Back in December, we decided to refinance our home to take advantage of low interest rates, but more so to consolidate debt and better utilize the equity our house has gained since we bought it in 2012 after the housing bubble burst.

Actually, I first started researching this back in May, however the big banks including ours had all put a halt on cash-out refinances to help manage their risk and we had wanted to stay where the rest of our accounts were, so we opted to wait it out. Well, after eight months I got tired of waiting – particularly after calculating just how much we could save in debt payments by rolling it all into the mortgage instead.

We ended up reaching out to the same mortgage broker that helped us buy the house because he was a lot easier to work with than the scads of other lenders who all had kind of terrible offers anyways. I highly recommend finding a broker who you can contact directly instead of working with a call center who has you talking to a different agent every time you call in…

Ultimately it took us 52 days from the day we chose our lender to when we had cash in hand after closing, compared to 55 days when we bought our house from offer to keys in hand, which in hindsight is still pretty impressive!

Granted, we already live in the house that we refinanced, however in turn they also gave us a fat check, so…

Also, there’s been this pandemic going on, if you hadn’t heard. Plus there were a couple of major holidays in the mix, which I’m sure slowed us down a bit.

Nonetheless, I know that during all of my waiting that I would’ve loved to see something about how people in a similar situation were progressing, so I thought it might be useful to share my own timeline after the fact in case anyone wants to compare how their own refinance is moving along… (or not!)

12/8 – Began soliciting loan offers.

12/11 – First contact with lender we actually chose.

12/15 – Selected lender.

12/15 – Completed loan application and submitted supporting documents.

12/20 – Provided more documentation for underwriter.

12/30 – Loan approved by underwriter.

1/9 – Lender realized that we needed an appraisal after all and ordered one.

1/11 – Contacted by title company for paperwork.

1/15 – Received closing disclosure (#1).

1/15 – Appraiser came to review house.

1/18 – Appraisal amount was confirmed.

1/20 – Received closing disclosure (#2) after results of appraisal.

1/25 – Loan was cleared to close.

1/27 – Closing date – some documents signed online, notary came to our house for others.

2/1 – Loan funded after waiting period, cash out received!

If you stumble across this and find yourself staring down the barrel of a refinancing offer while this crazy pandemic is still going on, just know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, so get that paperwork submitted and then go find something productive to do while you wait! 😛

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