If you have a mortgage, it is probably one of your biggest recurring monthly expenditures. Wouldn’t it be nice to reduce that payment?

With mortgage interest rates now at or below 3%, maybe it’s time to refinance your loan and keep more money in your pocket.

Over the past several months, to strengthen the market and encourage home buying, the Federal Reserve Bank has reduced interest rates, which in turn has resulted in lower mortgage rates.

As of mid August,  here’s an approximation of mortgage interest rates:

30-Year Fixed Rate, 3.000%

30-Year Fixed Rate VA, 2.375%

20-Year Fixed Rate , 2.875% 

15-Year Fixed Rate, 2.625%

7/1 ARM, 2.750%

5/1 ARM, 2.875%

These rates are at or near an all-time low and people are taking notice and taking action. Many are buying homes or refinancing their current mortgages (this is evidenced by a huge increase in mortgage applications).

If you are thinking about buying a home in the greater Hilton Head Island or Bluffton area, even though the inventory is low, there are still a good number of good-value homes for sale.

If you are thinking about refinancing, it is very important see how it fits into your overall financial situation. While refinancing can save thousands of dollars in the mid-term or long-term, you could wind up losing money in the short-term.

Some advantages to refinancing now include: lowering monthly payments, moving from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate, shortening the term of your loan, and eliminating extra insurance charges.

Here are some reasons not to refinance at the current time: job market uncertainty, investment instability, additional mortgage/closing costs, and time to recoup and realize benefits.

I also think that is important to look at any lifestyle changes that you might be contemplating now or in the near future as they will have a significant impact on your decision making.

For example, some of my seller clients want to downsize or right-size, others want to be closer to their family, while others are thinking about independent or assisted living options.

Whether you decide to buy a home or stay where you are and refinance your current mortgage, it makes sense to talk to your accountant or financial advisor.

It is good to know that all your financial ducks are facing in the right direction.

Larry Stoller is a broker and Realtor with Real Estate Five of the Lowcountry. Larry@RealEstateFive.com, RealEstateFive.com, SunCityOpenHouses247.com