March 14, 2003
I was late to work again this morning, but not due to snow. This time it was because Mr. Karen and I went to get our mortgage refinancing paperwork notarized. I thought finding a notary was going to be the hard part of the process, but it turns out that there’s a Mail Boxes etc. store just a few blocks from our house that has a notary there every weekday from 9 to 4. Actually they have a notary there on Saturday, too, but I’ve already got a lot going on tomorrow and didn’t want to try and cram this in, too.
A lot of people I know have refinanced two or three or even more times in the last couple years, but this is only the second time we’ve done it since we closed on our house in thirteen years ago. You might thing I’d be ashamed to admit that. Here I am, with my accounting degree and my CPA experience, and I’ve been paying 7% on a mortgage when lower rates were readily available. Even now, with a rate of 5.5%, I haven’t done as well as my coworkers who were quick to share their rates with me once they heard where I’d been this morning. (Of course, the coworkers who aren’t as keen on refinancing didn’t stop by to share, so the sample is skewed.)
I can live with not having the lowest possible mortgage interest rate. If we had a huge balance and a lot of years left to pay, I’d be more concerned, more likely to feel that spending time and energy searching out the best deal would be worth it, but since that’s not the case, I’m comfortable with going with what was easy. And this was easy– one phone call, a slice of one evening spent reviewing paperwork, and the stop at the notary this morning was all it took. I might not have even done that much if our soon to be former mortgage lender hadn’t pissed me off a few months ago when I had to deal with them after they misplaced our proof of insurance. The people at Allstate were great when I called to get a replacement issued, but the people at ABN Amro treated me like the enemy when I called to inquire if they’d received it. Evidently the people who would know that sort of thing do not talk to “outside people” like me, and the people who do talk to the likes of me don’t care. Now, I’ve yet to see how the new mortgage company responds to problems, but I was happy with how they handled me as a prospective customer, which is a good start.
R is for Refinancing