Neighborhood Expert: Top 3 ways to save money on your mortgage

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA and D.C. with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or Laura@GuidingYourMove.com.

Let’s start with the obvious disclosure — I’m not a financial planner or a CPA, just a real estate agent with some well known tips to save money on your mortgage.

Lots of you have mortgage rates under 4%, which is amazing, but there are still ways to save even more money. 

  1. Pay an extra $100 per payment. That might take YEARS off your 30 year loan and significantly reduce your overall interest cost on your loan. Pro tip: make sure you designate that it’s a payment towards your principal or they may just apply it towards interest which is not the goal here.
  2. If you have a loan with an interest rate under 5%, it’s unlikely you’ll ever need to refinance for a lower rate. However, for those of you who bought in 2022 or beyond — keep an eye on rates or reach out to your loan officer about when you should plan to refinance. There are usually costs associated with refinances, so make sure the expenses don’t outweigh the savings (it’s a cost analysis for how long you plan to stay in the house and how many months you’ll need to pay in order to recoup your closing costs). I know of a lender offering credit towards a future refi if you buy now, which will save you money down the road.
  3. If you put down less than 20% when you bought, you likely have mortgage insurance you’re paying monthly. Prices have continued to increase so you’ll want to pay attention to market value. You can get a new appraisal done and if the current value of your home has gone up enough, where your loan balance hits 80% of the value, you can ask your lender to get rid of your MI payment, otherwise they wait until you’ve paid enough to hit 78% of your loan value. Nobody will look out for your money like you.

If you want a market analysis on your home (general ballpark) to see if you can get out of your mortgage insurance, reach out. I offer a free assessment of value on your home and have a program that will aggregate your neighborhood sales for you to watch.

Just email me if you’d like to receive it (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually).

A miniature house with a key (via Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash)