good enough or worth shopping around? : personalfinance

good enough or worth shopping around? : personalfinance

Hello Personal Finance,

I’ve been looking at refinancing my home since rates have been dropping big time. Currently 3.8% over 20 years on a loan with a 400k balance.

I talked to my current lender to see what their offering were and rate locked at 1.75% over 15 years. Outside of the typical fees around title and such, I’m paying down points to the rate of $7200 to get that. They’re not requiring an appraisal and aren’t charging me to waive escrow. All together it’s ~$11k in closing costs to get that rate.

I’ve been debating whether or not it’s worth shopping around a bit to see if I can do better than that. I’ve kept an eye on what people have been managing to get in this Slickdeals thread regarding an expired offer at Better, and some people have managed to get some crazy rates:

https://slickdeals.net/f/13700090-amex-offer-2-500-statement-credit-for-home-refinance-better-com?page=544#commentsBox

My primary reason for coming here and seeking the advice of others is: I’m having a hard time figuring out if I should push more on this or not. The thoughts running through my head are:

  • I’m happy with my current lender and would be willing to spend ~$3k to stay with them.

  • I don’t know how much wheeling and dealing I want to do passing loan estimates around from party to party to try and get the best rate. I know the people on Slickdeals tend to be endurance athletes at this.

  • I don’t like to share my personal info any more than I have to. Some of the other sites I’ve seen mentioned (such as LoanCabin and Watermark) seem a bit less robust than some of the larger lenders, and I’ve had issues in the past where smaller financial shops have done stupid things like emailing me unencrypted PDFs with my SSN. While I keep my credit frozen at all times, I have major concerns on people being loosey goosey with PII.

  • I don’t want to escrow and I don’t want to have someone appraise, largely for COVID reasons and not because I don’t think the property would appraise for what I need it to. Current lender isn’t charging for escrow nor are they appraising, but I could see that not being the case for others. Seems like that’s around $1500-1700 worth of closing costs.

  • I know shops like LoanCabin sell the mortgage off, and I don’t want to deal with an institution like Wells Fargo (who I don’t trust). My current lender would service the loan themselves.

Read about:   What’s a Good Interest Rate for a Personal Loan?

So, given that criteria, I was curious to get feedback on the following questions:

  1. How far away would I be from a realistic “bottom”? Like I said, if I’m $3k off I’d probably just stay put, but if I’m $5k or $7k off I’d probably shop around.

  2. How realistic are my expectations around being able to push on price and dodge appraisal/escrow?

  3. Are my fears around personal info and/or the mortgage being sold off to an entity I don’t like ridiculous/unreasonable?

  4. Are there other factors/considerations that just aren’t on my radar here?

Thanks in advance.