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Money Fix: Refinancing your mortgage

It's a good time to refinance a mortgage,

It's a good time to refinance a mortgage, but expert say, what matters most is whether it's a good time for you. Credit: iStock

To refinance or not, that is the question. With 30-year fixed rate mortgages still around 4 percent or less, should you wait for them to go lower?

"There's no need to panic and rush to refinance, but rates are so low, they can only go up," says Tony Sidoti, vice president of lending for Island Federal Credit Union in Hauppauge.

Just like you shouldn't try to time the market with stocks, so it is with mortgages. Trying to catch the bottom is a bad idea, says Steve Probst, branch manager of Fairway Independent Mortgage in Islandia.

But just because it's a good time to refinance, what matters most is whether it's a good time for you.

Do the math. Investigate all costs, including any tax implications, says Nancy Orlando, senior vice president of lending at Teachers Federal Credit Union in Hauppauge.

Figure out your monthly payment reduction if you refinance.How long will it take to recoup the closing costs? How long will you stay in the house?

The bottom line, says William Hammer, vice president of wealth management at Vanderbilt Partners in Melville: "If the point at which the refinancing pays for itself is much earlier than you plan to leave, it's a great idea."

For example, if the refinancing costs $3,600 and saves you $300 a month, then 12 months is your break-even point.

If you'll be in the house three years or more, go for it.

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