Ask the Experts in Maine: How to Refinance Your Home – Camden National Bank
With interest rates at historically low levels, refinancing has never looked more attractive. “This is unlike anything I’ve seen before,” says Nicole Hotchkin, assistant vice president, personal loans at Camden National Bank. But refinancing can be tricky, especially in a market as hot as Maine. Here are some tips from Hotchkin to make your job easier.
How do you know if refinancing makes sense?
As a general rule of thumb, if you plan to save 1% or more on your interest rate, it’s probably worth refinancing. Look at what your new monthly payment will be and how quickly you can afford the closing costs. No matter what you’re paying now, it’s worth talking to an experienced mortgage lender to look at your personal situation and see what your opportunities are.
How to choose a lender?
You want a bank that has digital tools that allow you to quickly and securely upload documents and complete the application online, but also has a local presence to ensure you receive the personal support and advice you need. you need. Working with a local bank also gives you the option of filing all important documents in person if you prefer to fill out paper forms and go to the banking center. Also, you want to work with a lender who understands your community, especially if you have a unique situation like an island home or a seasonal property. And don’t forget to think about what happens after the loan closes, if you have any questions, or if issues arise such as job loss that could impact your ability to pay off your mortgage. You may want to work with the bank that has the capacity to repay the loan, so that you have someone you know who can guide you through this sticky situation.
What are the common pitfalls to avoid?
The rates are low and many institutions like online only lenders have really great deals. Be careful, however, they often come with hidden costs. Offers that sound too good to be true usually are.
How long does refinancing typically take?
With rates as low as they are, all lenders, underwriters, appraisers, and securities firms are very busy, so you can expect it to take up to 60 days to complete your refinance. The wait can be confusing and stressful, especially if you’re relying on a lower monthly mortgage payment to free up capital for other expenses. You want to work with a responsive lender who can coordinate with appraisers and securities companies and check the status of your refinance while you wait. To minimize your wait, gather all your documents as soon as possible, such as tax forms and pay stubs. If you do this upfront work early on, the process will go a lot easier and you can lock in a low rate at the right time.
Camden National Bank has 60 branches in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. FDIC Member | Equal Housing Lender