• Refinance or Move? - Deciding to do one or the other

    • When mortgage rates are low, refinancing can be an attractive option for homeowners looking to save money. But it can also give you an opportunity to reassess your current situation. In some cases, what you need isn't a new loan, it's a new home. Ask yourself a few questions before you make your final decision.

    • Q: How do you feel about your current home?
      Is this house "the one" or have you always seen it as a stop along the way? Has your family situation changed, requiring more or less space? Is the area still one you're happy living in or have work circumstances or changes in the neighborhood made you rethink your location?

    • Q: What's your current financial situation?
      Are you having difficultly making ends meet with your current mortgage? Depending on how big a move you're willing to make, getting a new house at a low rate could save you significantly from month to month. However, if you don't have a lot of equity in your current home, you could end up paying just as much or more on a new loan — even for a smaller home in a less expensive area. Meanwhile, refinancing at a lower rate will definitely save on your monthly bill, although you will have to consider closing costs.

    • Q: What's the housing market like?
      Is this a good time or a bad time to sell in your neighborhood? Even if you want to move, sticking it out in a "transitioning" neighborhood for a few years could mean a better selling price as well as more equity later. If the housing market is good in your area and you're looking to move up in either size or price range, this could be a good time to sell your current home.

    • Q: Could you make your current home your dream home?
      Sometimes a renovation can make your home new again. If you like all the other things about where you live and your property allows for the kinds of changes you'd like to make, consider a renovation instead.

      PenFed can help you with all your home finance needs — refinances, new home loans and home equity loans for renovations.