Faire racheter son pret immobilier, part 1
This is a post for those of you who are lucky enough to own a home in France (and unlucky enough to still be paying it off lol). If you haven't heard yet, interest rates in France are at historic lows. Like so low, the banks are lending money almost for free, at least when you take inflation and the yearly value your bien will gain into account. It's true that they've gone back up slightly in the past month or two, but it's still a steal if you've got a mortgage or you're looking to get one.
Just to give you an idea, when we signed our mortgage 2 years ago, we also got one of the lowest rates France had seen in a long time - 2,85%. Now we are going through the process of refinancing our mortgage, and we just received an offer at 0,95%. So I thought I'd share a few things we learned along the way.
Initially, we'd planned on paying down a significant amount of money in cash that we've managed to save up over the past few years. Being mortgage novices, we assumed we could pay off the lump sum and then refinance for a lower amount. After nearly a three month wait, we found out this was not the case and we lost out on the 0,85% interest rate.
If you want to pay money down, you need to first pay your current lender (and there is a small penalty fee that comes with it - I believe 3-6 months' worth of interest), and once that has gone through, you can then start the process of either renegotiating or refinancing your mortgage. This will take a few months however, so you'll have to decide whether or not it's worth doing that and risking interest rates going up.
I'm mainly going to talk about refinancing here though, because very few banks will accept renegotiation (because what do they have to gain?), unless you have already done the work of finding a few other hard offers from competitors and you can force their hand.
First, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
- Do you have more years left on your mortgage than you've paid back? For example, for a 20 year mortgage, do you have at least 10 years left?
- Do you still owe a large amount of money? (Some sites estimate this as 50,000€, some 75,000€)
- Is there at least a 1% difference between your current rate and the rates offered now?
- How much will your lender charge you in penalty fees?
- Do you have time to devote to the process? (It took C one full day to compile everything and then we had to have rather lengthy meetings with each bank).
This is getting long again, so more on the next steps tomorrow!