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Refinance for Profit

Refinancing your mortgage means obtaining a new mortgage loan on your property and repaying the old one. There are many reasons why a property owner should consider refinancing and a few of these reasons are detailed below.

The most obvious reason is when a property owner (let’s call him Mr. O. Ner) has an existing mortgage loan at say 12% p.a. and discovers that banks and insurance companies are now offering mortgage loans at 9% p.a. Mr. O. Ner should first approach his current lender and request that the interest rate be reduced. If his request is refused, Mr. O. Ner should then approach another mortgage institution to refinance his loan. If he has a mortgage loan of $600,000 over 25 years @ 12% p.a. and decides to refinance it at the new rate, his monthly mortgage payment would drop from $6,319.34 to $5,035.18. He would, therefore, save over $15,400 per annum!.Another reason why Mr. O. Ner may be considering refinancing is to consolidate his existing loans. He may have the following loans:

  • $100,000 – monthly payment of $3,300 – taken for his child’s university education;

  • $60,000 – monthly payment of $2,000 – taken for personal reasons such as to purchase a second car, furniture, etc.

  • $525,000 – monthly payment of $6,310. – mortgage taken 10 years ago to purchase his home.

When Mr. O. Ner now obtains a new mortgage loan of $725,000 (assuming that he has enough equity), he will be able to repay all of the above loans plus have $40,000 to help towards the closing costs for the new loan. If the new mortgage loan is at 9% p.a. over a 15 year period (the same time remaining on his prior mortgage loan), his new monthly payment will be $7,354 vs. the total monthly loan payments before of $11,620. This represents a monthly saving of $4,266!

A third reason to consider is that Mr. O. Ner may wish to raise some capital in order to make some investments. This can be done by refinancing his existing mortgage loan assuming that he has enough equity. Once the expected rate of return on his proposed investments is greater than the interest rate on his new mortgage loan, (sometimes referred to as “leverage”), it is in Mr. O. Ner’s best interest to refinance.

Before rushing out to refinance his property, there are many other factors that Mr. O. Ner should consider. One of the most important ones is the closing costs involved in repaying an existing mortgage loan and obtaining a new one. While this will vary from case to case, Mr. O. Ner should cater between 4% to 5% (of the new mortgage loan amount) as closing costs. In instances where Mr. O. Ner is refinancing due to lower mortgage interest rates, while his monthly savings is immediate, it will take about two years before his savings offset his closing costs on the new mortgage loan.

(For more details on the closing costs involved in a mortgage loan, readers should refer to our page entitled “Buying a Home”. Mr. O. Ner should also check to see if there are any prepayment penalties on his old loan as that could have an effect on his decision. In the second refinancing scenario above, it must be remembered that while Mr. O. Ner will enjoy an immediate monthly saving, he is extending the time period for repaying his personal loans (loans 1 & 2). We strongly recommended that professional advice be obtained before making any type of major financial decision. The time to get professional advice is now. Property owners are urged to check with their accountant, lawyer, financial consultant or contact G.A. Farrell & Associates Limited.

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