Raleigh mortgage broker explains why pandemic may be a great time to refinance a home

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The inventory of homes for sale is down because of the pandemic and the difficulty of marketing with social distancing.

But when it comes to refinancing, dealing with only an attorney and a broker means you can get a new mortgage without face-to-face encounters.

"We now have the ability to be more efficient throughout everything," Mike Alberico told ABC 11.

Alberico, the vice president of Raleigh Mortgage Group, said where you once had to meet in person with brokers and attorneys that can now be accomplished with online virtual meetings and document sharing.

And they've even addressed social distancing paperwork signing.

"Sending a notary to people's house to sign their documents to where all they have to do is verify your identity and they don't even have to go into your home," he noted.

And with rates at historic lows - on some days this week rates for even 30-year mortgages dipped below 3% - people are jumping on the mortgage bandwagon.

That's especially true for people who aren't moving but simply want to lower their current rate according to Alberico who said, "We are inundated with refi volume."

For mortgage brokers, Alberico said, that's more than making up for the drop in home-buying.

But while the inventory of homes for sale is low right now a recent meeting between his company's brokers and local realtors brought up an interesting theory.

They expect inventory to increase dramatically whenever the pandemic does finally wind down.

"We should see a lot more listings coming out of this because a lot of folks are spending 24 hours a day in their home and they're starting to see what they don't love about their homes and what bothers them," he said adding, "And some people are actually not going to go back to the office. So that's going to create the necessity for more space. You might need a true dedicated office space now. So it's definitely going to be interesting once we get to whatever the next stage is."

On the down side the pandemic has driven some lenders to require higher credit scores and larger down payments or more equity.

But if you have that covered Alberico said, "It's definitely worth looking at from a consumer standpoint."

And for many it's well worth paying closing costs in the short term to save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage.
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