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5 Tips for Refinancing Your Mortgage: An Interview with Charlie Sparks of Pinnacle Capital Mortgage

By Charlie Sparks

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

We love helping people purchase or refinance their home. Proof of this is our ranking third in the Albuquerque Journal's 2014 survey of Top Workplaces. Happy customers makes for happy employees! I've been a mortgage professional since 1986 and this is the most well-run company I have ever worked for. The fact that Pinnacle Capital is a direct mortgage bank makes this possible. Since we approve and fund our own loans in-house, we have control over the process from start to finish.

What are the main reasons people decide to refinance their mortgage?

Historically this has been to lower the monthly payment, but in the past few years there has been a shift with homeowners wanting to reduce their loan term, e.g., a 30-year loan with 23 years remaining is often recast as a 15- or even 10-year fixed-rate loan. This is the best option for long-term savings.

What are some of the major things that affect people's ability to qualify for refinancing?

The obvious reasons are credit, property value and stability of employment/income. What has become more common in recent years is fear. Many homeowners don't think they can qualify because of past credit issues or recent job changes. These are often allowed. Anyone considering a refinance or home purchase should contact me or another local, licensed mortgage loan originator and start a conversation. Many would be surprised to learn that a 2-year-old bankruptcy may not stand in their way of getting approved.

When should homeowners consider refinancing?

It's all based on need, really. Some want to reduce the term so they have no house payment when they retire. Others need cash flow and will extend the term back to 30 years for a lower payment. There are also those that need to convert their equity to cash for any number of reasons, which a cash-out refinance can accomplish. Homeowners over 62 years old have the option of a reverse mortgage, which can pay off their existing mortgage, give them cash and leave them with no house payments. If there is a need to downsize to a smaller property, they can purchase a home with a reverse mortgage and have no house payments as well.

Are there any risks associated with refinancing a home?

Yes. Selling the home before recouping the refinance costs. If the closing costs are $2,500 and you save $100 per month, you'll recoup your investment in just over two years. Each month after that is savings. Selling any time before the break-even period means you have lost money.

Is there anything that most homeowners don't know about refinancing that they should know?

There are still programs available that allow you to refinance without an appraisal. These are designed for homeowners who currently have a mortgage balance close to or exceeding their home's value. It costs nothing to see if you qualify. Just call or email me.

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

My cell is best. Call or text me at 505-350-3745 or email csparks@pcmloan.com. Our office is centrally located in the North Valley at 320 Osuna NE, Suite G3, (Edith at Osuna). Visit us there or I can meet at your home or somewhere for a coffee. Also, an online application is available

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