Positives and Negatives of Mortgage Refinancing
Refinancing your mortgage can be a strategic financial decision, but is it always the right move? This article will explore the advantages and disadvantages of refinancing your mortgage, providing you with a balanced perspective to make an informed decision.
Advantages of Refinancing Your Mortgage
Lower Interest Rates
One of the primary reasons homeowners refinance their mortgage is to secure a lower interest rate. This can result in significant savings over the life of the mortgage.
Shorter Mortgage Amortization
Refinancing can allow homeowners to pay off their mortgage faster by shortening the mortgage amortization. This can lead to substantial interest savings over time.
Homeowners can tap into their home’s equity through a cash-out refinance. This can provide funds for home improvements, education expenses, debt consolidation or other financial needs. This is also known as Equity Take Out (ETO).
Possible Tax Savings
If the money from the refinance is used for business or investment purposes, there might be some tax savings. Consult a qualified tax professional if you are in this situation to take a full advantage of it.
Disadvantages of Refinancing Your Mortgage
Needing to Qualify
As this would be considered a new application, even though you already own the property, you will still need to qualify for the new mortgage, provide all the required documents, and pass the mortgage stress test.
Refinancing a mortgage involves closing costs, which can be substantial. These costs may offset the potential savings from a lower interest rate.
Some mortgages have prepayment penalties if you pay off your mortgage early, including through refinancing even if you are refinancing with the same lender.
Potential for Higher Interest Rate
If interest rates have risen since you took out your original mortgage, you could end up with a higher rate.
Longer Mortgage Amortization
While refinancing can shorten a mortgage amortization, it can also extend it. This could mean paying more in interest over the life of the mortgage.
Loss of Benefits
Your current mortgage may have unique prepayment privileges or some other benefits, which may not be available with the new mortgage after you refinance.
Reduction of Equity
In a cash-out refinance, homeowners are reducing their equity in the home. This could potentially put them at risk if property values decrease.
Alternatives to Refinancing
If you have a fixed-rate mortgage with a low interest rate and there are a few years left to maturity, refinancing might not be the best option, especially in a high-rate environment. This is because you would be replacing a low rate with a substantially higher rate and also incurring a pre-payment penalty. Luckily, for situations like this, there are few options available other than refinancing, such as:
Increase and Blend
Instead of discharging your low rate mortgage and replacing it with a high rate new mortgage, most lenders will allow you to increase the amount of the existing mortgage, and blend the rate. What that means is that the original portion will remain at the same interest rate, and the increased amount will be added to it, but it will have the current rate. This will produce a new blended rate mortgage, while avoiding prepayment penalties.
Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) or a Second Mortgage
Similar to the increase and blend option, a new charge will be placed on the property, however, it will be registered separately from the first mortgage. This could be either HELOC or a second mortgage. As either one of these will be in addition to your existing mortgage, you won’t have to break your mortgage or pay prepayment penalties. HELOC and second mortgage interest rates will usually be higher than the rate of the first mortgage.
Refinancing your mortgage has both pros and cons. It’s essential to consider your financial situation, long-term goals, and the current mortgage rates before making a decision. Consulting with a mortgage broker can provide personalized advice tailored to your circumstances.
Understanding your mortgage needs and the options available to you can make all the difference when deciding on the type of mortgage financing that is right for you, which in turn will benefit you in the long run.
At TheBroker.ca Ltd, we are always looking for ways to provide helpful advice related to mortgages, current mortgage rates, and more. If you have any questions or need further assistance, we offer a complimentary no-obligation consultation. Book your Complimentary Consultation today, and let us help you understand the details that will guide you on your path to a suitable mortgage solution.
Feel free to reach out to us at (519) 252-9665 during our regular business hours. Alternatively, you can fill out our contact form, and your message will be promptly emailed to us. We value your time and inquiries, and we make it our priority to respond to all messages within one business day. When reaching out, please provide us with your contact details, a brief overview of your mortgage needs, and the most convenient times for you to have a consultation. We look forward to assisting you with your mortgage.
This article was brought to you by TheBroker.ca Ltd., a mortgage brokerage that is licensed with the Financial Services Regulatory Agency of Ontario (FSRA), which regulates businesses in the financial sector. The Principal Broker Sash Trajkovski has over 20 years of real estate and mortgage experience in the Ontario marketplace. You can verify our licenses by visiting the following links from FSRA’s website: our corporate license and Principal Broker license. Our mortgages services are available to all residents of Ontario.