There are More Benefits to Refinancing than Lower Payments

When most people think about refinancing, they think about securing a lower interest rate—and the lower monthly payment that usually accompanies it. However, while lower payments are certainly nice, there are additional benefits you might want to consider.

Changing the term – Refinance a 30–year mortgage to a 15–year one and depending on how far along you are in your payments, you may be able to significantly reduce the total interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan. At today’s rates, your monthly costs may not even increase.

Moving to a fixed rate – If your current mortgage is an adjustable rate product, meaning the interest you pay on the loan periodically changes. You can eliminate the risk of payment increases by refinancing into a fixed rate loan with a set, permanent interest rate.

Cashing in equity – If your home is worth at least 20 percent more than what you currently owe on your mortgage, you may be able to refinance and convert some of that equity to cash. While this isn’t a decision to make frivolously, it can make financial sense in some situations. Talk to your mortgage lender and financial advisor about yours.

Consolidating multiple loans – Whether you bought your home with an 80/20 mortgage program or have a first mortgage plus a home equity loan or line of credit, consolidating through a refinance can reduce your overall monthly payment and simplify your budget.

Settling a divorce – If you own a home jointly with your ex, a refinance will allow you to turn that joint obligation into a single person’s responsibility. This may be preferable to selling the home if one of you wishes to continue to live there.

There are More Benefits to Refinancing than Lower Payments was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home


Green Tips for Every Room

We recycle, conserve water, maybe even have a compost pile in our yard. But we can all do more. Consider these simple tips to make every room in your home “greener” today.

Living Room

  • Invest in a power strip and plug the entertainment center electronics—from your cable box to your television and stereo—into it. This will make it easy to pull the plug on everything when not in use, and will save more energy than merely turning them off.


  • Planning to refresh your interior paint? Choose a low–VOC or no–VOC formula to reduce the amount of volatile organic compounds polluting the air in your home.


  • Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents (CFLs). You’ll use 75 percent less energy and have to replace bulbs 10 times less frequently.


  • Ready for a new mattress? Choose a model that is PBDE free. Studies have found polybrominated diphenyl ethers accumulate in our bodies and can be linked to a variety of health problems.


  • Ditch your old cleaning sprays and switch to aromatherapeutic and biodegradable wipes like those at While you’re at it, upgrade your dish soap, glass and tile cleaner as well.

Laundry Room

  • Concentrate on your laundry–detergent, that is. Concentrated formulas require less packaging and are lighter to ship, which is easier on the environment. You can find 4x and 8x concentrated formulas at


  • Replace your old showerheads with water–saving models. You’ll find affordable options at your local home improvement store that can cut water use by 50 to 70 percent.


  • Throw out your PVC shower curtain. Many give off dangerous gasses that you may be inhaling every time you take a hot shower. Cotton or canvas varieties are safer and greener.


Green Tips for Every Room was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home