 with 8 items listed. I asked the Metlife attorney what they charged, and they said 500.00 - of which 450.00 was the title insurance and then 50.00 to the lawyer. He only had 3 items listed for section c. I went back and forth with better trying to understand what it would finally be, but they just kept saying their 8 items had to be covered. I rolled the dice. Next LE from better had the three items from the attorney and section c was now 500.00. That 1k reduction combined with the 2k AMEX credit, I would have done with the 1.875 rate and would have received money back. I might have even paid down a few hundred to the 1.75 rate. Every other refi I will use this same lawyer to get those costs to 500.00. The Hyatt/Metlife legal costs me 208.00 for the year as part of the MegaCorp insurance benefits so it is well worth it.

Overall it was a good process. My previous refi was with lenderfi back around the same time in 2020. There it was a 2.75 30 year. Lenderfi took less back and forth to get the rate down. Did the initial online app, got an OK rate. Then called and the manager gave me what I wanted - a no cost 2.75 30 year, few hundred bucks back. I also had a few other colleagues use the same loan manager with similar results. I then inquired about the lenderfi 6 month .25% reduction around March. Rates had gone up so it wasn't possible. I tried again in September, but another person replied in place of the loan manager. They would only quote what the online query provided - which is never the best offer. I really wanted to go with lenderfi again, but they wouldn't budge.

I also like the process better with lenderfi compared to better. The paper work seemed easier - better was quick in 3 weeks, lenderfi 2 weeks, but there was much more I had to do with better and they goofed up the LE's more often. They always fixed it, but the process was just more strict and excessive. I was also lucky to get LenderFi's servicing which was I was happy with.

Previous to that I had a 3.375 refi down to 2.99 with UWM in May 2020 that was done through a broker I have used many times. Broker does more work for you, but over the last couple years I haven't seen better rates from them so they couldn't compete with the likes of better or lenderfi.
atwnsw
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by atwnsw »

I am receiving conflicting information and would appreciate your assistance.

Bought a 2nd vacation house in NC last November 2020 for $600k cash. Spent additional $600k using equity line on stocks to pay for remodel. The equity line has roughly 3% floating interest rate. House will conservatively be worth $1.2M when finished.

Primary house and residence in FL w/ no mortgage. Good credit.

Goal: Refinance the 2nd house and pay off the equity line and roll the $600k (FYI, the Jumbo loan rate goes from $548k to $625k at the end of this month so that isn't a factor for having a conforming traditional loan amount) into a 30 yr fixed 0 point mortgage.

Doing a complete remodel and house should be ready in Feb when I hope to get CO.

Spoke to 2 mortgage brokers and they said that I could refinance the house now. Called 2 local banks and they said that I couldn't refinance until the CO is complete. Would like to refinance in the next 30-45 days and take advantage of Better.com offer.

Is it possible? Why the conflicting information?

Thanks in advance.
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BrandonBogle
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by BrandonBogle »

atwnsw wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 2:14 pm I am receiving conflicting information and would appreciate your assistance.

Bought a 2nd vacation house in NC last November 2020 for $600k cash. Spent additional $600k using equity line on stocks to pay for remodel. The equity line has roughly 3% floating interest rate. House will conservatively be worth $1.2M when finished.

Primary house and residence in FL w/ no mortgage. Good credit.

Goal: Refinance the 2nd house and pay off the equity line and roll the $600k (FYI, the Jumbo loan rate goes from $548k to $625k at the end of this month so that isn't a factor for having a conforming traditional loan amount) into a 30 yr fixed 0 point mortgage.

Doing a complete remodel and house should be ready in Feb when I hope to get CO.

Spoke to 2 mortgage brokers and they said that I could refinance the house now. Called 2 local banks and they said that I couldn't refinance until the CO is complete. Would like to refinance in the next 30-45 days and take advantage of Better.com offer.

Is it possible? Why the conflicting information?

Thanks in advance.
What is CO?
mervinj7
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by mervinj7 »

BrandonBogle wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 3:19 pm
atwnsw wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 2:14 pm I am receiving conflicting information and would appreciate your assistance.

Bought a 2nd vacation house in NC last November 2020 for $600k cash. Spent additional $600k using equity line on stocks to pay for remodel. The equity line has roughly 3% floating interest rate. House will conservatively be worth $1.2M when finished.

Primary house and residence in FL w/ no mortgage. Good credit.

Goal: Refinance the 2nd house and pay off the equity line and roll the $600k (FYI, the Jumbo loan rate goes from $548k to $625k at the end of this month so that isn't a factor for having a conforming traditional loan amount) into a 30 yr fixed 0 point mortgage.

Doing a complete remodel and house should be ready in Feb when I hope to get CO.

Spoke to 2 mortgage brokers and they said that I could refinance the house now. Called 2 local banks and they said that I couldn't refinance until the CO is complete. Would like to refinance in the next 30-45 days and take advantage of Better.com offer.

Is it possible? Why the conflicting information?

Thanks in advance.
What is CO?
Certificate of Occupancy
User avatar
BrandonBogle
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by BrandonBogle »

mervinj7 wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 3:32 pm
BrandonBogle wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 3:19 pm
atwnsw wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 2:14 pm I am receiving conflicting information and would appreciate your assistance.

Bought a 2nd vacation house in NC last November 2020 for $600k cash. Spent additional $600k using equity line on stocks to pay for remodel. The equity line has roughly 3% floating interest rate. House will conservatively be worth $1.2M when finished.

Primary house and residence in FL w/ no mortgage. Good credit.

Goal: Refinance the 2nd house and pay off the equity line and roll the $600k (FYI, the Jumbo loan rate goes from $548k to $625k at the end of this month so that isn't a factor for having a conforming traditional loan amount) into a 30 yr fixed 0 point mortgage.

Doing a complete remodel and house should be ready in Feb when I hope to get CO.

Spoke to 2 mortgage brokers and they said that I could refinance the house now. Called 2 local banks and they said that I couldn't refinance until the CO is complete. Would like to refinance in the next 30-45 days and take advantage of Better.com offer.

Is it possible? Why the conflicting information?

Thanks in advance.
What is CO?
Certificate of Occupancy
Oh, I would imagine you won’t get far if a Certificate of Occupancy hasn’t been issued. It could be the brokers are banking on that not being checked until further down the road closer to completion. I know Better at least explicitly asks the question “Is the home currently undergoing renovations or repairs” during the initial app. I imagine other lenders do the same.
atwnsw
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by atwnsw »

We may end up relocating our primary home next year so don't want to get a mortgage on that property even though it would be easier in the short run.
The Big Apple
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by The Big Apple »

masrepus wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 12:34 pm One thing I wish I had known earlier is the costs if using Hyatt/MetLife legal. The LE from better had the section c costs around 1500.00 with 8 items listed. I asked the Metlife attorney what they charged, and they said 500.00 - of which 450.00 was the title insurance and then 50.00 to the lawyer.
...
Every other refi I will use this same lawyer to get those costs to 500.00. The Hyatt/Metlife legal costs me 208.00 for the year as part of the MegaCorp insurance benefits so it is well worth it.
I have a MetLife plan as well - this is very interesting. I already finished my refinance, but my coverage document for MetLife says that "It does not include services provided by any attorney representing a lending institution or title company."

Does your MetLife policy not have that exclusion, because my understanding is the 'standard' refinance legal/title costs are specifically for the lending institution.
audioaxes
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by audioaxes »

so I refi'd my California property, no cash out. I now want to do a 30 year loan on some of my equity (I'd like to borrow 150K which will be well below 80% LTV)... Looks like this leaves with home equity loans or HELOCs. I very likely sell the place in 4-10 years so is it even worth paying a premium on a fixed rate term?
slickracer
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by slickracer »

Wanted to provide a data point on the Amex credit...I received my $2,000 exactly two weeks after funding.
DMB41
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by DMB41 »

Just wanted to share my journey so far. I'm working on a new loan for a purchase of a new construction home that is due to be complete 12/10 (not a refinance/no current mortgage). Luckily, pretty much all the information I learned here applies to purchases, not just refinancing, so that was really helpful in the whole process. Big thanks to this community and this thread in particular for all the helpful information.

When we signed the purchase contract for the house we went ahead and applied for a loan through the builders preferred lender (happens to be the the same "company" as the builder). They had a seemingly enticing deal of $4k in "seller" credits if we went with this lender. Knowing what I knew from reading this thread, I was hesitant that it was really even a deal, but went ahead with the pre-qualification anyway just to have a bargaining chip with other lender(s). Shortly after signing the contract and getting set up with their lender, I went ahead and applied with Better. I did not apply with any other lenders. I had the same experience as everyone else in that the rates being offered out of the gate from Better were not competitive at all. At this point in time I was over 3 months out from closing, so I wasn't in a position to rate lock with either company.

Last week we crossed the 60 day mark for the estimated closing date so I decided to start playing the rate/price matching game with Better so that I could lock my rate. Better recommended locking around 60 days out for a 75 day rate lock in order to give some buffer room on closing. I believe this 75 day lock is not standard from them and is only available under certain circumstances, such as for a new construction loan like I am getting. 45-60 days seems to be the norm. I took a look at the rates being offered on Bankrate, Zillow and SmartAsset (these were the only three sites I could find that would display rates without having to provide any personal information) and made a table calculating the biggest cost difference between what Better was offering on their rate table vs the three websites listed. I believe some other members have explained this in more detail, but this was very helpful as the costs could vary wildly between rates, even rates I was not interested in.

SmartAsset actually ended up having the largest price difference at nearly $4k at 2.75% for 30-yr so I took a screenshot of that and sent it to my LO. This was not the case leading up to rate lock though. I had been tracking the prices from the three websites listed for about a week leading up to rate lock and bankrate was the cheapest the majority of the time with Zillow having better rates every so often. One piece of advice on tracking the rates, I noticed that bankrate updates their rates around 9-10AM CST so on the day you decide to have Better match these rates, you may want to take a screenshot early in the morning and then see if the rates get better or worse once they update and then use whichever is better. Since the date in the screenshot will be the same regardless, Better should match either one. Better wasn't able to completely match SmartAsset's price since the website specifically called out a 45-day rate lock at that price, but they did lower it by about $3k which put it within the same ballpark as Bankrate and Zillows offerings.

With my rate table updated, I locked in at 30yr, 2.875% with $2,163 in credits + $2k AMEX promo. With this latest loan estimate, I went to the local lender, who's initial offer out of the gate was pretty bad. 3% with points and fees. Not really competitive, despite the $4k credits. I sent them Better's LE and they came back with a better offer; 3%, but no points and reduced fees. However, this still wasn't as good as Better. They said that was as low as they could go so I pressed forward with Better. A few days later I get an unprompted email from the local lender with a new offer; same offer as before, including the $4k credit, but at 2.75%! I saved the rate table before locking with Better (I recommend everyone do the same) so I was able to reference the cost of a 2.75% loan with Better. That costs was $348 in points (no credits). Therefore, the A+B+C costs for the local lender was nearly $4500 cheaper than Better (not including the $2k AMEX promo) at 2.75%. I reached back out to Better to see if they could match, but they couldn't. Didn't even offer any additional incentives to try and keep me. Needless to say, I told them that for $4500 I have to go with the other lender.

So I ended up with:
30-yr @ 2.75%
A+B+C = $2,519
Seller credits: -$4000
Net: +$1,481

I, of course, have other fees for sections E-H so I still end up having to pay a few grand in closing costs on top of my down payment, but overall I am happy with the outcome so far. Despite not going with Better, I am glad I began an application with them so that I was able to have a competitive offer to force the local lender down in cost. Their online portal is awesome and their communication and responsiveness was really good. Like some others have mentioned, it might be worth waiting until after you've done all your negotiating to add the AMEX offer. Better did use that as a bargaining chip on one of my back and forth conversations trying to get them to match rates.
Last edited by DMB41 on Wed Oct 20, 2021 1:19 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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BrandonBogle
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by BrandonBogle »

DMB41 wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 1:06 pm So I ended up with:
30-yr @ 2.75%
A+B+C = $2,519
Lender credits: $-4000
Net: +$1,481

I, of course, have other fees for sections E-H so I still end up having to pay a few grand in closing costs on top of my down payment, but overall I am happy with the outcome so far. Despite not going with Better, I am glad I began an application with them so that I was able to able to have a competitive offer to force the local lender down in cost. Their online portal is awesome and their communication and responsiveness was really good.
You did wonderfully and great job on applying the knowledge of this thread on your personal circumstances! Crossing my fingers the next 60 days goes swimmingly!
vtg
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:48 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by vtg »

Just wanted to provide an update on my better.com experience. The financial portion went great (see previous posts) and the AMEX credit posted promptly. However, I was informed today that my loan was sold to Fannie/Specialized Loan Services (SLS). This particular servicer is known to be extremely predatory in their practices, incompetent at best. I cant imagine a worse outcome as far as the servicing of the loan moving forward, two phone calls to their "agents" confirmed their well known reputation. Buyer beware. Will be looking for a break even way out in the coming months.
Jyn
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:49 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by Jyn »

vtg wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 1:22 pm Just wanted to provide an update on my better.com experience. The financial portion went great (see previous posts) and the AMEX credit posted promptly. However, I was informed today that my loan was sold to Fannie/Specialized Loan Services (SLS). This particular servicer is known to be extremely predatory in their practices, incompetent at best. I cant imagine a worse outcome as far as the servicing of the loan moving forward, two phone calls to their "agents" confirmed their well known reputation. Buyer beware. Will be looking for a break even way out in the coming months.
This is my concern as well. I'm currently with Mr. Cooper via USAA and they've done well, even with an escrow. I'm removing escrow from my Better refi as a mitigation in case I get a subpar servicer.
mesaverde
Posts: 503
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 4:14 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by mesaverde »

I refinanced with Better last month. A week ago I was notified that servicing would be done by SunTrust (now called Truist).
"Learn from the past, live in the present, plan for the future"
Trust_In_TylerDurden
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:57 pm

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by Trust_In_TylerDurden »

I got my first quote for refinancing from Interactive Mortgage:

I asked them "what is the lock period, interest rate, costs in A/B/C, and lender credit if any? What is A+B+C-LC?"

their response was:
It is 1.99% 15 year fixed zero fees or 2.75% 30 year fixed zero fees. 25 days lock period. D + E - Lender credit under J = 0. We pay everything minus prepaid interest since we cant control that.

(1) does this mean it's REALLY zero cost for me for there are costs that i may have to bear as a part of the process? is there something else i should ask or is this pretty straightforward. please uncode refinance speak for me... :D
(2) do the folks at IM negotiate? does anyone have tips if they have worked with them?
g3man
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:29 am

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by g3man »

Trust_In_TylerDurden wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 2:56 am I got my first quote for refinancing from Interactive Mortgage:

I asked them "what is the lock period, interest rate, costs in A/B/C, and lender credit if any? What is A+B+C-LC?"

their response was:
It is 1.99% 15 year fixed zero fees or 2.75% 30 year fixed zero fees. 25 days lock period. D + E - Lender credit under J = 0. We pay everything minus prepaid interest since we cant control that.

(1) does this mean it's REALLY zero cost for me for there are costs that i may have to bear as a part of the process? is there something else i should ask or is this pretty straightforward. please uncode refinance speak for me... :D
(2) do the folks at IM negotiate? does anyone have tips if they have worked with them?
We refinanced with IM in September. They are relatively fast and simple (D+E=zero unless you do cash-out). We got 1.75% 15yr for our conforming refinance in CA. I believe our timing was just over 2 weeks from application submission to closing & funding.
-- one note -- a couple of their closing docs require filling out info by hand -- the first time we had to do that in a very long while since these days most of this is pre-filled in.

Our lock period was 22 days which we thought was very tight, but we signed and completed all docs/e-signs in <<8 hrs after each request to make sure they weren't waiting for us. We also had no appraisal needed, so that helped too.

If you read the posts from earlier in 2021 (around Feb), IM *did* have some weird problems with closing/funding. Because of that, we sought backup applications with Better and our existing servicer (Mr. Cooper). Neither was able to match IM's quote (1.75% 15yr D+E=zero), even with the Amex offer at Better. I had intended to use the other offers to negotiate with IM, but I didn't have anything competitive, so didn't try to negotiate.

(long-time lurker, first time poster)
Last edited by g3man on Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Bogle101
Posts: 311
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Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Post by Bogle101 »

Does anyone have recs for trying to refi at places that are not a large bank?

The best rate I am getting 3.375% from wells and chase and Citi for 30 year.

How did all you guys get 2.75%?

I have a non conforming jumbo loan in a tier 1 city. Is that why my rate sucks?

Have any of you heard about specialty lenders for 1mm+ mortgages?
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