We're in the process of having our house refinanced. Doing so would lower our payments about $100 a month and the Magic 8 ball said it would be a good move.
Right now we're in the midst of the appraisal stage. As everyone and their hermit knows home values have dropped since we bought the house nearly five years ago. However we got a very good deal and paid 20% down (to avoid that pesky PMI) and we've been paying a bit extra each month on the principle and home values in our area have been fairly stable so I wasn't concerned.
I should have been.
The appraiser, who spent an unusually long amount of time jockeying her SUV around to get into our driveway, valued the house at $10,000 less than we paid for it. Because there hasn't been much sales activity in our neighborhood in the last she for comparision she used a house two blocks away and two houses FOUR MILES AWAY. HUH? It's not like we live in the country... we're in the city so four miles could be just about anywhere. In this case it was near Rudisill. I mean no disrespect to those living in the Rudisill area and there are many fine, well built, older houses like ours but it's well known that the area is a bit on the urban side. Home values traditionally are quite a bit lower in that part of town so naturally our value got dinged. Seems a bit of common sense would prevail, eh? So its time to file a review / complaint / whatever to see if this can be changed. I've been told not to expect much.
Which would mean having to pay a nice chunk of change at closing NEXT WEEK in order to avoid those nasty PMI fees. We don't have to pay a mortgage payment in January so the amount we need is quite close to our monthly mortgage payment. If closing was in three weeks it'd be no sweat, just take Mortgage Payment A and apply it to Mortgage Prepayment B and everyone is happy. So now I'm looking for a rich uncle to lend me a thousand bucks for two weeks.
The good news is that I can take this OFFICIAL APPRAISAL to the county tax officials and have our taxes adjusted. They only have it inflated by $50,000 or so meaning that in addition to saving money on the mortgage we should also start paying less in property taxes.
What to do with all this money we'll be saving? How about maternity and baby clothes! OH YEAH!