What Does It Cost to Refinance Your Home?

Written by Susan Lahey
Published February 11, 2019
CUTX explores how much it costs to refinance your mortgage CUTX explores how much it costs to refinance your mortgage

Costs to refinance your home can run from $0 upfront, to several thousand dollars, depending on how the loan is structured. Usually it's between 2% and 5% of the amount of the loan. Getting your home mortgage refinanced is, sadly, no less complicated than getting the original mortgage.

There may be fees for applying, loan origination, document processing, underwriting, recording, tax transfer…. There are costs for an appraisal, a credit report, title research and insurance. And different lenders use different terms for the fees associated with processing a refinance of your home.

People refinance for many different reasons, such as moving from an Adjustable Rate Mortgage to a Fixed Rate or dropping to a lower interest rate. Often the savings make it worth the initial cost and hassle, but not always. And if you restart a 30-year clock on your loan, you can really lose ground. So, it's important to think it through, do the math, and get expert help on whether the benefits of a refinance outweigh the costs.

Loan application fee

Although Credit Union of Texas does not charge an application fee, other mortgage lenders can charge application fees that generally range from $25 to $150.This is a fee to cover the lender's costs of doing the paperwork to start your loan process.

Appraisal

An average appraisal at Credit Union of Texas will range in cost from $460 to $475; in certain situations it may cost up to $565. The lender will need to have an appraiser determine whether your home is worth what you believe it is, so they can decide how much money to lend you.

The larger or more complex your home, the longer it will take. By law, your lender can't "choose or hire" a specific appraiser by law. The lender has a responsibility to review the appraisal, and if it does not utilize the right comparable homes, then they can request an updated appraisal. If your home is historic in a neighborhood of new builds, if you have more land than your neighbors, or if there are any other unique features, it will probably take the appraiser longer to assess the value. You need to make sure the appraiser takes those factors into account.

You can learn about the average home value in the Dallas area by checking the Dallas Central Appraisal District. But those values are for taxes and can sometimes be quite different (by thousands of dollars in some cases) than the actual value.

Loan origination fee

At Credit Union of Texas, we charge a $995 flat loan origination fee and a $60 credit report fee. Other lenders may charge up to 1% of your mortgage, depending on what it includes. This might include other fees, or it might not. Sometimes this includes costs like a credit check (about $50), notaries, and processing tasks involved in collecting and verifying your information.

Underwriting fee

Credit Union of Texas does not charge an underwriting fee at all, but other lenders generally charge between $400 and $900 if separate from the origination fee, depending how complex your financial situation is and how hard they have to work to get the loan approved. This pays for an expert underwriter to look at your income, debts, credit history, home appraisal and other factors to determine whether or not to approve you for the loan.

Title research and insurance

In Texas, this can cost up to about $2,000 for properties under $1 million. The home owner buys a policy both for the lender and for themselves to guarantee that the property title is properly assigned.

Other Fees

There are other fees sometimes incurred such as legal fees, wire transfer fees, broker fees, and the like. One estimate has all fees in Texas costing around $2,000, but that depends on your particular situation.

Though most of these fees will be involved in any mortgage refinance, they are often packaged as all-in-one closing costs, which means you have to pay them, but you don't have to stress over each one.

Or they might be packaged as a "no closing cost" refinance which is usually a misnomer. Instead of paying the closing costs up front, you pay nothing up front but accept a higher interest over the life of the loan. If you only plan to be in the house a few years, this might work out mathematically. Otherwise you pay more in the long run.

Credit Union of Texas is ready to help

Some people refinance their homes for reasons that are difficult to avoid—like changing ownership to one homeowner and buying out another. For other refinance scenarios—like switching from an Adjustable Rate Mortgage to a Fixed Rate to avoid rising interest rates, a refinance can provide a huge savings, especially if you're planning to be in your home a long time. Work with a lender you trust to figure out whether it's the right move for you. We'd love to help!

Ready to Apply For A Mortgage?

Whether you're purchasing a new home or refinancing the home you're in, Credit Union of Texas stands ready to help. You can either start your application online, or if you have questions, you can fill out this form to have us give you a call!