Refinance Completed

My refinance was completed last month. My mortgage was refinanced from Bank of America (30-year fixed at 5.25%) to Star One Credit Union (30-year fixed at 4.75%). Because of the very attractive rates during this time, the entire process took a long time. In fact, from application to final funding, it took more than 12 weeks. This is well beyond the 60-day lock period. Star One honored the rate without any issues.

The following is the timeline:

  • Week 1 :9/28 Mon: Applied for Star One’s 20-year fixed loan at 4.75%.
  • Week 1: 10/2 Fri: Star One’s 30-year fixed mortgage dropped from 4.875% to 4.75%.
  • Week 1: 10/3 Sat: Instead of re-locking the rate, I applied for a new 30-yr 4.75% mortgage with Star One. This cost an additional $12 for the new credit reports. Re-locking the rate would have cost me $250.
  • Week 2: 10/6 Tue: Sent off the check to Star One to pay for the appraisal. Also faxed in some supporting documents.
  • Week 2: 10/7 Wed: I wanted to use an online title company However, the processing officer from Star One informed me that Star One’s policy is that the signing must be done in a title company office. Consequently, I dropped the idea of using EntitleDirect and picked Chicago Title, the title company which closed my previous refinance with Bank Of America.
  • Week 2: 10/10 Sat: House appraiser called to set up appointment for the house appraisal.
  • Week 3: 10/14 Wed: The house appraisal was done.
  • Week 4: 10/22 Thu: Appraisal report was posted online. Valuation is slightly higher than I expected.
  • Week 5: 10/30 Fri: Emailed the underwriter. She said that they were swarmed with applications and were currently processing applications from the first week of September.
  • Week 6: 11/02 Mon: I raised my concerns about the 60-day rate lock. The underwriter replied that the rate would be kept for me if they were unable to fund by the rate lock expiry date.
  • Week 10: 12/01 Tue: No additional progress were made in the month of November. On 12/1, Underwriter informed me that they would be processing my loan the coming week.
  • Week 11: 12/07 Mon: Received email from underwriter that my loan was approved.
  • Week 11: 12/11 Fri: Loan processor informed me that they were requesting the list of fees from the title company.
  • Week 12: 12/14 Mon: Escrow officer sent the list of fees to Star One for approval. Loan docs prepared and sent to the title company.
  • Week 12: 12/15 Tue: Received closing statement, revised it and set appointment for sign-off on the next day.
  • Week 12: 12/16 Wed: Sign-off the refinance in the title company’s office. I requested that the funding and closing dates not to straddle over a weekend. For the reason, read this post by TFB.
  • Week 12: 12/19 Sat: End of three-day refinance rescission period.
  • Week 13: 12/22 Tue: Star One funded the loan.

In total, the closing costs came up to be around $2100. The title charges (escrow +  title insurance) were about $1400, loan fees (appraisal + loan application) were around $600, and about $100 was charged by Bank of America to close out the old loan.

Overall, I am happy with the new rate but wished that the entire process could have been much shorter than the 12 weeks it took.

Unlike some who suggest to pay down the mortgage whenever possible, I plan to keep this mortgage to the full term. At the fixed rate of 4.75%, I am pretty sure I can find better opportunities elsewhere for any excess money that I have.


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