refinance

Are you ready to refinance vacation home?

How much equity do I have?
How much equity do I have? © OlegDoroshin/Shutterstock.com

The big question for any potential refinancer: How much equity (if any) do you have?

You don't find out just how much equity you truly have until the lender's appraisal comes back about halfway through the loan underwriting process. So when you self-assess equity before loan shopping, be ruthless.

If you study comparable properties (or get someone to do it for you), make sure they really are comparable, with similar age, size and composition. No extra bedrooms, bathrooms or upgrades.

Consider recent sale prices only, not asking prices or old sales. And that foreclosure down the street that's just like your place? Count it.

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