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April 17, 2012 4:50 am
One way to give your tax refund legs is to invest it in your home. While the housing market may still be experiencing difficulties, real estate remains a great long-term investment. BMO Financial Group offers the following real estate-related options for your tax refund:
Today's historically low interest rates along with more reasonable home prices make home buying a great opportunity and a tax refund can be used toward a down payment. There are a number of loan options along with grant and down payment assistance programs that are perfect if you are a first-time homebuyer. But, before you set out to buy a home, it's best to talk with a mortgage professional and be pre-approved.
Refinance Your Home
With rates at historical lows, refinancing may help a homeowner lower their rate or change the length of the loan's term, allowing them to pay off their loan quicker and save money on interest. It's best to check with a mortgage professional you trust who can help determine if a lower rate or different loan term makes the most sense for your personal situation.
When considering refinancing, people often worry that appraisals and closing costs will outweigh the minimal monthly savings gained. Determine how long you plan on staying in the home you're refinancing. Sometimes closing costs can be recouped in monthly savings over a longer period of time. An alternative is to use your tax refund to pay closing costs.
Pay Down Your Mortgage
Paying down your mortgage with your tax refund is also a great way to decrease your debt and increase equity in your home. If you plan on staying in your home for at least the next three to five years, consider investing your tax refund toward the principal of your mortgage.
Published with permission from RISMedia.
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