Apr 6, 2010  •  In Finance, Personal

It Never Hurts to Ask!

Yesterday, I received some good news and some bad news.

Let’s go for the good first.

A few months ago, I wondered to myself why we couldn’t get a lower mortgage rate. J and I had purchased our condo at the height of the housing boom (and just before the giant dip in mortgage rates), so our 30-year fixed rate was quite high at 6.5%.

Since applying for that loan and purchasing our home, our financial situation has changed (we went from 2 full-time income to 1 full-time and 1 measly freelancing) and we have a baby on the way.

So I took a full day to get all our financial information in order, took a deep breath, and called our mortgage lender.

It took several months, many hours on the phone, and numerous faxes sent back and forth.

I was ready to pull out my hair at certain points. Just how many different departments must I talk to before I can get a straight answer? And why can’t these different departments just TALK and SHARE our information with each other?

But it was worth it.

Sooo worth it.

Because yesterday, I learned that we were approved for a loan modification —

— a change in our interest rate that will save us almost $1,500 every month.

That’s an extra $18,000 a year. Money which could be put toward the baby and our long-term goals. Nevermind the peace of mind!

Now, for the bad news.

As a part of our application process, our lender ordered a home re-assessment for the current value of our home.

Our condo is now worth $50k less than what we paid for it.

I know that number is nothing compared to the blow dealt to other homeowners across the country. But it was a blow, nonetheless.

The moral of the story? (And the title of this post?)

It never hurts to ask!

I highly encourage everyone whose interest rates are higher than the current rates to call their lenders asap!

8 Responses to “It Never Hurts to Ask!”

  1. wow, that is great news about your new lower payments! I do not think we’d qualify for a modification…. though I suppose you are right that it doesn’t hurt to ask! That is a huge savings, and I’m sure is very helpful for your peace of mind with baby on the way!

    as for the bad news, you are not alone ~ the unit upstairs from us (identical, new construction) just sold for $40K less than what we paid.. ugh!! painful to think about… but I am pretty sure we would have paid more than $40K in rent over the 3 years we’ve lived in our condo, so that makes me feel a little better about the whole thing.

  2. Anita:

    That’s awesome that you got a modification and I’m very proud that you were so persistent in pursing this.

    I’m sorry to hear that your home has gone down in value but at least you were able to get the mod. We had our house priced out and it’s pretty much what it was when we bought it almost 4 years ago. I think if we sold, we wouldn’t even be able to walk away with our down payment back. As we always believed, we do the home improvements because we want to and to make our lives more comfy and not because of the value that will add to the house.

  3. Holy moly, $1500 is HUGE!! That is definitely worth a day of haggling on the phone, good for you! As for the decreased value of your home, I don’t think its a lost cause, it can always go back up if you wait a while longer!

  4. Wow, that’s amazing! Congrats!!! Thanks for posting this. It may be the kick in the ass my husband and I need to do the same thing. We also bought at the height of the market and our interest rate was the exact same as yours. We’ve made some effort, but were lazy about taking it head on given the level of effort to get someone to pay attention and tell us the right things. Any tips on the best way to get it done?

  5. This is sooo good to know!

  6. Jenny, that is awesome! We just started the same process this week & WOW, it is a pain! But, like you, we bought at the height of the market. & our place is worth soooo much less than what we paid, it makes me want to cry if I think about it too much.

    So glad to hear about your savings – that is great!

  7. WOW! That’s awesome!!

  8. WOW! That’s awesome!!

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