448 – Recap: 5

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I just found out I can take nearly two percent off of the interest rate of my mortgage by refinancing. That’s down into the four-point-something range. I almost feel a little guilty pursuing this, knowing that I’ll be doing my little bit to worsen the world’sΒ economy… except when I consider the results of losing the ability to pay for my house at all. Less is almost always better than none.

Still, I am kinda happy about something I heard on the radio the other day concerning mortgage insurance. (This is insurance that protects you in the even that after you buy your home, it turns out that someone else actually has a better claim to it, and you lose everything.) Apparently, an alternative to mortgage insurance when refinancing is demanding that the bank prove that they actually own the home before you repurchase it from them. You save money, and you’re only asking the bank for due diligence which they should be doing in the first place.

What makes this all kinda iffy is how far property values have fallen. At one point our house was worth between twice and three times the note we held on it. Who knows how much it’s worth today. If it’s valued at less than the note, then we’re dead in the water. Wish me luck!

10 Responses to 448 – Recap: 5

  1. Have you taken out home equity loans or something to make your loan more than the value of your home? Or have you destoried the house to devalue it? Even in todays market a solid clean home will not lose value. It may not gain much but you aren’t going to lose money on it.

    Unless you live in one of those areas where prices are so inflated that you are paying 300k for a 1000 square foot cracker box.

    House Hunters on TLC makes me sick. Glad I live in the country πŸ˜€

    • I live in Canada and house prices in my area have dropped significantly since this whole recession started. Although I think, because I live in Alberta and we were having a huge oil boom, it may be that we had some artificial inflation involved that has since gone away.

  2. @Jellybeans: No, we haven’t taken out loans or anything like that, but houses in our area have lost value.

    However, just to keep everyone up to date, it turned out that the math just wasn’t there for us to do the refinance. We could have upped our payment more than we were willing to, or lessened it a bit and ended up paying more in the long run. So we decided to stand pat.

  3. Two percentage points and the bank still couldn’t make it work?

    You either have a very unique situation or need a better bank.

  4. @Kroneg: As I recall, Kevin lives in Florida. That’s a housing market where prices are unrelated to value.

  5. So, I read something on someone’s blog a while back, about fantasy names, and about how players will always, always forget them, and your major NPCs will be “that baron dude with the sword of wounding” or “that guy who killed Lola that one time.”

    It suggested going with things like “Eddie, the Baron of Poughkeepsie” or something.

    So that’s just what I did.

    In my current 3.5E game (on hiatus for a bit while we go megadungeoning in Microlite74), the current–and climactic–battles will take place in the Principate of New Jersey. The current leader of the political region the players care about is Bill, the Baron of Hunterdon. He has a grand vizier, Wally. His castle sits above the town of Lambertville, on the Delaware River.

    Nobody has any trouble remembering names. And no one has any illusions about who or what Drake Argentum, who’s the scary boss-of-the-collective-farmers they’re about to fight (my players, alas, are sort of on the wrong side politically), is going to be. They don’t know–and since they don’t actually *read*, I can say it here–that he’s going to be joined by the Mountain Giant couple Minsi and Tammany at the Battle of the Delaware Water Gap, which will mark the end of the campaign, in which they actually did advance, completely legitimately, from 1st level all the way to 20th. Sure, it took us 8 or 9 years. Whatever.

    This all feels insanely liberating.

    Yr. Cousin

  6. Don’t believe all that nonsense about dumping money down the drain being good for the economy. Money is only worth as much as what you get for it; wasting or paying too much only devalues the currency you’re supposedly pumping into the system. Buying useful stuff for a low price is a good idea and helps. It also encourages the efficient businesses who make such things to do it more. Paying for a bridge to nowhere just so some people can have some jobs makes the economy worse. You’d be better off donating the money to the same people and putting the building materials to better use.

    Refinance if you can :).