Midday Maryland Talks Mortgages and Refinance


– [Elsa] Looking to lower
your mortgage payment, or use your home’s equity to pay off debt? Is it a good time to be in the market? Well there are a few
questions that you have when it comes to understanding mortgages, and luckily for you, we’ve
got Michael Ostrowski, he’s a Mortgage Manager at
Freedom Federal Credit Union. He’s here with the answers! Thanks so much! – Thank you for having me, Elsa. – A lot of questions. I’m hearing right now, mortgage rates are near historic lows. – They are. – I’ve heard that the
last couple of years. What exactly does that mean for people who are in the market right
now to buy a new home? – Well for those that are
looking to buy new homes, it means affordability. With interest rates
being historically low, they can afford more home. So it opens up a larger market for them, that it had been several years
ago when rates were higher. For those folks who
are already homeowners, it opens up the opportunity to refinance. – And that’s what I was going to ask you. So if you are a home owner
already and you want to, or you’ve already
refinanced at a lower rate, can you still take advantage of something happening right now? – You can. – Okay good. – There’s a couple different
ways you can do that. If you’ve already
refinanced, it doesn’t mean you couldn’t do it again. With rates being where they are, maybe you want to reduce
the term of your mortgage. You have a 30 year mortgage, you’ve been in it for a couple of years, rates are low, let me
reduce that to a 20 year, or a 15 year term. – Oh, got it.
– You do that, you cut off years on your mortgage, and you save tens of thousands of
dollars of interest payments over that term. – Very smart. – It’s a good strategy. The other option you could also have too, would be just doing a
simple rate reduction, where you do have a lower monthly payment, thus opening up cash flow for you, that you wouldn’t have access to before. – Is there a way to sort of
project how much time we have to take advantage of this? When I’m hearing low rates, I’m like, “Do I have to move right
now? Or a couple of months?” – My best advice, and I give this to our members all the time, is if the rates where they are today, accomplishes your goal today, then you need to act today. – That makes sense. Instead of just guessing like,
“Oh it could get better.” Because it could get worse. – You wait for that eighth
of movement in the rate, and all of a sudden they’ve
moved the other way by a half. – And now you’re waiting. – Doesn’t make any sense for you. – First-time home buyers,
are there any things that they should be
considering beforehand? – Very first thing a
first-time home buyer should do is to get pre-qualified. You need to know what you can afford. – Got it. So even before you start
looking for the house, and you start house hunting,
and you’ve found what you like, you want to get pre-qualified beforehand. – Correct. In fact, your real estate agent
probably, if you showed up without a pre-qualification,
would direct you back to a lender to say, “You
need to get pre-qualified.” – [Elsa] That’s true. They can do all that with you. What is the advantage for choosing Freedom Federal Credit
Union for the mortgage, or refinancing, or any other of the products that we discussed? – The biggest advantage is, we are local. And I can’t tell you how many
times we have members come in where they’ve gotten a
mortgage somewhere else, they come back to refinance with us. And the story is, “Oh my loan
was sold so many different times to so many different
lenders out of state.” We house our loans, we service our loans, and everything is done locally. So if you ever have a question, that rises after settlement,
you’ve got a question about your mortgage, you’re
probably going to talk to the person that actually originated that mortgage for you. All of our basic
functions, the origination, the processing, and the underwriting, all happen within the same office. – It’s really interesting
that you say that, because it wasn’t until I
bought a home that I realized that all of this stuff could happen! Because we bought with one,
and then all of a sudden the loan went to somewhere in the Midwest. And I’m like, “Wait,
my bank is not there.” So it is refreshing to know
that you can do everything in-house and that you’re
going to keep it in-house. – And the other benefit
to you as a consumer is, because it’s all in-house like that, we can expedite the
processing of that loan – Oh that’s smart.
– And get a quicker approval for you. – That’s great! So it’s moving faster, you’re
with people that you trust, and it’s local.
– Exactly. – I mean, there’s really
no draw back to that. So if people want to find out more, they can go to freedomfcu.org. – Correct.
– Is that right? – That’s right. – Good. Freedom Federal, see I said
it without twisting up my, I knew I was going to
mess it up but I did it. Thank you so much for being here, Mike, really appreciate it. – Thanks for having us. – And we will be right back
with more Midday Maryland right after this; stay tuned.

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