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811
Still can't re-finance the house.
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Still can't re-finance the house.

Okay, in looking at your prior threads on the Buying or Selling a Home board:
http://boards.fool.com/same-mortgage-different-servicing-300...
http://boards.fool.com/refinancing-30213693.aspx?sort=whole#...
http://boards.fool.com/mortgage-calculator-31131881.aspx?sor...
it looks like in 2012, you owed about $62k, but thought that the house was probably only worth $52k - $59k. However, you had been and were going to continue making additional principal payments.

So, what's the balance now, and what do you think the home is worth? What have you tried doing to refinance? Do you have any savings that you could use to help pay the loan down?

Looks like you bought in 2006, so you are now about 10 years into the mortgage. At this point, if you hadn't paid any extra on the mortgage, you should have paid down about 18% of the original balance. And according to the latest available data from the Wisconsin Realtors Association, statewide in Wisconsin, the median home price for Apr - Jun, 2016 surpassed the median home price in 2007 during the same month. https://www.wra.org/Resources/Property/Wisconsin_Housing_Sta...

Unfortunately, the data supplied doesn't go back to 2006, so, if housing prices were higher in 2006 than 2007, your house may still not be worth what you paid for it in 2006.

That said, it looks like your lender, WHEDA, has a refinance program for people with as little as 3% equity called "Refi Advantage": https://www.wheda.com/Homeowners/Loan-Programs/ Have you asked them about refinancing? Have you talked to a mortgage broker about other possibilities for refinancing a high LTV mortgage? If you have some savings, you could potentially pay a lump sum on the mortgage to get the balance down enough to where you could refinance with a program other than WHEDA's.

If you can't find any other option, and WHEDA isn't being helpful, you might want to try contacting your members of the state legislature and making them aware of your situation.

AJ
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I have been considering this house as more a good place to live than an investment, because obviously as an investment I am losing my shirt.

I might have tried too soon here - it is just that there is a chance I might get married and even though he probably has an OK credit rating, I hear it's more complicated in that situation.

Since I bought it, I've replaced 2 picture windows (not just cosmetic, they needed it), had a bathroom fan put in, added more insulation in the attic, replaced gutters and downspouts, had the roof done (they tore off 2 layers of shingles, installed new shingles and ridge vent), installed soffit vents, improved the grading near the house and fenced the back yard. (Also installed electricity in the garage and evicted squirrels from the attic, but I'm not mentioning that.)

Been paying extra and the balance is down to about $51,000.

Anyway, the assessment came out at $50,000. Sounds low to me. I suspect a lot of it is that the area has been recovering slowly from the recession. It does not look like Detroit, though. Most of the foreclosure houses have probably been sold off and there are very few boarded-up buildings in the neighborhood now. But also the assessor was bothered by the kitchen cabinets (which need to be stripped and painted, it's just that when I've had time to do it, the weather has not cooperated. Either beastly hot or pouring rain. I'm considering just taking the doors down to the basement.) Possibly the mixed neighborhood bothered him too, I don't know.

So I might go with paying it down. I just can't do as much as they want right away because I dipped into savings to pay for the roof. At least I heard a number this time...

Actually I had not looked at WHEDA because I would like to get away from the really long owner-occupancy requirement. I'll check, though. I want to stay here & that's what I plan on doing, but stuff happens to people. If something happens that I can't stay here I would like to be able to rent the place out (as opposed to, say, just losing it.)

- Paint
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I might have tried too soon here - it is just that there is a chance I might get married and even though he probably has an OK credit rating, I hear it's more complicated in that situation.

Not sure where you heard that, but it's not really that complicated, as long as he has a good (not okay) credit rating. If that's the case, he can be added to both the deed and the mortgage, assuming you are willing for the house to be community property. And if he doesn't have a good credit rating, and/or you want to keep the house as your sole and separate property, it's possible to do, even if you are married.

Been paying extra and the balance is down to about $51,000.

Anyway, the assessment came out at $50,000.


Assessments are NOT appraisals. And even if they purport to be 'market value', depending on the rules for property taxes in your state/locality, they are usually somewhere between 6 months and 18 months behind, because the taxing authority needs to use a consistent date for everyone's valuations. In my area, the assessment used for taxes paid in 2016 was the valuation as of Jan 1, 2015. The assessment that will be used to calculate 2017 taxes will be the value as of Jan 1, 2016. So even if your assessment came in at $50,000, if your county does valuations like mine does, your current market value is probably higher, based on the increase in values in the data I cited in the prior post.

With a $51k balance, your home only needs to be valued at $53.7k for you to have 5% equity, or $56.7k for you to have 10% equity. So it's really important that you understand what the current market value is, rather than assuming the assessment is correct. You really need to look into how much similar houses in your neighborhood have been selling for, rather than using your assessment value. Talk to a realtor, check Zillow.com or realtor.com for prices of recent sales, or check to see if your county assessor has sales data available.

AJ
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oops. meant appraisal.

the assessment was higher, $52,800 before the roof was done, & I got my hopes up.
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Sorry, taking a side thread here......

there is a chance I might get married and even though he probably has an OK credit rating

Let me strongly suggest that before even getting engaged (much less getting married), you should be a lot more knowledgeable about your BF's financial and credit situations than being able to say "he probably has an OK credit rating."

AJ
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Don't worry, it's on the list.
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OK. I have been contacting people at the credit union I have had an account at, and at the bank I have an account at. No response from the mortgage people. Also contacted someone at a bank that had a booth at the home improvement show. That's just in the past 2 years. Didn't get anywhere with that either. Looked on several web sites and I didn't see any programs I'd qualify for. It seemed that making a huge effort and contacting a lot of companies was only going to tire my fingers out and maybe impact my credit rating.

And just so you know, I am NOT engaged yet. I was hoping to get the re-fi over with, preferably before the rates go up a lot. Didn't see why I should get the question of marriage get all tangled up in the attempt to get a decent interest rate and better conditions. If we do end up getting married, I'm sure there will be conversations first about money and credit and what to do with the real estate.

- Paint
going to fix the house up some more, and wait a bit
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OK. I have been contacting people at the credit union I have had an account at, and at the bank I have an account at. No response from the mortgage people. Also contacted someone at a bank that had a booth at the home improvement show. That's just in the past 2 years. Didn't get anywhere with that either. Looked on several web sites and I didn't see any programs I'd qualify for. It seemed that making a huge effort and contacting a lot of companies was only going to tire my fingers out and maybe impact my credit rating.

Have you talked to a mortgage broker? Mortgage brokers work with multiple lenders, rather than just one, which would give you more options.

And just so you know, I am NOT engaged yet. I was hoping to get the re-fi over with, preferably before the rates go up a lot. Didn't see why I should get the question of marriage get all tangled up in the attempt to get a decent interest rate and better conditions.

Well, it would be possible, but if it will make your life more complex than you want it to, then there isn't any reason to rush it.

If we do end up getting married, I'm sure there will be conversations first about money and credit and what to do with the real estate.

That sounds like a good plan.

going to fix the house up some more, and wait a bit

Yeah, it doesn't look like rates will go rocketing up any time soon, so waiting a while should be fine. And if you can add some additional value by working on the cabinets, for instance, that would help, too.

AJ
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aj485 is already one of your Favorite Fools. - TMFServer!!!
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