Homeowners rushing to refinance

Aaron and Kathrine Wallen
Aaron and Kathrine Wallen
Miles Kimhan
Miles Kimhan

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Aaron and Kathrine Wallen plan a major makeover to their Manoa home.

"A lot of the plumbing and the electrical are original to the home which was built in 1929," Aaron Wallen said.

Getting money for the fix-up is a small factor.

The bigger reason they want to refinance is the interest rate on a 30-year mortgage.

"Right now it's in the low four's," said Miles Kimhan of Mortgage Masters Inc.

The rate is the lowest it's been in decades.

Kimhan's office is busy with refinancing requests.

"Everybody wants to refinance, for many different reasons, but mostly to lower their interest rate," he said.

As the interest rate falls, appraisers and mortgage and escrow companies are rushing to keep up with refinancing applications.

Lowering their mortgage interest will save the Wallen''s a bundle.

"It would represent about $800 to $1,000 a month," Aaron Wallen said.

Kimhan said you want to be able to pay off in six or seven years the thousands it costs to refinance.

He said if refinancing lowers a mortgage payment by $200 a month, that equates to $2,400 a year.

If your total closing cost was $10,000 then you would break even in about five years. He said that would be worth it.

But even if you want to refinance it's harder to get a loan.

Mortgage rates could differ depending on your credit score, income and savings.

"Definitely, the lenders have made a lot of changes to how you qualify and who qualifies," Kimhan said.

Another question to answer is how long you plan to live in your house.

The Wallens want to pass it on to their children so refinancing makes sense.

"We're lucky to have that opportunity to find rates right now at their lows," Wallen said.

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