Friday, February 29, 2008

Refinanced! Now with a dose of Influenza!

Thank you to everyone who commented on the last post. I appreciated your good thoughts, even though you had never been through the refinancing hell. I survived, broken and bloody, but survived nonetheless. I spent Tuesday morning writing and sending ugly e-mails and yelling into my cell phone before hanging up on people. I finally found someone who could answer my questions, correct the paperwork to my satisfaction and generally not piss me off. But I learned A LOT and, since I am now financed at 5.75%, and I don't see the interest rates ever dropping to a level where it would make sense for me to refinance again, I will share with you what I learned. May my pain lessen yours.

#1. DO NOT find a mortgage broker over the internet. Ask friends, ask family, especially those in other states about their experiences. Advertise on the 'net if you have to but only to those whom you trust.

#2. Work directly with a mortgage provider, not a broker. Your local bank or credit union or someone with whom you have done business. By the time I was knee deep in this mess, my bff called her mortgage person, who is in N.C. P told her the whole story and wished I was working with someone like her (her being the mortgage person). Well, apparently, this person does closings all over the US, not just in NC, and I could have worked with her. She was a great person and even looked over my paperwork for free and told me where I was getting screwed. All for a grand total of $0.00! So, if you are planning to buy a house or refinance anytime soon, let me know, I will send you this woman's name and e-mail address. She was a god send!

#3. You should receive a Good Faith Estimate of closing costs within 3 days of your application. NOT the day before closing as I was. Had I received this within 3 days of my application, I would have cancelled the entire thing then. I can understand a slight difference in estimates, but not $2000.00. That is nuts.

#4. Keep yelling. Ok, I don't normally advocate yelling or calling people liars, except when it is absolutely necessary and it was in this instance. 99% of the people I worked with did not have a clue what they were doing. I was given 3 different explanations of one fee, by the same guy. He was just making crap up to make me be quiet. And it worked, until I lost my mind.

Sadly, because of the wacky economy, interest rates were rising again and the best I could hope for would have been 6.385% and that would not have been worth it to me to refinance. The mortgage itself is actually with a reputable company & it will be sold to someone else in the next 90 days. Who knows? They can't change the terms, though, so I should be ok.

On top of the refinance nightmare, which was over on Tuesday afternoon, I went to work Wednesday feeling fine, developed an irritating cough by midmorning and an general ickiness by midafternoon. I got home by about 4, went straight to bed and probably spent 30 of the next 36 hours there. Fever, chills, aches, pains, all the fun things. No vomiting though > knocking on wood.

I did manage to work 1/2 day today & I didn't sleep this afternoon, just watched a movie. I am feeling better, but still tired and weak. It could have been a lot worse, but that doesn't make me feel better. Hopefully I will be hale & hearty by Monday.

Have a great weekend!


Carl said...

Glad to see that you survived. I hope it wasn't at too great a psychological cost.

It's funny how different your priorities were from mine. You seem to have focused mainly on the closing fees and the interest rate. I think my interest rate was close to yours, and in 1969 it didn't seem prohibitive. But, being a Depression Baby, fixed dead center in my mind was paying off the loan, and looking at the amortization table gave me the chills. So I insisted on a prepayment clause. I'm not saying that that is something else that should've concerned you. Mainly I'm just trying to see how much times have changed. :)

LeftLeaningLady said...

Carl, I can definitely see how that would have been the most important thing to you. I think the main thing showing how much times have changed is that I am a little confused by what you mean by 'insisted on a prepayment clause'. In today's market the only prepayment clause is one the mortgage company puts in to make you pay a penalty if you pay off the mortgage early. There is not one in this mortgage, because I do intend to pay off the mortgage early. I focused on the interest rate, because that is going to keep my payments low enough that I will be able to pay extra every month and make at least one extra payment a year. Supposedly the one extra payment will knock 7 years off right away.
Thank you for the different perspective!

Shel said...

Glad to hear that you got some answers and that things went a little better. I hate poorly trained customer service people. I may take you up on the name of the mortgage person (once I get a job so I can afford a house).

Hope you're feeling better soon.

LeftLeaningLady said...

The lady I talked to was awesome. I will ask her if she does closings in Minnesota and let you know. I am pretty sure she handles all 48 states, maybe all 50! Home buying can be a nightmare, but I think it would go better with someone like her in your corner!