I did the math on the house and mortgage and refinancing. Right now I’m on a 30 year loan at 7%, which at the time was a good solid number. I could, however, move to something like a 4.3%. That rate, plus a 15 year loan, and my monthly payments would STILL drop by a couple hundred. So needless to say, I was on the phone with Wells Fargo.
The answer was, officially, yes, but no, but maybe. And it works like this.
Yes, they would be willing to refinance me. Glee! But they can only refinance 95% of the value of the house, tops. Because of the dropping value of my house, what I owe was just barely under the estimated value for the area. So I could do it… but I’d have to cover the cost of the closing and a bit of the value of the remaining amount myself. Possible, but that would clear out my savings, which is a bad idea right now. So, no. They did say I might be a candidate for the new government bailout special loans, but they don’t have the specifics on how that will work yet. They’ve set my request aside for that.
Before I called I’d been checking a site that estimates the values of homes in an area. It seems to be accurrate, because the number they said it was worth was exactly what it was already showing me.
So anyway. I mentioned all of this to a friend of mine online who’s big on economic stuff. He said that it was actually great news: I keep paying the mortgage off as it is for a year (already paying a bit extra) and bam, I can try for the refi again. Until I pointed out that the value was still dropping. He’d forgotten that bit.
And in fact, it did keep dropping. According to my little monitor thing, since I called and talked to Wells Fargo, my value has dropped by another 8 grand, which puts me definitively underwater for the first time. And that’s pretty much that. No refi for me.
Stupid economy with its stupid housing market crap.