Asked by: Veniamin Yagofarov
real estate real estate buying and selling

Can I refinance if my house is worth less than I owe?

Last Updated: 1st March, 2020

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Can I Refinance if My Home Value Is Less Than the Loan Value? When your home is worth less than you owe on your loan, you are considered "underwater" on your mortgage. If you want to stay in your home and close the gap between the value of your property and your loan, refinancing might be a viable option.

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Similarly, it is asked, can you refinance if you owe more than your house is worth?

Refinancing When You Owe More Than Your Home Is Worth. Borrowers can refinance up to 125% of the home's value. To qualify for HARP, Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae must own your loan, you must not have missed any payments in the past year, and you may have to meet some credit score requirements.

Likewise, can I refinance if my home value has dropped? If your home has dropped in value, you can still refinance your mortgage loan. If your property value has declined to an amount less than the balance left on your home loan, you'll probably seek a government-sponsored option.

Also know, what to do if your house is worth less than you owe?

If you owe more than a house is worth and want to sell, but aren't sure what to do, here are six options.

  1. Stay and Pay. There are several reasons you might choose to keep making the payment on a house, even if you owe more on it than it's worth.
  2. Refinance.
  3. Get a Loan Modification.
  4. Go for a Short Sale.
  5. Walk Away/Foreclosure.

Can you refinance a house that is underwater?

The main way to refinance your mortgage if you're underwater is through a government program called the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP. Most lenders offer this program through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The mortgage must have been originated on or before May 31, 2009.

Related Question Answers

Mekka Agis

Professional

What can you do if your house wont sell?

Do not despair because there are still actions you can take when your home does not sell.
  1. Postpone Selling Your Home.
  2. Consider Taking Out a New Mortgage.
  3. Rent Out Your Home Instead.
  4. Consider a Short Sale.
  5. Offer Your Home on a Lease Option.
  6. Ask Your Employer About Relocation.
  7. Lower the Price to Under Market Value.

Teotista Quiroga

Professional

How do you get out of a house that is upside down?

How to Get Out of an Upside Down Mortgage
  1. An upside down mortgage is one where the balance remaining on the loan exceeds the value of a home. If you have an upside down mortgage, then you actually have negative equity in the property currently.
  2. Sell the Home. The first option is to sell the home.
  3. Refinance the Loan.
  4. Settle the Debt.

Mehmood Stanton

Professional

Can you give a house back to the mortgage company?

If you have a recourse mortgage loan, however, the scene shifts. Recourse borrowers owe the full amount of the mortgage even if they deed the house back to the bank. The lender can sell the house for less than the mortgage amount and come after you for all the rest, plus fees and legal costs.

Rafaelina Nebes

Explainer

What happens when you sell your house for more than you owe?

After the agents get their cut and the closing fees are settled, any taxes you owe on the property will be levied. In many states, taxes are paid a year in arrears, Berliner says. Your buyer isn't responsible for taking on the taxes for the time you owned the property—which means you may have to pay up.

Patience Bartzsch

Explainer

Can I hand my house back to the mortgage company?

If you can't pay your mortgage, you may be tempted to: just leave the property and hand back the keys to your mortgage lender. This is known as 'voluntary repossession'; or. You might think that by then your circumstances will have changed and you can pay off your arrears.

Erica Zhebo

Explainer

What happens to the equity in your home when you refinance?

Some lenders allow you to roll your closing costs into a straight refinance loan. When this happens, you actually cash in some of your equity to cover these costs. Therefore, your level of equity in your home actually decreases as a result of the transaction.

Presentina Kowark

Pundit

How do you pull equity out of your house?

If you do have at least 20 percent, the most common ways to tap the excess equity are through a cash-out refinance or a home equity loan. For a cash-out refinance, you refinance your current mortgage and take out a bigger mortgage.

Oury Neilson

Pundit

When your house is worth more than you owe?

Because they pay off very little on the principal, new buyers still owe most of the loan two to three years after they move into their home. Some homeowners refinance homes when values rise and take cash out from the equity they've built. When home values fall, owners owe more on the home than it is worth.

Paramjeet Pallina

Pundit

What happens if my house drops in value?

If the value of your home drops, making the amount of your mortgage higher than the actual value of the property, you are considered to have an “upside down mortgage". The decline in value of your home does not release you from the responsibility to pay the loan.

Zinnia Urrutia

Pundit

What happens if your home value drops?

When you owe money on your real estate, it can increase the impact of a loss of value. When a $550,000 house goes down to $450,000, it has lost 18.2 percent of its value. However, if you have a $400,000 loan on the property, your equity will go from $150,000 to $50,000 -- a loss of 67 percent of your equity.

Grecia Kord

Pundit

Should I sell my house at a loss?

One reason to sell at a loss is the need for money to buy another house. Think about how badly you need to move, or how much you would regret passing up the other house. If housing prices appear to be declining, then you should take the offer now rather than risk taking an even bigger loss when you sell your home.

Mahayub Ahullo

Teacher

What is an upside down house?

The upside down house is essentially a fully furnished home like any other, but took much longer than normal to build as workers kept becoming disoriented, forcing them to stop work. It wasn't even built simply upside down, but on a tilt as well, essentially eliminating the comfort of a reliable, flat surface.

Amauri Redondo

Teacher

Does a house lose value?

Physical deterioration is one of the most common reasons for a home to lose value. Aging structures decline in value when items become worn and need replacement. Curb appeal is lost when the style of a home becomes outdated, causing market value to decrease. Even simple neglect can cause a home to lose value.

Kayla Stancheva

Teacher

Can you sell a house if you still owe on it?

If you still owe $430,000 on your mortgage but you elect to sell the property now, you will still have $30,000 remaining on the mortgage that you will need to pay off. Negative equity can be caused by a number of factors, including: Falling house prices.

Keitha Viefers

Teacher

How do you walk away from a house?

Three of the most common methods of walking away from a mortgage include holding a short sale, voluntary foreclosure, and involuntary foreclosure. A short sale occurs when the borrower sells a property for less than the amount due on the mortgage.

Hal Scaglione

Reviewer

How long should you keep a house?

The long and short of it is this: live in your home for at least two years to avoid paying capital gains tax on your home. If you want equity in your home without major updates, you'll probably want to live in it between five and seven years.

Banna Schnakel

Reviewer

Should I sell or refinance my home?

True, refinancing allows you shorten the lifetime of your loan and negotiate a lower interest rate—which can in turn reduce your monthly mortgage payment. But selling could make more sense financially, if your home's gone up in value since you bought it.

Hyman Pinter

Reviewer

Is it worth refinancing for .5 percent?

Your new interest rate should be at least . 5 percentage points lower than your current rate. The old rule of thumb was that you should refinance if you could get a rate that was 1 to 2 points lower than your current one.

Zhirong Ilyunin

Reviewer

When should you not refinance?

5 Reasons Not to Refinance Your Mortgage
  • You're Not Planning on Staying Put. One of the most important details you need to pay attention to when you're planning to refinance is the break-even point.
  • Your Credit's Not That Great.
  • You Can't Afford the Closing Costs.
  • The Long-Term Costs Outweigh Your Savings.
  • You Want to Tap Into Your Home's Equity.