A nautical reference seems about right, given all the chatter about homes across America being “underwater”.  The term refers to owing more on your home than its current value.

You’ve heard about the loan programs available for refinancing if you’re in that position, especially if you took out your loan before May 31, 2009.  What you might not know is the expiration date of the program, which is Dec. 31, 2013.  If you’ve been meaning to check it out, call today.  The clock is ticking.

The more pressing issue might be what is happening to interest rates.  Those of us who watch with eagle eyes have been noticing a trend in higher rates, since about Dec. 5, 2012.  In measuring those rate sheets against today, we are up around 0.25 percent across the board.

For example, on a loan for $250,000, today’s payment would be higher by about $35 per month.  It’s probably not a deal-breaker, but it adds up over time.

Since the economy is trying to stabilize, but isn’t quite there yet, sources in the know suggest we may have one more run at “the best rates ever” before things creep up without stopping.

If you’ve been stalling about refinancing: The suggestion is to get on it now.  Really, now, before you look back and regret what you missed.

If you like the FHA loan program for refinance, soon the monthly mortgage insurance premium will be with you for “life” and will not automatically end when you reach 78 percent of the original loan balance.  One more reason to bust a move.

All FHA loans will be more expensive after April 1, when mortgage insurance premiums increase yet again.  They’re trying to restore the insurance fund for the program, which has been depleted by all the FHA foreclosures over the past years.

Yes, we still have great loan programs if you don’t have a lot towards a down payment and yes, rates are still really great.  Please just remember this warning when you complain later that your mortgage rate is more than four percent. 

Tammy Engel has been writing home loans throughout California since 1990, and maintains several designations no other local lender has.  Put her to work for your best interest by calling 661-822-REAL for help with purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage.