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  • Refinance rates in Texas (TX): How homeowners can reap the benefits

    Homeowners looking for the best home refinance mortgage rates in Texas (TX) have the opportunity to explore a variety of lenders, all bidding for your business. Converting current adjustable loans to fixed-rate mortgage loans and obtaining 30 year refinance rates can help borrowers manage changes in interest rates more smoothly. Changes in the housing and economic climate can have a significant effect on refinance mortgage rates; rates in Texas tend to follow the national trend.


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    According to Zillow, the median housing price in Texas was $120,000 in 2012. Luckily for some homeowners, the median price is climbing, and could eventually reach $168,000 in 2018. If a homeowner purchased around 2012, it’s likely the value of their home has increased, which could make the loan to value ratio more favorable for refinancing.


    Texas refinance mortgage rates TX

    As median home prices rise in Texas, many homeowners may be growing in their home equity position. (Photo/Wikimedia Commons).


    Texas refinance programs

    There are a number of refinance options for Texans to consider. Each product will have a different refinance rate associated with it. Consider the following:


    Fixed rate refinancing: 15, 20 and 30-year fixed rate mortgages are popular refinance options due to their stability. Borrowers know exactly how much they will owe from month to month. Fixed rates are especially popular for homeowners who plan to stay in their house for an extended period of time. 15 and 20 year fixed rates come with slightly higher monthly payments than the 30-year option, but could be better for refinancing because they won’t extend the life of a loan too significantly.


    Adjustable rate refinancing: In most cases, an ARM loan will have lower interest than a fixed-rate mortgage of the same terms. It is additionally enticing to think that after a fixed-rate period ends, it is possible for an interest rate to drop. This would make monthly payments even lower. But on the other hand, if interest rates get higher, monthly payments would rise. 3/1, 5/1, and 7/1 ARMs are popular loan lengths with ARM products, so if your loan is coming to an end in 7 or fewer years, or if you plan to move from your house in a short period of time, it might make sense to capitalize on less interest for the time being. ARM loans come with annual and life of loan caps to interest increases, so while your monthly mortgage commitment could rise, it shouldn’t be as drastic as a 3 percent to 10 percent increase. Do your homework before securing one of these products.


    FHA and VA loans for refinancing: These products are government backed and typically more relaxed with their qualifying terms. Refinancing through one of these programs may mean a borrower won’t have to get an appraisal done before refinancing. It also might mean that your creditworthiness or loan to debt ratio can be less pristine than with a conventional loan.  FHA and VA loans are great for special circumstances, or financially strapped borrowers.


    Factors that go into Texas refinance mortgage rates

    Home refinance mortgage rates in Texas are determined by banks through analysis of a few key factors.


    Credit history, for one

    The credit history of the applicant is one of the most important factors to securing a favorable interest rate. Borrowers with high credit scores can often obtain far lower interest rates than those who have experienced credit problems in the past.


    Those with ongoing financial problems may find it difficult to obtain refinancing from traditional lenders; alternatives may prove even more costly than retaining the current mortgage arrangement, so it’s of vital importance for bad credit borrowers to research the available options and compare them in order to find the right mortgage refinance loan.


    Loan-to-value ratio

    Another factor is the size of the loan and the value of the property. Banks look both at the borrower’s ability to repay a loan, and the value of the collateral in order to determine an appropriate range for the mortgage. By comparing the worth of the real estate with the amount to be borrowed, lending institutions can calculate what is known as the loan-to-value ratio, or LTV.

    Do your homework

    Finding the lowest loan interest rates can be challenging. Some lending companies advertise no cost loans. And, while these may be appealing to cash-strapped homeowners, it’s usually advisable to read the loan documentation carefully to ensure the lowest possible interest rate for the loan.


    Paying attention to detail is especially important for borrowers with a current FHA loan; these loans typically feature higher borrowing limits and lower interest rates in order to make homeownership more affordable for first-time buyers. As a result, homeowners may not be able to refinance the entire amount of their loan or may be offered higher interest rates from some lenders; this can be discouraging and may prevent some borrowers from taking advantage of available low interest rates on mortgage refinance loans.


    It becomes your responsibility to shop around for the best lender. Many credit unions or community banks offer low interest rates, while some regional banks offer incentives for current customers to continue working together. Compare all of the promotions and offers you can. Remember, banks want your business.


    If you get stuck, or need professional advice you can always work with a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers have relationships with many different lenders, and can help you understand what loan terms might be best for you.


    Final tips before refinancing in Texas

    Use a mortgage calculator to determine the decision. You can see how your current deal measures up to the market value and available options. You might find that a lower monthly payment now doesn’t mean a lower loan price, in total. You also might find that by paying a little extra each month you could significantly reduce the cost of your loan over its lifetime.


    By investigating the available options and doing research on costs and lending criteria, prospective borrowers can knowledgeably navigate the refinance process. This can ensure that consumers in the refinance marketplace can obtain the most favorable home refinance mortgage rates in Texas.


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    Check out our Houston Refinance Mortgage Rates page.


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