Fall is a busy time of year for homeowners. You clean your gutters, rake the yard, and generally make sure your house is prepared for winter. In short, you're getting your home in order. Fall is also the perfect opportunity to get your home finances in order. For many families, this means a home refinance. Is a fall refinance right for you? It was for us.
Fall and winter are historically considered the off season for home buying. Things typically begin to slow down as soon as kids are back in school and families are feeling settled. Slower business in the mortgage industry may translate to better rates and customer service. Expect that if your bank or settlement company isn't as busy as usual, they'll work twice as hard to get and keep your business. Don't like the service you're getting? There's another company around that will want to make you happy.
For many individuals, a month without paying the mortgage is a big help. It's especially beneficial leading into the holiday season, when every penny counts. My husband and I refinanced in November, allowing us to go mortgage-free in December. We used that savings to finance the Christmas shopping and holiday gatherings. If we hadn't needed that money, it would make a perfect year-end IRA contribution.
Are you planning a large renovation project? If you want to finish a basement, install a pool, or build an addition, a fall refinance could be your best friend. Not only can you build the cost of the renovation into your refinance, but by refinancing and restarting your project in the fall you can guarantee that your project will be completed by the time the warm summer season rolls around.
By definition, a home refinance is a fresh start. You're securing a lower interest rate and restarting your 15- or 30-year mortgage. A fall refinance also gives your family the opportunity to prepare for the end of the year with a clean slate. Do you have a small amount of credit card debt that you're trying to get rid of? What about a car loan you'd like to pay off? Give yourself a fresh financial start by building in the cost of these things into your new mortgage. You'll get cash-back from the refinance, pay off your debt, and hardly notice the effect this has on your mortgage payment. Fall is the perfect time to give your family finances a fresh start.