Take my case for instance. When I bought my condo 5 years ago, I paid $290K for it, and at the peak of the market, its value approached $475K, but right now, it’s value is only appraising at about $250K. This sucks, because in order to refinance, I can only borrow 80% of my homes equity, or $200K if my home appraised at $250K exactly. The banks don’t take into consideration that I’ve been on time with ever mortgage payment over the last 5 years, and that I’ve even made extra principal payments in some of those years in order to accelerate my mortgage.
If you have enough equity in your house, now is the time to refinance, but if your home value has dropped, as most homes in the Southern California area have over the past year, you just may find yourself in a situation similar to mine – having your home refinance denied. It’s a very unfortunate situation when someone like myself who takes pride in having great credit has a refinance declined because of the current state of the market.
I’m currently looking at a couple other options that will help me get refinanced, and I’ll keep you all posted if I find a way to lower my interest rate.