Yes, an appraisal would be required, especially because home values have depreciated significantly since Chris bought his home back in June 2008. There would have to be enough equity in the home. Without knowing the LTV, it's difficult to say whether the equity is present.
Since you indicate that you plan to sell your home within the next 2-3 years, I would recommend you refinance your existing mortgage into a 3/1 or 5/1 ARM, if of course refinancing makes sense.
Based on your original loan size of $154,000 at 6.375, you are paying approximately $961 per month in principal and interest. Your principal balance now is probably about $150,000. Assuming you want to refinance now and your closing costs are $3,000 and you include your closing costs in your new loan amount, your looking at a loan size of approximately $153,000. If you get a 5/1 ARM, you're looking at a mortgage rate of 4.25 paying no points today. That comes to a montly principal and interest payment of approximately $753, which is a savings of $208 per month. Now, divide the closing costs ($3,000) by your monthly savings ($208) and you get 14.42, which represents the number of months it would take to recoup your closing costs. If you plan on staying in your home for at least 15 months, you should definitely looking into refinancing now.
I hope this information helps. Best of luck!
Total Mortgage Services
To refi you have to have 20% equity in the primary and these days as I heard 30% in investment
Since you own a condominium, you should check with your VA lender and see if there will be any additional penalties in order to finance a condominum product. Underwriting guidelines have become very strict in light of all of the banking issues of late. The secondary mortgage market is now reviewing the "type" of property a buyer is financing, in addition to the financial qualifications of the purchaser. The insurance, budget, by-laws, rules and regulations of the condominum association are all now subject to review by the lender. I routinely work with purchasers who are buying properties held within a condominium regime.
Once you have determined the effect of the interest rate and any other fees included, it would then be the time to decide if it is "worth it" to refinance your home.
Best of luck. My best from the beach.
Ocean City, Maryland
Our recommendation is to contact a loan specialist for your specific needs. He/she will be able to provide you with the input you require to make an informed decision.
The mistake here, would be to not explore your options.
The Eckler Team