How hot is it?
“We had a fairly reasonable last December,” says Cathy Baker, CEO of Baker Mortgage in Houston, speaking of 2019, a time before anyone had thought much of novel coronaviruses. “This December we closed three times what we did in December of 2019.”
The inclination, Baker suggests, is to think the lender you already have has already got your paperwork on file, making it the best choice. “Because it’s not. They’re going to send you the inch-and-a-half worth of paperwork everyone else wants.”
Go local, she stresses. And due to the volume, expect the process to take longer than you may have experienced in the past. “Especially if they’re going through a large bank, you’re looking at anywhere from 60-days; we’ve heard as much as 120 days in some cases,’ Baker says.
Low interest rates have been driving the appeal of refinancing, but how long will these rates last? Fanny Mae seems to be signaling not much longer, and Baker says if you’ve been thinking about it, act now. “It’s a great time to do it, and if people have different reasons that they want to refinance, I wouldn’t sit on the fence waiting for them to get lower. The money is not going to become ‘free,’ but it’s pretty close to that now.”
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