With the mortgage rates trending down week after week, many people may jump into the refinancing bandwagon again. BankRate listed six money-costing mortgage myths as a timely reminder for those who want to make more sense of this crucial financial decision.
Myth 1: A 30-year fixed mortgage is always best.
Yes, 30-year fixed mortgage is still at historic low and adjustable rate mortgages (ARM) have their fair share of risks, but why settling with 30-year fixed mortgage if you only want to live in your house for the next five years? The 1 percent or more spread between these two types of loans will be yours to keep.
Myth 2: Pay off that mortgage as soon as possible.
My 3.5% 5/1 ARM only costs me less than 3% every year after tax benefits, so why should I be any eager to pay more than the minimal? I can easily move the money to other markets for better gains, or, stay on the conservative side, to keep in money markets and improve my liquidity.
Myth 3: You need a big down payment.
Many new mortgage products will only require 5% down payment or even less. Just be patient for comparison shopping.
Myth 4: You're stuck with PMI.
If you cannot put 20% down payment, use piggyback financing to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI). Piggyback financing adds a second mortgage to the usual 80% primary mortgage and give you more down payment flexibility without the PMI burden.
Myth 5: Dinged credit? No mortgage for you!
People with imperfect credit now receive warm welcome from mortgage brokers. These guys want to help you (and help themselves).
Myth 6: Refinancing means a new 30-year countdown.
Refinancing does not automatically mean you will start over the 30-year cycle again. Ask your broker for customized products so that you can pay off your loan earlier and still enjoy the lower rate. Or, continue to make the original monthly payment after refinancing and you will be the 100% owner of your property much sooner.