refinance

Are you ready to refinance vacation home?

Should I get the loan locally or back home?
Should I get the loan locally or back home? © Goodluz/Shutterstock.com

A logical place to start shopping is the institution that made the initial home loan.

Then shop around just "like anything else," says Stanley D. Smith, professor at the University of Central Florida.

Talk to real estate and lending pros in the area where the vacation home is located, he says. They're going to have the best idea of the current local market and property values. Ask them for advice.

Compare that to the options you find where you live year-round, Smith says.

Wherever you get your prospects, do your own due diligence on the institution you ultimately select, rather than relying on someone else to do it for you, says Joshua Stein, a commercial real estate attorney in New York who refinanced his own vacation home not long ago.

And get at least three bids on a loan, Smith advises. It doesn't guarantee you the best price, "but you'll know if something's out of line."

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